Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently roused some criticism for declaring the iPad to be the harbinger of a "post-PC" era. Market research firms seem to disagree with Jobs' proclamation; Gartner thinks he may be right, suggesting tablets are eating into PC sales, while NPD thinks slow PC sales have nothing to do with iPads. Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps believes the transition started happening long ago, but the combination of advances in mobile technology, the increasing ubiquity of WiFi and mobile broadband, and consumers' increasing reliance on conducting official and personal business online means computing happens more and more with tablets and smartphones and less with a bulky desktop chained to a desk.
While popular wisdom seems to suggest that PCs will suddenly disappear as consumers flock to touchscreen tablets, Epps sees users using more kinds of computing devices which suit the given place and time. "Consumers own an increasing number of devices, including PCs, and they get very good at making tradeoffs in particular contexts," Epps told Ars. "79.3 million US consumers own three or more types of connected devices; eight million own eight or more types of connected devices," she said.