The iPhone is bigger than McDonald’s. That seems a useful demarcation for how we should view the iPhone in particular and Apple in general.
The iPhone is that once-in-a-generation product that alters daily reality for at least a century. The Model T production line, overnight shipping, indoor plumbing and the credit card are other such examples. I fully expect the iPhone will enable Apple to become the world’s first trillion dollar company.
There is a cost however, at least for we users. Almost certainly, iPhone will diminish Apple’s ability to create new game changing products.
Why? Because being irrational is hard, really hard. It’s rational to do everything in your power to maximize a product that has the legitimate potential to help you become a trillion dollar company. To do anything — anything at all — that might alter that path is irrational. Steve Jobs could be irrational at times. Tim Cook cannot. At least, I have witnessed no evidence of this. Apple is now iPhone. iPhone is now Apple. Just like Windows is Microsoft.
The Long March
No one ever got fired for buying Apple computers from IBM.
An iOS-based, touchscreen-enabled laptop, priced around $799, and sold by IBM to the enterprise seems an obvious product Apple should offer. It also seems like the kind of product that could destroy numerous existing giants.
For too long, iPhone users have not had their much desired iPhone “phablet.” A reason for this is because an iPhone phablet would gut iPad sales. Considering the iPad sales numbers for the past year, this is a fear Apple no longer possesses.
You will not give up your iPhone. You will not give up your Mac. You may give up your iPad. At this juncture, iPads are simply not must-have devices for nearly anyone. That’s the primary reason for the diminishing sales gains.
Easy prediction: We will almost certainly get an iPhone phablet this year and, likely by next year, a larger iPad.
I am regularly surprised at how bad Apple is at app discovery. That Facebook app ads are my current best source for app recommendations is a clear market failure. I hope the purchase of Beats, Swell and BookLamp signal that Apple is finally willing to get serious about content curation and recommendation.
I have no idea if Swift is a superior language. I am not a developer. I do know however, Apple is big enough to demand its use.
Despite the iPhone’s incredible array of features and functions, we mere mortals no doubt spend far too much time obsessing over which apps belong on the home screen.
Bugs And Features
The smartphone is the computer. Your app is your business model. Every business is impacted by iPhone. Know this or perish.
That Touch ID can’t read my thumbprint if there’s just a tiny bit of water on it seems more bug than feature.
It’s 2014, fourteen years since Y2K. Still, iPhone users can’t have their preferred calendar app list the date on the app icon. This is the equivalent of how the DOOR CLOSE button on any elevator never seems to work.
Samsung ads mocking iPhone users have been brutal and highly effective. Yes, I have had Android users (justly) mock me for having to scour an airport in search of an available outlet. The iPhone battery deserves its poor reputation. However, Samsung’s latest ad where they mock Apple users for not yet having a large display iPhone strikes me as desperation. Almost certainly, there will be a large display iPhone. What then, Samsung?
Amazing iPhone games are available for $5.99 yet millions refuse to pay such ‘outrageously high’ prices. There is much to celebrate and decry with this.
Using the same OS for the iPhone as for the iPad has some obvious limitations. On the small smartphone screen, getting into an app, grabbing the data, then exiting, a singular app occupying the entire screen makes obvious sense. Not so with the iPad. I want at least two windows open on my iPad almost always. Kindle and Twitter are the most common examples. Email and web browser are another. Even while gaming, I prefer two windows open. I can’t imagine buying an iPad until Apple offers this feature.
The Sincerest Forms Of Flattery
The almost laughable copying by Xiaomi of the iPhone and iOS 7 is all the evidence you need as to why Tim Cook must expend significant resources on building the luxury appeal and premium status of the iPhone; all those hard-to-define elements beyond actual quality, reliability and usability.
There are few people better at this, if any, than Angela Ahrendts.
Confession: it’s hard for me to watch the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie and not think of Steve Jobs and Apple.
Rumors Jony Ive was in a Flock of Seagulls cover band are completely unfounded.
