Archive for the ‘Post PC’ Category

Post PC

The term ‘Post PC’ has been used a lot recently, particularly since Steve Job’s frequent references at the iPad 2 launch. However, as Lewis Carroll had it, a word can mean just what you want it to mean.

Many commentators are seeing ‘Post PC’ as ‘PC replacement’, and therefore tablets, like the iPad 2 will not succeed in replacing the desktop. One example is Ovum analyst Tony Cripps, who is  justified by his definition of ‘Post PC’ in giving tablets a FAIL. “I can’t imagine the day is going to arrive anytime soon when I’m using a tablet rather than a PC.”

A definition that is more pertinent, and in my view more accurate,  from a popular blog, is as follows;

(a) small, pocketable gadgets that (b) run compact operating systems designed for mobility. Applications that run on these devices are (c) easily installed by customers and (d) execute under a trusted applications runtime. Unlike traditional PCs, post-PC devices are (e) not general-purpose computers that run general-purpose operating systems.

My definition of Post PC device is;

  • a personal information/entertainment device
  • running an OS suited to the form factor
  • easy to use ( which I know, is easy to say)
  • not a PC/laptop/netbook

So why are these points important?

  • it will be with you when your PC/laptop/netbook isn’t
    • e.g. when you’re having fun
  • scaled -down Operating Systems give a better user experience
    • touch is hard, Apple are doing it well, as are others
  • because it’s easy, it’s smart, it’s fun – there are many more people who will get involved
  • this is the point – who wants a PC in their pocket?

A simple example is that it’s more fun to answer a work email in a coffee shop than when you are at your desk. Why? You get a virtuous glow that a slice of your coffee shop time is devoted to work, you give a prompt response and it’s one less thing to do back at the office. It could also be that you’re out and the email is from someone stuck in the office.

As I see it, Post PC devices have their place, and there’s no doubt that light-duty work is achievable, but they won’t (and aren’t intended to be) replacing desktops any time soon.

So, are Post PC naysayers on shaky ground?  Who said Post PC devices would replace PCs anyway?

Certainly not Steve Jobs, CEO of a company that make about 10% of the world’s PC and laptops, or Macintoshes and MacBooks, in Apple’s case.

I certainly will be using my iPad 2 when it arrive for light-duty work, but mainly for fun!

Magical ?

The picture shows Steve saying , as he has before, standing at the intersection of Art and Technology, that “it’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough.” It takes, he says, the marriage of humanity, of liberal arts and technology to “make our hearts sing”. As other manufacturers approach the “post PC” market, their “speeds and feeds” sales pitch compares highly unfavourably  to Apple’s ecosystems of technology, software and the App store.

Steve again emphasized the magical nature of iPad 2, noting that “people laughed” at the original iPad launch at the use of the word “magical”- and I note that today PC Tech & Authority snidely and parenthetically say  “Yes, the word “magical” was used.”

I see the proof of the pudding Apple pie is that Apple have now paid over $2 billion to developers through the App store, and that in 9 months have sold 15 million iPads. This compares to eroding margins and market shares for the bulk of Apple’s competitors. Why is Apple’s “post PC” business bigger than their PC Mac business? And bear in mind that the Mac business continues to exhibit double digit growth.

It’s simple, they are making products that people want, that inspire, that are fun, “insanely great”, and perhaps even “magical”. As Arthur C Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

New iPad 2

Well, it’s here (announced, at any rate) and most of the pundits prognostications were pretty accurate.

In white!

iPad 2

In brief, it’s thinner, lighter, faster and has two cameras.

There’s no change in screen resolution, SD card slot or USB but they were always going to be unlikely. No-one foresaw the digital connector -HDMI out and recharge, or the Smart Covers…

How smart?

Gotta say, they do look pretty smart on the video, but I’ll let you know more whenI get mine.

Software includes a new IOS (4.3) and iMovie and Garageband for the iPad. There’s a real wow factor in both of these Apps, and priced at US$4.99- wow again.

As I said above, I’ll have more to say when I get mine.

And, one more thing, it was great to see Steve Jobs back at an Apple event. He’s not looking 100%, but certainly not at death’s door. Best of luck, Steve.