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Ten Years

TenYears.jpg. credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/

The one on the right also includes a battery and cellular radios. Some still argue that the PC will never be replaced.

  • Rob Scott

    I guess in by the 2020 we will be docking our iPhones instead of our laptops.

    Horace, the pic is not rendering nicely, its overlapping with the right hand site column.

  • http://appleincanalysis.blogspot.com/ Lee Penick

    Well done Horace.

    Size does matter.

  • Tom

    In 2001, I had 7 of these green puppies to teach 35 students. We had a bunch of Classic software. The frustration of the students pushed me to search for more computers. Hybernating in closets from a lab upgrade, there were 10 more really old macs (think performa) that couldn't go beyond 8.0. I found a ms office 97 that worked, and off we went. The administration blocked me at every turn, and virtually none of the other teachers in the school had anything for their students. It lasted for 4 years. I moved on.

  • Shaun

    I have the one on the left still. It's sat behind me. As it did in 2000 it still is of use for writing, server admin, multitasking and it even plays Flash. It's running my internal Apache server for testing.

    The one on the right is totally useless for those tasks.

    You could replace it with a Nokia though and that would even things up a bit as it's only useless for writing.

    I've a Mac SE/30 under the desk here circa 1990. It's still better at writing and server admin than a phone. I can't imagine Douglas Adams being that keen on writing his novels on an iPhone instead of a Mac. Some things are just stupid on a phone and you'd be stupid to suggest you can replace a PC with a phone. Shame on you Horace.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      I did not suggest that you can replace a PC with a phone. Please think more.

      • Shaun

        ok, please explain "Some still argue that the PC will never be replaced." ?

        Get off that fence.

    • Halex

      You have a point, sir, but no manners.
      Work on that, please, and keep things constructive.

    • ericgen

      Shaun, I thing you're missing the point. I also don't think that Horace is suggesting that they are like equivalents for all things to all people.

      The vast majority of PC users either have no use for being able to do server admin, or wish they had no use for doing server admin and that PCs never required them to need this ability. Obviously, you do not fit into this 'vast majority'.

      You may always have use for, as Steve Jobs put it, a truck. Most people rarely have any real use for a truck. I have frequent need for a truck, both figuratively and literally. But, I also am not part of the 'vast majority'.

      Most people can accomplish most of the reasons they use a computer on an iPhone (or iPod touch or iPad). And, it's far more convenient for them to do so because they will frequently have those devices with them. Horace is showing an example of general progress in the last ten years as experiences by the 'vast majority'.

      • Shaun

        The vast majority of PC users sit in offices all day. The vast majority would be majorly pissed off with having to do their work on an iPhone.

    • Famousringo

      The iPhone is far more useful for sysadmin than an old iMac. You can admin from anywhere you can get cell reception, rather than just the desk that has your iMac on it. For example, right after somebody sends you an email or phone call that there's a problem with the server. I've even used my iPhone in the very same room as a server itself so that I can assure the server is working the same on the broader Internet as it appears to work on the local network. You can't do that on the iMac down the hall on a laptop in your server room.

      My first computer was much like the one on the left. I recycled it just a couple weeks ago. 80% of the users I support don't need more power than you get with the computer on the right, so I'm waiting for the right software and hardware docks to become available that can provide a suitable desk experience on their pocket computers.

      • Shaun

        I'm not sure how you can do sysadmin without multi-tasking on the iPhone. Last time I tried it was always kicking me out of sessions if I dared so much as to look at a web page at the same time.

        The ssh tools now let you keep them around by playing music as a background task hack to keep them running or use the 10 minute rule in iOS4.

        Sorry, I'll take the iMac every time, or a Nokia.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      Just a data point for this thread: iPhone and iPad and iPod total of my visits: 26.05%. Windows total of my visits: 24.15% The rest is mostly Macs.

  • Alagoverde

    Some points:

    First I think iPhone is not 1 GHz, 800 MHz seems the most probable in all the reviews.