Input method is now a more important consideration than processor, OS and software. No one seems to understand this more than Apple.
More Is Less
Lost in the bubbly talk of an Apple iWatch is the fact everything about it seems wrong. We do not need yet another thing. I want my iPhone — or any smartphone — to serve as my ID, car keys, credit cards, TV remote, glucose reader, everything. Apple should focus its genius on making the iPhone devour more of those things, not create new ones.
The newest version of PayPal appears to equal, possibly usurp, Apple’s Passbook vision: Payments, money transfers, loyalty cards, information on nearby shops, it’s all there. Apple certainly wants the iPhone to be used for payments, though maybe they have finally decided enabling payments and not powering them is the way forward. This may also explain the company’s recent decision to once again allow Bitcoin apps in the App Store.
I actually read app update notes. This recent update from Yelp made me laugh.
Jan Dawson made a strong case for why Apple should stagger launches of its major products. Commenters offered additional insights as to why Apple does not (or should not) heed his advice. Not stated, however, but which I think is at least worth considering, are the possible impacts of corruption. Nearly all assembly of nearly all Apple products takes place in China, where there is a less-than-transparent relationship between the government and business. It seems the implications of this should at least be examined.
I am surprised by how few iPhone users seem to ever use AirDrop to transfer files or data to one another. Perhaps personal iPhone-to-Mac AirDrop sharing is the superior use case.
I am unaware of the age, gender, race or LGBQT numbers at Apple Inc., Apple in Cupertino, or of those who work solely on the iPhone. But together, these people have created something positively impacting lives. And they keep making it better. I tip my hat to them all and hope in some way, my words can ever do the same.
71 thoughts on “Thoughts On iPhone Inc”
“iPhone users can’t have a calendar app that shows the date on the app icon”
What are you talking about? Have you looked at the Calendar icon at all?
“(iWatch and phablet comments)”
What strikes me as curious with at least Samsung’s attempts of smartwatches is how it really is just an extension of their smartphones. And with their smartphones getting laughingly large at the extreme end, this makes sense since such phones are cumbersome at best to use for pretty much anything other than as small tablets. The smartwatch is the only way to mitigate the phablet.
I think what you ask of Apple for an iWatch is spot on and why I think Apple’s larger iPhone (if released) won’t actually enter “phablet” territory. It will stay as comfortable in size as one handed use will allow. I say this even as _I_ wish they would release a 4/4s size new iPhone. I would be all over that, even if I was the only one.
“I am surprised by how few iPhone users seem to ever use AirDrop to transfer files or data to one another. Perhaps personal iPhone-to-Mac AirDrop sharing is the superior use case.”
When iPhones have cellular coverage (which is most of the time), it’s far easier to just share that way via the many methods available. No time lost checking or waiting for the iPhones to appear in AirDrop. If data caps get more limited, or or more expensive, that might change behavior.
Very few Macs have cellular access, so AirDrop would be very useful. When wifi is available for both iPhone and Mac, it seems easier to use wifi-based methods even if AirDrop was available if we are forced to use the steps needed in iOS 7.
that’s a good point re AirDrop and cellular coverage. thanks.
Wanted to add that Apple, to date, hasn’t made a big deal of AirDrop to the mainstream consumer. So that could be it too.
Regardless, even for those who know about AirDrop, that little bit of friction – do you have AirDrop set up for me to use? – requiring that little bit of synchronization between two people, is enough to discourage its use.
Looking at Amazon’s revenue of $19.74 billion, it’s even more amazing that they some how managed to lose money in a quarter.
About this article, Brain this was a good read, I only have a few quibbles. The iPhone battery, when my phone was new, would get a whole work day of medium use, about 8 hours, and I would still be at 70%. Some people have terrible battery usage and some have stellar battery usage.
I’m still under the impression that one has to calibrate your battery, that is let it drain from 100% – 0% every so often like once in 2-3 months to have a proper battery read out. I doubt many people actually do this, which causes for wildly inaccurate battery read outs. You can tell that your battery needs calibrating if after you finishing charging your phone, it depletes quickly or if your phone dies suddenly when you thought you had enough juice to last.
