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iPad is harbinger of 'uncomfortable' transition to post-PC, Jobs says

post #1 of 75
Thread Starter 
The iPad and other tablet-style devices won't completely replace the PC, but they will make traditional computers less necessary, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said.

Jobs spoke Tuesday at the All Things D Conference, and was asked by Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal whether the iPad is going to replace the laptop. Jobs said the change from the PC is inevitable, but it's a question of how long the transition will take.

"The transformation of the PC to new form factors like the tablet is going to make some people uneasy because the PC has taken us a long ways," Jobs said. "The PC is brilliant.. and we like to talk about the post-PC era, but it's uncomfortable."

He compared the migration to the U.S. automobile industry, and when most U.S. vehicles were trucks because they were driven by farmers. He said that cars became more popular as cities rose, and features like power steering and automatic transition were added over time. "PCs are going to be like trucks," he said, noting that they will still be around, but will represent a smaller number of people.

He said that the timeframe for the transition is unclear, and it's also unknown whether the iPad will be the device that ultimately replaces the PC. But he said he believes the migration is inevitable.

Jobs was asked whether a lack of a keyboard makes the iPad not an ideal device for content creation. Jobs responded by saying that people can use a Bluetooth keyboard if they really need to write something longer. He also said the software on devices will become more powerful and allow more features for users. "Time takes care of lots of these things," Jobs said.

As for future revisions to the iPad, the chief executive was asked whether flexible displays were on the horizon in new hardware. Jobs said that Apple does not currently have the technology to do that, and it's not on the horizon. He said a lot of people are trying, but it remains likely several years away.
post #2 of 75
I may eventually get the iPad and I think it's an interesting device but no way does it come even close to replacing my MBP. It's depressing how Apple has deprecated OS X - it's almost non existent at WWDC and I wouldn't be surprised if 10.7 is canceled.
post #3 of 75
The PC isn't going anywhere.
post #4 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefree View Post

It's depressing how Apple has deprecated OS X - it's almost non existent at WWDC and I wouldn't be surprised if 10.7 is canceled.

I would.
post #5 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefree View Post

It's depressing how Apple has deprecated OS X - it's almost non existent at WWDC and I wouldn't be surprised if 10.7 is canceled.

I would.

If you look at their quarterly financial statements as observe how much revenue Apple derives from the sale of Macintosh computers, it would be unlikely that they abandon computer sales and/or the development of the operating system that runs on those machines.

If you don't believe me, please go read the SEC filings yourself.

Sincerely,

AAPL shareholder
post #6 of 75
OK, maybe 10.7 will be the last Mac OS, as a stopgap until iPhone OS advances further. But WWDC makes it clear that they don't care about OS X much anymore.
post #7 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

The PC isn't going anywhere.

I think that the idea of the PC is changing. I believe there will eventually be a day where there is some kind of iMac where it will be running the iPhone OS in the future. Obviously the iPhone OS doesn't have the depth of the Mac but it is really only limited by Apple. As of right now they're still trying to find a way to replace the Finder and folder structure of the Mac.

I would venture to say that at least 95% of the posters on this forum only need about a dozen or so features on the iPad before it can become their only computer. The professionals that need the power will still have the PC around for a few years after the mass migration but Apple will eventually come to a point and say "Why can't we make a desktop out of this?"
post #8 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

The PC isn't going anywhere.

Jobs didn't say it was going away. Just less and less folks will need a full-blown PC. I can see that day coming soon. Tablets, smartphones, and smart-televisions will replace the need for the PC for most people. For many a Sony PlayStation or Xbox 360 is just about enough.

I can't say that about my Wii though - even with the Opera browser and Netflix.
post #9 of 75
Why not just build/intergrate the iOS touch interface into 10.7 (or a later os)? Thus a future ipad/product could run full OS X that is built for touch interaction.
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post #10 of 75
People are getting hung up on the fact there is little OSX at WWDC this year. That is very true, but there are a lot of new things, iPad, OS4 etc. I wouldn't be surprised to see more OSX next year once the excitement has died down around this years new toys.
post #11 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

I can't say that about my Wii though

I just use my Wii for Mario Kart. Who wants to race?!?!?!?!?!?!
post #12 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

I would venture to say that at least 95% of the posters on this forum only need about a dozen or so features on the iPad before it can become their only computer.

