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Tablets to gobble 35% of the PC market in 2011  (Source: Apple)
Tablets may change the companies that profit in the PC market

There have been a few disruptive forces in the computer market over the years. The netbook really upset the notebook market as users flocked to the cheap and highly portable machines. Apple’s iPad then came along and put a sizeable dent into the market for netbooks (at least according to ASUS).

As more competitors enter the tablet fray, the impact on the computer market will only increase. Goldman Sachs has announced that tablets are one of the most disruptive forces in computing in nearly 30 years. The company says that tablets will eat into the PC market so heavily that they will start a reshuffle in who profits most in the PC industry that is currently dominated by Microsoft and Intel.

Microsoft dominates on the back of its Windows operating system installed on the vast majority of all computers. Despite the fact that Microsoft is huge in the PC market, the company is slow to take on new markets and is currently not offering a version of Windows specifically for consumer-oriented tablets. This leaves a notable window for competitors to seize the market like the iOS-packing iPad and Honeycomb-powered tablets like the Xoom.

The big impact for Intel will come thanks to the fact that the vast majority of processors used inside tablets today are not Intel parts. ARM is the leader in the tablet and smartphone market today. The big reason for this is that the ARM processors user relatively little power leading to better battery life for tablets.

Sachs predicts that both Apple and Google will begin to catch up to Intel and Microsoft thanks to the popularity of tablets.

The Goldman Sachs report noted, "This [wide adoption of tablets] should result in a theoretical loss of 21 million notebooks in 2011 and 26.5 million in 2012." Sachs expects the tablet to cannibalize about 35% of the PC market in 2011 and 33% in 2012.



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Media consumption device
By mcnabney on 4/20/2011 1:12:43 PM , Rating: 5
Tablets should do well because they are currently the best form for the public to consume media.

Previously people have used laptops, desktops, portable DVD players, MP3 players, eBook readers, smartphones,and game consoles to entertain, inform, and communicate. Tablets are a novel blend that have taken advantage of developments in low power CPU/GPUs, small and efficient batteries, and cheap Chinese labor. They are a jack-of-all-trades and excel at anything casual.

No, they aren't going to work for real computer productivity.
No, they aren't going to provide a home theatre experience.
No, they don't have the most cutting edge games.
No, they can't fit in your pocket.

But for so many common things we all do, they are fine.

Personally, I think they are going to destroy the casual computing market. How many of our parents have computers that are used just for the web, email, and looking at pictures? The tablet should own this market in a year, if not sooner.

/got a Xoom for the mother-in-law
//she loves it
///she doesn't even have to worry about cable/DSL. She will never use more than 3GB/mo and can then use the device anywhere




RE: Media consumption device
By neihrick1 on 4/20/2011 1:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
idk, with a service like OnLive, you may be able to play cutting edge games


RE: Media consumption device
By Griffinhart on 4/20/2011 1:41:18 PM , Rating: 2
I somewhat agree with you. Prior to Tablets (and maybe smartphones) the extremely casual user, ie the types that only check e-mail, view media and surf... They only had one choice prior. Computers, be it desktop or laptop/netbook. Now they can get something relatively cheap, with a lot of "neato" factor to do what they want. This will eat into the PC market, but probably the low end market. The segment with razor thin margins.

It seems to me, the profits for these devices are less on the hardware and more on the data plans so these devices are eventually going to be even cheaper than the lowest end netbook. At least, to the consumer.

I don't think we'll be seeing tablets take over the entire PC market. Those that do actual productivity with computers won't give up high powered desktops and laptops for them. Suppliment with tablets, sure, replace... I'm not convinced.


RE: Media consumption device
By Solandri on 4/20/2011 2:27:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Prior to Tablets (and maybe smartphones) the extremely casual user, ie the types that only check e-mail, view media and surf... They only had one choice prior. Computers, be it desktop or laptop/netbook. Now they can get something relatively cheap, with a lot of "neato" factor to do what they want.

The problem with this line of reasoning is that netbooks are cheaper than tablets. Given a choice between a tablet and a cheaper netbook, people are choosing the tablet. The question is, why?

Personally, I think the smaller (lighter, thinner) form factor and "full day of work" battery life are the keys. Most people primarily consume internet content, so the lack of dedicated input isn't as off-putting as it is to those of us who work with computers.

quote:
I don't think we'll be seeing tablets take over the entire PC market. Those that do actual productivity with computers won't give up high powered desktops and laptops for them. Suppliment with tablets, sure, replace... I'm not convinced.