Secondly the two screens on the iPad thing is not as popular as most people think. A lot of iPad users prefer the one app at a time nature of the iPad because it allows them to focus on what they are doing without distractions. I see where they are coming from because today we are so bombarded with info via notifications such as twitter, texts, facebook etc. However on the other hand I won’t buy an iPad until it has the ability to multi-task with multiple windows.
Lastly the so called “iwatch” with the right form factor and killer apps can be something, I believe as you put it a “once-in-a-generation product”
“Some people have terrible battery usage and some have stellar battery usage.”
It’s not battery conditioning. Most of the time, It’s the apps, and the quality of coverage. Cf http://www.overthought.org/blog/2014/the-ultimate-guide-to-solving-ios-battery-drain
Some rouge apps will, if you let them, run down your battery on their default settings. Facebook and skype are notorious for this. Also, IOS will run down the battery trying to acquire a good data signal if the coverage is spotty or nonexistent.
I wholeheartedly agree with that. However, heat and battery age also plays a roll with battery depletion.
Amazon, like any other retailer, is in a low value-added business (as compared to manufacturers, say). They’re basically just conveying stuff, untransformed, from seller to buyer so the opportunity for adding value and slapping on a big margin is not that big.
You write “There is a cost however, at least for we users. Almost certainly, iPhone will diminish Apple’s ability to create new game changing products. Why? Because being irrational is hard, really hard. It’s rational to do everything in your power to maximize a product that has the legitimate potential to help you become a trillion dollar company.”
And you write regarding iWatch: “We do not need yet another thing. I want my iPhone — or any smartphone — to serve as my ID, car keys, credit cards, TV remote, glucose reader, everything. Apple should focus its genius on making the iPhone devour more of those things, not create new ones.”
Granted that there are other possibly game changing products (i.e. AppleTV) that Apple could be working on, it’s most likely that another game changing product replaces iPhone. iWatch looks to be the first step toward it (just like iPod was the first step for Apple toward iPhone), even though for now I expect it still to require iPhone as its cellular/processing hub.
If there is an iWatch, it’s because Apple has concluded that there are enough valuable use cases in which the product on your wrist provides a much better experience than the product in your pocket/purse. I can think of some (beyond fitness/exercise use) but we’ll hear what Apple has to say soon.
“Because being irrational is hard, really hard. It’s rational to do everything in your power to maximize a product that has the legitimate potential to help you become a trillion dollar company. To do anything — anything at all — that might alter that path is irrational. Steve Jobs could be irrational at times. Tim Cook cannot.”
I disagree, Apple seems very pragmatic, Jobs especially was a pragmatist, looking for what works best, practical solutions to real problems. In the tech industry this seems irrational, but it actually is not.
Pump ya brakes. I think he means this in the tradition of Shaw:
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”—George Bernard Shaw,
In this regard Cook still has to prove himself. I agree. But, I don’t think he’ll disappoint.
Either way it amounts to the same thing. Pragmatism is often mislabelled.
How unreasonable for you to think that! 😀
Your claim that Apple needs to be irrational to invent the next great thing is one of the silliest things I’ve read in the tech media. Steve Jobs might have been ‘irrational’, but that’s not and never was the driving force behind the company that gave us the Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, App Store, et al.
Perhaps what was meant was Jobs looked irrational from the point of view of us mere mortals who could not see the possibilities that he saw.
I think you are right, the iPhone is the ‘it’ device for the next few years. Don’t know how long but could be as long as the PC was. Or even longer.
That means that the much speculated upon iWatch, if it is to succeed as a mass, rather than niche, consumer product has to be something that enhances the iPhone’s functionality. I’ve brought this up already in some other post somewhere in Techpinions but the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that the killer feature for the iWatch is universal user authentication.
