Tim Cook expects iPad to supplant personal computers in many homes

“If Apple CEO Tim Cook’s predictions are correct, some consumers will never buy a desktop computer,” Althea Chang reports for CNBC. “Tablets and smartphones could take over as the primary way some of them access the Internet, according a recent BuzzFeed interview with the chief executive. ‘Because I think now we’re at the point where the iPad does what some people want to do with their PCs,’ Cook told the news site.”

“The average consumer who only needs to check Facebook, send emails and watch streaming movies, for instance, only needs the computing power and the memory that a tablet can provide,” Chang reports. “‘Even today there are some people who only use their iPads as their main computer and it meets their needs just fine,’ said Tim Bajarin, president of tech research firm Creative Strategies, in an email echoing Cook’s sentiment.”

Chang reports, “While mobile devices may be enough for some users, Apple’s CEO said in his interview with BuzzFeed that he expects to see Mac sales grow in the long term.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

Ask yourself, “What does the vast majority use a computer for?” Web browsing, email, some word processing, and games. That’s about it. Really. Of course, iPad does all of that and much, much more. — MacDailyNews Take, June 22, 2012

When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks, because that’s what you needed on the farm. But as vehicles started to be used in the urban centers, cars got more popular. Innovations like automatic transmission and power steering and things that you didn’t care about in a truck as much started to become paramount in cars… PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around, they’re still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people… I think that we’re embarked on that… You know, people laugh at me because I use the phrase “magical” to describe the iPad. But it’s what I really think. You have a much more direct and intimate relationship with the Internet and media, your apps, your content. It’s like some intermediate thing has been removed and stripped away.Apple CEO Steve Jobs, June 1, 2010

25 Comments

    1. agree, it just depends on what you do with a computer.
      My only use for an iPad now is to do program searches on Dish network because their iOS app for programming searches is based upon an internet word type search which has some flexibility, whereas their on on tv screen search appears to based upon a 1980’s type exact word field search, heaven help you if you don’t anticipate how they would describe a program in exact words. D- grade, being charitable.
      Other than that iOS is on my phone, but otherwise, back to OSX, please Apple don’t leave those of us who work for a living on our computers in the lurch.

  1. For consumption and meaningless social interaction, tablets are great. Typing (without an external keyboard) is a joke at best. You could shoot video with them, but not edit it effectively; I think this whole obsession with making a tablet do everything just doesn’t recognize the limits of the form factor.

    Yes, some people will never buy a computer, but we can sure make sure that we accelerate their time wasting. All hail the socially clueless, better online, modern consumer! I’m not at all sure this is a good thing. I feel like Apple is weaponizing many people’s vices (not that they’re alone in doing so).

    Increasingly Apple seems to be having an identity crisis. There’s so much money to be made blowing idiot companies out of the water (phones, tablets) that the concept of “insanely great” is just a memory. That’s why when they do get around to making computers, that they have such a mixed hit rate (iMac = good; MacPro = meh, MacBook = meh, etc)

  2. For some it will take a long time for tablets to catch up with laptops. However, for many homes the tablet will replace the home computer as soon as the specs and price get to a certain level.

    Microsoft will do it before Apple does although Apple will do it better. The iPad “pro” is a step in that direction but falls short. What’s needed is more power, more ram, more storage and better connectivity. I think Apple is waiting for connectivity to catch up with what they want to produce.

    Microsoft will always have the lead on Apple because Apple has no desire to delivering a price point for the average person/family.

    1. I take issue with your assertion that Apple doesn’t deliver at a price point for the average family.

      My in-laws tend to buy cheap and replace often. They did it with PCs for many years. The eldest son noticed that we have an iMac that’s over 6 years old and a couple of rather elderly MacBooks together with two very new iPads, while in that time, he worked out that they have got through three desktop PCs, at least four laptops, six tablets and any number of Android phones. They always believed that cheap knock-offs were the equal of Apple products but you weren’t paying for the name. They assumed that Apple stuff didn’t last either.

      We initially switched the eldest son to an iPhone and he soon appreciated that it worked in a much better way. His MacBook came as a real eye-opener when he went to university and it has lasted through university without any problems. Even when somebody ‘borrowed’ it from his room, it was found ( Find My Mac ) and recovered within an hour.

      He has realised that buying cheap often ends up costing more and is steadily convincing the rest of his family, although his father is resistant to change – but has recently bought an iPad to replace yet another Android tablet that failed.

  3. I think when the iPad becomes more like a truck people will start taking them more seriously. I have said for a long time there are a lot of jobs that a tablet is great for bringing a computer revolution like the PC did to office jobs. It’s just that the people who are needed to make it happen don’t get together. People in the industries with vision, people in tech to make it work, and people with bucks to take the risks. With the iPad Pro, IBM, Cisco this is beginning to change. The smartphone has been the replacement for PCs so far.

