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Handhelds Apple

iPad Fever Is Officially Cooling 386

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Christina Bonnington reports that the public is not gobbling up iPads like they used to. Analysts had projected iPad sales would reach 19.7 million but Apple sold 16.35 million iPads, a drop of roughly 16.4 percent since last year. 'For many, the iPad they have is good enough–unlike a phone, with significant new features like Touch ID, or a better camera, the iPad's improvements over the past few years have been more subtle,' writes Bonnington. 'The latest iterations feature a better Retina display, a slimmer design, and faster processing. Improvements, yes, but enough to justify a near thousand dollar purchase? Others seem to be finding that their smartphone can do the job that their tablet used to do just as well, especially on those larger screened phablets.'

While the continued success of the iPad may be up in the air, another formerly popular member of Apple's product line is definitely on its way to the grave. The iPod, once Apple's crown jewel, posted a sales drop of 51 percent since last year. Only 2.76 million units were sold, a far cry from its heyday of almost 23 million back in 2008. 'Apple's past growth has been driven mostly by entering entirely new product categories, like it did when it introduced the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007, and the iPad in 2010,' says Andrew Cunningham. 'The most persistent rumors involve TV (whether a new Apple TV set-top box or an entire television set) and wearable computing devices (the perennially imminent "iWatch"), but calls for larger and cheaper iPhones also continue.'"
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iPad Fever Is Officially Cooling

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  • Maybe not? (Score:5, Informative)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki AT cox DOT net> on Thursday April 24, 2014 @08:20AM (#46831657)

    Cook cited one reason for the decline: He said that last year the company started the second quarter with a backlog of iPad mini orders; fulfilling those goosed the quarter's sales. This year, he said, the company has been able to keep supply and demand in better balance.

    http://www.macworld.com/articl... [macworld.com]

    Overall sales were excellent though.

  • Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thyamine ( 531612 ) <thyamine.ofdragons@com> on Thursday April 24, 2014 @08:20AM (#46831661) Homepage Journal
    I suppose someone has to mention obvious things, so you have this article. I had an iPad 2 and it was great and lasted me several iterations. I only just got a new one for Christmas this year. So... yes. People who have one already aren't going to run out and just get a new one because it's new. And there are some decent Android ones out there for people who don't want an iPad.

    Same with the iPod, everything can play music now. My iPad and phone included, so sure. The idea of an iPod that ONLY plays music is sort of a dated concept. My wife loves her nano and small iPods for the gym, which makes sense for working out and instances where you only need music. But in general, things like browsing the web or running apps is basically expected now, regardless of the ecosystem or OS. Now, I don't want to _have_ to buy a phone to play music, but when I can store it all on a device that I'm already carrying around, why would I bother with an extra device like an iPod (or any music player).
  • by BoRegardless ( 721219 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @08:22AM (#46831669)

    So why would I want to use a new one yet? Apple has set a new standard in lifespan & reliability.

  • by demachina ( 71715 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @08:22AM (#46831671)

    Apps are becoming progressively worse, not better, over time. In the early days there were a lot of cool apps written by people who just wanted to write cool apps for a cool new tool.

    Now with the preverse incentives of the app market, the app store is saturated by apps trying to squeeze a maximum amount of money for a dwindling amount of useful application.

    In app purchases, in particular, are well on their way to completely destroying gaming at all levels.

    Every free app you download any more is ususally worthless until you shell out significant amounts of money in IAP to make it usable, and then its still usually still not good

    I'm all for paying software and content developers for their efforts but the methodologies for achieving this in app stores and on the Internet in general has completely failed.

    Increasingly the only thing I use my tablets for is an ereader. They excel at that, but for just about everything else the app comcept has failed.

    • by FlyHelicopters ( 1540845 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @08:37AM (#46831747)

      Meh, the apps are fine, even if I tend to agree with you.

      PvZ 1 you purchased, PvZ 2 was "free" and then had a bunch of micro transactions.

      I prefer just buying and getting the whole game, but that is me.

      That being said, we use our iPads for two main reasons. The kids watch Amazon Videos on theirs and we check email and surf the web on ours.

      Neither of those tasks requires a new iPad.

    • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @08:38AM (#46831761) Journal

      It's not just games. A number of the iOS productivity apps I've been using over the last couple of years have been progressively degraded in recent months by compulsory updates, such that I have to fork out for IAPs or even subscription fees if I want to continue having access to the features I had before. And these weren't free apps to begin with.

      I ditched my Windows laptop for an iPad a couple of years ago (sticking with a Windows desktop), because it was both convenient and practical to do so. If MS really are giving me the option of sticking with my old workflow in a Windows 8 update, then I'll be looking to make the switch back soon.

    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @09:20AM (#46832069) Journal
      That's a bit harsh. There are still nice games out there that are free (with or without ads) or cost a modest sum up front, with no in app purchases except perhaps a level pack. I'm fine with that. And as a (hobby-ish) developer, I know how hard it used to be to sell apps world wide and collect money for it. Today, anyone in the world can buy my app with a few clicks, and Apple dutifully dumps money into my bank account at the end of every month.

      I wouldn't call the app concept failed, in fact I think it's a huge success. The one thing missing from the app store in my opinion is a refund feature. You should be able to try out an app for a day at no charge,
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @09:24AM (#46832091) Journal

      Apps are becoming progressively worse, not better, over time. In the early days there were a lot of cool apps written by people who just wanted to write cool apps for a cool new tool.

      Now with the preverse incentives of the app market, the app store is saturated by apps trying to squeeze a maximum amount of money for a dwindling amount of useful application.

      Ironically, that's basically the same squeeze that Apple has traditionally profited by avoiding in the hardware market:

      The customers says "I want a cheap computer!".

      Apple says "No, you want a low price tag; but the computer you want actually costs $1000, no less."

      HP/Dell/Acer/etc. says "We got the price down to $300! 1366x768 is 'HD', right, even on a 15 inch screen?"

      In a great many cases, Apple has been correct: users shop for price; but getting the price they want also involves getting a product that dissatisfies them, often in a series of unpleasant surprises over time. They do give up serving some customers by refusing to hit lower price points(oh, you wanted to get an i3 rather than an i5 or i7 and spend the savings on a better GPU? That's too bad.); but they force their customers to buy what they suspect is the product they actually want, rather than the price they actually want.

      In the app store, of course, you have the same knife-fight-in-a-telephone-booth margins, and this has led to exactly the same gnawing, incremental, suck. Sure, everything is Free! or Only 99 cents!; but the amount of sheer crap and apps that spring a series of disappointments and annoyances and nickle-and-dime attempts on you is really grating.

      As with hardware, this ultimately makes people less happy. The demands of 'app' pricing are such that it's very hard to actually move units if you just let the user pay once, upfront, and then live happily ever after; but a dollar worth of software isn't going to be pretty unless it either sells a zillion units(since copying is more or less free, though support isn't), or it actually has a hidden higher price tag, which is a dirty and unpleasant game even if you would have been willing to just pay that much upfront.

      It would be interesting to know how the story went inside Apple HQ as they added things like in-app purchases, set minimum prices/price increments/etc. for the store, and so on. Did they fail to foresee the problem? Saw it coming but figured that so long as their platform and hardware remained nicer it wouldn't hurt them since it would happen to the competition as well? Felt forced into it? (if so, by Android? by online/partially online stuff that got money out of users on the desktop/browser side and offered free mobile clients? by concern over some other potential competitor?)

      • by Wdomburg ( 141264 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @10:02AM (#46832449)

        The customers says "I want a cheap computer!".

        Apple says "No, you want a low price tag; but the computer you want actually costs $1000, no less."

        HP/Dell/Acer/etc. says "We got the price down to $300! 1366x768 is 'HD', right, even on a 15 inch screen?

        Customer: "No, I actually want an affordable computer. A 15" screen sounds nice, and I would like 1080p. What do you have?

        Apple: "Great! We'll put you in a Macbook Pro, starting at only $1999!"

        Customer: "What part of affordable do you not understand?"

        Lenovo: "Hey, we could put you in an IdeaPad for $899."

        Apple: "But we have 2.6GHz processor, and they only put in a 2.4GHz!"

        Customer: "What part of light computing do you not understand?"

        Apple: "But we put in 256GB SSD, and they use a traditional drive!"

