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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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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.


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