Yeah that's about right. I can think of a few things it could use before I would replace most of my computers.
post #13 of 75
Sorry to nitpick, but it should be "......power steering and automatic transmission..." (not 'transition').
post #14 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by str1f3 View Post

I think that the idea of the PC is changing. I believe there will eventually be a day where there is some kind of iMac where it will be running the iPhone OS in the future. Obviously the iPhone OS doesn't have the depth of the Mac but it is really only limited by Apple. As of right now they're still trying to find a way to replace the Finder and folder structure of the Mac.

I would venture to say that at least 95% of the posters on this forum only need about a dozen or so features on the iPad before it can become their only computer. The professionals that need the power will still have the PC around for a few years after the mass migration but Apple will eventually come to a point and say "Why can't we make a desktop out of this?"

There is also the issue of screen size. Many people need a larger screen and a touch interface works less well on a large screen. I think maybe 95% of computer use can be done just as well on an iPad but I think a lot of people need something more than an iPad to do their work. I am sure the iPad will change the way many people work, however. Or rather, highly focussed single purpose apps will change the way many of us work. It certainly will be interesting to see how OSX and iPhone OS will merge over time. I certainly can imagine an OSX that looks and feels like iPhone OS but that can be operated with a mouse.
post #15 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefree View Post

OK, maybe 10.7 will be the last Mac OS, as a stopgap until iPhone OS advances further. But WWDC makes it clear that they don't care about OS X much anymore.

OSX is needed to create the apps that run on iPhone OS. It's not leaving any time soon.

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post #16 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefree View Post

OK, maybe 10.7 will be the last Mac OS, as a stopgap until iPhone OS advances further. But WWDC makes it clear that they don't care about OS X much anymore.

Or maybe you're just a pessimist. Jobs didn't say that tablets would replace the desktop PC, but that they would coexist. Like cars and trucks. He likened it to a shift from a rural environment where everyone has a truck (PC) to and urban environment where cars (new form factors like tablets) are more dominant, but trucks are still present.
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post #17 of 75
The story title is inaccurate, from my POV.

Quote:
"iPad is harbinger of 'uncomfortable' transition to post-PC, Jobs says"

A better title might be, "iPad Is Harbinger of Post-PC Era".

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post #18 of 75
My biggest worry (and I am a worry wart) is that post-PC will mean post-content creation. I love my ipad, but in its current 1.0 form, its really difficult to create content with. I worry Apple is headed down a road where it will cater to the 80% of the population that does NOTHING BUT social networking, and reading the news, and not maintain its superiority in creative creation, which is what Apple used to be about.

I hope the iPad succeeds, but I really hope this is the larva stage. I hope multitouch unleashes our ability to truly create without any hardware barriers.

....but so far, Multitouch is an impediment rather than a catalyst. (IMHO)
post #19 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacFitzPro View Post

My biggest worry (and I am a worry wart) is that post-PC will mean post-content creation. I love my ipad, but in its current 1.0 form, its really difficult to create content with. I worry Apple is headed down a road where it will cater to the 80% of the population that does NOTHING BUT social networking, and reading the news, and not maintain its superiority in creative creation, which is what Apple used to be about.

Steve already addressed your concerns. It's the very first sentence:

"The iPad and other tablet-style devices won't completely replace the PC, but they will make traditional computers less necessary, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said."

It's okay, you can still have a PC for content creation (e.g., editing HD video).

Not a big deal.
post #20 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacFitzPro View Post

My biggest worry (and I am a worry wart) is that post-PC will mean post-content creation. I love my ipad, but in its current 1.0 form, its really difficult to create content with. I worry Apple is headed down a road where it will cater to the 80% of the population that does NOTHING BUT social networking, and reading the news, and not maintain its superiority in creative creation, which is what Apple used to be about.

I hope the iPad succeeds, but I really hope this is the larva stage. I hope multitouch unleashes our ability to truly create without any hardware barriers.

....but so far, Multitouch is an impediment rather than a catalyst. (IMHO)

Don't worry that will never happen. To extend the vehicle analogy even further, if you want to plough your field there will always be a mac pro tractor, or if you want to carry goods there will be a truck (or imac, or macbook pro) and if you want to go out for a movie or dinner you can always enjoy your ride in the convertible. Of course, there will always also be a macbook or macbook air around, which I will liken to an el camino (lol, this analogy is getting out of track) or a pick up.

Enough with the vehicles!!!!!
post #21 of 75
I have two friends who are good and intelligent people, who have absolutely no clue how to use a real computer despite both having decades of successful life on this planet. None of them have even the smallest liking for computers; one of them today called hers her "nemesis".

Steve is clear that those of us who want to use our computers still can. But I would not forget my friends, who probably represent a large majority of the population. They would be far better off with an iPad than a regular PC.

