Thursday, December 26, 2013

Time Magazine’s 1982 Man of the Year

Time magazine recently selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year.  Did you know back on this day in 1982, Time Magazine selected the personal computer as its Man of the Year?

Read On:
Now thirty one years later the storyline is the PC is old and dying.  Analysts are looking at declining PC worldwide sales (consumer and enterprise) of 9 percent.  Let’s take a deeper dive:

·         Pew Internet reported (September 18, 2013) its findings of adult gadget usage; 58 percent of Americans (16+) own a desktop and 61 percent own a laptop.  Overall, 91 percent own a cell phone, 56 percent own a smartphone, 35 percent own a tablet computer.  In the same study, Pew indicated that two-thirds of Americans use their smart devices to surf the Web and check e-mail – double the amount since 2009.

·         New research (eMarketer survey) indicates that the average Internet user is more likely to go online using their smartphone or tablet than a PC; 39 percent by smartphone, 12 percent by tablet with just 49 percent by PC.  This varies greatly by age group and sex where 59 percent of Internet users ages18 to 24 used their mobile devices.  Meanwhile 61 percent of women Internet users ages 25 to 49 used their devices to go online.

·         When I researched this year’s holiday online shopping behavior, I learned that according to new research conducted by ChoiceStream, 87.3 percent of U.S. Internet users still liked using their personal computers, but over one half researched or booked something (including travel, restaurant reservations, apparel, etc.) at some point via their mobile devices.

Will smartphones be Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2014?


  1. I take a broader view of the term "personal computer". I include my mobile devices if they ACT like a computer (browsing, email, etc...and my iPhone does all that and more). So the age of personal computing is not dead, just in constant evolution.

    Good post. Makes us think about what it was like in the 70's without computers, voicemail, email, etc.

  2. Thanks for the reminder... nothing like making one feel old! I agree with Tom on the "personal computer" definition... all those devices further my personal computing. Maybe the old term PDA (no, not THAT PDA) is more apt than ever before. Happy New Year!