If the iPhone is going to be the ur-device that invades every facet of our lives, the requirement for security and privacy becomes even more stringent. If it will replace our credit cards, pulling it out of your pocket or purse and scanning your fingerprint doesn’t seem to be much of an inconvenience. But what if you just hand the merchandise to the sales clerk who scans it and you’re done? What if you just walk by the final boarding pass check point and you’re done? What if you can just walk past the concert hall entrance and go straight to your seat?
A sensor at the back of an iWatch that scans your dermal pattern, or some other bio-identifier, can automatically authenticate you every time an authorized app requests it. It offers the convenience that customers want and the heightened security that vendors demand. So do you want to go through the straight-through line or the one where you have to whip out a device or a piece of paper that has to be scanned? If that’s not the killer app for iWatch, I don’t know what is.
“The almost laughable copying by Xiaomi of the iPhone and iOS 7 is all the evidence you need as to why Tim Cook must expend significant resources on building the luxury appeal and premium status of the iPhone; all those hard-to-define elements beyond actual quality, reliability and usability.
There are few people better at this, if any, than Angela Ahrendts.”
Brian, please explain what you think Ahrendts role will be here. Do you think she will have direct involvement in the design and marketing of future iPhones? Or are you expecting some major redesign of Apple stores and the way the products are displayed within the stores?
I expect minor design changes to Apple Stores. I expect she will have significant input into product design and marketing.
I guess you would think that considering you’ve predicted both Schiller and Ive will be gone from Apple by 2015. I assumed that was just mega trolling on your part, but if it’s not why do you think Schiller and Ive don’t fit into Cook’s Apple? Or do you think it will be their choice to leave because they don’t agree with Cook’s Apple?
My views re Schiller, Ive or any other exec have nothing to do per se with the Ahrendts hiring. The fact is, she knows design, marketing, the China market. These are very important. Those skills won’t suddenly go unused now that she’s with Apple.
I think she’ll have a full plate running Apple B&M and online stores. But I wouldn’t be surprised if she and Ive are joined at the hip. One, he’s good friends with Christopher Bailey (who took over for Ahrendts at Burberry) and two they seem to have similar beliefs. According to a Fast Company profile of Ahrendts, both she and Ive are very much against selling and think the product/service/experience should sell itself.
Given this information, I’m willing to wager Z$10 Million that Ahrendts succeeds Cook as Apple CEO.
That’s 10 million rock stable Zimbabwean dollars, if you please.
If I have to choose someone, and I don’t, I’d choose Ahrendts.
But, extremely unlikely this is ever an issue.
From her past experience, I think Ahrendts understands how to make “mass market” products seem personalized. And I think she understands how to sell such products via retail stores and relationships.
On top of an uncanny ability to figure out what does and doesn’t appeal to her customers, I believe her big innovation at Burberry was integrating online and brick-and-mortar retailing to an extent and effectiveness that was never achieved before. Thus unlike what was done with the previous heads of retail, Tim Cook put her in charge of not just the physical retail stores but online sales as well.
Great point re integrating online and offline retail. Very few have done this, fewer still have done it well.
“For too long, iPhone users have not had their much desired iPhone “phablet.” A reason for this is because an iPhone phablet would gut iPad sales. Considering the iPad sales numbers for the past year, this is a fear Apple no longer possesses.”
I don’t think gutting iPad sales was in Apple’s top-5 reasons for not having a iPhone phablet.
— Apple’s first public reason was that larger phablet screens were not good enough. No doubt that was in the context of Apple’s iPhone requirements for thinness, stacking, laminating, etc. (Of course, I recognize public reasons aren’t necessarily the real reason.)
— Apple also claimed the reason for not having a larger than 4″ screen was to maintain good one-handed use. This might still be possible with a thinner or better shaped phone with a 4.7″ screen, but certainly not with a 5.5″ screen.
— iPhone has always had higher margins than iPad so iPhone sales are better financially, so at least from that angle, cannibalizing iPad sales is good.
