Will the iPad eventually replace the Mac?

Discussion in 'iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Apple Watch' started by Salaryman Ryan, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Salaryman Ryan

    Salaryman Ryan PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Interesting article in PC that might be worthy of discussion. I just read this article from PC Mag:

    Apple's iPad could kill the Mac

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2361204,00.asp

    Summary: Basically the article claims that although the iPad will just be a accessory for the Mac TODAY - in the near future, as the iPad gets more powerful hardware, gets more desktop power class apps and the OS evolves and becomes an independent entity in itself, it will gradually erode the Mac's share in the consumer space (starting with the Macbooks). Eventually only niche professionals (who needs very powerful hardware) will be the Mac's only market.

    According to the author, if the iPhone OS does eventually take over it will mean the end of open computing on Apple systems as we know it. So it possibly means, good bye to stuff like bittorrent, good bye to open programing, good bye to customizing your Apple's portable hardware and software. Etc

    [​IMG]


    "If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it's worth — and get busy on the next great thing. The PC wars are over. Done. Microsoft won a long time ago." - Steve Jobs As quoted in Fortune (1996-02-19)


    My take:

    If (and thats a big "IF") the iPad initially becomes a success this next 5 years, I agree that casual computing for consumers might end up taking this shape for the following years to come. I'm not just talking about just Apple, other companies might follow suit, Google already have similar plans while Microsoft also have their version of their Tablet OS etc.

    I'm sure It is good for the mass market such as my aunties, grandmom and all my non-techie friends who simply want to check their Facebook accounts, read email and watch Youtube videos - finally they have a device that is much less complex and easier to use then your average laptop (Believe me, the window and menu bar metaphor in OSX/Windows drives them mad). But I can see potential problems for content creators/Professionals who need OSX to do their work. I maybe wrong but I can see that if Apple gets the majority of their profits from the iPhone and iPad then that is where they will focus on and relegate the Macintosh to mainly a niche status. So what this pertains to our favorite platform? Your guess is as good as mine. I guess the market will decide.

    PS: Take note guys, we are talking about what might happen in the near future not what is going on today. Macs are selling better then ever today but the future may hold something different for us.
     
  2. bad_boy

    bad_boy Watching Your Language
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    Hmm. I think this is possible, but not in the near future. It would require technology that isn't available today.

    Aside from the obvious portable comparison, a larger and more powerful iPad (combined with the right peripherals) could theoretically replace even an iMac.

    Just my thoughts :)
     
  3. bacchus_3

    bacchus_3 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    I share the same thought on this. I'd think that the iPhone OS and Mac OS X will meet half-way to come up with ultraportal systems. Think iPad running Mac OS X with Photoshop but with a new gesture system that is void of the mouse and keyboard. The OS is very dynamic and who knows what is available in the next 5 years. Apple went so far with the iPhone OS in just 2 to 3 years.
     
  4. cyberathlete

    cyberathlete PhilMUG Addict Member

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    interesting article. may be possible but i don't think end-to-end consumer devices like version x.x of the ipad will fully replace laptops or computers. there will always be a demand for open computing. even if apple and/or microsoft will pull the plug on open OS, the linux community will never accept this and might even push them to produce more "friendlier" open OS (imagine a bug-free ubuntu! :)~ ). hardware might be an issue though, if end-to-end computing makes a big impact on the market, there will be lesser demand for "specialized" PC hardware (processors, mobos, hd, etc) making them more expensive.
     
  5. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    folks, some of us have to do some real work, on real work machines. for at least the next decade, that will still mean big screens and, yes, keyboards. i don't think apple's going to leave that market anytime soon, because it's to the pro market that they sell their most expensive hardware and software. my 2 cents' ;)
     
  6. Salaryman Ryan

    Salaryman Ryan PhilMUG Addict Member

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    My unfounded worry here is not that the Mac will disappear (I'm pretty sure there will always be a market for full workstations) but rather it will be relegated to niche status by Apple which means Macs will become specialized tools content creation. What so bad about it? Well three things:

    1) First, general purpose computing might move to the devices like the iPad. Since the iPad will be the bigger market, software developers will focus less on the Mac and give their quality software to the iPad. We will have less quality software on the Mac.

