Apple wasn’t the first company to launch a tablet, but they sure did make them a popular device category. So much so that IDC says the fourth quarter of this year will be the first quarter in the history of computing where tablets outsell personal computers. The exact numbers, which again, are mere predictions since Q4 doesn’t officially kick off for at least another two weeks: “Tablet shipments will hit 84.1 million units in the fourth quarter, compared with 83.1 million for PCs.”
Now this really shouldn’t surprise anyone when you take into account how horrible a sub $600 computer is compared to the $500 Apple iPad or even a run-of-the-mill $150 Android tablet from someone like ASUS or even HP. At the end of the day, people are incredibly cost conscious, and they’ll buy the best device to get the job done given the money they have. I would never in a million years tell someone to spend $500 on a laptop, but the base model iPad? No hesitation.
And here’s where Android becomes key. Because the first iPad was so “expensive”, companies decided to experiment with smaller tablets and different sorts of chips, and thus the 7″ tablet category was born.
Just you wait, in five years the only people who will still be buying computers are corporations that need to do number crunching and people like me who are too old to change their ways.