Smartphones are now so powerful that they can do anything you need no matter where you are. From email to movies to reading, a smartphone is a tool that you soon find indispensable. The problem is, on some platforms, that you still need to connect a smartphone to a desktop computer for certain tasks.
On Windows Phone, you need to do so to update the core operating system, initially on Android you will need to do so to move media to the phone and the same applies to iOS. Desktops are needed at some stage to set specific things up or to deal with moving media. When you really think about it, this is a little silly.
There are two operating systems that dominate the desktop world; Windows and Mac. Windows is by far the most popular and Linux is, sorry to say, very low in market share. When will we reach the point where mobile manufacturers can make devices that can, with no intervention at all, connect to a desktop and have the content available to it? No third party apps, no drivers, nothing at all. Just a phone that you purchase, sign in to your email and social networks with and then use the same Wi-Fi connection as your PC to have the files and media available immediately.
Desktops will, for a long time, be required because of the amount of storage they offer, but they really should not be necessary in 2012 to get a phone up and running or to deal with media. There are, as I said, only two operating systems powering the vast majority of desktop computers so making phones with the appropriate software built in to deal with them wirelessly from day one should not be too difficult. Or am I expecting too much?