Monday, October 21, 2013

PCs are losing to tablets, but it's not about price - not fully, anyway

The San Jose Mercury News' Pat May just published an article regarding how PC shipments are falling, and concludes, as many have, that it's because everyone wants something cheaper. I think he and the rest of his ilk are missing the boat. It's not just about the money, it's about the experience. If you compare the experience of using a $500 PC to an iPad, you quickly realize it's far easier to process email, find web pages, chat with your friends on Skype, play a quick game, or even cobble together an outline for a report on an iPad than it is anywhere else. The operating system seems to think ahead of where you're going, and plows the path of least resistance. You get there with a minimum of frustration, loss of train of thought, and waiting while the computer thinks about what you've asked it to do.
Even with a faster, more powerful unit, most people's non-work computer use can be done with an iPad, at least partly. I talk to people in all walks of life, and hear the same stories all the time: "I just need to do email and surf. Maybe check Facebook or write a grocery list. Nothing fancy. Work gives me a laptop that I lug out when I need to do a big project." And after a few years with iPads, when they decide they need a personal machine for large projects, they usually are open to moving to a desktop machine for the family, rather than laptops all 'round. And by then, they are conditioned to think "complex and arcane" when it comes to Windows, because in order to do anything with their work PC, they have to call and wait for IT. So that iMac, which runs about the same price as a mid-level laptop, starts to look great as the family "truck." This is in reference to
Steve Jobs' famous quote:
When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks because that's what you needed on the farms. Cars became more popular as cities rose, and things like power steering and automatic transmission became popular.
"PCs are going to be like trucks. They are still going to be around. However, only one out of x people will need them.

It's always good to have a buddy with a truck for odd jobs, but I never want to deal with the hassle and upkeep expense required to own one.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Memory Ln,Durham,United States

from dusty archives - Largo Lodge

[ed. This piece was written some time ago, but I found it recently while moving hard drives on a computer. I thought some folks may find it ...