Wednesday, November 14, 2012

iPad Mini To Ruin PC Guys' Days - Will Shrink PC Market Even Faster

Source:  All Things D.
I was not sure that Apple’s iPad was cannibalizing much of PC sales.  Sure, there have been in some cases.  If anything, I thought it’s been Macs that has been cannibalizing PCs.  Well, I am turning into a believer.  iPads are doing a lot of damage to the PC market, particularly the home market, And according to the ATd, the iPad mini will really make things worse for the PC guys.  Windows 8 launch or not, Surface or not, the iPad mini is about get us past the beginning of the post-PC era and more along the way of what we can expect in the tomorrow of tablets.

And while there have been sub-10” tablets like the Nexus 7 and media devices like Kindle HD and Nook HD, none of them has the branding power of Apple when it comes to tablets.  And this is why the $329 iPad mini will really show us just how devastating Apple’s iOS and accompanying ecosystem will be.

And this is just in the consumer market.  And this is just the the iPad mini with its non-Retina display.  And this is an expensive $329 tablet.  Wait until next year when Apple drops the price of the current iPad mini model and possibly replace the current price point of $329 with a Retina Display.

And we don’t know where we’ll go from here in the corporate market.  There is just no way right now that Microsoft’s Surface or other tablets running Windows 8 can compete on price and the ecosystem.  On top of that, corporations have gotten to know and trust iOS for years.  No so with Windows 8 running on ARM chips.

Then there is also the education market.  Last year, Apple introduced the new iPad with Retina Display at the $499 price point and smartly kept the iPad 2 on the market at $399.  And with the 4th iPad, the iPad 2 remains on the market.  Why?  $399 is a very attractive price point for families and students.  Now, they’ve got a choice of the iPad mini that is $70 cheaper.

Schools’ll love it. Students’ll love it and so will parents.  PCs days, quite possibly even Macs, in schools are numbered.  Imagine if Apple decides to part way with the iPad mini at $299 or lower just for the schools.  And that’s this year’s iPad mini.  I reckon Apple could go lower next year at around $250 to $270 if it wants.

Personally, I don’t see any need for laptops these days if you’re just an average joe mobile warrior who doesn’t does computers at all for work.  I have a Macbook Air that I enjoy using but the iPad is the first thing I grab when I go home to check up on the latest social updates or sport scores.  No longer do I fire up the browser to do that on the Air.  Right now, I use the Air for more heavy duty stuff that isn’t quite as easy yet on the iPad.  But that could all change as developers come up with newer and more innovative ways on the tablets.

And maybe not in the next year or two but beyond, the perception about tablets could change further.  Right now, the general perception people have, including myself at times, is that tablets are stripped down computers if that.  But as their penetration in schools, homes, and businesses continue and as Apple continue to expand the ecosystem, iPads, mini or otherwise, could give Apple an iPod-like market-share.

For competitors like Microsoft and Google, it may well be their worst nightmare and there might not be anything they can do about it.

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