— Having a phablet alongside a 3.5″ or 4″ iPhone would’ve been the first time Apple concurrently developed two iPhones all the way through production. Instead, Apple went the safer route with the 5c, where it could reuse most of the previous iPhone 5. Apple might’ve concluded that establishing a lower-production-cost iPhone 5 was a more important goal to accomplish first. (Not sure I agree without seeing numbers).
assuming we get a phablet, which of your reasons above have changed?
— Better/thinner glass now; more consistent color quality. Maybe sapphire is important in some way at the larger size? Possibly better yields from its suppliers now. Techniques that enable displays to require less power consumption.
— Assuming there is both a 4.7 and 5.5 iPhone (and that the 5.5 is considered the phablet), it would now be the second time two new iPhones come to market at the same time. Apple often takes trial runs to work out its processes. (I’m thinking there won’t be three new models at once, with the 5c not getting revved to A7 and TouchID until March 2015, but what do I know?)
I’m sorry but they didn’t release a larger iPhone because of colour quality? I find that hard to believe. They did release an iPhone regardless. What does screen size have to do with this?
iPhone has been growing very quickly. I think Apple has been working flat out on the logistics of getting more iPhones made each year, and on signing up new carriers each year. Last year there was China Mobile and DOCOMO in Japan, two huge carriers new to iPhone. And there was the 5c, kind of an experiment to see if they could sell two phones in one year that were both new models. I think now that a lot of carriers are on board and the ability to make enormous amounts of phones each year has been mastered, Apple is ready to branch out their product line.
Any other company than Apple and I’d agree with you that they were worried about a larger iPhone cannibalizing iPad sales. With Apple, I hope that’s not true.
I think part of the reason for iPad growth slowdown is that people would rather own a two or three year old iPad than a two or three year old iPhone. And they would rather share an iPad with other family members than share an iPhone. Note that if you line up the launch year of iPhone sales with the launch year of iPad and compare the ongoing sales graphs, the iPad is still doing quite well.
It will be interesting to see if iOS for iPad starts to diverge from iOS for iPhone, as you suggest.
Do you think a $799 iPad with keyboard would be all that much better for businesses than the current MacBook Air for $899? For me it’s hard to call the future in this area. The whole enterprise computing landscape could look a lot different in 5 years.
Nice thoughts at the end. It’s easy to take smartphones for granted; they really are amazing.
Lower-priced iOS “laptop” that works well with all other iOS devices, and which IT can control should do very well, in my view.
If it costs more than a Windows or Android equivalent, it will never happen. “The enterprise” is always about the bottom line, first and foremost. Executives may get Apple products as an option, but the rank and file will get whatever is cheapest and does the job.
Enterprises care about Total Cost of Ownership, of which the initial hardware costs are often a small factor. This is especially the case with Enterprise Solutions like those from a partner like IBM.
with that logic, iPads and iPhones will never happen in the enterprise
Ben Thompson, former Apple and Microsoft employee, and James Allworth, former student of and co-author with Clayton Christensen, have an interesting discussion about Apple and the enterprise towards the end of their exponent.fm podcast number 10. I thought the whole podcast was very good, one of their best yet.
Borrowing from that discussion I’d say it will be difficult for Apple to come out with a 2-in-1 or laptop device that runs iOS, because they want to keep things simple for their home and SOHO user base. A big part of Apple’s success is thinking of home users first, and enterprise last. Apple is using IBM as a firewall in a way, so that Apple does not have to deal directly with, and have their design process directly influenced by, corporate buyers.
” Apple is using IBM as a firewall in a way, so that Apple does not have to deal directly with, and have their design process directly influenced by, corporate buyers.”
Larger screen iPad, add a good keyboard case, tweak the software/apps, and you’re done. My iPad 2 in a ZAGGFolio is almost already what you’re talking about, and I’ve been using that since 2011.
So what you’re describing is something akin or a competitor to the Surface Pro 3. The Surface Pro 3 is a great device but so far it hasn’t set the world on fire.