If the touch device eventually wins over in the "big iron" computer sweepstakes, it will be thanks to better software than what presently exists. Imagine, for example, to be able to use a touch interface to edit video in a more direct, tactile way. That might just be a lot of fun, if you can crack your mind open a tad.

I definitely don't expect a combination MacOS X + iPhoneOS combo device. Using MacOS applications on such a device would appear badly compromised to the user. That's why Windows Tablet devices were such a disaster. If you think Steve Jobs would make such a mistake, well, you don't know Steve!

As others have said, this is a fascinating new world Steve has brought to the table. It's innovative and thoughtfully designed. It vanquishes spyware to the dustbin of history where it belongs. And remember, it is just a car. We truck drivers are not losing our trucks.

There is nothing wrong with new choice and opportunity - that is what iPad brings.

D
post #22 of 75
PC not going anywhere soon. Eventually other devices may be as functional as a desktop PC, however that still remains to be seen. IPAD is a starter to the transition and it remains to be seen where it will take us.
post #23 of 75
You know what? I don't want to do most of my computing or even "media consuming" on a small touch screen on my lap thank you very much. I also don't want to do all my computing with all a single application full screen all the time and having to essentially tab into other applications when multitasking. I don't want to give up the power of a desktop computer for a low powered device no matter how in it is and how much hyperbole is spewed because of it even if it's from the Steve himself. I don't want a walled garden app store to be my primary place to get apps.

In my opinion iPhones and iPads are more like scooters and bikes and or a smart car if you must do a car analogy. Sure they get you around town but they aren't like regular cars or trucks for all purposes.

The only way I can see it working is if they got a lot more powerful, you can dock them into an iMac shell and when it's docked the UI turns into a full OS X. Until then they would only suit my purposes as a satellite device for simple tasks and perhaps a game or two that fits the type of input it provides and mostly when I'm away from home.. and despite what they might have you believe not all games or apps are suited for that environment.

I'm sorry to say it but if they do get rid of the apple personal computer they've gotten rid of me as a customer. Steve Jobs may be a genius but he isn't always right and the fact is more people are buying netbooks which he often maligns than they are iPads. It's not like he's a dictator that can shove things down my throat (speaking for myself). If I don't agree with a product roadmap I wont invest in it!
post #24 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

There is also the issue of screen size. Many people need a larger screen and a touch interface works less well on a large screen. I think maybe 95% of computer use can be done just as well on an iPad but I think a lot of people need something more than an iPad to do their work. I am sure the iPad will change the way many people work, however. Or rather, highly focussed single purpose apps will change the way many of us work. It certainly will be interesting to see how OSX and iPhone OS will merge over time. I certainly can imagine an OSX that looks and feels like iPhone OS but that can be operated with a mouse.

I think that larger touchscreens can work as well or better than the iPad. A example of this is the massive multitouch display that is used on CNN.

For those that need more power, like I said on these forums on earlier time, there will be desktop class hardware that'll be driven by a touchscreen. Eventually I think the iPad will replace the Macbook line.

It should be interesting to see how the iPhone OS and the Mac OS merges. I think others may be fooling themselves if they think the PC as we know it will 've around forever; especially with Apple. They like to keep things simple. What would be the point of keeping around two separate OS's when you can put all your effort into one?
post #25 of 75
ipad is funner to use for web and email. This is why the ipad i bought is either in the hands of my wife or my kids ... and alas ... seldom in my hands.
post #26 of 75
I also don't want to always have to use a touch screen even on a big screened computing device that I'd do my main computing on. I don't want to have to keep the screen within arms length all the time. In fact I keep my 27 inch iMac's screen just outside of arms length. Nor does having to always touch a screen to do pointing and clicking tasks sound appealing to me both from an ergonomics point of view and from a keeping the screen clean point of view.

It may very well be that they are going to someday EOL the Mac OS in favor of the iPhone OS and that day they have lost me as well because using such a locked down OS as my primary OS doesn't appeal to me no matter how many people jump into that bandwagon... sorry. I don't want to have to jailbreak my OS every revision just to have an OS that isn't so locked down. I see the iPhone OS as more suited to an apple TV device than a macintosh to be honest.

The day they either get rid of OS X or the Mac is the day I'm sorry to say I will be transitioning to systems that will welcome people like me with open arms. I doubt they are going to revise the iPhone OS to cater to people like me as their full time OS anytime soon.
post #27 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefree View Post

I may eventually get the iPad and I think it's an interesting device but no way does it come even close to replacing my MBP.