    Second: the bondi blue iMac is the 1998 original model. I bought my 400 DV graphite in 1999 and there are a number of changes, not only the color.

    And last, I would compare the 1998 iMac with the iPad: same resolution, same easy-internet-no-frills-computing aim, same (comparable) success etc twelve years later.

    Keep up the good work

  • AdamC

    "Some things are just stupid on a phone and you’d be stupid to suggest you can replace a PC with a phone. Shame on you Horace."

    A very uncalled for comment. You be the stupid one in 10 years times when we will be using the phone for everything especially when it can dock to a screen and the CPU in it gets more powerful.

    Btw The CPU of the desktop in the previous 10 years is just as powerful as the present day iPhone.

    @Shaun, you will be eating crows in 10 years time or maybe less.

    • Shaun

      You can already dock phones to screens and keyboards, well maybe not iPhones, but others you can. Welcome to the future.

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  • Jason

    I for one see this transformation coming sooner rather than later. I think for most tasks, an iPhone/iPad will be a perfect laptop replacement. In the late 90's – early 2000's it was common for a household to have a computer in general, then by the mid 2000's it became common for every household to have a laptop too. Now in the 2010's the smartphone is usurping the laptop and now most people have one. Performance and apps are what will make them (iPhone/iPad) reduce the laptop's market share.

    Of course creative professionals will always need an expandable performance driven machine (I don't think we'll see a 4k movie edited on a mobile device anytime soon), but I think for the majority of the population who use a computer to surf the web and send email the iPad/iPhone is already there.

  • Ugo

    I want to see people working with the 2010 version on either with Photoshop, Excel, or play videogames or poker…
    Anyone think PC will be replaced in 10 years?

    • yowsers

      You have a point if you're speaking of full Photoshop.

      The comparison doesn't end there, and the value of your point degrades each day that passes. You're seeing quite a number of apps that do photo-processing on the device, both after the shot and during the shot, that are not too shabby.

      Can it compare with what a Photoshop professional can do on a desktop? No. Not yet. But the trends are fascinating – the iPhone has HDR processing that Photoshop didn't have up until a few years ago, for example. The image editing apps on my iPad bears a delightful resemblance to image creating with paper, pens, charcoal or brush.

      Not sure about your comment on playing video games. A number of the games I have on iOS devices are visually stunning and far more sophisticated than I can imagine. World of Warcraft complex? Not yet. But MMORPGs are appearing on iOS devices.

      I could make the same arguments about spreadsheets and docs.

      The question isn't so much, "How do they compare now?", or "What would you rather use for heavy-lift projects?", it's "Where will these apps be in 5 years?" *That's* the question you want to chase.

      Maybe not the place here, but I was struck by Jobs' purported comment that Adobe stopped innovating years ago. I can't say how widely he may have meant that remark, but I would say it applies to Photoshop. Photoshop resembles MSFT's Office to me — feature-bloated, resource-hogging packages that are the industry standards and widely used by many, but somehow failing to reinvent themselves and take advantage of new technologies.

      They're trying — you know MSFT is reaching for the next stage of evolution in office apps, but they're too tied to paradigms that came before. Apple didn't merely do a "me-too" iteration of Office when they released iWorks (although the bulk of it is analogous to Office). You could tell they rethought the package and came up with some interesting interface choices.

      I think Photoshop faces the same challenge.

      The glaring piece of evidence I have for that statement is that you see a mature industry of books and magazines and DVDs and conferences dedicated to teaching you how to use Photoshop — **much of it presented in a recipe-style format – !** As in, "click this, then move that slider to do that, and then click that, and type in "46", and then…" Bless 'em all for teaching us, but the fact that you need this industry and that it's presented in "follow this script" format suggests that Photoshop is in serious need of reinvention.

