All iPads Will Tablets Resurrect The Desktop Computer?

MyiBill

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 8, 2012
379
30
Id like to hear other peoples opinions on if they think that a rise in tablet sales will resurrect the desktop computer? Laptops are popular because of their portability but since a tablet is more portable than a laptop, they will eventually replace them for most users. However tablet have limited connectivity to other devices. Im wondering if you think that people will start having(or already have) a powerful desktop that acts like their own personal cloud and connects to their tablets/smartphones?
 

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,474
8,051
Somewhere
I don't see it resurrecting the desktop market, if it does anything more to computer sales I see it as people starting to realize that tablets are powerful enough to use for everything they need and not bothering with a computer at all. There still needs to be a bit more development work done on tablets before they could replace a computer for most people, but they are getting close.
 

kathyricks

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2012
265
17
IMHO a tablet is just an very small and light recreational web surfing toy compared to a laptop. That's why nearly all the threads on the iPad forum are about subjects that have little to do with performing and saving serious work like writing long emails, photo and movie editing, doing Quickbooks, doing Turbotax, cruising around the World using Google Earth with Street View, and so forth.
 

The Samurai

macrumors 68000
Dec 29, 2007
1,960
427
Glasgow
I don't think so.

I think iPads are doing well on their own and people are realising that they do not require a full machine to do basic tasks such as email, Facebook, photos, watching videos, general entertainment that otherwise would have been done on a full blown desktop.

I think going forward the trend will be as someone has suggested above, more creative apps such as Final Cut Pro making its way to the iPad once it has more power, RAM, storage and no doubt at WWDC, the new iOS 8 will introduce more creative features such as multitasking.

Rumours of a large iPad at some point in the near future, the need to perhaps appeal towards that market by introducing pro features (slowly but surely) for the education market which will most probably benefit from a larger sized iPad.
 

kristalsoldier

macrumors 6502
Aug 10, 2013
382
108
Well...depending on how the privacy, security and connectivity issues play out, the desktop may just as well recede very much into the background in most consumer spaces. Tablets - like the iPad, but more, like the Surface - would probably be dominant. Docks would play a role in this as they will allow for expansion - involving local storage, multi-monitors etc.
 

smooth

macrumors 6502
Nov 12, 2007
361
29
Detroit
While I don't necessarily think that desktop sales will dramatically increase because of this, I can see how they will remain in the market. Me and my family almost decided to go that route - and in some ways I wish we had. Our initial plan was to get a loaded iMac for the family to share. It would've been the hub for all our photos, music and downloaded TV shows (cable will be gone within a few weeks). Our oldest kid will be starting computer projects next school year. Being that we all have iPads, we didn't really need individual laptops. I wanted to go the iMac route, but the wife overruled me so it's MBPs for us and the kid will be getting a Chromebook when she hits middle school.

I can see the arguments that eventually tablets may replace both the laptop and desktop for some people. I currently have your standard digital camera and a video recorder. I have no option of getting my photos or videos from them onto my iPad without a laptop or desktop. If not for that limitation, having just iPads could be a realistic possibility.
 

ElectronGuru

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2013
1,492
360
Oregon, USA
Ive posted several times, what happened after adding an ipad to my line up:

tablet - super portable but not a full computer
laptop - more powerful with some extra screen
desktop - super powerful with huge screen

Basically, the tablet and desktop became specialists, with the laptop more a generalist - not as portable as the tablet nor as powerful as the desktop. Starting from scratch, a desktop and tablet can also be cheaper.

More recently, Im starting to work out how tablet and desktop can work together:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1710056


Over time, I expect the laptop to retreat from its dominant popularity. But not everyone needs a desktop either, so as shown above, I expect more sharing. Bottom line: desktop sales will continue to shrink, but not as fast as laptops.
 

s2mikey

macrumors 68020
Sep 23, 2013
2,462
2,520
Upstate, NY
Ive posted several times, what happened after adding an ipad to my line up:

tablet - super portable but not a full computer
laptop - more powerful with some extra screen
desktop - super powerful with huge screen

Basically, the tablet and desktop became specialists, with the laptop more a generalist - not as portable as the tablet nor as powerful as the desktop. Starting from scratch, a desktop and tablet can also be cheaper.

More recently, Im starting to work out how tablet and desktop can work together:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1710056


Over time, I expect the laptop to retreat from its dominant popularity. But not everyone needs a desktop either, so as shown above, I expect more sharing. Bottom line: desktop sales will continue to shrink, but not as fast as laptops.
This makes sense but I'd argue that it is the laptop that's potentially on its way out. Tablets can replace a laptop for many people but they can't do everything a PC can. So, I can see a situation where people have a powerful desktop at home and then their tablet handles most of the day to day computing needs. The laptop suddenly becomes the expendable device.
 