“The iPhone is that once-in-a-generation product that alters daily reality for at least a century. The Model T production line, overnight shipping, indoor plumbing and the credit card are other such examples. ”
Slight exaggeration there…
Oh Joe, the point is not that the iPhone was universally adopted, it’s that the iPhone ushered in the current era of practical, useful smartphones. Just as even though IBM dominated the personal computer sphere, it was the Apple II that ushered in the era. Or that even as Windows dominates the GUI era of personal computing, the Mac is acknowledged as having pioneered the trend. And even though the Ford and the Model T were later on surpassed by GM, the Model T is still acknowledged as having ushered in the era of assembly line car production and mass car ownership.
“The point is not that the iPhone was universally adopted, it’s that the iPhone ushered in the current era of practical, useful smartphones.”
It did much more than that. It ushered in the era of practical, useful, & simple mobile computing.
Your comparing people moving from horses to cars with people using the Internet from PCs to mobiles. I’m sorry, but I highly doubth the iPhone is in that category. Certainly not a once in a century discovery.
Never claimed what I think you accuse me of claiming. I never made any judgement whatsoever about the relative historical significance of the examples I gave. I was just pointing out that one can usher in an era, be it momentous or not, without dominating it. And I’d like to meet that person who discovered the iPhone as I am quite curious where he or she found it. 🙂
My point was Joe has a point, comparison done too far.
Nice work playing semantics btw
Every discussion eventually ends up with you playing the semantics card.
Or maybe I tend to comment with people who play semantics when they have nothing to say. He knew what “discover” ment in that context. It’s called trolling.
But you knew that too, didn’t you? Ergo, troll
OK gentlemen. You’ve strayed from discussing the article at hand and into name calling. Let’s get back on track or drop the subject entirely, shall we?
Sorry about that
I didn’t notice it was you, Semantic Will I was replying to. Here doth endeth the debate. At least for me.
I really don’t care.
Reminds me of a classmate in grad school who, when the going got rough, always ended up dismissing things with ‘It’s just notation.’
You should change your username to Semantic Will.
Do you have any concept on what this is about? I wasn’t the one who started playing semantics.
Re-read what he wrote. He wasn’t comparing what cars did to horses, he was comparing what Ford did with cars (cars existed before the Model T) and what GM did to Ford. All about the car market, not horses to car market.
To think that Apple and iPhone didn’t change the face of at least smartphones if not the cell phone market over all is to deny reality. The only thing Windows 95 did was change the fate and face of Windows. It was an iteration, not a transformation. I give aardman credit for responding at all because at that point I don’t consider the post thoughtful enough to respond to.
Oh, only the transformation of Windows?! As in only the transformation of 90+% of computing at that time? No big deal, just making computers affordable and usable for billions. Making Internet available for everyone for the first time. Yeah… No big deal.
Sarcasm aside, from what I understand Ford made cars a commodity by making it available to everyone on a large scale. Cars may have existed before, but most people didn’t use them. So it is “horses to cars” to most people.
Which the iPhone did not do. Not by a long shot.
Semantics has meaning. It is not a pejorative. Really. Look it up.
Windows 95 didn’t make computers more affordable or make the internet available to everyone. It improved on Windows, which had already made those inroads. Some would argue that Windows 3.1 was the first real transformation of Windows.
And that is actually aardman’s point, too. Apple II put PCs in people’s hands before Windows. So Ford=Apple II/Mac & iPhone (transformation), GM=MS/Windows (long before Win95) and Google/Android respectively (domination). Model T transformed the _AUTO_ market. iPhone transformed the smartphone/cellphone market. Very apt.
If you are also not going to accept observable reality, I don’t see the point in continuing this discussion. Carry on if you want.
People see patterns that validate their view on reality.
Also, Apple II put PC into people’s hands? Sure…
Windows 95 is the point at which mass consumer adoption of PCs really happened. It had been a smaller market up to that point. That’s the basis of my comparison. Smart phones were mainly used by specific professionals before the iPhone. The iPhone made them consumer-friendly and trendy.
