You often hear the argument that Apple will eventually be squeezed in their high-margin hardware businesses. That cheaper components will drive costs down and cheap products will win. But that “win” comes with an asterisk. It’s a short-lived win. Eventually, it will turn to a loss both figuratively and literally.
One of Apple’s strengths is the quality of their products, which allows for better margins. But their real strength is staying ahead of trends. By the time Apple dropped “Computer” from their name in 2007, they were already a different company.
They still make computers, but they have long since become a secondary business massively trumped by other businesses (first the iPod, then the iPhone, now the iPad).
Update: As Jack Schofield points out, Dell also dropped “Computer” from their name in 2003. The difference is that when Apple did it, they were actually becoming a different company. Dell was doing the same old — which is why they had to make that statement today, nearly a decade later — though they were thinking about getting into printers. Which is funny for an entirely different reason.
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Paul Higgins: has certainly happened with me. I will email documents to GMail that I need to read or take to meetings. I will send documents to my iPad that I use to run workshops - run sheets, timings , etc. Also send presentations to my iPad into Prezi Viewer so I can practice them on a train or plane. The important difference to my laptop is ease of carrying and the speed of opening and using. The other day I had a breakfast meeting in the city and another one at 11. In between I was going into the virtual office space we hire from Servcorp to do some work on end of month reporting . I needed the accounting software application that I have on my laptop rather than my iPad despite the fact that we share the back up files in the cloud via DropBox. I found myself really strongly resenting the fact that I had to carry my laptop with me. Made me think that the cloud plus tablet are certainly the way of the future and the laptops days are ending faster than I previously thought.
If you think about it, printers are probably the worst-designed gadgets in our homes (unless you own the same awful Samsung Behold as I do). But despite the mythical advance of the paperless office, nobody has been able to kill them off. Until now. A new survey says that the iPad has finally doomed the printer, and is even saving trees.
The survey, conducted by Morgan Stanley Research and named “Tablet Demand and Disruption,” shows that as tablet adoption in business has grown, so the use of paper and printers has dropped. And for tablets here we can read “iPad,” as nothing else is really selling in significant numbers.
Morgan Stanley surveyed 700 tablet users in the U.S and found that 46 percent of them had reduced their printer use. It makes total sense. Even the Lady, a die-hard paper user, took her iPad to some official place or other last month to have them scan a barcode straight from the screen.