One of my favorite columnists (and a friend) is Gene "The Tech Night Owl" Steinberg. Usually, I agree with the Owl, but in a recent column (http://macosg.me/2/rz) he predicted that, by 2015, most of us will rely on an iPad or its successor for most computing-related tasks. However, I just can't see it.
Gene says that only a small number of high-end content creators will continue to depend on the old fashioned personal computer and input devices like current Macs. "Certainly the stellar success of the iPad shows that a lot of people are ready to embrace different user interfaces," he writes. "... On the long haul, the natural evolution of the iPad and iOS are sure to cause a revolution in the personal computer universe."
As I've said before, I find the iPad to be a great, portable device for media and content consumption. For content creation, well, not so much. I do lots of writing/reporting/researching, and usually have several apps (Pages, Mail, Safari, Address Book, iCal, Pixelmator and iTunes) open at once. I need to be able to view multiple windows and jump from app to app with ease. Doing that is a bit awkward on a 13-inch MacBook; it's more trouble than it's worth on an iPad.
What's more, studies show that an increasing number of folks are watching TV and video on their computers. If anything, desktops with bigger screens should grow in popularity as this trend continues.
In my scenario/prediction, I see people increasingly using an all-in-one such as the iMac for their content creation and using an iPad as a Mac companion to listen to music, watch videos, check email, surf the web, read ebooks, and write only short bits of text. High end content creators will still need Mac Pros. Road warriors and those unable to do the bulk of their computing work on a desktop will need dedicated laptops such as the MacBook or MacBook Pro.
Of course, if the iOS continues to get beefier and more powerful, I may be wrong and Gene may be right. There are, I admit, several pundits who have predicted a slow fade for the traditional computer, especially the desktop.
But I just can't see it. And there are certainly no sales figures to indicate this is happening.
-- Dennis Sellers