It seems like yesterday. Steve Jobs gets up on stage and said those immortal words, “And one more thing”, and the iPad was borne – to tepid reception.
The establishment (aka the PC world) just didn’t get it; it lacked a keyboard, removable storage, a CD drive or even a USB port. It went on to sell over 7m items in 2010, and total iPads shipped has now topped 200m and it’s place as a productivity tool in the workplace, as well as the go-to device when lounging on the sofa is secure.
For the moment. iPad sales are falling, and the finger is being pointed as established software vendors such as Microsoft for damping it’s spread.
However, you have to think that in 2009 there was NO market for tablets. The PC, or laptop, was the recently crowned king of portable computing. It took just 3 years for Tablet sales to overtake laptops and be, partially, responsible for the end of the Microsoft-model of computing license and centralised management.
What’s the next 4 years going to look like? Probably, bigger phones (phablets) and smaller tablets converging in and around the “Internet of things” to create function and context-based computing. Hardcore computer types will still need big devices, the rest of us won’t – and that will be a good thing as we don’t want geeks in dark rooms rooms dictating how we use computing in the future, we’ve had 50 years of that already!
A new generation of location agnostic workers are embracing the tablet and ditching the laptop. An even newer generation don’t remember PC towers, 102-key keyboards and CD-ROM drives.