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Figuring Out the iPad's Place 333

Posted by Soulskill
from the glued-to-the-ceiling dept.
An anonymous reader writes "One of the most interesting notes from Apple's recent quarterly report was that iPad sales are down. Pundits were quick to jump on that as evidence that the iPad was just a fad, but there were still more than 16 million units sold. iPads, and the tablet market as a whole, clearly aren't a fad, but it's also unclear where they're going. They're not convincingly replacing PCs on one end or phones on the other. Meanwhile, PCs and phones are both morphing into things that are more like tablets. New form factors often succeed (or fail) based on what they can do better than old form factors, and the iPad hasn't done enough to make itself distinct, yet. Ben Thompson had an insightful take on people demanding desktop functionality from the iPad: 'This sounds suspiciously like the recommendation that the only thing holding the Macintosh back was its inability to run Apple II programs. It's also of a piece with the vast majority of geek commentary on the iPad: multiple windows, access to the file system, so on and so forth. I also think it's misplaced. The future of the iPad is not to be a better Mac. That may happen by accident, just as the Mac eventually superseded the Apple II, but to pursue that explicitly would be to sacrifice what the iPad might become, and, more importantly, what it already is.'"
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Figuring Out the iPad's Place

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:41PM (#46900913)

    It exists already in the niche that exists between the full computer experience, and the phone experience. Why the hell would it have an infinite growth and replace computers and phones?

    • Market saturation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by danceswithtrees (968154) on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:42PM (#46900931)

      Perhaps sales are slowing down because of market saturation. The iPad was the first of its kind (that people actually bought, used, and liked). Almost everyone who wants one has probably bought one and the slowing rate reflects market saturation. A diminishing pool of new buyers and a steady pool of people replacing older models would help to explain the "dwindling" sales.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Exactly, My wife has no interest in replacing her iPad 2 and my iPad 4 is perfectly fine. Maybe in a couple of year's I'll replace mine.

        Same with the Nexus 7 I have, no burning urge to go get the latest shiny that is exactly the same as my current shiny.

        • by lagomorpha2 (1376475) on Friday May 02, 2014 @02:12PM (#46901245)

          So what you're saying is, the feature that is ultimately lacking from modern tablets is "planned obsolescence".

          Apple, Intel, ARM, and all screwed up when they designed systems that would still work 2 years down the road.

          • by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday May 02, 2014 @02:28PM (#46901393)

            That's the computer market as a whole. From the early 80's up until about 2005 computers were always slow. Slow to the point where people got frustrated, and the never ending progression of speed made upgrading every 2 years (or even faster) the norm.

            Then sometime around 2005-ish things seem to get to a point where people weren't waiting on the computer anymore. An upgrade meant little because outside of gaming the computer likely wouldn't "feel" any faster.

            Heck I used to build a new computer annually, but I just rebuilt my computer about 2 weeks ago that I had been running since 2009. Not because it was too slow, but because half the USB ports had died on the motherboard.

            At this point its gotten to be about like a car. I don't buy a new computer because I want something "better" anymore. I buy when the old one is broken or has more problems than are worth fixing. Tablets are the same way. Honestly I think phones would be too except that due to the way they're carried they suffer a lot more wear and tear and simply break more frequently.

          • Re:Market saturation (Score:5, Informative)

            by Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) on Friday May 02, 2014 @04:07PM (#46902461) Homepage

            Planned obsolescence is there in the form of an unreplaceable battery that will one day not hold a charge.

        • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Friday May 02, 2014 @02:22PM (#46901347)

          Maybe in a couple of year's I'll replace mine.

          I wonder whether part of the problem is that after having one of these devices, people aren't so keen to replace them. Our third gen iPad is about two years old, and already we have problems with app upgrades breaking things, and of course Apple themselves pushing us to upgrade to a new version of iOS that gets terrible reviews. Plus the general closed ecosystem isn't an obvious downer for most people when you buy the first time, but after finding all the little frustrating things it can't do, I can see that at least some significant proportion of users might be put off.