    2) A factor that drove the Mac's price down (beside the cheap availability of computer components) and make them innovate the Mac line is Apple's desire to capture the majority of the market. Now potentially the iPad can take over that role.

    Which means only a few professionals will use the Macintosh and the platform might end up like the Sun Workstations in the 1990 which are pretty much specialized and very expensive. As cyberathlete said, this could make PC parts expensive again as there will be less demand overall. (and companies will love this trend because currently margins on PC parts are very very thin)

    3) Third, if other companies find Apple's closed (itune/app store) software and hardware (sealed and propriety everything) system appealing it might gradually cross over to other platforms like Windows and eventually become the status quo.

    I believe Linux was mentioned but it has 3 fundamental problems. First very little major commercial software brands develop for Linux. Second, even within the Linux community there is no one single standard for things like user interface which make difficult for both consumers to adopt and developers to make software for it. And third despite of all improvements within the Linux community you still need to be a geek to use it - unlike OSX.
     
  7. kikoreta

    kikoreta Active Member

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    This will only be possible if the iPad gets killer speed with killer memory and connect with peripherals easily (bluetooth to a 30 inch flatscreen?) That way you can easily connect to your office when you get there yet maintain its portability. I think it will have to be running a full version of osx tho as a lot of us will not be able to give up our open lifestyle.
     
  8. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    i think salaryman's point was that the ipad would not replace the mac machine-for-machine but would edge it out of or overtake it in apple's product line.
     
  9. chetiboy

    chetiboy Active Member

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    i think there's gonna be a niche market with hand held larger devices.
    but not to replace the mac i think.
    there's gonna be a surge of ipad kind of things, like the time when the ipod was introduced... or the time when netbooks boomed.

    i still wish there was a mac netbook though. would it make me old school? haha!
     
  10. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    That's a myopic view, but who can argue about Apple's future when Steve Jobs has declared that Apple is now a mobile company. Keyword is mobile. That is an astounding statement. Only funeral services remain for the Macs and eventually the MacBooks.

    If you are talking about mobile devices in pure numbers, that article is absolutely correct. Mobiles now outnumber desktop computers and the massive shift in trend clearly shows that. Google has a similar vision of the future of consumer computing devices. In the '60s, mainframe computers numbered in the tens of thousands. In the '70s, mini-mainframes eclipsed mainframes and numbered in the hundreds of thousands. In the '80s and '90s, desktop computers rendered obsolete the mini-mainframes and numbered in the tens of millions (and it is very clear that Microsoft is the clear winner). By the year 2000-2010, laptops, netbooks and MacBooks have taken over the lead and numbered in the hundreds of millions. The big bet is in the next decade or so is that all these previous devices will be dwarfed by ultra portables like even powerful smartphones, tablets, MIDs and other hybrids and will number in the billions. In short, it is the factor of 10 at work.

    Is that a healthy development? It is not yet clear, but Google's move to put everything on the cloud (and to a lesser extent, Microsoft's bet on Azure) is just another piece of the puzzle. Apple is building a huge data center in North Carolina. Nobody knows just yet what it is for but I'm betting that Apple is secretly working on it's own version of cloud computing to complement it's vision of being a totally mobile company (meaning goodbye Macs and MacBooks). What it sorely lacks is a viable search engine, thus a myopic vision. This is crucial because the search engine is now the de facto window or portal to the rest of the internet. At present, only Bing/Yahoo and Google stand head and shoulders above the rest of the field.

    Personally, I don't like it but am I in the minority? Truthfully, yes.
     
    #10 raypin, Mar 12, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  11. Zoey

    Zoey Active Member

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    I agree raypin, Apple's decision to move into this type of closed computing maybe advantageous to them but it is detrimental to us all in the future. I for one do not relish the fact that in the future I will be forced to store my applications, files and personal information not in my laptop's hard disk but in some Apple/Google data center somewhere.

    As for the iPad becoming the main product for Apple, yes I think it is possible not today but perhaps ten years later or even less. I'm personally not happy with it as I prefer to be given the choice to upgrade my computer's parts rather then buy another one if I want more storage or memory. Sadly I believe Apple might do such as good job in making the iPad OS usable that this is what people will prefer compared to the complex OSX. My worst nightmare would be that the iMac of the future will be touch sensitive but will sport not OSX but a derivative of the iPad OS and the cycle will be complete.
     
