webmasterNovember 1, 2010November 1, 2010The PC market is constantly changing. Faster, better, smaller, lighter. Early on it was the adoption of the personal computer. Then it was the laptop that started taking market share from the desktops. Over the last couple of years smaller netbooks started carving into the laptop market. And now it appears Apple’s iPad is beginning to rapidly take market share from netbooks and even laptops. InvestorPlace recently had an article concerning Changewave’s recent survey of 3,108 consumers in the month of October on planned buying trends for PCs, laptops, netbooks and tablets within the next 90 days. The results are quite interesting compared to their previous survey in August. Desktops: 6% (up 1%) Laptops: 8% (unchanged) Netbooks: 14% (down 10% from June, 2009 survey) Tablets: 26% (plan on purchasing) As you can see, the demand for tablets is growing very fast and is why all the manufacturers are rushing to enter the tablet market. It appears though that other manufacturers have their work cut out for them if they want to compete with Apple’s very successful iPad. In the survey, they found four in five likely tablet buyers say they will purchase an iPad. Part of this is probably due to the fact that the iPad doesn’t have any competitors as of yet. A bigger part is the iPad’s value proposition. The survey also noted that 72% of all current iPad owners say they are very satisfied while another 23% say they are somewhat satisfied. So what is it about the iPad that makes the experience so enjoyable? I decided to bring an iPad home to see what was so great about it. It didn’t take long. A little background. My wife and I both use laptops for work and personal use. After installing a few apps that I thought my wife and 22 month old daughter might find useful it was time to bring it home and see what would happen. The first thing we noticed was that the iPad starts up very quickly and wakes up from sleep mode almost instantaneously. I have gotten used to my wife grabbing my laptop while I was on it so she could check work email or Facebook. Her excuse was always that she hated to have to turn her laptop on and wait when she only needed it for a minute. Fast start times. Score one for the iPad. I am very comfortable with technology while my wife, on the other hand, is always asking me how to do things on the laptop. With the iPad I was surprised that my wife went right to using it without any questions. Not only that but my daughter quickly learned how to turn on the iPad, open up her learning apps and run through them without much help. Simple user interface. Score another one for the iPad. The display is very bright and the size of the iPad seems to be just right. Holding it or taking it along while out and about was very easy compared to carrying my 3.5lb or my wife’s 5.5lb laptop. Score another one for the iPad. By the second week, I barely had time to use it. My wife and daughter seemed to be on it constantly. The long battery life made this easy to do. Score another one for the iPad. The iPad was a 3G model and since we had to go out of town for a couple of weeks we decided to activate the 3G and see how it performed. I work long hours and decided for this trip that I would leave my laptop behind and we would just take the iPad to see if I could actually get work done while traveling. Coming from a Windows machine to the iPad there was a little learning curve. Within a day though I had it all figured out with the proper apps and am happy to say that I didn’t miss my laptop or the extra baggage. Score another one for the iPad. At this point my wife and daughter are sold on an iPad. Since we have had it, I think my wife has only used her laptop for writing long papers a couple of times. I plan on getting an Apple wireless keyboard and that might be what makes her laptop extinct. As for me, I like the iPad but will wait a bit longer to see what the competition brings to the table. However, Apple has set the bar very high. This experience makes me consider that while tablets are set to overtake the netbook fad, will they continue chipping away at the laptop market? I sure see the potential. Especially since this is the first version of the iPad and competition typically brings out the best in everyone. Certainly in the consumer market, tablets are on a course to do away with netbooks and possibly cut into the laptop market. It will be interesting to see how the corporate market responds to tablets. Will corporate IT departments embrace tablets? At Hartford Technology Rental, we are already starting to see a big demand for iPad rentals in the corporate market for sales personnel, trade shows, interactive meetings, insurance adjusters, the medical field and more. Based on our early experience, it looks highly likely.