          Tablets as a format seem to be useful for a certain niche: basically, they're good for receiving information and some basic interaction, but not serious interaction/content creation. But there are more tablets than just Apple's, and Android tablets seem to be increasing their market share at Apple's expense. So it might be a market saturation issue with the tablet format, but I suspect there's more to it than just that in the specific case of iPads.

      • by InsultsByThePound (3603437) on Friday May 02, 2014 @02:05PM (#46901149)

        After the bump in resolution, I just don't think there's much reason to upgrade. Speed is okay. The tech industry increasingly has to look at a future where it sells products that will be "good enough" for most people for a decade instead of 2 years.

        What smart phones/tablets went through the last 7 years is what desktop and notebook PCs went through in the 80s/90s/early00s. Now very few people consider seriously getting a new desktop every 2 or even 4 years. And yes there will always be a segment that wants more speed, but as they grew the market for computers, that segment did not increase in proportion with it because most of those power users were already there by the nature of their work. Many of the power users that get added afterwards probably replace the ones that drop off for one reason or another.

        And considering ewaste, this is not a bad thing. Except for companies whose stock price depends on them always pushing out more product than they did the same quarter last year.

        • You're not going to get a decade out of a tablet battery. A replacement cycle of about 3 years seems to make the most sense for handheld devices without user-serviceable batteries. The improvements made over 3 years, and the price-drops will make getting a new one more reasonable than paying to service an older less-functional device. A PC can still be in use in 10 years because you can easily replace the motherboard battery.
      • by alen (225700)

        yep

        i can stream live TV and read books on my ipad 2 just fine even with the glass cracked

      • This is somewhat endemic of PCs at this point. We are not in the dark ages anymore... unless you're playing the latest and greatest FPS, even a 5 year old PC works just fine... At this point your OS is likely to wear out before your hardware!

        I think the same can be said with tablets. My iPad 2 works just great. I have NO incentive to buy an iPad X (where X > 2). Hardware has gotten so good at this point that every "old" (i.e. ipad2) is still great.
        • Even with the latest and greatest FPS, a 5-year-old PC works fine. I haven't had to upgrade a PC to play a game at max-settings since Crysis was released.
          We'll need to move to new video cards and maybe PCs for 4k gaming, but as long as we're at 1080p the current hardware is fine.
      • Perhaps sales are slowing down because of market saturation.

        While that may be true, I think it's also a case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

        The reason tablets must eventually replace laptops (not desktops), is because they can. They are very near to doing so now. Take a look at the recent Gizmag comparison of the new Macbook Air versus Microsoft's Surface Pro 2. They are both good-laptop-quality machines, even though the Surface Pro is more like a tablet. (In fact it basically is a tablet.)

        However, in order for a tablet to take the place of laptops, it

    • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:53PM (#46901029)

      The future of the iPad is not to be a better Mac. That may happen by accident, just as the Mac eventually superseded the Apple II, but to pursue that explicitly would be to sacrifice what the iPad might become, and, more importantly, what it already is.'"

      What the iPad "already is" is an inferior computer. It's great for niche applications. When I hired a plumber he pulled out his iPad, used it to process my credit card payment, tapped a couple of buttons and emailed me a copied of the bill.

      But it's not a general purpose computer. The small screen, no keyboard and no external ports make it useless for doing any real work. Except for niche applications, it's strictly a content consumption device.

      • by MBGMorden (803437)

        I think it really depends. A lot of people who always used a laptop seem to be better served by keeping the laptop. I personally have always hated a laptop for general usage though. Compared to a desktop they've always been limited in specs and had smaller screens and bad keyboards.

        HOWEVER, for those times when I'm out traveling I need something portable, and the tablets work great for that. I'm not out working, and any email I send is basically "Hey I'm out till Monday - I'll check with you when I'm bac

    • by immaterial (1520413) on Friday May 02, 2014 @02:10PM (#46901217)
      iPad sales aren't down at all - compare the combined q1 and q2 of last year and this year and they're basically even. The difference is for the 2013 fiscal year, Apple was unable to fulfill the holiday backlog in q1 so more sales fell in q2. This year that backlog didn't happen, so Apple had "record-breaking" sales in q1 and "omg-less-than-last-year!" sales in q2. This is a nonstory to anyone who puts the slightest thought into it.
    • by unixisc (2429386)
      I don't see PCs filling in their space. I can see phones filling in their space.
      • >I don't see PCs filling in their space. I can see phones filling in their space.

