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
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
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.
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?
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.
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.