The Road Ahead: The Death of the PC

Recently, we saw that Apple’s iPad had outsold the largest maker of PCs for the last calendar quarter of 2011. Tim Cook pointed that out in the introduction to the new iPad on March 7th.

iPad sales

Image Credit: Apple

Now, the question is, when will all tablets (meaning mostly iPads, but also Android and eReader tablets) outsell all the PCs combined? Now, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that these trends are hard to reverse. For one, Apple is a capable company and when it starts the ball rolling, it’s hard to stop the momentum. Secondly, Apple doesn’t roll out charts like this unless there’s a sense that the trend will continue to snowball. And yes, it’s also a self-fulfilling prophesy to show the charts that, in turn, influences the public.

The upshot is that not only do I and many other people believe that a day will come when all tablets outsell all PCs, but one can back that up with some math by making some reasonable assumptions. Horace Dediu has done precisely that: “When will tablets outsell traditional PCs?” Check out the article and it’s terrific charts, but the short answer is “sometime in the fall of 2013.” Also note the expected plight of Windows 8 tablets.

This prospect brings up some interesting questions. The wrong question to ask is, “Will Apple start to lose interest in OS X?” I think the right question to ask is, “When will the total sales of iPads start to reflect the percentage of people who really just need an iPad and not a traditional computer?” I think that percentage is about 90 percent. If tablets outsell PCs in the fall of 2013, (gaining 50+ percent of the market) when will they represent 90 percent of all sales? I think I’ll ask Mr. Dediu, but my guess is early 2015. The same year Microsoft files for bankruptcy.

Of course, when companies can’t grow and their bread and butter is gone, they go under. But Apple is healthy and looks to stay that way thanks to the iPhone and iPad. So one can believe that the Macintosh will hang around, the pickup truck, in Steve Jobs’s analogy, for those who need to do the creative heavy lifting. Whoda thunk.

It’s a shame Mr. Jobs isn’t here to see it.

Road AheadThe road ahead: bumpy for Microsoft

Image Credit: Shutterstock

This Week’s News Debris

One of the new features in iOS 5.1 is a new one that’s too SciFi to be believed. It’s the Geofence indicator. If you penetrate the fence, you get an alert. Macworld has a summary.

How fast is the new iPad? Really? Don’t forget, it still has a dual core processor and the clock speed remains 1 GHz. It has a quad core GPU, but then there are also four times the pixels to manipulate. Jason Snell, Macworld’s editorial director, has done a great job with his iPad 3 review that includes some informative benchmarks shown in bar charts.

With tongue in cheek, and perhaps biting it, John Paczkowski admits that Apple may be preparing for production of the mythical Apple HDTV (which he calls iTV, much to the chagrin of the real iTV in the UK). “Rumored Apple Television Will Offer All-Unicorn Channel.

Apple HDTV & Family

There was a big fuss this week about a Goldman Sachs executive, Greg Smith, who wrote in the New York Times about why he left the company 

There seems to be some of that going around. James Whittaker wrote an equally damning essay on why he left Google. The salient sentence: “Google was the rich kid who, after having discovered he wasn’t invited to the party, built his own party in retaliation. The fact that no one came to Google’s party became the elephant in the room.”

But that’s not all. Mathew Ingram poured on the coals with his own take on Google+. “Google Plus: The problem isn’t design, it’s a lack of demand.” Another salient sentence: “Whenever I use Google+, I feel like I am doing Google a favor, but it’s not clear what I get out of it.”


My take is that you have to have passion and believe in the things you do. If you just jump on the band wagon to make a buck because you’re envious, you’ll fail every time.

Did you notice that FaceTime is Wi-Fi only on LTE iPads? Cult of Mac explains how Apple had to avoid the wrath of the carriers. “Why FaceTime Is WiFi-Only Despite LTE On The New iPad.”

It seems that everyone wants to get into the TV delivery business. First, “Intel Talking to Networks About Internet TV Service.” [One article I saw said that this initiative developed because Intel is concerned about future PC sales.] Another company, Aereo TV Service thinks it can deliver TV over the airwaves, redirected onto the Internet, with its new service in New York. The CEO, Chet Kanojia, explains why he thinks it’ll be found legal. [Sorry, Adobe Flash required. Take it up with Bloomberg.]

Technical Word of the Week

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a new entry. This occurred with a friend on the phone who, after I slipped up, accused me of having one of these:

Android Moment (n.) A moment of blissful stupidity, a mental lapse. Credit: Dr. M. Behl.


Family TV image credit: Shutterstock