      It won't happen next year, but Photoshop is getting ever more ripe for disruption as they remain tied to legacy code and methods. We're beginning to see some of the shape of things to come pulling together in that camera and smartphone onboard processing is getting ever more sophisticated. Based on my experience with touch devices and image-editing apps, I expect the touch technology will be where the disruption comes from. It takes both photo editing and image creation back to the direct interaction of the photographer/artist with the materials and tools of their craft.

      • Shaun

        Photoshop is a good example of an application that benefits from a massive screen, slick multi tasking and all your tools around you. eg. a browser window open for docs, for viewing website changes, your text editor and CSS editor if you're a web designer. If you're a photographer – Lightroom/Aperture & Photoshop.

        There are other apps that equally benefit from large screen real estate.

        Ask an XCode or Eclipse user what their minimum setup is.

        Ask an iPhone developer what they use to develop on.

        Ask an accountant how he likes Excel running. How many cells on screen.

        Ask a banker how many screens he has.

        For those reasons, the PC will never be replaced with a phone or even an iPad. It's just nonsense to suggest the PC will be replaced. Utter nonsense.

        Editing images and videos on a phone is at best enough to get by with if you're stuck without a PC. It's not a good replacement. Heck, it's not a good replacement for Facebook even.

        The average user as we're told by the intelligentsia is happy with a one screen interface with a lousy keyboard because all they do is poke at the internet all day with their fat stubby fingers. I personally find it incredibly condescending. I've been a programmer for almost 30 years now and for the industry to be peddling closed devices that don't encourage users to do something with their computers is appalling. Up until just last week, Apple were still rejecting interpreters from the app store. Kids could run Logo on that iMac in 2000 and learn. In 2010 they couldn't on an iPad. The only way you can write software on an iPad is by using the Commodore 64 emulator!

        That's why the PC can't be replaced and it's nothing to do with feature comparisons as in the image but in ideology.

      • RattyUK

        "Photoshop is a good example of an application that benefits from a massive screen, slick multi tasking and all your tools around you. eg. a browser window open for docs, for viewing website changes, your text editor and CSS editor if you’re a web designer. If you’re a photographer – Lightroom/Aperture & Photoshop."

        But you miss the point shaun. The vast majority of the people do not need to use photoshop. You are pressing home points for the sake of it.

        When the iMac came out – people also said it couldn't do much either… For heaven's sake – it didn't even have a floppy!!!!! How could you do real work on that?

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  • Yasar Tekeli

    Sure mobile devices will be used more and will be more useful but
    BUT is it just to compare 10 year old PC to a newly released Iphone? Even the netbooks with 1.6 GHZ CPUs and 320 GB storages (not mentioning USB ports and Flash :) performs better than Iphone.
    Iphone is good but not good enough to compare with a PC. While mobile devices are developing computers are developing too.
    Have fun with your iPHONE ;)

  • berult

    Comparative mindsets illustrated.

    That was me on the left back then…I look real swell, don’t I?

    • berult

      …that's what ten years with a shrink will do to you…!

  • kwyjibo

    This is as useful as comparing the Mac II from 1990 with the Nokia 9000 Communicator released in 2000.

  • Jure

    I think the various iDevices have already largely become the cars to the PC trucks. A whole lot of people, ranging from regular users to hardcore techies, use phones and now tablets for a wide range of tasks from internet access and communication, to photography, games etc.

    What I honestly fail to understand, though, are the predictions that this class of devices will develop further in the future in such a way that they gradually displace PCs. Now, it's obvious that hardware will improve and interfaces will be further refined. But the problem I find with your comparison is that the 2000 Mac was conceived much differently from the 2010 iPhone. Mac OS was, and still is, a wide open, broadly general-purpose platform, while iOS was built from the ground up to be focused on comparatively bite-sized tasks, enabled by a selection of curated applications that are sometimes more limited by Apple's submission policy than the technical limitations of the device itself. Something similar could be said of Windows and Android as well.