GrindedDown

macrumors 6502a
Jun 4, 2009
602
155
Las Vegas
I will admit, I am going to be upgrading my white unibody MacBook at some point in the near future. The most important aspect of having the laptop for me was for content creation portability.

I just upgraded to the ipad air and I now feel that I have a suitable machine for content creation while I am away from home, and have found ways to have my workflow sync back to my computer. I had the ipad 3, but it lagged wayyyyy to much to do any sort of actual work. Ipad air seems up to snuff now.

Having this ability is huge for me. I already don't touch my laptop very much and it's been docked for months now. This is making me want just an iMac instead and do away with the laptop. I'd basically use the iMac for the reasons you stated OP, as a central hub for my ipad, iphone, and to do my serious work at home.

Personally, the laptop is becoming more and more obsolete to me as portable technology improves. I for one will be moving to a desktop.
 

carjakester

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2013
2,226
55
Midwest
tablets are created to work along side with computers, i don't think they will be replacing a computer any time soon.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,303
1,695
For me an iPad and other tablets have made a laptop not that desirable. So for me the answer to the OP's question would kind of be yes.

However I've always preferred a desktop over using a laptop as a desktop. So I'll always own one regardless. Besides I have a 27" iMac, no laptop or tablet gives that kind of screen real estate.
 

Mainsail

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2010
1,136
980
For me, yes, I have replaced our home laptop with an ipad + desktop. The cost is roughly the same: $600 ipad + $600 Mac mini = $1200 Macbook. I already had a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse for my old laptop, and I suspect most people with laptops buy them as well.

Anyway, it is a very nice combination. The iPad gets most of the use, but occasionally, I need to do some heavy lifting and it is nice to have a computer with full size monitor and keyboard for this purpose.

In the old days, having one device (ie laptop) was a huge advantage because syncing email, calendars, contact, and documents was such a pain. Today, with cloud syncing and storage, this is really a none issue for me.

As a portable device, I much prefer the iPad to a laptop for traveling on vacation and even most business trips.

So, for me, the ipad is the perfect portable device, and the desktop is the perfect home office device. They complement each other nicely.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,641
1,802
I'm thinking of a mini for a central server at home. Low power usage 24/7 VPN and media repository. Just waiting for an update...
 

MyiBill

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 8, 2012
379
30
I'm thinking of a mini for a central server at home. Low power usage 24/7 VPN and media repository. Just waiting for an update...
I'm looking to do the same, right now my mbp is docked to my Thunderbolt Display but I think having the mini as an always on media server will be easier. I'll still keep my mbp but I mostly use my ipad now.
 

smirking

macrumors 68020
Aug 31, 2003
2,175
1,585
Silicon Valley
This is such a hard question to answer because the lines keep blurring between tablets and laptops and laptops and desktops yet there are certain laws of physics that would have to be broken for all of them to eventually blend into a single unified device. I'd say that I'd place my bets that we eventually end up with one device that would be used in a mostly stationary way... call it a desktop if you will and a device you carry around everywhere.

I have a MBP and I regretted that I replaced a desktop with it until I installed a 1TB SSD into it. Now my laptop would smoke my old desktop and there's very little reason for me to consider getting a traditional desktop anymore except for screen size, but I have a 30" monitor attached. I use my laptop mostly like a desktop that I can unplug and tote with me when needed.

For me it comes down to two things: screen size and input ergonomics. You just can't beat a 30" screen and no matter how good the input recognition gets on a touch device, it's just not ever going to replace physical input devices for those of us who are very very serious about doing work on our computers. Besides that, I suffer from RSI from all my years of computer use and I find that I develop aches, pains, and fatigue faster when I use my phone or tablets more. The human body is not made to hunch over a tiny screen for 50% of the day. It will start breaking down eventually and all of the devices that release you from the constraints of virtual interfaces take up too much space to be fully portable.
 
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SHirsch999

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2011
647
175
I will never get a desktop again. The smaller profile of a laptop far outweighs the better computing power of a desktop to me, since I really don't need the extra power. With my usage I barely need the computing ability of a laptop. I am able to get by with my iPad for almost all of my needs.
 

Kaye Star

macrumors newbie
Feb 23, 2014
27
0
USA
I didn't even notice desktops went out of style. But I don't think tablets with bring them back. Laptops are smaller, portable, less hassle, and can do pretty much everything a desktop can do. Sure, you have to charge them, but I've never heard of having to charge an electronic being an inconvenience.
 

carjakester

macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2013
2,226
55
Midwest
My point is that you can't simply say that "tablets were meant to supplement computers," as if that was ever stated by Apple or a defined marketing and engineering strategy. I posted Jobs' comments so you can further see Apple's perceived direction of the growth of the tablet.
well the topic of the thread was asking if tablets will resurrect the desktop computer. not what is apples strategy of marketing the iPad. the OP asked for opinions and i gave mine, never said it was fact or if someone else said it was fact.
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,286
14
Perhaps you don't realize that the PC industry sales dived after introduction of iPad?