        Easily. I don't even know where my Nexus 7 is, because I stopped carrying it when I got a Galaxy Note 3 with a big 1080p screen.
        If someone creates a phone with a roll-out screen, it'll all over for tablets.

        There was once a terrible syndicated show called Earth Final Conflict. The writing was just bad, the acting was mediocre at best, but the technologies on the show were really nice. They had something called a "gl
  • Hearthstone (Score:5, Funny)

    by B33rNinj4 (666756) on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:42PM (#46900935) Homepage Journal
    I thought the iPad was Blizzard's new Hearthstone console.
  • by Kenja (541830) on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:43PM (#46900937)
    Sales are down because we already have one and don't need two. The things are not nearly as disposable as people seem to think.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Hadlock (143607)

      Seconding this. Apple's first attempt was so good that by the time they added a high resolution display, a faster processor and 3G for those who need it, it was a mature product with no more features to add within three generations. If you have a third gen iPad you don't need to upgrade for as long as you can get replacement screens and batteries for it.

      • by FlyHelicopters (1540845) on Friday May 02, 2014 @02:54PM (#46901691)

        The iPad 4 actually is a nice upgrade over the 3. If you haven't used them side by size, which I have since I own both, you wouldn't notice.

        The 4 is quite simply double the speed of the 3, it feels much snappier and loads programs much faster than the 3 does.

        The Air? It is 40% lighter, which is tempting, but not enough to spend another $500.

        The Air 2 or Air 3, probably will get me to upgrade, but I'm moving to a 3 year upgrade cycle now and I'm unlikely to go back to buying a new one every year.

        Everyone I know has more or less reached this point with tablets and phones.

  • "This sounds suspiciously like the recommendation that the only thing holding the Macintosh back was its inability to run Apple II programs"

    To me, the iPad situation seems more like Apple II being unable to run Macintosh programs.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:45PM (#46900965) Homepage Journal
    From the Time article:

    I [...] still believe what I wrote back in 2011 when I said that all the general-purpose devices we use for computing and communications–desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets and maybe even a do-everything console like the Xbox One–are PCs. They just happen to come in a variety of form factors, with different capabilities.

    To me, it's not a personal computer unless the person who owns it controls what computing is done on it. Nintendo has rejected games such as The Binding of Isaac, and Apple has rejected applications such as WiFi-Where. This makes these platforms not general-purpose. Thus there's no "do-everything console" unless you count set-top Android devices such as OUYA or set-top PCs such as the forthcoming Steam Machines.

    • by BasilBrush (643681) on Friday May 02, 2014 @02:18PM (#46901311)

      Thus there's no "do-everything console" unless you count set-top Android devices such as OUYA or set-top PCs such as the forthcoming Steam Machines.

      OUYA failed big time. In fact we've had consoles for nearly 40 years, and no open console has ever succeeded. So maybe, just maybe, that's not what people want. There's no big demand for an open console.

      And lest anyone says that open phones have been successful. (Leaving aside the dubious claim to Android openness.) Android phones have been successful by being the cheap option. Not by being the open option. The mass market isn't like the niche that populates Slashdot. They neither know nor care about this concept of "openness" in software.

    • To me, it's not a personal computer unless the person who owns it controls what computing is done on it. This makes these platforms not general-purpose.

      Fine, if you're going to be THAT literal, they are "special purpose personal computers. They don't HAVE to be general purpose.