    It is true that this still leaves a whole lot of impressive functionality. But I imagine that to truly displace a whole category of devices as deeply entrenched as the PC, the mobile devices of the future would need to very closely match all of the flexibility of a PC, from being able to compile software on it to having a cross-app accessible file system. And while a PC user from 2000, or even from 1990, would surely not find the PCs of today too alien, I personally cannot imagine a 2020 iPhone being the equivalent of a modern Mac without contradicting much of what fundamentally defines the platform today.

    I think I'm probably misunderstanding something, but to finally formulate my question: how exactly do you envision the development of mobile devices in the coming decade, other than in the ways that I have already stated as obvious? I can picture a future where highly capable mobile devices are far more widespread, but not one where they subsume a vastly greater spectrum of functionality compared to what we have today.

    What am I missing?

    • kevin

      MOST people didn't need the functionality or freedom of the PC; it was, in many respects, over-powered. They certainly don't need the complexity or administration of the PC either. (BTW, if we expand our view to the whole world, as opposed to the developed world, most people don't have a PC.)

      Thus, the displacement IS occurring for MOST people, even in the developed world. The PC will certainly live on, but fewer and fewer people (and busnesses) will be willing to spend the extra needed to get that extra functionality and freedom.

    • kevin

      In case the secondary point was lost in my previous post, tablets and phones will provide much greater, even general-purpose, functionality in the future (although to gain simplicity, ease-of-use and security, it will trade off flexibility and freedom.)

      I'm not sure why you think someday it won't be able to compile software.

      • Jure

        It's not really that I don't think that they will, it's that I can't picture it given the way they seem to be designed today. If a future tablet and/or phone is a viable software development tool, it will be because it has undergone design changes that I can't even begin to imagine right now.

        Think of it this way: the target demographic for early PCs had a MUCH larger share of programmers. As you say, computers were overpowered; over time they sort of bent backwards to accommodate the regular, non technical user (and arguably were never really good at it). The mobile devices of today are technically perfectly capable of running a "traditional" operating system – after all, their hardware specs are clearly far superior to those of early PCs. But most of what makes iOS (and Android) different is that it is deliberately underpowered in a certain sense. The interface does not even hint at any kind of power user functionality. Quite the opposite: with decades of experience with desktop OS development behind them, Apple selectively eliminated capabilities by making the interface have a laser-sharp focus on limited tasks on a small screen right from its inception (the iPad, despite its greater size, inherits much of the iPhone's screen real estate management paradigm).

        And what we got – and this is what I fully agree with and understand – was a device class that was finally designed around the actual needs of an average user, and is now poised to displace the PC where it was once the only choice. That's all fine. What I find confusing is the idea that mobiles will evolve to accommodate power users in the future. Going by the way I described the PC's evolution above, it would mean that mobile devices would have to go in the exact opposite direction, from deliberately limited, focused functionality, to broad and flexible capabilities. How would they go about that without dismantling what makes them what they are today?

        One way I can imagine would be to provide some completely new paradigm of flexibility WITHIN the current limitations. And this would (and will) certainly work to a degree – after all, we already have an office suite and video editing tool from Apple on iOS. But – and I acknowledge my limited foresight here – there is a lot to be said about the functionality of a concept as commonplace as window management on a large screen, a concept that iOS was specifically built to avoid. Sure, desktop GUIs replaced the command line, but they didn't bother to replace much more than the command line's most basic functionality – and why would they? The command line is still here, alive and well, available to those who need it, while those that don't are usually content with the limitations of the GUI. I believe that I'm likely to say the same thing about mobile touchscreens vs desktops ten years down the road.

      • Jure

        Actually, looking at what I wrote again, it seems that I was responding more to some of the comments here regarding how phones are becoming like PCs than the original post itself. The pictured comparison is perfectly sensible.

  • berult

    The letter "i" in iMac circa 2000 stands for "it". The letter "i " in iPhone circa 2010 stands for "me". Ten years of hard labour to capitalize a "vow" on the back of an incombent "con".

    To paraphrase JFK: ask not what your computing device can do for you, ask what you can do for your country…!   

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  • http://, Iphoned

    A better comparison may have been a laptop of that era vs iPad.

