Tablets Computers: The New Mainstream Personal Computer

Q1 2012 PC Vendor Market Share

Q1 2012 PC Vendor Market Share (credit: Apple Outsider)

Since the introduction of the Apple iPad in April 2010, then the entry of the extremely affordable Kindle Firein November 2011, the sales of traditional computers like laptops and desktops have slowly dwindled.

Check out the graph which clearly shows the trend in sales for the Apple iPad.  Notice Q1/2010.  This is when the iPad was released.  With the exception of Lenovo, all PC vendor market shares were trending down.

Look at Q4/2011. Notice that the Lenovo market share begins to show a hint of a downward trend.  Q4/2011 was when the Kindle Fire was introduced by Amazon.com.  For $199 a pop, the Kindle Fire quickly moved up second to the iPad in the tablet computer market.

I work in the IT (Information Technology) field.  My general bias is to people who happen to have the traditional personal computer.  But, based on recent conversations with people considering a new purchase of a computing platform, most see themselves as buying a tablet computer.  The reason being is that most users have really been using computers to do one or more of the following activities:

  1. Check e-mail
  2. Stay connected via social networking
  3. Shop online
  4. Read the latest news and gossip
  5. Watch movies
  6. Listen to music

If I missed one, let me know, but based on what I’ve heard directly from people who aren’t that computer savvy, these are pretty much all they do!  If that is so, then the tablet computer is the new paradigm of personal computing.

With Microsoft joining the bandwagon of tablet computing, there is no going back.  I bet you, when the next holiday season comes a long, the tablet computer will be the number one purchase.  There will be so many tablet vendors clamoring for consumer attention that tablet features will be full while at the same time prices will be amazingly low!

This is just on the consumer side of the fence.  I’ve noticed a strong trend on the business side as well.  Where I work, the standard computing device is a Windows-based computer.  However, within the last 3 or 4 months, the strong demand for tablet computers has forced iPads into our business environment.  Note that this is an IT department who is a strong Windows proponent.  This is simply amazing.

This technological revolution can certainly be attributed to the following things:

  • The tablet operating system is extremely easy to use that even a two or three-year old could operate it.
  • The battery life of these devices blow away those of laptops.  Tablet battery lasts anywhere from 8 to 10 hours.
  • Tablet prices have been going down; for $199, anyone can have one.
  • Tablet applications are plenty and extremely cheap.  In the good old days of PC software, $20 or higher software prices were typical.  Today there are many free apps; and for those you buy, the price ranges from $0.99 to $9.99.  Most are only $0.99!

Enough of my ramblings.  The tablet trend is definitely here, and there is now getting around that.

What do you think?  Is the tablet the new personal computer?


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