That isn't what it is made for. Why you would bring the two together is beyound me. It is no different than saying your iPhone will replace your pc.
Quote:
It's depressing how Apple has deprecated OS X

That us non-sense!! Apple hasn't and never will come out with a new OS every year. More so where has it been said that OS/X is deprecated?

Just because you personally don't like the lack of focus on OS/X at WWDC doesn't really mean anything. The whole point of WWDC is the promotion of what is new. No one cares about the OS powering the Apple 2 these days.
Quote:
- it's almost non existent at WWDC and I wouldn't be surprised if 10.7 is canceled.

My god did Apple piss in your cornflakes this morning or what? There is little to indicate that they have even slowed down development of Mac OS/X. More importantly they haven't even gotten the knots out of 10.6.x yet.

In anyevent please explain to us what is so missing from OS/X to justify this foul attitude?


Dave
post #28 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacFitzPro View Post

My biggest worry (and I am a worry wart) is that post-PC will mean post-content creation.

apple's design group uses all the tools that you use to create the work. don't think you need to start worrying just yet. when it is time for that transition, you will probably be able to do that.
post #29 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetim View Post

ipad is funner to use for web and email. This is why the ipad i bought is either in the hands of my wife or my kids ... and alas ... seldom in my hands.

Lest we forget, "funner" is not a real word.

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post #30 of 75
While I think we will see OSX gain features and be supported for at least a few more years to come, it is plain obvious to see that "iPhone OS" is a look at what path Apple is taking, and what's in store for Mac OS in the future.
post #31 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dennis View Post

There is nothing wrong with new choice and opportunity - that is what iPad brings.

I just noticed this and I had to comment. Sure choice and opportunity are great. I don't begrudge people the choice of an iPad or other iPhone OS device. But if the doomsayers are correct and they are going to depreciate OS X and the Mac in favor of devices like the iPad it's taking away choices not adding choices. And it's not like they have people like me under their thumbs.. if push comes to shove I can choose another company to buy technology from. Although it's pretty easy I admit to jump to the conclusion the doomsayers have given the way apple has been acting and talking lately. Just the word transition to me evokes going one way and not looking back just like the transition to intel hardware or the transition to OS X from classic. Again they are not dictators and can't dictate to me what I need or want... Steve doesn't know better about what I need than I do.
post #32 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefree View Post

I may eventually get the iPad and I think it's an interesting device but no way does it come even close to replacing my MBP. It's depressing how Apple has deprecated OS X - it's almost non existent at WWDC and I wouldn't be surprised if 10.7 is canceled.

iPads are not replacing Macs, just like 2 door coupes are not replacing sedans, and sedans are not replacing trucks.

nvm reading more of your comments makes me think that I just wasted my time.
post #33 of 75
Where's my transformable keyboard for my iPad? I don't see anyone other than the the Optimus keyboard being truly a potential viable keyboard for the iPad. The only truly useful function for a $2,000 keyboard... to be able to change its keyboard on the fly with the iPad software integration.
post #34 of 75
Media consumers may move more towards tablets, but media producers need the power of a pro machine to author, edit, create for 3D, video, interactive, massive number crunching to compress all of the above to tiny mobile file sizes, and yes, still design for print, etc.

Unless you are an illustrator who paints on a screen with a digital brush like a wacom tablet to mimic free-hand painting or drawing, a touch screen is useless for the intricacies of design. I can't imagine spending all day wearing out the joints and muscles in my whole arm pointing and swiping at a large screen, when a minor move of my wrist with a mouse or digital pen can cover the whole screen, corner to corner while resting comfortably on my desk as opposed to one holding an arm out to the point of muscle failure, like back in the day when corporal punishment was acceptable and teaches used to make kids stand with their arms stretched out as long as they could if they screwed up. Plus the great thing about a monitor vs. paper is you don't have to look around your own hand to see the image you're trying to create as you work. A touch screen is a step back in the evolution of design ergonomics in that respect.

Plus, as our population ages, larger screens become more attractive. I wanted an iPad as an ereader for the screen size, but the weight was a no-go. I bought a nook instead. I love it. It does what I bought it for perfectlysmall light weight way to read a bunch of stuff on one device without fighting the spine of a paper back or trying to figure out what to do with a book after I've read it.