  • Cadillac88

    I think some of the commenters here just need to widen their gaze a bit. Two reasons to believe the pc will be surpassed.1 – Sheer volume of ultra protable computers (think not just unit volume but market value). 2 – Vastly increased capability and therefore usefulness. The pc will become evermore powerful as well but as much of that evolution as possible will also be shoehorned into the most popular version of it – the ultra-portable. I think those that can't see that limit themselves from recognizing the scale of this class of always connected, always with you device. Way more personal than the PC. This new market will dwarf the desktop market. Look, laptops already do that. Laptops aren't PC's? Netbooks and tablets and pocket computers will obviously never be the same as a desktop. But that's not the point. Point is ultra portables will be bigger. If you can see that, then you might also see the impending proliferation that will continue for 30 years, just like the PC. Only, times the market size by 10 or maybe 20.

  • David Chu

    I'd like to join this debate, but I'm still busy debating whether Graphical User Interface will replace Command Line.

  • http://bohemianalps.com Simanek

    @Ugo: If the iPhone could be made to run OS9, I'm certain that it could run Photoshop 7 or 8 much better than the sub-500 MHz G3 iMacs. I was trying to do print quality photo editing in 2003 on a ~500 MHz G4 sawtooth using Photoshop 7 on OS9 and it was a masochistic experience at best.

    And, I might have missed it, but did anyone point out that the 2000 iMacs ranged from 350 – 500 MHz and the new color palette did not include Bondi Blue? source: lowendmac.com

  • kevin

    @Jure,
    When writing software is made simple enough for the average person to do (and want to do), then it'll appear on an Apple tablet. (It may appear earlier on an open tablet but it'll probably be too hard for the average person to use.)

    From Apple's point of view, it will only enable functionality when it decides its system is powerful enough and its tools are easy enough for the average person to have a good experience doing it. So today we have iWorks (iPad) and Movie (iPhone) software. More will come, but just like what we've already seen, we can expect limited flexibility. If and when software dev tools arrive, Apple will limit its flexibility. (Again, other non-Apple tablets will likely allow much more flexibility, at the expense of simplicity and possibly the good experience for the average person.)

    • Shaun

      That's the problem though Kevin. "Apple will ….".

      If you weren't at the whims of your allegedly benevolent dictator, someone else would have already done it on the iPad. Some of us don't like paying £500 for a product to be told what we can and can't do with it.

      • kevin

        Yeah, a few million don't like being limited, but the other 100s of millions like the sharply focused simplicity even more. As a profit making company, which would you want to sell to? The few million or the 100s of millions. The answer is a little too obvious, don't you think?

      • Kenny

        @Shaun

        "Some of us don’t like paying £500 for a product to be told what we can and can’t do with it."

        So I'm guessing you don't own a car. Or an expensive camera or HDTV. Or any consumer product over £500 that doesn't have the firmware source code available on the manufacturer's website.

  • Conrad Gempf

    You might have given credit…. The comparison and graphic this discussion is based on was put together by a friend of mine, Brett Jordan… it and many others are available at his Flickr site. http://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      I added the credit. I looked for but did not find any credit at the location where the photo is stored.

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  • Richard

    I think its an apples and oranges comparison. The iPhone & iPad for all there raw power figures can't compete with a desktop. If I had to type something up (and use the web at the same time) I'd rather use my Net-book.
    Sure I use iPad & iPhone to check email, type stuff up quickly (notes for a meeting etc) but to use either instead of a desktop would be slow and frustrating.
    Give me a full size (proper) keyboard, large (preferably 2) monitor & TRUE multitasking any day. I love my iPhone & iPad, both fill important niches for me at work and at home, but sorry, to suggest them as desktop replacements? ROFL.

  • Shaun

    @RattyUK

    "But you miss the point shaun. The vast majority of the people do not need to use photoshop. You are pressing home points for the sake of it."

