Apple's future IS the iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by rtabdo, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. rtabdo macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2010
  2. saberahul macrumors 68040

    Nov 6, 2008
    I see why not, especially if they will be supporting quad-core processors and what not. With added power, support for desktop only applications increase resulting in a greater adaption of the iPad as compared to that of a laptop.
  3. TheTechBlock, Jan 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2012

    TheTechBlock macrumors newbie


    Jan 16, 2012
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  4. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    You can only get so much power in the small form factor and the 10hr battery life they are pushing.

    There are orders of magnitude difference in a 5W quadcore ARM, and a 60-120W quadcore desktop cpu. Clock speed and core count cannot be compared when cpu architecture design changes whether that means i7 vs ARM, or even i7-Bloomfield vs i7-SandyBridge.

    And as long as tablets are mobile, no file system based.

    But none of those are negatives. If you need/want that. Get a laptop.
  5. nepalisherpa macrumors 68020


    Aug 15, 2011
    The last desktop we had in our house was about 10 years ago! :)
  6. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Perhaps so but the best selling vehicles in the US are pickup trucks. We're still a long, long way from tablets being adequate replacements for true computers.
  7. sfoalex macrumors 6502

    Aug 11, 2001
    As much as like the iPad I don't see myself doing excel style worksheets with it. In order to truly take over the PC, it needs to find some middle ground in which it can easily be used for some compleat things like photoshop style work and excel type data.

    One of the things android tablets do well is left you use a keyboard and a mouse. Once you pair a Bluetooth mouse with an android tablet, you see a mouse pointer on the screen. I think Apple needs that kind of option. Hidden if you don't pair it, but there if you do. And once paired functions like right-mouse clicking for options needs to be supported. It would be nice to plug your tablet into a dock and have something more like a traditional computer experience. Take it out of the dock and you have the simple iPad experience.
  8. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002
    Well given my approach to using the iPad (see my signature...) it's safe to say that for me personally this ship has already sailed, and I have been on it since day 1.

    Regardless of whether you believe that iOS and osx will continue to converge, and/or merge, more and more people will reach a comfortable 80/20 type threshold with the iPad (in other words, it'll be good enough, most of the time, for most of the people).

    Truly I believe it's already about 95/5. Very few people do the type of heavy computation lifting tasks (serious video or photo editing, financial modeling, truly long form writing, etc.) that an iPad isn't - yet - able to perform.

    Thanks to Moore's law, and clever UI innovation, it's only a matter of time before even those things are easily done - and at an extremely high level - on an iPad.
  9. NameUndecided macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2011
    After having an iPad for only a couple of months, I'm surprised to find that if I really had to choose, I'd likely find it much easier and preferable to go without my MacBook for a couple of weeks rather than my iPad. No doubt, obviously, that this is just a matter of personal taste and opinion and what a person needs their devices for.

    It's very easy to imagine this preference being the case for a huge number more people and to a much greater degree within the next four to five years.
  10. rcp27 macrumors regular

    May 12, 2010
    But the point is that excel style worksheets are now only a small fraction of the things people do with computers. I have to do spreadsheet type stuff at work from time to time, but the number of times I need to do that per year in my spare time can be counted on the fingers of one hand (or even on the fingers of one finger).

    To take the driving analogy, if I want to shift a large item of furniture, a 3 door hatchback is not going to do the job, but the number of times I want to do that with my own car is so small that if I'm buying a car for myself, it's not high on my list of requirements. If I need to do that I'll rent a truck for the day.
  11. BergerFan, Jan 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012

    BergerFan macrumors 68020


    Mar 6, 2008
    Mos Eisley
    I was just thinking exactly the same thing.
    For the common uses: web browsing, email, music, watching video, simple content creation, all of these types of things are the automotive equivalent of driving to the beach, the corner shop, the cinema or going for a leisurely drive.

    For the heavy lifting: Transporting furniture, construction and other heavily intensive(real computing) tasks, the truck(desktop/laptop) is more suitable.

    The thing is, that before this mobile explosion, we all had no choice, but to use trucks just to go to the beach! :D
  12. wickerman1893 macrumors 6502


    Dec 16, 2008
    I think in 5 years there will be more people buying tablets than personal computers. In 10 years, everyone will only own a tablet and a mobile phone; and maybe a computer for programming, media creation, and heavy duty stuff, if the tablets don't do that already.
  13. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    It's certainly true that as a leisure time device tablets can be a adequate substitute for a more powerful, larger device. But as you noted, "the number of times I need to (use a spreadsheet) in my spare time " is limited.

