If iPads are the new PCs, why make Macs?

Alex4D: Editing organazized

In a recent market survey, Canalys claimed that Apple was number 1 when it comes to worldwide shipments of personal computers in the fourth quarter of 2012 with a share of of 20%. This figure includes shipments of iPads – a device many people don’t count as a personal computer.

Let’s turn the ‘is the iPad a personal computer’ question around and ask ‘If tablets are our personal computers, what are Macs for?’ If there’s a useful new definition of Macs and OS X, Apple will continue to improve both in the coming years.

At the moment people use Macs to organise and to create. Organisation in this case covers the personal, family and work aspects of our lives. iPads, iOS and iCloud are designed to support these sort of tasks.

It seems that the organisational aspects of our lives will soon be better supported using iOS and Android devices (and perhaps the mobile aspects of Windows 8). This leaves Macs and OS X as tools to support creative endeavours only: music composition, graphic design, illustration, photo manipulation, software development and media production and post production. A definition similar to the markets that supported Apple in the 90s.

As I mentioned in my post on how has Apple defined itself over the last 18 years, they might very well change the part of their definition that describes the Mac. Currently they say:

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software.

Perhaps they’ll break up that sentence by function:

Apple helps people organise using iLife, iWork and iCloud. Apple makes Macs, OS X and professional software: the best content creation tools in the world.

This would be a logical consequence of Steve Jobs’ ‘car vs. truck’ distinction. When interviewed on stage in 2010 as part of the D8: All Things Digital conference he likened Macs and PCs to trucks and tablets such the iPad to cars: read more...

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