Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Handhelds Portables Apple

Figuring Out the iPad's Place 333

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 That may happen by accident, just as the Mac eventually superseded the Apple II, but to pursue that explicitly would be to sacrifice what the iPad might become, and, more importantly, what it already is.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Figuring Out the iPad's Place

Comments Filter:
  • Multi user setup (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TeamSPAM ( 166583 ) <.flynnmj. .at.> 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.
  • 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 []. The iPad is not a truck []. Case in point: I'd be surprised if tablets replaced Apple's own PCs for running Xcode.

  • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @02:13PM (#46901259)

    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 handset and tablet market (including the Kindle, under the covers) and it is clear that Apple's dominance of this market is over. What can apple do? Add memory, processor speed, flash and battery life? Maybe higher resolution display hardware but what's that worth if you cannot really see a difference? Apple is about done with the tablet, unless they can innovate into something else, but what? Their run is over.

    Who is surprised by this? Apple is getting its clock cleaned by Android, which is a trend I don't see changing. Not to mention that Microsoft is pushing pretty hard to stay relevant in the market. This is the problem with being in first place, everybody is gunning for you and it takes serious innovation to keep ahead of the pack. It may not be time to be short selling apple, but if I owned this stock, I would certainly have standing stop orders in place around any major scheduled press conferences.

  • Re:Market saturation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @02:17PM (#46901297)
    I've found that one to two year old tablet models are the best value when purchasing. No need to spend double for a small step change.
  • by Scot Seese ( 137975 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @02:25PM (#46901363)

    "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 on a laptop or desktop PC. The many limitations of tablets makes the idea of performing any meaningful work on them downright laughable.

    I have an iPad Air and Zagg keyboard case for it. Toys. Both of them, toys. Poor keyboard experience meets poor word processing experience (unless having Lou Ferrigno sized deltoids from constant arm extension is your thing) meets horrendously poor multitasking meets a giant bucket of buyers remorse.

    If I didn't really enjoy playing Hearthstone on my iPad Air, I would have eBayed it weeks ago. I rarely use it for anything else.

    With factory refurb'd Macbook Airs popping up on Apple's "Special Deals" page now at $599 (when in stock), the argument for buying a $500 iPad Toy to play Angry Birds on the toilet and watch "Sherlock" on that flight to Denver to visit your in-laws just.. doesn't make good sense anymore, when for $100 more you can get a real computer.

    So my operating theory is - Not only are people holding on to the tablets they already own, softening sales of new models, but they have also already discovered they're horrible to type on, make overweight poor quality e-readers, have games that you tire of after 1 hour and you feel no urgent need to run out and drop $500 on a new one that will only continue to do all those things poorly, but is a tiny bit thinner.

  • 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).

  • by m.dillon ( 147925 ) on Friday May 02, 2014 @03:53PM (#46902321) Homepage

    Your reasoning is just plain incorrect. Obsolescence on Android is far worse than it is on iOS. With Android you might see one, maybe two OS upgrades before the vendor stops supporting the device. App support is even worse... every device has device-specific quirks which many app vendors on Android have NEVER bothered fix.

    Developer support on iOS is far better, for far longer. Apple supports their devices far better, and for far longer.

    I have an ipad 1, and an ipad 2 (and many other devices). The ipad 1 is too old, period. The cpu is too slow and it only has 256MB of ram. I still see regular developer app updates for my ipad 1 but it just can't run all the apps out there due to the tiny amount of ram it has. It can barely load some web pages. It isn't the OS's fault. The OS version has nothing whatsoever to do with it (other than developers keying off the OS version when making assumptions about RAM use). Even my second-generation ipod touch still runs Pandora, which is all it is really good for with its tiny amount of ram and slow cpu.

    And frankly, Apple supported my ipad 1 for far longer than any Android vendor supported my Android devices from that era. My ipad 1 is still usable. My Android devices from that era are not. They are all dead or worthless.

    My ipad 2 with 512MB of ram only has trouble with the more bloated games, and its plenty fast enough for me. It is still my go-to device when I travel. If I can only bring one thing (other than my phone), it's the ipad-2 and not the chromebook and not the nexus-7.

    More importantly, Apple devices are under Apple's control, not other vendors. In particular not the phone vendors. I've had to remove most of the apps from both my android phone and my nexus 7 because so many of them access *all* my personal data and accounts these days. The telcos install all sorts of crap onto Android phones that I don't want and can't remove.

    On Apple you don't have to worry about that. The App has no control over what resources it's allowed to access, the user does. My next phone is going to be an iphone-6 (my current phone is a Motorola Razr M which is great except I can't run any major apps on it any more due to security issues). And, no, running an android app that forces permissions off doesn't work either... that crashes the target app more often than not (when it works at all).

    So if your complaint is that Apple is not supporting their customers, it falls flat on its face. Apple is doing a far better job than anyone else.


If you suspect a man, don't employ him.