        Lenovo: "Yeah, but it's a hybrid, so you'll still get faster boot times. And you'll get four times the storage space."

        Apple: "But... but..."

        Customer: "Smeg off, Apple. I'm not paying twice as much for features I neither need nor want. Even if your machine is nicer now, I can buy an even nicer one in a couple years with the money I'm saving."

        • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @10:36AM (#46832775) Journal
          Oh, I have no interest in defending Apple's status as good value for money(sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't, if your desires don't match their preferred configurations, they are very unlikely to be). Aside from that being a tedious argument (and my being one of the people who Apple isn't interested in serving), it's orthogonal to my intended observation:

          In the PC hardware market, and now in the 'app store', it is very easy to buy less product than you actually need/want, especially if you don't have a clear idea of what that is, or you want something that happens to be early on the chopping block when it's cost-cutting time. This makes people who aren't clear on what they want, or who suffer from excessive time discounting and fall for low introductory pricing (see also, 'No money down!' and 'free with 2 year contract!'), unhappy. If it gets especially severe, even people who are clear on what they want can suffer, because the features they want suffer a vicious cycle of reduced marketshare, increased prices because of lower economies of scale, and further reduced marketshare (seen many 16:10 monitors recently?).

          It's interesting to see this happen in Apple's precious little 'App Store', since they have very tight control over its terms(they could, say, have refused to add in-app purchases) and only jailbroken devices and developers can even execute software they don't approve, so there are no commercially relevant 3rd party channels. Even in the face of substantial pressure, they've always been aggressively against it in hardware, and yet they sit and watch it happen under their very noses in their own walled garden on the software side.

          It's also somewhat interesting in comparison with their handling of books, music, and video. Set up an illegal cartel with all major book publishers in order to fix a higher sale price; but voluntarily set the minimum price for software at free or 99 cents, rather than higher? It's a curious difference.
      • by Karlt1 ( 231423 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @10:07AM (#46832489)

        Ironically, that's basically the same squeeze that Apple has traditionally profited by avoiding in the hardware market:

        It's called "Commoditize your complements."

        Apple wants media to be cheap so they can sell hardware.
        Microsoft wants hardware to be cheap so they can sell software.

        http://www.joelonsoftware.com/... [joelonsoftware.com]

      • by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @10:24AM (#46832637)

        It would be interesting to know how the story went inside Apple HQ as they added things like in-app purchases, set minimum prices/price increments/etc. for the store, and so on. Did they fail to foresee the problem? Saw it coming but figured that so long as their platform and hardware remained nicer it wouldn't hurt them since it would happen to the competition as well? Felt forced into it? (if so, by Android? by online/partially online stuff that got money out of users on the desktop/browser side and offered free mobile clients? by concern over some other potential competitor?)

        One thing that seems to have been forgotten - when in-app purchases first came to iOS, they were for paid apps only. Freemium was against the App Store rules. I know as an app developer, I had a lot of clients who were unhappy about this. I also know as an app developer that Apple really couldn't give a shit about my clients being unhappy about it.

        I doubt they felt pressured, but I expect that they foresaw the problem but underestimated how bad it would be for games. There are signs they are making small changes to the App Store to compensate for this, e.g. marking free apps with in-app purchases in listings. The App Store is so large now that I doubt they'll want to make large sweeping changes to policy, so I expect to see regular small changes to steer it away from the more shitty freemium business models.

  • by Salo2112 ( 628590 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @08:23AM (#46831675)
    I hope they keep making shuffles - great for wearing when you exercise. I can see losing the classic iPods - the cell phone makes them redundant, but until they make phones small enough to clip to your workout gear, there's a place for the shuffle.
    • by geminidomino ( 614729 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @08:33AM (#46831721) Journal

      I can see losing the classic iPods - the cell phone makes them redundant,

      Clearly, you don't understand the use case of the iPod Classic: an order of magnitude more storage than a 32GB cell phone is hardly made redundant. The shuffle is more redundant, even if you can personally find a case where you like to use it.

      I'm still amazed that Apple, of all companies, is the one that's still actually catering to that segment. I haven't seen another HDD-based music player in years.

  • by FlyHelicopters ( 1540845 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @08:31AM (#46831715)

    The changes from iPad 1 to iPad 2 were enough to go go out and buy one.