    The point is that computers do much more than fill one's "spare time." They're essential productivity tools for millions upon millions of people. And for them, being productive with a device that displays only one window at a time on a 10" screen is simply silly.

    Apple's future may be the iPad. But if it is it means that Apple is ceding the marketplace to other manufacturers for the tasks that actually drive the modern economy.
  14. Risasi macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2011
    I've gone round and round on this. I do think modular tablets (that allow pairing of HID's like keyboard and mouse, attachment to external monitors when working at a desk, 1-1 replacement of desktop software like MS Office) are the immediate future. Specifically for Apple. But it's not quite there yet. So it comes down to a price point.

    A cheap desktop Windows PC (or base Mac mini) and iPad makes a lot of monetary sense. Since I have an iPhone 4 I find the iPad we have a little redundant. So my ideal setup right now is a 13" or 15" Macbook Pro and the iPhone.

    This next year I may ditch the Macbook Pro and just get a Mac mini or Mini-ITX PC mounted to the back of a 24" monitor, with an intended life cycle of 3-5 years, and then plan on getting a new iPad every 1-2 years. But we'll see what the iPad 3 looks like.
  15. porcupine8 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2011
    Of course, most of those are owned as status symbols by people who don't actually need the functionality. While I personally can't see desktops going the same way, you never know.
  16. rcp27 macrumors regular

    May 12, 2010
    Actually I would go further than that and say that as a liesure time device a tablet is much better than a more powerful larger device. If I'm sitting on the sofa and want to tweet something about a show I've just seen on TV, a tablet is much easier to do that with than a laptop.

    You need to wake up and smell the coffee. The computers that are "essential productivity tools for millions upon millions of people" are not and have never been Apple products. Apple lost that market when the numbers were still in the tens of thousands, about 20 years ago (some time between Windows 3.0 and Windows 95).

    The rise of Apple in the post-Steve Jobs return era has been built on digital media, both creation and consumption, not spreadsheets and word processors. It's no accident that the two key apps shown off at the iPad 2 launch were Garage Band and iMovie (not iWork). For these purposes, the iPad is not just an equal to a conventional laptop, but superior to one.
  17. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Actually, I've smelled that coffee and I agree with your comments. My comment was directed toward those (and there are a number of such folks here) who believe we have entered a "post-PC" era in which Apple will dominate the entire personal computing marketplace.

    That has been a pipe dream of Apple fans for decades. But as you note Apple's success in this century has been based on devices aimed at leisure time activities. There is nothing wrong with that strategy. But while it is big niche, it's still a niche market viewed from a broader perspective.
  18. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002
    I believe the issue is one of perspective. I think you are vastly overestimating the size of the "computing intensive" workforce in the world today (and tomorrow). IME most white collar professionals use their computers 9x% if not 100% of the time for things for which the iPad is ideally suited.

    The only profession that truly requires functionality currently beyond the ipad's, that is also materially growing, is coding. Spreadsheet jockeys and long form writers (attorneys and the like) are declining or stable in numbers.

    Said another way: the number of people who truly *need* a PC today is waaaaaaaaaaay smaller than the number of people who can "get away" with "only" an iPad. And that ratio is accelerating, not declining. Add in the inexorable increase in capabilities of iOS, great apps, and ever more capable hardware, and the change in ratio will accelerate further.
  19. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    In 2011 laptops outsold tablets about 4 to 1, even with worldwide economic conditions that depressed sales among businesses and where most laptop sales were replacements rather than expansion of the market.

    Sorry, but a 10" screen with a single non-resizable window is not going to replace the millions of units that support full multi-tasking in a variety of business environments.

    I design software for a living and from my experience the most common demand is more screen real estate and more multi-tasking. There are, of course, jobs where portability trumps those features and where a touch screen is preferred to a keyboard. But the work world is not predominantly one of highly mobile professionals whose requirements consist mainly of responding to emails in airports.