      Nintendo has rejected games such as The Binding of Isaac,

      BoA's developers were stupid to even try to port to the 3DS. Nintendo, far more than Sony or Microsoft tries to portray itself as "the choice for families who want their games to be 'safe' ". Nintendo's portables skew a bit younger than average. BoA's religious content would be considered too risky to publish by Nintendo. BoA's developers would have been better off going for th

  • Multi user setup (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TeamSPAM (166583) <flynnmj@@@email...com> on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:46PM (#46900969) Homepage
    I would like it if different pass codes unlocked to different layouts. This way I can have a more restricted layout and app for my son.
    • by NotSanguine (1917456) on Friday May 02, 2014 @02:05PM (#46901159) Journal

      I would like it if different pass codes unlocked to different layouts. This way I can have a more restricted layout and app for my son.

      But then you wouldn't need to have one for you *and* one for him. Those Apple folks need to buy new yachts, my friend. What are you trying to do, kill the global economy? Geez Louise!

    • The problem is this sort of "improvement" will help you but few other people. Sure a few other power users might start using it, but it's not something for the general public in the sense it's not worth the resources to create.

    • Maybe you should consider an Android tablet...Android already does this.

  • Not surprising (Score:4, Informative)

    by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:51PM (#46901013)

    The tablet market gas gone through the early adopters and is maturing. It also appears to have a longer replacement cycle time than say cell phones, probably do to cost and newer models do not necessarily offer must have features, unlike phones which go from 2G-3G-4G LTE. Cost also figure into replacement time.

    Right know, iPads and other tablets are good enough, even several generations old ones, for the uses that do better on a tablet than a cell phone but don't need a PC to be acceptable. For example, reading eBooks, browsing the web, light office suite use, etc. Despite speed increases and better screens, a Gen 1 iPad is still pretty good at that so there in no compelling reason to shell out $500 or more for a new one.

    That said, tablets need to migrate beyond the "it's a mobile PC" mentality to becoming an information appliance that is used to get desired information in a variety of settings. In short, a mobile gateway to information that is now accessed in other ways and where a PC is to cumbersome and a phone too small.A good example is Synology's video viewer app. You can access videos from the NAS on an iPad (or phone) and use airplay to put it to a TV; bypassing a separate PC server for playback. If you leave the room you can continue to watch on the iPad or send it to another TV in the room you go to. In short, the iPad is the common connector for a better viewing experience; not a replacement viewer.

    • Re:Not surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016) on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:57PM (#46901067) Homepage

      Phones are slowing as well, Short of me breaking it or the battery dying, I can easily see my HTC ONE M8 lasting 4 years. It's probably why HTC made sure the battery was not replaceable in the phone... to ensure it will stop working.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        It's probably why HTC made sure the battery was not replaceable in the phone... to ensure it will stop working.

        Wow, and that's probably my favorite feature of my current HTC phone. I guess I won't be getting another HTC.

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          Their flagship they intentionally made it not repairable in every way. The battery is actually BEHIND the LCD screen, so when it swells at the end of it's life it will shatter the screen.

          They could have made the phone 1mm thicker and made the battery replaceable.

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            Thanks, I'll definitely avoid that. What a POS.

            Any recommendations for a new(er) phone? My current one is a HTC Sensation 4G. I'd like to have something I can put an alternative ROM (maybe CyanogenMod) on, and I'd prefer a removable SD card, and require a replaceable battery. I actually replace the battery in mine (and my wife's; she has the same model) quite frequently when away from home too long. I have a set of replacement batteries and a standalone charger, and this has been extremely useful.

      • My iPhone 4 has already last me 4 years. The main limiting factor, honestly, is whether or not the device is getting current OS updates. Because my phone will be dropped from support this year, I've finally decided it's time for a new one.

        If HTC can keep the M8 up-to-date for the next 4 years, I see no reason why it wouldn't be able to do the same.

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          HTC cant keep a 3 month old phone up to date. Luckily the community around android sprung up to support phones where these companies refuse to.

          HTC has the absolute worst record on updates, it's because they allow the carriers to whore out the phones hard. When I got my HTC ONE M8 the first thing I did was unlock it and jailbrake it (S-OFF) so I could install a clean Google Play Rom and get rid of all the garbage that HTC slapped on top of android, and then AT&T slapped on top of that.

          Apple wins in

    • The phones are going that direction as well.