    The changes from iPad 2 to iPad 3 were enough to go out and buy one.

    The changes from iPad 3 to iPad 4... Were just barely enough to go out and buy one, we were on the fence.

    As it stands now, we own a 3 and a 4, the kids use the 3, the adults use the 4.

    I have not bought an iPad Air and I likely won't for another year or two, it is indeed lighter than the 4, but overall it isn't enough of a change to make it worth the bother.

    The primary issue is that the price for storage has come way, way down, apps are MUCH larger than they were in 2010, 16GB as a base size needs to go away.

    Make it $499 and include 64GB of memory and I'll upgrade.

    • by Bigbutt ( 65939 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @08:41AM (#46831783) Homepage Journal

      Really? I have a 1st Gen iPad and see no reason to replace it with a 2, 3, or 4. I browse websites, use it when working on the bike or car to look stuff up, listen to music (plugged in to external speakers of course), check my mail, play games (Plants vs Zombies but not PvZ2 since it requires an iPad 2).

      I did finally replace my iPhone 3GS with an iPhone 5 though. It is a lot better than the 3GS.

      I'm good with what I have :)

      [John]

      • by hab136 ( 30884 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @09:20AM (#46832071) Journal

        >I have a 1st Gen iPad and see no reason to replace it with a 2, 3, or 4.

        The main reason I didn't buy the first gen and did buy the second was the camera. Videoconferencing with technically inept far-off relatives was too difficult with real computers, but an iPad+Skype worked great for them.

      • by swb ( 14022 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @09:27AM (#46832119)

        My wife inherited my iPad 1 when I got the 3 and I was always of the opinion that it was underpowered even when new, mainly lacking RAM. She complains a lot about apps crashing and glacial page load times when viewing non-mobile sites and it was like that when I had it, although perhaps slightly less so on and older iOS release.

        Right now I can't see replacing my 3. Performance is good and 64GB storage is about my personal use sweet spot.

        I just wish they would allow pairing a Bluetooth mouse. I have an RDP app that's great but the lack of a mouse when connected to a non-touch centric GUI is pretty frustrating. I don't generally care about most intentional Apple restrictions but this one seems weirdly arbitrary. I'm sure they could just ignore mouse input for stock iOS apps and the home screens and require apps to acquire mouse input via a separate API to keep apps as pure touch-gesture input. I can only presume the reason for not supporting mice is they don't want the touch UI contaminated by mouse based GUIs.

    • by aaarrrgggh ( 9205 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @08:47AM (#46831821)

      Agree on storage cost. I have an Air with 128GB (64 was marginal for my need when I purchased it), but I can't justify a mini for the sole reason that storage and cellular access costs outweigh the benefits of a smaller device for some of my needs.

  • by InvalidError ( 771317 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @08:34AM (#46831733)

    Once technology becomes "good enough" for a substantial chunk of the market and a substantial chunk of the market already owns such a "good enough" device, people are no longer so eager to spend globs of cash on incrementally better devices. The threshold for "good enough" is now starting to move down the price point ladder so interest in premium-priced models will likely fade in the near-future - it becomes difficult to justify spending over $500 on a tablet when you can get most of the same features on $150-250 models.

  • 'good enough' and 'still useful' are poisonous concepts in consumer capitalism and should be viewed with immediate concern for Apple. A lack of tangible innovation combined with a loss of the cult of personality that defined the brand has concluded inevitably with stagnation. That people, apple users, stop to question their purchase now is something profound I think. Certainly some credit to google is due in that its managed to create a competent, fast alternative that in some instances is actually more attractive than the iphone and ipad (not to mention presented at a fraction of the cost.)
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @08:50AM (#46831857) Homepage
    There are much better tablets out there for your money. The iPad doesn't have a (Micro)SD card slot, so they only way to get more storage is to pay $100 at each increment. by the time you get to 128 GB, you're paying $800, which is pretty close to the price of a Surface Pro, which already comes with 128 GB, and let's you use MicroSD cards, USB Sticks, or even a USB hard drive for additional storage. Plus you don't have to buy apps for the Surface Pro just to play videos from a network share. At lot of stuff that comes standard on Windows requires additional apps on the iPad.

