For more than two decades, the Mac fought tooth and nail against the classic PC. And lost. Nowadays, it’s not Mac vs. PC, but it’s iPad vs. PC, and the Mac simply fills in the gap in a Post-PC era. I believe that tech CEOs who believe otherwise are doomed.
This line of reasoning means that competitors who underestimate the ability of the iPad to supersede the PC are delusional. And it also means that if they spend their time designing PCs, namely Ultrabooks, to compete against the MacBooks, then they’re doubly delusional.
I want bring your attention to the best article I’ve seen in a long time that explains the tablet phenomena. Along the way, I want to celebrate this article by John Kirk and talk about it without, hopefully, diverting from its scope and clarity. The article is: “The PC is the Titanic and the Tablet is the Iceberg. Any Questions?”
It’s a longish article, but that’s part of its greatness because the list of ways that the tablet exerts its advanced utility over the typical PC is long. In fact, as you go through the article, you’ll appreciate why it is so long, almost 2400 words. But there is a boatload of thought and wisdom there. My own essay here is meant only to amplify, expound, and whet your appetite.
Here’s just one excerpt.
The bulk of the iceberg that destroyed the Titanic lay beneath the surface of the waters, beneath the vision of the lookouts, beneath the ship’s waterline. Similarly, the bulk of the tasks that the Tablet excels at, lies beneath the PC’s level of awareness, beneath the PC’s contemptuous gaze, beneath the PC’s areas of expertise and far, far below it’s area of competence. The PC will not lose in a fair fight, anymore than the Titanic lost in a fair fight. Instead, the Tablet will hit the PC where the PC is weakest – below it’s metaphorical waterline.”
Analyst predictions make it fairly clear that the classic tablet, inspired and led by the iPad, will someday swamp the PC sales. PCs and Macs will be used for special work, as needed: Servers, development, CAD, high performance computing, and so on. But the growth and vitality of the classic PC will be gone. The PC makers should plan on making the PC an adjunct to their line for scientists, designers, IT staff and developers.
And, as I suggested, the war is no longer Mac vs. PC, but iPad vs. PC, and that leaves Apple free to develop the vision of the MacBooks, unshackled by historical competition. I’m on the lookout for that curve ball by Apple in the near future. Maybe there’s more to iOS-ification than meets the eye.
Let Me Count the Ways
Once you read Mr. Kirk’s extensive list of the ways iPads open up new ways of interacting with a computer, you’ll have a better understanding of how the PC has limits, and is at the end of its evolution — while the tablet platform is open ended. We haven’t even begun to exploit the full capabilities of the tablet platform — as envisioned by Apple.
Again, here’s a link to the article.
Of course, if you believe that Windows is forever, and that a tablet should really be a PC in disguise, there are some deck chairs on your ship to keep you occupied with rearrangements.
Tech News Debris
There was very little in the way of deep, off-beat technical news this week. Briefly, I’ll direct your attention to some lighter stuff.
- Apple Granted ‘the mother of all smartphone software patents’ (More grief for the copiers.)
- Does the Nexus 7 Have Quality Problems? (So what did we expect for US$199?)
- CHART OF THE DAY: A Devastating Chart For Microsoft And Nokia (Can Microsoft do any better than this with the Surface tablet?)