      We had a pair of Galaxy S3 phones, and upgraded to S4 phones to get the better CPU, 1080p screen, and a few other features.

      The S5? Meh, nothing to see there, move along...

      The S6? Meh, what can they add, a 1440p screen? for the size, 1080p is just fine, media hasn't grown all that much, maybe when it has a 4k screen and the world moves to 4k content.

      It is fast, runs everything I throw at it, I have no reason to replace it.

      Will I? Yes, probably for the S6 or S7,

  • by X0563511 (793323) on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:53PM (#46901027) Homepage Journal

    Stupid-ass designers are forcing that shit down our throats without our willful participation.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:54PM (#46901033) Homepage Journal
    From the AppleInsider article:

    As for iPads, Cook still believes tablets will quickly replace PCs

    That's not what Tim Cook's predecessor thought. Steve Jobs always used to claim that iPhone and iPad are to the Mac as cars are to trucks [archive.org]. The iPad is not a truck [slashdot.org]. Case in point: I'd be surprised if tablets replaced Apple's own PCs for running Xcode.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Not quite.

      Jobs and the collective was clearly of the opinion that "most people don't need trucks". Thus the whole "truck" terminology. For a clueless urbanite, it's some kind of slur.

      Jobs tried to generalize his own narrow ideas about consumer choices in BOTH areas.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by CronoCloud (590650)

        Jobs and the collective was clearly of the opinion that "most people don't need trucks".

        They don't. Most of the guys, and it is mostly guys who own trucks, use them as penis compensators driving to their cubicle jobs.

        "Commercial" trucks owned by businesses are a different story.

        Same goes for PC's. Most people are content consumers. While they might have a PC for some purposes, it doesn't have to be a high end "Ferrari" PC, it can be a sub-compact "Hyundai" PC, and they can do a lot of their computing on a tablet or phone.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      The iPad sure couldn't replace a desktop, but the Surface Pro is getting pretty close. You can run 4 monitors [wpcentral.com] off the thing, and plug in a USB keyboard and mouse. You could also add a USB hard disk for extra storage. It could pretty much replace most people's desktop machines, an still act a very capable tablet when you want to bring it with you. It's a little on the pricey side right now, but if you don't need quite as much power, you can do similar stuff with Transformer T100, which has less power, an
      • by m.dillon (147925)

        Yes, but there's no point doing that. You might as well just get a normal desktop at that point. Or a laptop if you want the portability. Which is part of Microsoft's problem. The Surface Pro is competing against *everything* which means it can get beaten out by anything.

        Case in point. The thing weighs 2 lbs (the Surface Pro 2). The ipad air weighs 1 lb.

        -Matt

        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          Yeah the iPad is going to win in the weight category, but only because it's so incapable of actually doing anything. 2 lbs is still lighter than most laptops/ultrabooks on the market. For $1000 you can get a Surface Pro that can replace a $600 desktop, $600 laptop, and $200 tablet, which is a net savings, plus you don't have to worry about how to sync between devices because you have 1 device that covers it all.
  • >> by accident, just as the Mac eventually superseded the Apple II

    Um...do you realize that the Mac was the benefit of one of the largest and most expensive marketing efforts aimed at personal computer (lower case) consumers of all time (at the time)? And that the marketing hype culminated in a famous 1984 Superbowl commercial? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtvjbmoDx-I)

    That was no accident, my friend.

    • Apple wasn't going to turn off the money maker that was the Apple II line right away. After all, the Mac could have failed. The Apple IIe was sold until 1993, the IIgs lasted until 1991. They had new products for the machines in the pipeline as late as 1993 such as an Ethernet card.
  • I'm not surprised. Face it, Ipads are EXPENSIVE toys for most people buying them. Yea, it runs IOS like a lot of phones, but at what price?

