The Future of Computing is Tablets and More!

File under:
Design Leadership

Written by Brian Ling (Design Sojourn)
Nov 16, 2010


This awesome infographic (below), created by the team at Focus, predicts that Tablets (iPad et al.) will be the future of computing. According to the data, 14% of online shoppers intent to purchase an iPad in the next five months. This equates to 28 Million people planning to buy the iPad in the next 5 months. Even though people don’t often do what they say, if we even consider 10% of buyers following through, that is still a lot of iPads.

Another interesting figure was that from the time the iPad was announced (Janurary 2010) to August 2010, the growth of laptops in the US market fell past zero and into negative growth. That is scary, and more so as I think this infographic undersells the impact of the iPad quite a bit.

Click on the Image for a larger view.

Click on the Image for a larger view.

Apple has designed their products to move beyond the computing market and even traditional consumer electronics. Therefore the comparison of the iPad to traditional notebooks and netbooks pigeon holes the brand and limits interpretation. If we compare the iPad with book sales, drawing equipment, or even game consoles, we could get a much bigger picture.

A good example of how Apple has move beyond traditional computing market would be how their have designed their products to be purchased. I have noticed that buying an iPad (or any Apple product) is almost like buying a can of bake beans or a pack of cigarettes. Maybe even easier! Go to any Apple store or reseller and you can find boxes of their product neatly stacked behind the cashier.

“Oh, I’ll get that iPad 3G + WiFi with my Macbook Battery, thanks.” I heard myself say.

Image from Focus via Fast Company.

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Eric Fescenmeyer
Nov 16, 10 – 2:26 am

While I think a lot can be said about the ease of purchase with Apple products, and more to the point, the lack of an array of competition driving ipad tablet sales, I think the biggest draw to tablets (and at the same time, away from laptops) is that people want a device that they can surf the web and check facebook with portability. Any cursory check of screens at coffee shops shows that most people do just that. The added weight and complexity of a laptop and all the maintenance offsets it’s utility when compared to the simplicity that the ipad offers for most people. Typing is just not that necessary anymore as well as the added horsepower of a portable desktop for the average user is wasted.

Design Translator
Nov 16, 10 – 5:34 pm

@Eric: Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I fully agree with you, I think Apple has truly leverage the consumption culture that includes not only the things we buy, but also the information we read.

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