March 25, 2013, 6:17 AM — Will innovative PCs put an end to the iPad era?
It has become accepted wisdom among IT professionals and industry observers that tablets have eaten heavily into PC sales and will continue to do so, bringing the PC era to a close.
Of course, there is always a naysayer, and at least one analyst is challenging the accepted wisdom. Citibank's Glen Yeung argues that PCs will reclaim the innovation crown from Apple's iPad. In a recent research note to clients, Yeung says that Apple's plans for upgrading the next generation of iPads calls for only the basics: an improved screen, a smaller and lighter footprint and a new processor. His conclusion: "iPad innovation of this nature is insufficient to reverse share loss."
For him, true innovation will come in the Windows world, where a new generation of "touch-based, ultrathin, all-day notebooks at improving price points" is poised to turn people back to the possibilities of a PC.
Intel's new Haswell chip will make this possible, Yeung says. I won't get into all the nitty-gritty specs of the Haswell chip. But here's what's important: The chip, expected to be launched in June, is designed to deliver high performance with very low power consumption. In addition, Yeung claims that Intel will require all Haswell-based ultrabooks to be touch-enabled, adding that the company "envisions price points as low as $599."
But the Haswell chip isn't just for ultrabooks. You can also expect Windows 8 tablets, as well as hybrid devices -- thin, light machines that do dual duty as notebooks and tablets. It's become a truism that tablets are for consuming content and notebooks for creating it. These hybrids will be able to change form and do both.
There's some evidence that Yeung might be on to something. A recent Forrester report, "2013 Mobile Workforce Adoption Trends," found that for their next tablet, information workers favor Windows over the iPad, with 32% saying they want a Windows tablet, 26% opting for an Apple tablet, and 12% choosing an Android device. In total, the report claims, 200 million information workers prefer Windows tablets over competing devices.