    Amazon has been selling their Kindle devices for a LOT less, given what you get for for the money. I'm not a Kindle zealot (I hate that they are totally locked down) but Apple needs to face the fact that there are now other options out there that do just about everything that IPad can and they are cheaper. Add to that the large scale adoption of Android in both the h

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by m.dillon (147925)

      The real joke here is that the inventory issue was explained in the conference call and anyone who bothered to read the actual source knows that ipad sales were actually down only 3% or so, and roughly flat across two months. The whole tablet space is flattening out but all that means is that Apple will start pulling more market share from Android just as it has been doing with the iphone... in the markets that matter that is. This is more junk like the 'world wide market share' crap that's proven to be s

    • What can Apple do? Have a lot more good tablet apps - which they do.

    • I'm not a Kindle zealot (I hate that they are totally locked down)

      How exactly is a Kindle Fire tablet "totally locked down"? The one I tried had the same checkbox to allow sideloading of APKs from unknown sources that the vast majority of OHA Android devices have. Or did this change in the HD and HDX models?

  • "Figuring Out the iPad's Place" ?

    The bathroom. So you can browse while you download.

    For years we've had snobbish hipster tech journalists gleefully informing us that we are now in the "Post-PC era", that our watt-hungry desktop dinosaurs are on the way out, that they are being replaced by a constellation of sexy, small gadgets like smartphones and tablets.

    Except it isn't happening.

    Every one of those goddamned articles was written on a laptop or desktop computer. You, fair reader, do your job or schoolwork

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      But when you come at them from the perspective of a smartphone user, they have some pretty nice attributes: much bigger screen, same or lower cost, easier typing, similar or better performance for the price, better battery life, etc.

    • Except ipads are quite a bit smaller than laptops -- even the macbook air.

  • This sounds suspiciously like the recommendation that the only thing holding the Macintosh back was its inability to run Apple II programs.

    No, it's like the only thing holding back the Apple II is the inability to run Macintosh programs. The thing that does more still does more.

    Tablets are great for leisure, but horrible for work. Touch screens are better for some activities, but are ridiculous for typing, and don't give the fine control of a mouse.

    These moronic pundits need to stop pretending that every n

  • by Edgewize (262271) on Friday May 02, 2014 @02:27PM (#46901389)

    Apple specifically addressed this during their conference call. Sales are not down; if you look at two quarters combined, sales are flat or slightly up. Sales only appear to be down year-over-year because they had supply issues five quarters ago, which pushed sales from that quarter (which was low) into the start of the next quarter (which was high).

  • iPad sales are down because it's been quite a while since the last revision, and people tend to hold off their purchases if they think a new model's on the way.

    -jcr

  • Price Problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moof123 (1292134) on Friday May 02, 2014 @02:30PM (#46901433)

    We have a couple iPads in our house, and I find myself resentful of the price to upgrade, so we haven't. The competitors are nearly as good, and cost half as much. The price points for more memory in particular outrages me. Why is anyone shipping a premium tablet starting at 16 GB of non-upgradeable storage these days!? How can you justify another $100 just to get to 32 GB?! 64 GB should be the starting point for tablets in Apple's target premium price range.

    Earlier on I could understand the premium price, as the competition was simply nowhere near the polish and functionality. But the extra bells and whistles Apple has added just are not keeping pace compared to the premium they are still charging.

    I long ago realized I was not in their target demographic for phone and PC sales, and now I think my next tablet is not likely to be an Apple one. Somehow they feel they are exempt from following the steady march downwards of electronics prices.

    Heck I'd even be interested in shelling out extra for an iMac, but every time I check they are still not upgradeable, and come with rather underwhelming processors/memory/GPU considering the extreme markup.

    Oh well.

    • Re:Price Problem (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ilsaloving (1534307) on Friday May 02, 2014 @03:28PM (#46902037)

      The thing is, Apple doesn't sell 'product'. They sell 'experience'. How well does it work? How well does it *stay* working, over the long term?

      I used to have a iphone and I had the same complaints as you. Upgrading was too expensive. Not expandable. Not enough control over the device.

      So my next device was a Samsung Galaxy S3. This phone has to be the single biggest piece of shit I have ever purchased. Unstable. Burned through battery, to the point where after having owned it for only 3 months, I was getting less than half a day charge out of the thing. Sure, I got the control and upgradability I wanted, but I was forced to sacrifice stability and reliability and security.