    If you don't upgrade the storage and just go with the 16 GB version, you'll spend $500 and run out of space pretty fast. There's Android tablets that are just as capable, cost less, and have expandable storage. If you don't need a big screen, there's plenty of quality 7 inch tablets for around $200

    Personally, I bought the Surface 2 (not pro) last Christmas, and I like it a lot more than my wife's iPad. The expandable storage, plus again, not having to buy apps for things that should be standard, like playing videos from a network share, make it a good choice. I also like the UI a lot better than iPad or Android, and like the fact that I can open a command prompt or run a powershell script if I want to. The lack of apps is probably the only downfall, but I find that I'm still able to do everything I want to do on a tablet. There are many games I can't play, but there's enough games to keep me entertained.
    • by sandytaru ( 1158959 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @09:05AM (#46831981) Journal
      Yeah, but Microsoft! Windows 8! Bill Gates! /sarcasm
    • by NJRoadfan ( 1254248 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @09:14AM (#46832037)

      Personally, I bought the Surface 2 (not pro) last Christmas, and I like it a lot more than my wife's iPad. The expandable storage, plus again, not having to buy apps for things that should be standard, like playing videos from a network share, make it a good choice. I also like the UI a lot better than iPad or Android, and like the fact that I can open a command prompt or run a powershell script if I want to. The lack of apps is probably the only downfall, but I find that I'm still able to do everything I want to do on a tablet. There are many games I can't play, but there's enough games to keep me entertained.

      The lack of playing files from a network share out of the box is likely Apple ecosystem lock-in. They want you to use iCloud. Meanwhile every cheapo Android device usually has support for DLNA.

      The Windows RT tablet's days are likely numbered with the crop of new Atom based Windows 8.1 tablets that are coming out. Being able to run off the shelf Win32 stuff helps their case. A full 8.1 tablet has no problems connecting to VPNs for example.

      • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @09:35AM (#46832201) Homepage
        I agree that there probably isn't a whole lot of time left for the ARM Windows tablets, but I actually think they have some advantages. The thing I like about the Surface 2, as opposed to something like the Asus Transformer (Windows 8 full version) is that it doesn't run legacy Windows. It can only run apps from the App store, and Windows has a good sandbox limiting what these apps can do. I no longer have to click through a million checkboxes every time I install a new program. It's not really a full replacement for a laptop, but does well as a tablet.
      • The lack of playing files from a network share out of the box is likely Apple ecosystem lock-in. They want you to use iCloud. Meanwhile every cheapo Android device usually has support for DLNA.

        I don't believe so. There's a VLC media player for iOS, which I assume will stream media from some kind of streaming source other than iCloud. Apple happens to not support DLNA in their product lines, but I don't think there's anything to stop someone from writing their own apps. But maybe I'm just wrong here. Do you have a basis for your complaints, or are you just speculating that it must be "Apple ecosystem lock-in" because you're an Apple-hater?

    • There are much better tablets out there for your money. The iPad doesn't have a (Micro)SD card slot, so they only way to get more storage is to pay $100 at each increment.

      Well first, there is a potential for reading MicroSD cards [apple.com], though I'm not sure how useful it actually is. Either way, I think you may be making the mistake that tech-guys on /. have been making for many years, often when criticizing Apple products-- confusing technical specs with end-user utility.

      Taking to an extreme, it's like, "Ha, Ha! Snort! My home-built computer is obviously better than your home-built computer. My computer has a Generation 7 Cube X284 Doodad included, while yours only has a Generation 6 Cube X284 Doodad. As a result, I can get 123 frames per second while running Crysis 3 while you can only get 117 frames per second!" And the guy you're talking to is like, "Dude, I use this thing to write email. It's way overpowered for what I need anyway."

      Now it's not as bad as that. I'm sure some people do use their MicroSD card readers. But many people don't care about technical specs and don't need a bunch of ports, because they won't use it. You have a Surface, and you like it, so it sounds like that's the right product for you. Many people would be upset about the lack of available apps, and meanwhile for many people the ability to run a powershell script means nothing, because they don't know how to read, write, or run a powershell script.

