iPad the new PC: How Apple could lead 10-year tech growth

Posted on by Mike Evans

Apple are on the up and up, according to a slew of statistics we’ve seen in the past few days. The PC market has declined for the third quarter while Mac sales continue to rise. Some of the blame for the PC market shrinkage has been attributed to “tablets” by which they mean iPads. Apparently iPads are cannibalising PC sales, especially netbooks where Acer has been one of the biggest losers.

Roger McNamee, the Elevation Partners venture capitalist who famously wrote off the iPhone as a two-year wonder in 2009, has switched his preference from Palm and WebOS in favour of Apple. Not just that, he now believes Apple will lead a ten-year technology growth cycle because of the iPad and the App Store ecosystem. He also has a lot to say on the subject of the web and that Apple ecosystem:

The thing that I think is so powerful here is that right now Apple is just killing the World Wide Web. Peope are adopting iPads and iPhones at a rate: Apple will do almost 100 million units this year. I mean, the numbers are staggering.
Horace Dediu of Asymco, my favorite independent analyst, adds his usual insight into the latest figures, although he isn’t quite as gungho for Apple as Mr McNamee. Referring to the latest stats, he says:
This near tripling of unit sales is symptomatic of fundamental change that cannot be ignored. Although some analysts contend that the iPad is not causal to the decline in other PC sales, teasing out platforms data seems to show a divergent view. The bottom line is that Windows-only computer units are down 2.0% while OSX-based computer units are up 272% (this excludes both the iPhone and iPod touch).
Dediu concludes,
So the weight of evidence is beginning to be conclusive: the iPad is the new PC. It should be clear by now that the iPad moves computing into new contexts so it does not yet substitute the PC market but extends it and increases consumption. Substitution is happening in low-end grazing type of usage, a place where the PC was ill-fitting anyway.
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