Originally Posted by drwatz0n
Let's be real here, folks. No matter how much Apple Kool-Aid you drink, PCs, in any form (remember that Macs are PCs too), aren't going anywhere for a long while.
I don't think anyone rational, including Apple or Jobs, is claiming that PC's are "going anywhere".
However I do think, especially for normal people and home users, they will become less relevant. Most people - like my parents - have a general purpose personal computer (a couple of Mac's) not because it's what they wanted, but because it was the only choice they had. With the iPad, my Dad has exactly what he wants. A computing appliance that allows him to get email, web and applications like sports scores, stats and tracking, that he's interested in - all without the overhead of a traditional computer that he has absolutely no interest in at all.
That's where iOS is going to displace the traditional general purpose personal computer. I have no doubt that sooner or later there will be iOS native laptops and desktops - or versions of Mac OSX that out of the box that are identical in feel to iOS.
People who do real work, in any field (film production, music composition, web site and application development, graphics work, the list goes on) require the basic idea of a desktop (laptop, desktop, all in one) in order to get things done. Without a mouse and keyboard and multi-window user interface, people who use computers to get things done won't ever consider a tablet over a work machine.
Yup, those users will never go away - heck, for a good chunk of my time I'm one of them too! But they are the minority of potential users out there. That's the important distinction.
Sure, for Mom and Pop who just browse the internet and email with others, a tablet may fit the bill. But you can't discount hundreds of millions of machines being used for work other than the basics of computing; sure, maybe in twenty years things will be different, but the traditional PC won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
Again, hundreds of millions of the machines that are out there are there because they were the best solution at the time
. There's a new paradigm in town, and if 50% of those machines were replaced by a traditional Windows or Mac machine I'd be shocked.
I do give HP kudos for peering into the future and discerning that much! It's already very, very hard to compete in the Windows marketplace today. Now that iOS is starting to suck a healthy portion of the oxygen out of the room, it's going to get that much harder.
The irony is, Apple owns the high end of the market - and always has. Now instead of trying to compete in the low end of the market with Netbooks and ultra-crappy ultra-cheesy low end machines, they invented a whole new market paradigm that is replacing the low end PC market. Vendors are getting squeezed - and squeezed hard! - from both ends by, of all companies, Apple!
It's truly a fun time to be a tech enthusiast. Especially one who's had to endure the almost decade of "beleaguered" that almost proved to be true, then the next decade of "Apple Tax". And now the pathetically frantic protestations of "fanboys" and "tricked into buying style over substance".
Apple has little to fear from Google, Microsoft or anyone else - at least right now. Because right now, they are the only company that is singularly focused on their real customer - the end user.
They have been criticized as not being "serious" for being consumer focused, derided for being "developer hostile", complained at for not bowing to the enterprise and kissing the IT priesthoods feet - more ways that Apple is destined for failure have been created than I can track! And yet their growth continually accelerates, quarter after quarter - year after year. You would think that people would be getting the message by now - and yet the entire tech industry seems wholly incapable of processing and admitting to the real reason for Apple's success.
Then again, for an industry that tends to deride non-technical users with such charming terms as "Lusers" and "newbs" perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised. Heck, I've fallen into that trap myself...