      So all I would want to point out is that it's not as simple as "there are much better tablets out there for your money." I would sooner say, "There are a handful of good, high quality tablets out there, and depending on how you're going to use your tablet, one of them may be a better purchase *for you* than the iPad. On the other hand, if you have a Mac and iPhone, use iTunes and iCloud and the iTunes store, have a bunch of iPhone apps already purchased, and you essentially just wish your iPhone had a bigger screen, than the iPad is a no-brainer." Believe it or not, there are people like that.

  • by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @09:04AM (#46831973)
    Is they have to say something and generally follow the herd because that way they are either right or can say everyone else was wrong too. The tablet market has matured a bit and it is true Apple has made mostly incremental changes to the iPad recently. If you consider that expensive tech has a longer replacement cycle and new buyers have more options it isn't surprising sales slowed. At some point, Apple will need to come up with some killer features to boost replacement and new sales. They could make the iPad really useful for note taking by building APIS to support stylus and HWR, for example.
  • by Jacek Poplawski ( 223457 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @09:47AM (#46832295)

    Long article about poor iPad sales and no single word about Android.

  • "Officially," eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by elistan ( 578864 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @10:03AM (#46832463)

    Hmm. iPad sales:

    Q2 2014 - 16.35 million.
    Q2 2013 - 19.5 million.
    Yes, that's a drop in sales.
    But, it's after the following:
    Q1 2014 (includes holiday shopping) - 26.0 million.
    That's the all-time high sales volume for iPads in a quarter. 2nd best is Q1 2013 at 22.9, significantly less.

    In my mind, the way to interpret these recent iPad sales numbers is that there was a huge buying spree for the holidays that somewhat satiated demand. (Only somewhat - Q2 2014 is still the 4th best quarter for sales.) These numbers don't suggest to me that the "fever is officially cooling." Maybe it is, but more than just one quarter of numbers is needed to show that.

  • Tablets (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Somebody Is Using My ( 985418 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @10:04AM (#46832469) Homepage

    The iPad - and tablets in general - fill an odd niche that is likely close to capacity. Despite claims about how tablets would replace computers, it quickly becomes obvious to any who have to work on a computer that the tablet form-factor is not sufficient for the task. For the average computer user, the tablet falls into an strange zone where it is both too large and too small. On the one hand, after using a tablet for a while, you will very quickly realize that a larger monitor, a keyboard and a pointer that doesn't involve touching the screen are all very desirable things to have. Sure, you can add these peripherals to a tablet, but if you are going down that route - essentially chaining yourself to a desk again - the limited processor and storage of the tablet and it's higher price means it makes more sense just to buy a proper PC. Meanwhile, if all you want is a portable data-access device - something you can carry around with you at all times to check out the scores or look up some random fact on Wikipedia - then the tablet is suddenly /too/ large; it cannot be conveniently stuck in a pocket like a smart phone.

    Tablets are wonderful little machines for two sorts of people. First, those who aren't heavy computer computer users; the grandmothers of the world who check their email once a day. The tiny screen and on-board keyboard are no major inconvenience because they don't use either enough for it to become a significant problem. The small form factor means the tablet is easy to tuck away when not in use (unlike the big bulky computer which dominates whatever corner it sits in) and its uncomplicated OS makes it easy to use. The other group are people who want it solely for media consumption, whether that takes the form of watching a movie, listening to music, reading articles on the web or playing uncomplicated games. Some of this latter group will also have a proper computer and use the tablet as a supplementary device.

    But the idea that the tablet was going to supplant the computer - and all its sales - is patently false. Its niche are users who either didn't really need a computer, (or needed it so rarely that they saw no need to upgrade regularly), or people who considered it an entertainment device that they expected - like a TV or game console - to last far longer than Apple's usual product cycle. These groups just don't see the importance of getting a new tablet every two years, even if it does have an Apple logo on it.

    I like tablets; I own several and have found uses for all, but they are not the revolutionary industry-changing machines that some people thought them to be. They are useful and - like desktops - will probably remain with us until we all finally get cyber-brain implants but they are still just a small part of the overall computer ecosystem. If Apple - or any other major computer company - thought they could depend on tablets alone to maintain them, they should rethink that strategy.