    I value my iPad when I travel. It's a great alternative to my 15" laptop when I'm crammed into a middle seat in coach. But it's a complement to that laptop, not a substitute for it. Most of my work time (and that of most other professionals) is spent sitting at a desk with a large monitor sitting more than an arm's length away from my keyboard. If someone asked me to switch to a tiny screen without a physical keyboard, I'd say they were nuts.
  20. scupking macrumors 6502a

    Dec 14, 2010
    The only issue is smartphones are now coming out with quad cores, screen sizes of 4.7+ inches, larger capacity batteries and up to 64GB of storage for much less money then even the basic iPad. They are LTE and can do everything an iPad can do granted with a smaller screen. For me I have a MacBook pro and my smartphone. I find myself doing the same thing on the smartphone as I do with an iPad. As for browsing the internet I find it more comfortable using my 13" macbook pro. I was going to get an iPad 3 when it came out but I will upgrade to a larger screen smartphone.
  21. Night Spring, Jan 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012

    Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Smartphones, tablets, same difference. Point is, as more and more people spend more of their computing time on mobile devices, the proportion of time spent on "traditional PCs" will decrease.

    Also, I think eventually mobile and desktop devices will converge into a modular system where the base unit is a tablet or smartphone, and you have desktop stations with full-size monitor, keyboard, mouse and whatnot. The base unit docks to the desktop setup, or more likely, connects to them wirelessly when in range. When away from the desktop, the base unit is a tablet/ smartphone, when "docked," it goes into full desktop mode with multiple windows, full keyboard / mouse control, etc. People who can get by with just tablet functionality just don't buy the desktop station, while those who need full desktop do.

    As more and more computing power gets packed into smaller and smaller devices, there will no longer be any need to choose between mobile and "full computing power." Yes, I agree that Apple's future, and that of the computing industry in general, is the iPad, that is, mobile computing. But the mobile devices of the future will be as powerful, if not more so, as the desktops of today.
  22. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002
    1) The tablet market (the real one, you know, the iPad, not windoze tablets or early android garbage) is still relatively young. In 12 - 36 months I am fairly confident the ratio you cite will be in complete reversal. Just wait and see, particularly as android tablets get not only cheaper but also better.

    2) Your perspective as a developer makes you uniquely unsuited to evaluate the average white collar worker. You are simply not one of them. The example you cite - an exec checking email in an airport (or perhaps reviewing a spreadsheet, marking up a presentation or contract) is *exactly* the vast majority of the professional working world today. And they can - and will - increasingly rely on the thinner/lighter/good enough capabilities of iPads and other tablets.

    3) The convention you cite - of sitting at a desk across from a screen (or two) and a keyboard - is a matter of legacy, not optimization. The world's professional workforce is increasingly mobile, and another cycle or two of hardware flushing at major corporations will bear this out. As a coder you are one of an incredibly small number of people (relative to the whole) who really truly needs a "full fledged computer." Most others do not.

    4) Add in the cost conscious blue collar world, the developing world, and youth of the world, all of whom are price sensitive (in general) in their own ways, and almost all of whom mot assuredly do *not* need a full fledged computer...and the trend is simply inexorable.

    Tell you what. If you disagree, book mark this, and revisit it in 12, 24, and 36 months. The 4:1 ratio you cite will be reversed by 36 months. In fact, if anything, I'll take the Under.
  23. aluren macrumors 65816

    Sep 9, 2008
    What do you do for a living? A majority of the workforce still requires traditional desktop/laptop environment with a keyboard/mouse. And in this world, change comes at a very slow pace. For example, alot of them still use Windows XP running on 3-7 year old laptop/desktop. An accountant or engineer is not going to do their work on the iPad, no matter how fast or good it is. And I'm only speaking about the workforce. I agree with you if you are talking about the population as a whole.
  24. drjsway macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2009
    It doesn't matter how many people will still need PCs because everyone who does NEED a PC, will still get a tablet also.

    For content consumption, web surfing, and other everyday tasks, the iPad is SO SUPERIOR that there will come a time when people can't imagine having to use a PC to do those things. An iPad on the living room coffee table will be standard in all first world homes.

    There are over a billion computers in use worldwide today. The market for tablets will far eclipse that number considering that they are far easier to use, have virtually zero learning curve, and cheaper than any netbook (with low end Android tablets coming out). I would guess 2-3 billion.

    Of course Apple's future is the iPad. Mac lost the PC war twenty years ago and now has roughly 10% of the market. iPad, however, is dominating a market that has the potential to be 2-3 times the PC market. There will be more money to be made on tablets in the next 10 years as they were in the last 30 years of the PC market.

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