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With the emergence of mobile devices, the personal computer has fallen by the wayside and new report suggests the PC era may be coming to an end.
"The things you can do on your smart phone today are things you could do on your PC just a few years ago," said IHS analyst Clifford Leimbach.
The research firm IHS tracks the use of Dram chips, which store information before it goes to a hard drive. For the past 30 years, the majority of the chips have gone into personal computers and laptops.
"Last quarter, the number went below 50 percent for the first time," Leimbach said.
Two years ago, 60 percent of Dram chips went to PCs, but last quarter the number dropped to 49 percent. Leimbach predicts it will dip even further in the coming quarters.
"It’s a slow march but it’s a march that isn’t gonna change course," Leimbach said.
The reason for this historic change: mobile devices, which have dramatically taken over the dram chip market. In 2009, mobile devices accounted for 5 percent of all dram chips. By 2012, that number quadrupled to 20 percent, an indication that mobile use is exploding.
Browsing the internet, posting on social media sites, writing emails and downloading music are technological tasks that were once relegated to PCs. Now, all that is possible on smart phones and tablets.
Still, there are some functions that can only be done on PCs, such as creating content like spreadsheets or documents. Smart devices are best for consuming content.
Consumers who do not need to create much content and want to get rid of their PCs need to take them to a recycling center because throwing them it in the trash is illegal.
"The problem with electronic devices is that they have hazardous wastes in them, metals like copper and zinc," said Pat Proanao, with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.
Those toxic materials could seep into the groundwater if they ended up in a landfill.