Long-term (10+ years) I can see it happening. The problem for computer manufacturers right now is that even a low-end netbook is "fast enough" for >90% of users. So given a choice between something bigger and faster (which they don't need) vs. something svelter, they're going to pick the svelte one. Going forward into the future, the pressure is going to be even more in favor of the smaller device.

Hook a tablet up to a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and you've pretty much got a computer replacement. The CPU needs to get a bit faster, the I/O options have to improve (especially for iPads), the displays better, and the internal storage has to increase. But in 10 years, I can definitely see it happening. Basically, we're seeing a fusion of the computer hardware with the monitor, leaving the input devices as separate and optional add-ons. If you think you'll need them, bring them with you. But if you won't need them, leave them and their weight and bulk at home.


RE: Media consumption device
By Griffinhart on 4/20/2011 7:09:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The problem with this line of reasoning is that netbooks are cheaper than tablets. Given a choice between a tablet and a cheaper netbook, people are choosing the tablet. The question is, why?


I think it's because Netbooks have been considered a "poor mans laptop." On the other hand, Tablets are the new "must have" item right now.

quote:
Personally, I think the smaller (lighter, thinner) form factor and "full day of work" battery life are the keys. Most people primarily consume internet content, so the lack of dedicated input isn't as off-putting as it is to those of us who work with computers.


The size and battery life are definite draws to tablets. But, the consumption aspect is is what is making them more popular.

Now, don't mistake my comments for something akin to tablets aren't here to stay. That's not my opinion. But the lack of a dedicated input does make it off-putting as a primary or sole computing device unless you are doing mostly data consuption. This doesn't preclude that people will still buy them. I just see people using tablets as secondary computing devices unless they have only the most basic computing needs.

quote:
Long-term (10+ years) I can see it happening. The problem for computer manufacturers right now is that even a low-end netbook is "fast enough" for >90% of users. So given a choice between something bigger and faster (which they don't need) vs. something svelter, they're going to pick the svelte one. Going forward into the future, the pressure is going to be even more in favor of the smaller device.

Hook a tablet up to a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and you've pretty much got a computer replacement. The CPU needs to get a bit faster, the I/O options have to improve (especially for iPads), the displays better, and the internal storage has to increase. But in 10 years, I can definitely see it happening. Basically, we're seeing a fusion of the computer hardware with the monitor, leaving the input devices as separate and optional add-ons. If you think you'll need them, bring them with you. But if you won't need them, leave them and their weight and bulk at home.


I can see tablets eventually replacing mobile devices in many situations, but we'll need to see a number of basic changes to your average tablet. before this happens.

Tablets really need something other than touch, or bluetooth keyboards/mice for data entry. Bringing accessories isn't something people really want to do. It's best to have a design that allows you to bring a single item with you. That's what makes tablets great for consumption, since you don't need anything else. On the other hand, I have yet to see anyone I know with a tablet sit down with one and use them to write papers, reports, or anything more than some e-mail.

Screen size is also another consideration. 9" tablets are great, but, most computer users I know hate doing any real work on anything less than 15" displays for portables, and love going for 24" or larger displays for desktops. Then there are the poeple with multiple 24" displays on a single machine. A 7", 9" or even 12" tablet isn't going to ever become a suitable replacement for these types of users. Sure, they would possibly own tablets, but, they would never be a replacement device.

Eventually, I see tablets with larger than 9" screens with pen and touch input replacing a large portion of mobile computing devices. I see these tablets replacing computers for people that really just surf and e-mail. I see a lot of overlap between the two markets, but in the end, they are going to be two, complimentary, markets.


RE: Media consumption device
By Calin on 4/22/2011 4:37:03 AM , Rating: 2
Good voice recognition would help in some types of data entry (mails), but won't help much in others.


RE: Media consumption device
By Thrymm on 4/20/2011 1:43:57 PM , Rating: 3
Sounds spot on!

I for one, have no want or need for one. I can wait till I get home to get access without having this hulking thing around.


RE: Media consumption device
By Tony Swash on 4/20/2011 2:39:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sounds spot on!

I for one, have no want or need for one. I can wait till I get home to get access without having this hulking thing around.


That's what I thought. I changed my mind.

I love my MacPro and 30 inch monitor and I love my iPhone and MacBook Pro and I thought the iPad V1 looked cool but was not for me. Then I bought one for my 80 year old aunt and spent a week setting it up for her (she has literally never touched a computer), I didn't really need a week but I found myself constantly picking the damn thing up and kept delaying taking it to my aunt.

