Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)
- Evernote backup to Dropbox - Tue, Jan 9 2018
- Install PowerShell Core and the Azure module (AzureRM) on a Mac - Tue, Dec 26 2017
- New wiki doc about changing the PowerShell console colors - Thu, Dec 21 2017
Historians will probably also struggle to determine when the Post PC age actually started. I think the release of the first iPad in April 2010 would be a good date, although Steve Jobs had already started using the term in 2007, and on every possible subsequent occasion. The term “Post PC era” was first coined in 1999 by futurist David D. Clark.
IDC had to correct their predictions about tablet sales in 2014, once more downward. For the first time, tablet sales have had only single-digit growth (7.2 percent). Originally, IDC predicted this for 2017. So much for the long term predictions of market research institutes. If we put this into perspective, in relation to a growth rate of 53 percent in 2013, it becomes clear that some fundamental changes are under way. The red line in the graph below demonstrates this impressively.
Even more interesting is how market shares in the tablet market are changing: In 2014 the iOS will lose 12.7 percent, whereas Windows will gain a whopping 67.7 percent (of course from a lower reference point). Android is still doing well with a 16 percent growth. If we consider that the iPad was once celebrated as THE post PC device, I think it is fair to say that an era has indeed ended.
What would Steve Jobs say? He loved the term “Post PC” so much, probably because he never got over the fact that Apple lost its battle for the personal computer to Microsoft and IBM. On the other hand, if he were still around, would Apple be losing its market share so rapidly? I doubt it. It appears that history repeats itself.
Apple crashed soon after Jobs was pushed out by John Sculley. And right after Jobs returned, Apple was back in business (with the help of Microsoft’s investment). Sometimes I wonder if he intentionally selected Tim Cook as his successor to the Apple throne. That way, the dent that Apple left in the universe will always be attributed to him.
The 67.7 percent growth of Windows in the tablet market surprised even me (the fan boy). Let’s face it, the Windows tablet market share more or less means a Surface market share. I have always harbored doubts about Microsoft’s ability to build hardware, but it seems I was wrong.
One thing is sure, hardware manufacturers will be heavily influenced by these numbers. If we take the success of Windows 8.1 into account, we can assume that we will see a lot more of the Windows tablet soon. The reception of Windows 10 has been quite positive so far (although I still don’t like the UI changes), so it is not difficult to predict that the market share growth of Windows tablets will accelerate once the Windows 8 successor becomes publically available.
IDC sees the main reason for the slump in tablet sales as due to the fact that most people are using their tablets for 3-4 years, instead of 2-3 years as previously predicted. This could be related to the fact that there is little real innovation happening in the market, which explains precisely why fewer and fewer are people are willing to buy the overpriced "iPaids."
The still respectable growth rate of Android tables can be explained by their falling prices. However, the growth rate of 67.7 percent in Windows tablets clearly shows that people are now realizing that for many computing tasks the PC is the most suitable device. Thus, it is very likely that Windows will be gaining still more ground in 2015.
One thing is for sure. IDC’s predictions for 2018 are highly dubious. Nobody, not even the late Jobs, can make predictions about market shares four years from now. Market researchers are very aware of this because they are probably the only ones who notice that their previous long-range predictions were completely wrong.
In my view, it is very likely that something new, something that nobody (except the engineers who are already working on it) can foresee, will burst onto the market. Perhaps there will be foldable displays, a new kind of brain-computer interface, or an AI-interface that enables you to interact with computers in natural language? Nobody will need a tablet then. No market researcher saw the iPhone or the iPad coming. The only thing that is relatively easy to predict is that eras will come and go, but at an ever increasing pace.