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« And slowly the penny starts to drop | Main | iPad Case Roundup - The other ones »

The iPad, Mac killer

The Mac platform isn't going to be around forever, in fact, it may not even by around 5 years from now. No, the Mac will not be marginalised by Microsoft and its Windows homogeny, nor will it be thrown against the rocks by Google as it pushes Chrome and/or Android into every digital nook and cranny. The fate of the Mac rests in the hands of iPhone OS, more specifically the iPad.

There was a time when people assumed that the Apple II would always be around, many assumed that the Mac was a toy not a proper computer, an expensive gadget for Apple nuts and early adopters. It wasn't long however until it become clear that the Macintosh (as it was then called) was to become the very core of Apple.

The unveiling of the iPhone in January 2007 made the 23 year old Mac look old, in 2010 the iPad makes it look positively last century.

Going back to the Mac after prolonged time with the iPad is comforting, but it does leave you asking questions such as, "Why doesn't my £1000 Mac play back HD video as efficiently as my £429 iPad?", "Why don't Mac applications restart in exactly the same state like most iPad apps do?", "Where are push notifications?", the questions keep on coming...

If you doubt that Apple believe that the Mac has had its day, then I suggest you download a few Mac apps from the App Store... Of course, there are no Mac applications in the App Store. I would also refer you to the sneak peak headline on the Apple website shortly before the launch of the iPhone in 2007 which read, "The first 30 years were just the beginning". The transition will take a while — perhaps 5 years is a little too optimistic — but it will happen eventually and it will become quite clear to everyone that the transition is taking place once Mac sales start to drop off at the end of 2011.

It seems almost certain that monthly iPad sales will surpass monthly Mac sales from this point on. It will be interesting to see how Apple handles this. It is in Apple's best interests to make the transition as smooth and as profitable as possible, if buyers get even the slightest whiff of the notion that Apple is actively planning to put the Mac out to pasture then sales will dry up too quickly. There is another path that Apple could take...

Welcome to the iPad Pro

An iPad with a much larger screen and a significantly increased resolution — let's guess at 2048 x 1536 for the sake of existing iPad app doubling — with a industrial design that is specifically designed to reside on a desk, could command a higher price tag, enabling Apple to benefit from Mac sized profits. Battery life wouldn't be so much of an issue, so the iPad Pro could be packed with much more horsepower than the standard iPad. The App Store could include a section specifically for iPad Pro apps which would combine the ease of iPhone OS apps with the power and depth of today's Mac applications.

We appreciate that what we have outlined above is not the commonly held view, we would be interested in reading your thoughts on the future of the Mac and iPad, please be sure to leave a comment below.

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Reader Comments (4)

In 2007, the Mac was 23 years old, not 33. This isn't a minor detail, because I'm just old enough to remember when the Mac first came out and adding an extra decade to it's age freaks me out and makes me feel really old. What happened to my youth? Why didn't I embrace life when I had the chance?

And then even when I realize the error, and have that decade of my life back, I begin to wonder how come I couldn't do the math in my head faster. Is it because my brain is already slipping away from me? Oh, God, I've wasted my life! I never got to see Egypt!!

In short, this minor typo is dangerous: it causes unexpected existential angst and premature neurotic midlife crises.

As for the article itself: the Mac has a lot of life left in it (being only in its mid twenties now), but I bought my iPad to get real work done, and it's already supplanted my hone Mac for many things. Will it replace the Mac? Time will tell.

I just hope I'm still around to see it.

June 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark Kawakami

Oops! Well spotted. All corrected now, thank you.

The penny should have dropped with me too. I was a teenager when I saw my first Macintosh at a book fair in my hometown. I was awestruck and found myself ignoring all the books just to spend every last second of my visit with this amazing machine.

I think it will be quite a while before the last Mac is produced, but probably not as long as we might imagine.

James

June 1, 2010 | Registered CommenteriPad Creative

Wait a minute, this is naive!

Of course cell phones and gadgets always sells more than computers!

I can't edit a 21 megapixel image with an iPad, it is a gadget for common an simple tasks, not for media creators, photographers, developers, etc.

You absolutely can't use final cut with a 120gb footage or more and at least 50gb libraries.

It's just an iPad, it can't kill a much more powerful machine.

You are saying something like, cell phones will kill dsrl cameras.

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCyberGus

CyberGus,

"I can't edit a 21 megapixel image with an iPad"

Not yet you can't, but the only barrier is hardware and hardware specifications double every 18 months or so. The iPad, or iPad Pro as I hypothesised, of 2014 will most likely be running on a dual or even quad core processor and have 250GB of storage.

It's only my personal opinion, but I absolutely see no reason why the iPad platform should not be much more capable than the Mac platform.

Regarding cell phones. I think the DSLR will be around for quite some time yet, but I don't hold out much hope for anything lower down the chain. Just yesterday I saw some test samples of HD video capture from a phone due out this summer, it was stunning and more than 'good enough' for most people.

June 2, 2010 | Registered CommenteriPad Creative

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