You know the rap. A disruptive device is introduced, and there is a split reaction amongst consumers. Early adopters rush to sign up. Most, though, take a foot of the gas for a bit, just to see how the road goes just ahead. Then there are those who dig in their heals, grab hold of their existing technology as if to say, "Nuh uh. Leave it alone."
For decades now, the personal computer (PC) has dominated the real estate on desks at the office and in homes everywhere. Thankfully, as computer technology increases in power it tends to decrease in size. So much so, in fact, that the computing power that used to block your view of the neighbors house now fits in your pocket (though it's a bit awkward in the pocket of those donning skinny jeans). That's right. The average smartphone or tablet today rocks enough processing power and drive space to put your Y2K PC to shame. With connection speeds ramping up to faster-than-you-can-think-it load times, your smartphone is all of the power that most consumers would ever need.
And you see, that is the point.
When Steve Jobs announced the iPad in April 2010, he stated that Apple was leading the way into the post-PC era. How could he say that? Isn't Apple in the PC game? Why would he say that? And is it true, if even possible?
There are a few reasons Mr. Jobs rose the post-PC flag. To begin, yes, Apple is in the post-PC game. But Apple has never worried about cannibalizing their own product line. Isn't it a smart move to suggest your own product replacement, rather than hang on for deal life while the world around you changes? If any company is going to make that next great thing that replaces your great thing, hopefully that company is… you!
Also, know that the iPhone and the iPad is within the realm of technology that Steve Jobs envisioned dating way back to 1983.
"Apple’s strategy is really simple. What we want to do is we want to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes. That’s what we want to do and we want to do it this decade,” says Jobs. “And we really want to do it with a radio link in it so you don’t have to hook up to anything and you’re in communication with all of these larger databases and other computers.”
But the technology simply didn't exist to make it happen. The internet was still baking, presumably at the Gore residence. Processors were huge. Storage required spinning hard drives. Though Jobs envisioned it then, it was not until recent years that tablets and smartphones could be produced.
Flash forward to today, the dawn of 2013. Most people considering the purchase of a PC will buy a laptop. That, right there, is the first leaning toward the post-PC era. In a year, most people considering the purchase of a laptop will consider buying a tablet instead. Tablets will have all of the power, speed and storage necessary to do 99% of the work, and will sell at a fraction of the cost.
This trend will happen on its own. No need for some government mandate to cease the majority use of PC's. It would be more difficult to mandate the use of only PC's, at this point.
Again, that is the point.
Jobs wasn't changing anything with his post-PC statement. He was simply reading the map.
The post-PC realm will not be void of PC's. PC sales are strong. PC's are still needed to do the heavy lifting when creating and producing our future. In the same way that paper was still in use throughout the PC era, PC's will hog the desk space of many on into the future.
Wanna know how I knew all of this? I looked it up… on my iPad mini.