Inevitably I decided to get an iPad2. Its true there are many things I would rather do on my MacPro (like the heavy duty photo editing session today) but there is much I would rather do on my iPad and some new ways to interact with technology that I could do not on desktop or with my laptop (or least not comfortably). For example today I got up and used my iPad to watch the BBC news channel whilst eating breakfast, took my tea over to the sofa and kept skimming the news sites, checked my email on the john. Used the great Discovr app to explore some musical connections to a band mentioned in the news, propped the iPad up next to me when I worked tuned to BBC Radio 4, propped it up to read a recipe while I cooked, checked the weather just before I went for a walk. When I got home I streamed a movie to my TV using Airplay and later as it got dark I saw an interesting and bright star and wondered if it was a planet so I opened the live virtual star sky app and held it up to identify what it was I was looking at and later tonight I will read using the iPad in bed.

Other than the virtual sky app there is not much I couldn't have technically done using a laptop but using the iPad was so comfortable and easy compared to using a laptop, the sense of interaction so much more immediate and literally tactile. The whole experience of using an iPad, and this surprised me, transforms the subjective experience of doing common place computer tasks in way that is profound.

It seems to me that the tablet revolution is just that - a revolution and so all attempts to understand it and analyse it using the concepts from the old PC era will fail. That is why most observers so deeply underestimated the impact and potential of the iPad at it's launch. Tellingly its is especially likely that the techie/geek community, i.e. those most enmeshed in the old paradigm, will most underestimate the impact of the revolution.

We are already at the stage when we can talk about tens of millions of people using tablets, soon it will be hundreds of millions and tablets will very rapidly find their way into not just homes but all sorts of workplaces. This is not speculation it is what is actually happening.

It is clear that as the tablet revolution gathers momentum and scale the old PC industry will inevitably be hit, probably hard.

It is early days (the equivalent of about 1984 in the old PC era) and what will be possible as the tablet platforms evolves is not entirely clear - what is clear is that there appears to be huge potential for evolution and innovation in this new platform.


RE: Media consumption device
By mondo1234 on 4/20/2011 1:54:18 PM , Rating: 3
This only reflects what Ray Ozzie said leaving microsoft in that we are entering the post PC era. In the article below, he states:
quote:
Certain of our competitors’ products and their rapid advancement & refinement of new usage scenarios have been quite noteworthy. Our early and clear vision notwithstanding, their execution has surpassed our own in mobile experiences, in the seamless fusion of hardware & software & services, and in social networking & myriad new forms of internet-centric social interaction. Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/ray-ozzies-memo-sho...


http://www.businessinsider.com/ray-ozzies-memo-sho...


RE: Media consumption device
By themaster08 on 4/20/2011 2:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, and believe that for many people a tablet could replace a desktop/laptop entirely.

Since the widespread adoption of smartphones, the amount of people (friends, relatives, and so forth) I have seen replace their computer with their phone for their media/social networking consumption is quite astounding.

Many of these people used their PCs for this sole purpose. They never had any intention of any productivity value using their PCs, other than occasionally doing their school/college essays. Many of which now have full-time jobs.

I think those people embrace the fact that a tablet is very similar to their phones. For their consuming habits, it's perfect for home, or even travelling use. It provides them with the same ease-of-use as their phone, but with the comfort of a larger screen and excellent battery life.

You hit the nail on the head. The main function of many peoples' computers and laptops are for media consumption purposes. Furthermore, people want convenience; the easy life. Many prefer to spend more time indulging in the likes of other peoples' lives instead of doing anything constructive with their own. Devices like the tablet fit the bill perfectly.


RE: Media consumption device
By melgross on 4/20/2011 2:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
The only thing I agree with you here is that they won't fit into a pocket.


RE: Media consumption device
By mcnabney on 4/20/2011 5:49:47 PM , Rating: 2
Try using one for a little while. Then look at how powerful the ARM chips are going to be in a year or two. Outside of functions that require serius CPU/GPU power or very large screens there isn't too much that tablets won't be able to do.

Or just do the math and compare the number of high performance gaming PCs with the number of people with consoles (Wii+Xbox360+PS3) and an HP or Dell-class computer.


RE: Media consumption device
By Reclaimer77 on 4/20/2011 7:17:48 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Personally, I think they are going to destroy the casual computing market.


Yeah right. Who wants to seriously type on a touchscreen that much?

Tablets are NO threat to the PC market. They are toys.


RE: Media consumption device
By kmmatney on 4/21/2011 5:27:51 PM , Rating: 2
ever heard of a dock?....


"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA














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