At the official Apple TV and Apple iPad event that took place on Wednesday, Tim Cook announced in his address that “I’d like to get started by talking about the post-PC revolution” which according to Cook, Apple is at the forefront of leading. But what exactly does the Apple CEO mean by the “post-PC Revolution” particularly when the new iPad is looking more like a new kind of portable computer rather than a simple media player?
Cook offered a fair definition explaining that “We’re talking about a world where the PC is no longer the centre of your digital world, but just another device. The devices you use the most are more portable, more personal and dramatically easier to use than any PC has ever been.” So rather than the iPad and iPhone being an extension of or addition to your PC, they are now becoming, as a group of separate devices, the bulk of where your computing will occur.
For Apple “post-PC” as a device category mentioned above includes three of Apple’s product lines: The iPod, iPhone and iPad. Combined, these three devices make up a majority 76% of Apple’s enormous revenues. Interestingly enough if you take a look back to 2007 when Steve Jobs first spoke about “post-PC” as a device category, the exemplary device in this case was the iPod — a gadget no one would ever mistake for a personal computer. At the time, it was likely considered among consumers as simply a portal media playing device.
The iPad however is different in that it is most similar to those characteristics found on some mobile phones (the base operating system, interface design, long battery life, 4G internet), but it is really a new computing form factor allowing you to compose and send emails, edit photographs, search the internet and create documents.
People who buy computers for business, personal or educational use are noticing this. In “Apple’s New iPad In The Enterprise: Laptop Replacement Gets Closer,” Forrester’s Ted Schadler writes that between the new iPad’s hardware, breakthroughs in tablet-friendly cloud-computing solutions, and the sheer momentum of user preferences, businesses might soon be replacing laptops for iPads altogether at an even greater rate than in the past two years. Here, Schadler is referring specifically to the iPad rather than the ‘tablet’ in general primarily because in his opinion iPads may beat out Windows 8 tablets and PCs.
While the smartphone enterprise is considered a three-way race between Android, Apple and Windows/Nokia, Microsoft can no longer rely on IT departments sitting tight and waiting while it develops its Windows 8 on ARM-based tablets. Users will want what’s available right now.
Therefore, Schadler estimates that Apple will have a hold on this market for at least the next 18 to 24 months saying that “People are good at betting on momentum and the least risky decision is the most popular one.”
Since its launch and soon to be available for purchase, there is a lot of demand for and buzz around the new iPad. The new device and the marked down price that is sure to follow of the iPad 2 will increase sales even more for Apple. The real breakthrough however, will come with the launch of iOS 6 which is expected to add deeper support for accessories and input devices to make the iPad an even more attractive laptop replacement and cement Cook’s vision of a “post-PC revolution” in the minds of the consumer.