    • by InvalidError ( 771317 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @10:55AM (#46832941)

      First, those who aren't heavy computer computer users; the grandmothers of the world who check their email once a day.

      In my immediate family, I am the only one who really needs a PC. The rest of them rarely do anything more compute-intensive than watching cats on youtube or facebook. Among my friends, about half of them could manage with only a tablet and most of the other half uses their PCs mainly for gaming... that leaves 10-20% of the people I know genuinely needing a PC for something other than gaming.

  • by Richy_T ( 111409 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @10:12AM (#46832533) Homepage

    You can fill in the rest.

  • by tsqr ( 808554 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @10:32AM (#46832727)

    Obligatory Oatmeal [theoatmeal.com]

  • by Bryan Ischo ( 893 ) * on Thursday April 24, 2014 @01:31PM (#46834217) Homepage

    Am I the only person in the USA with kids under 10 who has not bought an iPad (or any pad?). I know they're great pacifiers but I tend to avoid pacifiers. No cell phone that can play games either. When I take my family to dinner, we talk, joke, and draw with crayons and pencils. When we're at home, the kids play inside or outside. They don't sit and stare at iPads or cell phones in either context.

    I'm trying really hard not to be judgemental because I know that everyone has their own way of doing things and there is no single right way. And certainly a moderate amount of pad/phone use is fine, similarly to how just about everything in moderation is fine.

    But when I go to restaurants and I see 90% of the kids just sitting there watching or playing on a pad and not interacting with anyone, I just can't help but feel like there is something wrong. And when my kids go over other kids houses and I see how much of those other kids lives revolves around playing games or watching things on handheld devices like pads and phones, I conclude that for some kids, being pacified with these devices is a regular part of the daily routine.

    And so to avoid ever even being able to get into that rut, I haven't bought any such device and do not intend to do so.

    Once again, trying hard not to be judgemental, but as everyone who has kids probably knows already, child rearing decisions are some of the hardest things *not* to be judgemental about, as they are so personal and the stakes feel so high.

    YMMV.

  • by Scot Seese ( 137975 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @02:41PM (#46834709)

    Disclaimer: I have an iPad Air, and the Zagg keyboard case for it.

    So, if you look at my comment history from way back when the original iPad was released (which I also owned) I was wildly disappointed, as I felt it was just a 10" iPod Touch with limited usefulness.

    My opinion remains largely unchanged.

    Had Blizzard not released Hearthstone for the iPad - with me being a Hearthstone addict - I would have eBayed it by now. Yep. Stood in line Black Friday to buy it, and already bored of it / barely using it.

    I told myself I would use it to read eBooks from my Kindle / Google Play Books / iBooks library. Nope. Even with its reduced weight, it's still too heavy and awkward to hold comfortably for hours. It's a much poorer experience than a Kindle Paperwhite.

    I told myself I would use it to work on. I bought the $100 Zagg keyboard case for it. What a wretched experience. Poor quality keyboard meets the horrible user experience of stretching your arm for constant tap-tap cut/copy/paste editing. Do you use Excel at work? Let me introduce you to Numbers, a tool made for fourth graders. Getting files on or out of the device to work with is a nightmare due to Apple's ecosystem lock in. The closest glimpse of freedom comes from installing DropBox to move files out, open them on computer. Or vice-versa.

      "But Wait! iOS 7 has 'AirDrop' " , you say. Sure it does, and it *STILL* won't allow you to copy files between iOS and OSX devices. Only iOS iOS, and then only certain file types. Because Apple knows you want to copy mp3s, video files, and other stuff between your phone and your Mac, and Apple wants to keep your ass locked firmly into iTunes.

    So yeah, I have buyers remorse. I spent $500 on something I sometimes use to read Slashdot in the bathroom.

    Do you remember those rumors a couple months ago that Apple was making a 12" iPad? They aren't. Those are probably the new panels being made for the new MacBook Air that will be announced this summer. But what would really intrigue me would be if the new MacBook Air was running iOS 8, with the new A8 processor, came with a full keyboard and trackpad ala existing form factor MacBook Airs, & came with full iWork suite free. Apple has been watching people for the past several years buying clunky third-party keyboard cases for their iPads in a desperate bid to turn them into light, portable cheap laptops. Why not just make one?

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