Yeah, Two Years and the iPad is Still Pretty Much A Consumption Device

The reason 16GB should be enough for most users isn’t due to iCloud, it’s because the iPad still falls short of replacing the PC. There’s no need to store all of your data on the iPad, because as good as it is, it can’t replace a PC for many users.

via Two Years with the iPad: Was It Worth It?.

But it can replace a PC for a lot of users. Further, it can be the first PC for a lot of users. With its default suite of apps, the iPad handles what a typical user expects to do with a new PC quite well. Why people can’t see this, or are in denial about it, is beyond me. Continue reading

Apple vs. PC Shipments: “PC” Decline Worse Than Reported

Based on data from Gartner and IDC, AllThingsD reported that it was a very bad year for PC shipments, except at Apple

I have a problem with that. 

It isn’t that it’s not true, but rather that PC growth vs. Apple is even worse than reported. To see why, let’s look at the chart from Gartner for US “PC” shipments, where the conclusion is that Apple growth increased 20.7% while PC growth declined 5.9%. 


It makes sense until you realize Apple’s (i.e., Mac) data is included in the same total to which it’s being compared. In other words, Apple’s stellar year is propping up the “PC” (i.e., non-Mac) numbers, making “PC” shipments look better than they really were.

If you truly want to know how Apple did in the US on its own against “PCs”, you must subtract it from the latter’s numbers. Here’s what you get: 

  • Total 4Q11: 15,854,964
  • Total 4Q10: 17,342,605
  • 4Q11-4Q10 Growth: -8.5

The originally reported dismal “PC” growth of -5.9% becomes an even more dismal -8.5% without Apple’s numbers propping it up. That -2.6% delta is not insignificant, it’s over 40% worse than what was reported.

IDC’s numbers are also available. As usual, they do not agree completely with Gartner, yet the trend is the same.

Any way you look at it, Apple is exceeding the “PC” growth rate, and if you pull their numbers from “PC” shipments to get a true Mac vs. PC comparson, the latter’s state is revealed to be even worse than it appears at first glance.

Forrester Research: Tablets Will Only Steal Sales From… Desktops?


What other conclusion can be drawn from the graph? From 2010, netbook sales barely change (18 to 17%), and laptops barely change (44 to 42%). With the tablet rising from 6 to 23%, it all comes out of desktop share (32 to 18%).


Forrester’s report is questionable right up front. It predicts sales of 3.5M tablets this year, and 20.4M in 2015. Those numbers are so low it’s ridiculous. Apple is already over 2M sales this year; Forrester thinks they can’t even double that by December 31? Thats nuts. Apple will hit 8M or more this year, and who knows what other tablet players will join the game in the coming months.

As for netbooks, I disagree their sales percentage will remain steady over the next five years. Their sales growth is already slowing. People are figuring out they’re not the “laptop” they promise to be. Netbooks have all the headaches of PCs without the size or power to have enough of the benefits. Cheap laptops make better sense, and a tablet even more-so. Netbooks’ day in the sun is nearing its end; I see a pretty small trickle five years hence. 

Regarding laptops, they’ll feel the pinch of tablets getting faster with more sophisticated software, which won’t take long. Look at where the software is already: iWork or Documents To Go productivity suites; Photogene for great image editing; Reel Director or iMovie for iPhone (iPad won’t be far behind) for video, etc. And these are here now, imagine what we’ll have in just a year. I could argue these apps are already close to doing what the majority of consumers need in these areas. There are certainly rough edges, but they’ll get smoothed. Laptops are going to feel the heat sooner than Forrester imagines.

I agree on desktops’ decline, but that’s already happening and has been for a while. Laptops have eaten their lunch in the past, but tablets will encroach on laptops as explained above. 

The tablet form factor is going to be huge. I’m already on record that it’s how “all” computers will work someday, and I don’t think critical mass will take as long as the GUI did, which is apparently what Forrester is expecting.

Just 20M tablets sold in 2015? They’ll pass that number in 2012. Netbook and laptop percentage will decline more than Forrester is predicting, and tablet percentages will be higher. Forrester’s report seems written to appease those vested in the status quo, but it doesn’t make it realistic.

Great Dual-Screen Wallpapers

The work PC I brought home has two monitors. The same wallpaper on each screen looks silly, so I went over to Digital Blasphemy and snapped up a bunch of dual-screen ‘papers. The six shown here are just a few of the many I downloaded. Beautiful stuff.

They’re not free, but for $15 you get 90 days access, which means you could easily download everything there. It also means you generally don’t see this wallpaper on other machines, keeping your PC unique. I’d say 75% of the wallpapers on my Macs and PCs are from DB.

Macs cost notably less to support than Windows PCs

A majority of respondents said that Macs cost less in terms of time spent troubleshooting, user training, help desk calls, and system configuration. Admins generally agreed that costs related to software licensing and supporting infrastructure were the same between the two platforms.

It’s almost a shame this needs to be treated as “news”. It’s probably only the gazillionth* article espousing this point going back 15 years or more. It comes as no surprise to anyone not dependent on the Windows ecosystem.

* “Gazillionth” is not a word. I made it up. It’s hyperbole. No real numbers were harmed in the making of this post.