The move from desktop to laptop was gradual. Given that we’ve had portable computing solutions since 1981, it took until the last part of 2008 before the laptop became the dominant PC life form. The latest research shows that Apple’s forte will take a lot less time to pass laptops. KitGuru types up the basics on an iPad, but switches to a desktop to finish things off.
In 1981, you could buy 11Kg of Osborne 1 for around £1,200 and feel like the most special person on earth. In 1984, IBM got in on the act with the release of its first laptop PC, but it took another FIVE years for the Steve Jobs powered Apple corporation to unveil the Macintosh Portable. That beast would set you back almost £5,000 fully configured. Even in 1989, Apple was not scared to charge the price it wanted.
The last (relevant) historic landmark was the launch of the PDA format in 1993 – bringing true portability (even if the cost was features, functionality, usability).
While these technological advances were being pushed through, it’s also worth considering that when the Osborne 1 launched in 1981, it smashed records by selling 1 million units in its first full year. By the time tablets overtake laptops, they will be selling at a rate that’s higher than 1 million units a day.
in December 2008, market research company iSuppli said that in the 3rd quarter (July, August, September), the world had bought 38,6 million laptops and only 38.5 million desktops.
Over the last 4 years, the sale of desktop systems to anyone apart from enthusiasts has dropped like a stone, while – at the same time – the meteoric rise of the Apple’s iPad (and the wannabes that follow) mean that the laptop’s rule as king will be short lived.
KitGuru says: So what will replace tablets? While software companies try to preserve revenues and margins through use of the cloud, it’s not a like-for-like comparison. While the lines between then will become blurred, the only ‘threat’ to tablets must come from phones. The challenges here are (a) where’s the easy to use interface and (b) how can you share visuals with your friends/family/co-workers if the screen is only a few inches wide?
Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.