Apple Dominating the Post-PC World
Two years ago, as the world eagerly anticipated the release of the Apple iPad, I wrote a short post with my thoughts on the impact the iPad would make. I thought I was rather optimistic and idealistic then when I thought that the iPad would make an immense impact on the way we interact with computers, and in 5 or 10 years, we will see how the iPad has shaped the way we think about computing.
I was wrong! My prediction of the sea change was too modest. The iPad has accomplished two things: it fully cemented Apple dominance in the world, and reshaped how people use devices in the new era that we can call the Post-PC world. All of this within the last 2 years!
The statistics are indisputable: Apple devices, once only popular in the niche circles of the hip, the artistic and the loyal Mac fans, are now found in 50% of US households. Like the TV or the radio before, the Apple interface, the Apple experience is now the mainstream.One can say that it is an Apple world rather than a Post-PC world, but I would want to emphasize that Apple is defining the what it is to be post-PC.
The competition has been unsuccessful in launching any iKiller – as far as we can see, in the last 5 years, Apple defines what it is to have smart phone, what it is to have a tablet, what is it to have an ultralight laptop, and all of these are jealously guarded under the Apple brand, so competition can’t even compete or copy in anyway. Apple sells so much of those devices that they totally dominate the supply chains, they dictate the ebb and flow of global supplies for mobile device chips, for LCDs, for micro lasers, and a host of other things. This might sound like a pean to Apple’s greatness, but it is simple just a compendium of facts about the brand’s total domination.
To further evidence the coming of the Post-PC era, we also know that Apple is rapidly encroaching into the domains of business IT, primarily with the iPhones and the iPads, but I will not be surprised that the “I”nvasion of corporate offices will continue and widen with the Mac Book Air, Mac Book Pro and iMac.
Apple can do this because they have the guts to aim for the most ambitious prize – changing the rules of the games, predict what the consumers want out of mobile devices rather than following well worn path, even if they were late comers to the market (as it happened with iPods, or the iPhone).
Apple wrote its own rules when it comes to product design and product features, sometimes sacrificing product specs or functionalities for overall experience (remember how the first iPhone had bad email – but it did not matter, because people used the iPhone to surf the web and play), and won the game for the minds of the consumers.
Apple had gutsy, all encompassing marketing strategies that towers over competitors in style and taste.
The incredible thing is that in their re-invention of the what a mobile interactive entertainment device can be, Apple is going to compete heads on with more than just PC or table makers. For example, within 3 years, iPads sales will soon catch up with that of the latest gaming consoles such as Xbox 360 or PlayStation3, and the iPad is already better than these consoles in many ways and can replace them for many entertainment and gaming uses.
The reason for this is that unlike the consoles, that are built in long cycles, Apple has gone through 3 iPads in 3 years, constantly improving the specs and lead the product down a totally revolutionary path.
Unlike the home gaming consoles, Apple iPads are meant to be self-contained, self-sufficient unit that can be both a home gaming console (when paired with Apple TV or Airplay), or a powerful mobile gaming console. Its touch screen makes it user friendly to all types of consumers, and thus immensely widen its reach and appeal. Both PC makers, home entertainment centers and game console makers miss this point, and thus their products look woefully archaic compared to the sleek, fast and incredibly versatile iPad.
While I celebrate diversity and competition in the market, I can’t help but be deeply impressed by how the world of consumer technology is being shaped and changed drastically by the impetus of innovation led by Apple. I thank Steve Jobs and his successors for re-imagining how we can use computers and giving us the wonderful devices that we use today.