I can see where you would say that. Windows 95 certainly helped catapult PC adoption. And in that regard iPhone is more like Win95. People were getting iPhones who wouldn’t have otherwise. Or if they were, they couldn’t decide between Windows Mobile, Palm, or BB. iPhone catapulted consumer interest in smartphones.
But Win95 didn’t transform the industry or the consumer market. Windows had already accomplished that much. Apple and iPhone changed everything, even how carriers sold phones, both smartphones and cell phones. For the most part, most OEM brand was meaningless. The phone was mostly carrier branded, except a BB. It took me forever to find out my T-Mobile Windows phone was an HTC handset.
Also, I have no way to prove this, but my guess is that as soon as ATT saw how popular the iPhone was, they couldn’t risk people discovering the benefits of paying for a phone outright vs being locked into a 2 year contract with a subsidized phone and that was when the iPhone became a subsidized smartphone only.
And really, you only have to look at Android’s reaction to iPhone to see the major shift that occurred.
As aardman points out, iPhone in that sentence is a stand-in for a capacitive touchscreen phone/computer with apps, icons, and a multi-touch gesture interface.
Plus, iPhone market share is still expanding. It’s decreasing in smartphone market share, but since smartphone market share is still rapidly increasing and on a path to consume all of cellphone share, iPhone cellphone share is still growing. The smartphone/featurephone split has become less relevant since today’s low-cost smartphones aren’t used much differently than today’s featurephones.
Microsoft has one of those. It’s called the Surface. We’ve seen how well that is working out.
Serious, a laptop with touchscreen? A similar desktop with a touch screen is usually derided with terms like “gorilla arms”. A laptop wouldn’t be much better.
A desktop screen is typically much more vertical, almost straight up and down, perhaps angled back slightly. A laptop screen is angled much more, which makes a difference. I’ve been using an iPad 2 in a ZAGGFolio keyboard case (and the original ZAGG) since 2011. It is very comfortable to use, I love it. I accidentally touch other laptop screens now, I’m so used to the combination of angled touchscreen and hardware keyboard. I want a 13 inch iPad, and I’ll stick that in a keyboard case as well, it’s a great combination, easy to use and comfortable.
For a desktop, it would need to swivel down like a drafting table. Perhaps you’re not old enough to have ever worked on a drafting table, but they were great with a comfy chair and the angled work surface.
I don’t think people should rule out the potential of a tablet/laptop hybrid based on Surface sales or usage.
Agreed. The software is what people use, so you can’t even begin to compare a Windows hybrid and an iOS hybrid. But I don’t think Apple needs to make a hybrid device, the accessory case market can take care of that. I’m using a hybrid right now with my iPad/ZAGGFolio.
The beauty of accessory cases is you get all sorts of different functionality from different cases. I’ll need to replace my ZAGGFolio at some point and I’m looking at the ClamCase Pro, it looks really slick.
Of course there are also other accessory devices that add functionality to the iPad, so it can be made into quite a unique device with various accessories. We’re already seeing that with the iPad and the iPhone.
The Surface line (I own a Surface Pro 2, it is awesome, and I’ve never met anyone who owns one, or read a review by anyone who owns one, who doesn’t think so) is only one of many implementations of the Windows 8 touch interface.
The Surface is a premium model. Considering that there are cheaper Windows 8 alternatives from other manufacturers, it’s a mistake to look only at the Surface.
The problem with iPads is not only the tablet form factor (which is showing its sales limitations – PC sales are actually bouncing back), it’s the limitations of iOS.
What many Apple enthusiasts are asking for is an Apple version of the Surface or Surface Pro, plain and simple. But they will never admit it as such.
Horace Dediu at Asymco picked apart that PC data recently, if you take out the Mac growth, the PC is still in decline, -0.8 percent I think it was.
I like aspects of the Surface (Pro 3) but much of it fails. It’s too heavy. The keyboard is not very good. I think Apple could create a device similar in kind to the Surface but better executed. That said, Microsoft has the lead here, even if it’s a very small market for now. I’d continue developing the Surface if I was them.