      These devices are only cheaper when you don't feel that your personal time is worth any money.

      I bought a couple of landfill android tablets just so I could have something to read documentation with. Basically, my entire use case was to be an e-reader. The quality of the tablets was so bad that I couldn't even do that well. A battery life of a few hours at most. While in standby.

      So now I have an iPad. It's by far the best mobile device I've owned. No, I can't plug in SD cards and expand the storage. Yes, it was expensive. But let me ask you this... how much is it worth to you to know that you can pull out an iPad out of it's sleeve and be guaranteed that it's going to still have battery life. That the screen will turn out, without fail, when you hit the power button?

      Apple products are not flawless. They have problems too. There is not a single thing produced by man that doesn't have problems now and then. My iPad has crashed now and then under mysterious circumstances (rarely happens now, after the latest update...) but when you compare that to the experiences I've had with the alternatives, I'll take another Apple product hands down, because I have a life to lead and I have no interest spending my time trying to figure out why something I paid good money for doesn't want to work.

  • Claiming that something has sold a lot doesn't say anything about whether or not it's a fad. Sudden, extreme popularity is a hallmark of fads. That's not to make a claim either way, but it certainly seems that the 'Post-PC era' is not quite as Tim Cook claimed it would be.
  • ugh...TFA asks a potentially interesting question but they use all the wrong language and context to frame the question

    the "iPad" is a touch-screen computer...so is the iPhone...same with Android touch screen phones and tablets

    it's all small, thin computers of various dimensions with *touch screen interface* not a keyboard

    another difference is **connectivity**

    they can connect to WiFi, Bluetooth, "3g" cellular, "4g" cellular...some can do all...some a combination of

    Kindle is another type...it has different s

  • In its current form and functionality, there's not a heck of a lot more that can be done with it. Frankly, it's kind of a limited device. Tablet apps are nice, except that you need 40 of them to take the functional place of a web browser. Web browsing on a tablet is good, but the typing interface is so hokey and prone to mispellings that the best you can hope for is to use it for basic browsing. So, yeah, I think it has peaked and personally I don't think Apple is creative enough without Steve Jobs to t
  • by ilsaloving (1534307) on Friday May 02, 2014 @03:12PM (#46901835)

    I'll volunteer the term "Casual Computing".

    Tablets serve one particular market exceedingly well, better than any other device produced: Casual consumption.

    Flipping through email. Browsing boredpanda.com. Reading documentation. Any task where the primary interaction is absorbing content, is excellent for tablets. Especially when you are doing so in a place other than your desk. I don't need a tablet when I'm at my desk. My tablet is utterly fantastic when I'm on the bus, the train, or when I'm in bed and I really really wanna show my spouse that new Hamsters Eating Burritos video.

    Trying to shoehorn tablets into being a desktop replacement is just stupid. Sure, you can approach that level by buying a bluetooth keyboard and maybe a mouse if your tablet supports such things, but why would you do such a thing when using an honest to god computer is so much better for the task?

    Turning them into a phone-replacement is a possibility, but only within a very limited range of use-cases.

    Having a drop in sales was inevitable. Most people who really wanted one have now got one.

    • Trying to shoehorn tablets into being a desktop replacement is just stupid. Sure, you can approach that level by buying a bluetooth keyboard and maybe a mouse if your tablet supports such things, but why would you do such a thing when using an honest to god computer is so much better for the task?

      I can think of three reasons, from most technical to most ideological:

      • At the end of 2012, manufacturers stopped making 10" laptops. Only in 2014 did an affordable 10" laptop return to the market in the form of the Transformer Book by ASUS.
      • Tim Cook is trying to delude the public into thinking that "tablets will quickly replace PCs", according to the AppleInsider article.
      • There's a general tendency to encourage the general public to consume and be a consumer that is happy with only consuming [gnu.org]. Someone who own
  • by WaffleMonster (969671) on Friday May 02, 2014 @03:53PM (#46902317)

    Hopefully in the future the world has increasingly little tolerance for closed platforms where a single vendor reigns over all execution.

[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month. -- Wernher von Braun

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