  12. aaarrrnnn

    aaarrrnnn Member

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    I honestly don't believe the iPad would be able to replace the Mac. The iPad would create a niche for itself but it still won't be able to do the things that a Mac can do such as intensive video conversion, photo-editing, and other process intensive applications that a Mac or even a PC can do because there are applications built for it. Its much more costly to develop a new application compiled for the ARM processor than to just simply upgrade an existing one that runs under x86 and x64 architectures.

    Plus, while the cloud may seem to be the wave of the future, newer technology has a way of putting a wrinkle in things. Sure advancements in communication technology will result in more bandwidth. But advancements in video or audio will eventually result in a replacement for today's Blu-Ray and other HD content. So more information will have to be passed which means advancement in speed will have to keep up with more bits of info. Thus there would still be a need for non-cloud based content.
     
  13. macky2green

    macky2green Member

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    The concept of the iPad (being a tablet computing machine) may well, yes, replace the typical Mac. But only 'til it becomes powered by a fully-operational Mac OS X, it will just be... an iPad (another iPhone OS device).
     
  14. gnomon

    gnomon Member

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    I don't mind having half a macbook pro (just the screen) to do video and 3D with just touch gestures. But should it replace the Mac, the whole creative industry will need an overhaul.

    Imagine, content FOR the iPad made FROM the iPad...
     
  15. chetiboy

    chetiboy Active Member

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    oh i just had an epiphany!
    i think the iPad will kill the iPod Touch!!!
     
  16. Salaryman Ryan

    Salaryman Ryan PhilMUG Addict Member

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    With time and a few years the iPad (if commercially successful ) will evolve and become just as powerful and full featured as any computer out there - in both software and hardware, that is a given.

    The problem is, if that happens, chances are it will run tightly controlled iPad OS and not the more open and customizable Mac OS.
     
  17. xedner

    xedner Member

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    IF the iPad's specs can match the desktop PC's THEN I'm sure it's gonna be sold with an APPLE PRICE. That's a problem.
    The article gives a thought about future Mac users who are very noob to PCs. They would rather consider getting an iPad; and that's the point of Apple killing macs.

    People have choices to
    1) succumb to iPad and accept that its restrictive platform has advantages..
    2) consider the Google tablet: it will be an OPEN platform
     
  18. aaarrrnnn

    aaarrrnnn Member

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    In order for that to happen, Apple's ARM has to reach the full capabilities of an Intel or even an AMD processor. And Apple doesn't have the muscle to match Intel or AMD with respect to processor development because Apple's ARM is proprietary and is not sold to others. That means, their margin for their ARM processor only comes from their products which limits the number of people who are going to buy it.That also means for all intents and purposes, Intel and AMD's processors will always outpace with respect to sheer performance Apple's ARM processors.
     
  19. Salaryman Ryan

    Salaryman Ryan PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Guys check out this great article I've stumbled upon while waiting in the airport. :)

    http://stevenf.tumblr.com/post/359224392/i-need-to-talk-to-you-about-computers-ive-been

    Talks about paradigm shifts in computing and how it relates to the iPad and the Mac. Its true guys, we Mac people are now slowly becoming the old school like those who used the typewriters and wrote their records in scrolls before us. The change will come within a generation (20 years) but it will come. Take note that we are not talking about hardware but rather UI and how software is handled, and I feel that the iPad is a glimpse of what computing will be decades from now.
     
    #19 Salaryman Ryan, Mar 15, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  20. rafaelc378

    rafaelc378 Active Member

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    Guys, just some perspective.

    Remember the 1st Generation iPod? 5GB, Mechanical Scroll wheel, $400USD, Mac Only, Firewire only.

    Now look at your brand spanking new iPhone 3GS.

    Now look at the iPad. Look at the 1st Gen iPod.

    We can't say for sure what Macs/iPads/iPhones will be like 9 years from now.

    Personally, I don't think the Desktop Mac/PC will ever go away. Even if it's just an iPad the size of a flatscreen you have in your living room, there will always be a market for the bigger, faster, non-mobile version.
     

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