When the iPad or similar device of the same screen size is about half the weight and has large enough storage to hold all the music we've been collecting since digital music became popular, plus photos, videos, etc, then consumers may ditch their laptops for tablets. I have 36 gigs of music on my ipod classic, I can't see spending a minimum of 500 bucks on a device that only holds a fraction of the music I've invested in and then is maxed out with no room for anything else.
post #35 of 75
I think the consumer Mac is the only platform that has a shortened lifespan here. High-end, Professional machines will need to continue to exist for media production, but as Apple's consumer-friendly, "casual computer" (the iPad) grows, the traditional consumer computer like the MacBook will either die or be repurposed. The Professional (and "Prosumer") machines will probably remain for some time, and Mac OS will still be around, if somewhat more oriented at Pro users than before.
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post #36 of 75
The man speaks the truth... and I shed a little tear for the next generation that's going miss out on a lot.

When I first purchased a PC it was only for my work. I wasn't thinking that I wanted to learn how to create my own music loops, do multi-track recording, video editing, 3D animation, photo manipulation and create my own guitar and piano sheet music. Those things I discovered later and had the opportunity to learn because I had a multi-functional PC sitting on my desk.

Having a PC is analogous to having a shed full of power tools. Sure it's a waste of space and money for most people when all they really need is a hammer... but sometimes one wakes up and just feels like making a bird house.

Then again, maybe that's just me.
post #37 of 75
So, the iPad is going to bring about the death of all personal computers, iMacs, Mac Mini, HP, Dell, Asus, Acer?

lol
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post #38 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

The man speaks the truth... and I shed a little tear for the next generation that's going miss out on a lot.

When I first purchased a PC it was only for my work. I wasn't thinking that I wanted to learn how to create my own music loops, do multi-track recording, video editing, 3D animation, photo manipulation and create my own guitar and piano sheet music. Those things I discovered later and had the opportunity to learn because I had a multi-functional PC sitting on my desk.

Having a PC is analogous to having a shed full of power tools. Sure it's a waste of space and money for most people when all they really need is a hammer... but sometimes one wakes up and just feels like making a bird house.

Then again, maybe that's just me.

What makes you think that this will be lost suddenly on an Apple computer? It suprised me the lack of imagination some people, on this thread, lack. Look ahead. Apple will not make iPads as their only computer and features will not be lost but rather rearranged. The OS will mature and progress past what it is now. It will be a natural evolution. We don't know yet where Apple is headed.

I wish others would stop thinking about what is now and think about what could be. Clearly the iPad is not meant as your sole computer today considering it needs to be connected to iTunes just to be used. Think different.
post #39 of 75
I would say, at best, the iPad with have the same effect on the computer industry as the Microwave has had on the cooking appliance industry.
post #40 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post

So, the iPad is going to bring about the death of all personal computers, iMacs, Mac Mini, HP, Dell, Asus, Acer?

lol

Regarding the iPad as a replacement for laptops and desktops. I watched this industry for a long time. I started with my own wire-wrapped 6502 microcomputer. I talked to Steve Wozniak once about buying an Apple I without memory because I already had the chips. I owned several of the old brown, wedge shaped Apple IIs and I designed hardware and software for them.

What I have noticed over all this time is the development of incremental form factors. We started with desktops (stationary) computers, portable computers (yes, I had one of the original Compaq suitcases with MSDOS Version 1), and now we have sub-laptops like tablets and even sub-tablets.

During all this time, the power of the stationary computers found its way into the smaller form factors. The power of the stationary computers continued to increase. We saw a change in the mix of systems people bought, but in all this time, all the form factors persisted and all continue to be bought.

Will any of them go away? Will we see the demise of desktops? I think not. Heres something else I noticed: As the power of the stationary computers increased, some software genius always thought up something that needed that power. And enough people needed it that these systems continued to be sold. I see no reason to believe that general trend will change.

I believe this increase in power in stationary computers will continue. I think new applications will continue. I think that the migration of this power from larger to smaller form factors will continue.

Will the iPad replace laptops? I think not. What Im seeing is computational power being taken to places where computational power was never taken before. We read about the Mercedes dealers, but let me ask you: Would you take your laptop spelunking with you? Probably not. Would you take an iPad? Maybe. What would you do with it? I dont know. Let someone else figure that out. Maybe with the right equipment it could track its location and always know how to get back out. (Hey, it could be a 10 hour flashlight...)

Would you take your laptop scuba diving? I think not. Would you take your iPad? Maybe. What would you do with all that computational power under water? I dont know, but now you can think about taking it. I dont see the iPad replacing the next largest form factor. I see the iPad opening computational opportunities we havent even thought about yet.

So, will all these form factors live happily forever after? I dont know about the happy part, but coexist? Yes, I think so.
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