Steve Jobs is predicting the tablets will replace the desktop PC. I have been saying this or years. Apple has sold 2 million iPads already.
“The transformation of the PC to new form factors like the tablet is going to make some people uneasy because the PC has taken us a long ways,” he said.
He revealed that he had started working on a tablet long before the iPhone – launched in 2007 – but switched to making a phone when he saw the possibilities of the touchscreen. Handsets are a much bigger market than personal computers. Apple has now sold more than 50 million iPhones worldwide in three years.
Worries that tablet computers were not suitable for word processing and other complex types of content creation such as photo-editing would be solved in time, Mr Jobs said, standing by his description of the iPad as a “magical” device. Tablets provided a more direct and intimate computing experience, he said.
I do think, however, it will only replace them for most people. Those who mainly use a computer to browse the web and email and such. There are companies readying tablets as low cost as $100. When good tablets cost that much, the PC will be on its way to obsolescence, except for people who do heavier kind of work on their machines, like graphic artists, programmers, etc.
The thing is, the appeal of something as portable as a tablet and so easy to use, will win over most people. Also, as a reading device, it will rule eventually. I do think it will be a great boon to comics. Though that won’t be immediate.
Times are changing in lots of ways.
UPDATE: This $199 tablet from Asus is a good example of what I mean. They will keep coming from competitors and the price range will make them very popular with people in this economy.