Yes, I think the days of both the laptop and desktop are numbered. Tablets cost less and work better as time goes on. The Ubuntu dock with a phone seems a good fit for power users. Chrome books are a temporary in-between device, as are net books and small laptops. Right now I use my ten inch android tablet for about 85% of everything I need a computer for. The rest, mostly word processing, I use a Linux net book for. Tablets and smart phones are the future, and miniscule OS's that plug into big screen TVs.
Most of my PCs in the past that have run the latest and greatest software have needed upgrading every 3 years. Do they have built in obsolescence because software development moves too quick?
With regards too the remarks about contracts as hidden costs,
A. Do they physically not tell you how much it costs up front? If they do, how is it a hidden cost?
B. do you have no "pay as you go"type thing where you have no ongoing contract costs?
C. can you not buy any tablets or smart phones not tied too a phone company? What about the tablets that only have Wi Fi? Do they have a contract too?
Have come too the conclusion there's just a lot if people on this forum that hate new technology and refuse too even give it a chance. Which is odd for a software forum as software develops at a high speed as well as hardware & technology.
Are the days numbered? No.
Will/has the usage dropped in favour of more portable devices? Of course.
Most home users want a PC to browse Facebook, or view a good lasagne recipe; few people even use computers for programs such as MSN messenger. When you can do such trivial phones on phones/laptops/tablets in front of the TV, why the hell would you want a bulky desktop?
'Power' PC users obviously are not going to abandon the desktop. I'm not going to trade in my massive screen, full size mouse/kb and decent processing power - not for playing games, encoding, or monster browsing sessions.
I have a laptop and phone, but I find both frustratingly inefficient for more than a few tasks. Not that I'd be without my phone, it's a decent enough replacement for a filofax - and I can call people on it.
"I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee." --Flash Rosenberg