    Steve’s history on cars was wrong. The first cars were mostly rich men’s toys and needed the better urban roads. Cabs were some of the first industry work for cars. It was Henry Ford’s Model T that was the first car that was made for farmers, something more like a SUV than a truck. It sat higher and was affordable. When people saw the car as something other than a toy then it took off. I know a lot of technophobes who the iPad would be perfect for, however they are afraid of trying new technology. The best selling car in the US is the Toyota Camry because it’s practical. When average people start seeing the iPad as practical then they will take off.

    I would like to hear a real argument for my beliefs.

  4. I need an inteface that allows me to save attachments, documents and files that I can open directly with a inked app.

    Apple need to give us a screen with a file structiure and not just a page of app icons. Because data storage and the restrictions on importing – photos on USB sticks etc. are all do-able, Apple just needs to allow that sort of access.

  5. I prefer a computer with a keyboard but that’s just my personal taste. I know I can get a keyboard for an iPad but I also want a computer that runs OSX. I like notebook computers and will probably stick with one as they’re more versatile. I wouldn’t consider replacing my notebook with a tablet. If I bought a tablet it would be an additional device, not as a replacement.

    Tim Cook might be right but if iPads last a long time Apple isn’t going to get a short replacement cycle for a tablet no matter what they do. Wall Street is bitching because the replacement cycle is too long for their greedy mentality. Consumers should buy products that last a long time to save money and make it better for the ecology. Amazon building disposable tablets is no good at all because people won’t hesitate buying a bunch of them and then not use them much. I think consumers should think seriously before buying electronic devices.

  6. Apple is in no hurry to see the Mac phased out, but the Mac, as we know it, is slowly but surely going to fade away. Consider that as the personal computer became popular, no one in IT really thought it would supplant the mainframe either. This time around, the dinosaurs are conventional personal computers.

    We are being slowly weened off of OS X. Us old timers will have a harder time changing over but its happening. The keyboard and mouse are giving way to the touch screen. Children are starting out on iPads now and will grow up in a world where the keyboard and mouse are considered quaint.

    We are also learning to not depend on external devices. Apple isn’t making it easier to connect external devices, they’re making it more difficult. I.e. they aren’t adding ports, they’re removing them, if you look at the new MacBook, for example.

    No keyboard, no mouse, no external devices, it’s a trend. It does of course depend on the acceptance of cloud services.

    WetFX above makes a good point about the iPad becoming “the truck.” It is happening. iOS iterations are fast. OS X has been out since 2001 and we’ve had iOS since 2007 and already iOS is up to version 9. Each iteration brings ever more power to the iPad. Not so much as to overwhelm and create battles about what is more appropriate, but just enough to keep things interesting.

    Tim Cook says he does 80 to 90% of his work on an iPad.

    The Enterprise will be resistant, but as custom developed cloud apps become more “truck-ish” and mobile device management becomes more sophisticated, things will change.

    When Apple announced their partnership with IBM, the only development is for iOS. When Apple announced their partnership with CISCO recently, all talk was of iPhone and iPad.

    There is a perception that iPad sales lowering is not quite right. As many indicate, the darn things just last.

    Interestingly I sat with a 13 year old and her mom this weekend. Her grandmother gave her $3k for a new computer or however she wanted to spend it for high school. She had been using an old PC laptop, but it finally failed. After all was said and done, she’s gong to get the iPad Pro/cover/pen when they are released, a new iPhone, and other various sundries. The school accepts Chrome Books, MacBooks, PC laptops, and iPads. They use Google for everything.

    1. “They use Google for everything”

      I have my own content creation business, but in addition I work in a school on administrative staff.

      Yes, they use Google for everything, and therein lie the limitations to any form of creativity beyond the 3rd grade, not what we need in high schools.

      Then again with the literacy level(lack of it) that we are seeing increasingly as students come up through the ranks, it may well be that touch screen and icons are all they can handle, so……..

      “the spell checker couldn’t possibly get it wrong could it?” Uh, yes, thats why spelling errors are magnified tenfold over 15-20 years ago, because they no long have any ability to know when the context of a sentence requires a different word that the spell checker suggests. They don’t have enough knowledge to over-ride the spell checker. Or the motivation, from many teachers,they will get the same grade, so …..

    2. Apple is indulging in a very productive sleight of hand. They market activity and sell hardware. Apple wants you to stop thinking in terms of “computers, input devices and peripherals” and instead work with requests, views, responses, etc. Eventually there’ll be a loop that goes from your need (expressed or implied) through an Apple device (or devices), producing a result (purchase, report, answer, media playing, bank transaction, etc.). But all your devices will draw upon the common Siri, upon your voice, upon your Keychains, upon your contacts & relationships, upon your Wallet, upon your tastes. Your surroundings (communications medium, physical/location info, temperature, nearby providers — taxis, stores, etc.) will form a fabric into which your devices will be woven. Each of Apple’s refinement steps is making personal computing more personal — the iMac, iPhone, iPad now Apple Watch are inserting tinier and tinier devices into what’s really your iWorld. Each reduction is accompanied by elements that embrace a wider reach than before. Small devices, big grasp. Apple’s addressing your entertainment, health, creativity, communication. Transport/mobility, nutrition, sport are among the things yet to follow. It’s all grist for the Apple mill. Make the preceptors finer and finer, make the perception wider and wider.

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