    I didn't say they did. My point is that by setting the bar so low with the iPad and iPhone, the 'vast majority' don't even have that option. They're in condescending locked down dumb mode where Apple says this is all you need. That's never been the case in the computer industry before. We've never pandered to the 'vast majority' at the expense of people who want to learn. Even Steve Job's original Mac wasn't that restrictive.

    • Kenny

      @Shaun

      "I’ve been a programmer for almost 30 years now and for the industry to be peddling closed devices that don’t encourage users to do something with their computers is appalling."

      So which mass market device in the market right now encourages users to "do something" with their computers? MS DOS used to ship Pascal and OS X used to ship Xcode with their OS X install CDs, but they don't anymore. At the same time, I don't think there was a huge drop in engineering talent ever since they stopped doing that. So where can I find this utopian out-of-the-box programming environment that you speak of?

      "Up until just last week, Apple were still rejecting interpreters from the app store."

      It's no longer a valid argument if you have to talk about it in the past tense. Do you still hate the Japanese and German too? Please get over it.

      "Kids could run Logo on that iMac in 2000 and learn. In 2010 they couldn’t on an iPad. The only way you can write software on an iPad is by using the Commodore 64 emulator!"

      So your main point is that you like Logo better than Commodore? If not, it sounds like you got what you want, which is a way for kids to learn programming on an iPad.

      "That’s why the PC can’t be replaced and it’s nothing to do with feature comparisons as in the image but in ideology."

      The PC will be replaced because the PC is not an usable consumer device. Entire industries are built around adding band-aids to fix their faults, such as virus scanners, spyware cleaners, registry cleaners, and geek squads.

      Normal people who use computing devices to share photos with their friends and family, read the news, download music should not be subject to such a terrible experience. When my mother's car breaks down, I don't expect her to pop open the hood, taken out the toolbox and learn how to fix it herself. She takes it to the shop.

      "That’s never been the case in the computer industry before. We’ve never pandered to the ‘vast majority’ at the expense of people who want to learn. "

      Last time I checked, Macs are still being sold at Apple stores. Is there some rule that says kids who used iPads and wants to learn more are forbidden from getting a Mac?

      "The average user as we’re told by the intelligentsia is happy with a one screen interface with a lousy keyboard because all they do is poke at the internet all day with their fat stubby fingers. I personally find it incredibly condescending."

      As equally condescending as a 30-year programmer telling us the average user wants to learn programming from a computer shipped right out of the box? My parents find the average PC/Mac desktop experience to intimidating and confusing when all they want to do is access news, movies and music. The iPad is probably the first device they've owned that makes it easy for them to access all these content with ease.

      So please take your "I’ve been a programmer for almost 30 years now" superiority complex and shove it.

      • yowsers

        I agree with the push back on the reactionary complaints the iPad has been getting.

        You see that argument that the iPad is a fail because it's purely for consumption, not creation, and that people can't take it apart, learn to program for it, that it won't replace this or that, etc etc.

        These are getting to be tired arguments. They're reactionary arguments, too, often made by those threatened by the new thing (as I think many of them are).

        The "iPad can't be used for creating" is false, of course. Maybe not for heavy lifting, sure, but there's a ton of creative work that is well suited for it.

        The "it's merely made for consumption" whine is similarly mis-aimed. Creativity doesn't exist in a vacuum — behind every creative act or product you'll find a rich history of consumption that shaped and informed the creative act (think of painters referencing and quoting each other, writers, actors, designers…)

        And consumption is not a bad thing. We're all voracious consumers of news, blogs, content, etc. I suppose consumption is no more good or bad than what it is that is consumed, and who consumes it.

        The reactionary kick-back will subside as the tablet as an appliance takes over, and it's true value becomes widely recognized.

      • Joe, Winfield IL

        Well put on all points. Shaun seems to have some misplaced anger here. @Jure makes a much more inteligent and refined point about the intent of the platform, but who knows what continued market growth will do to the scope of iOS and Android? I love my productivity software at work, but when I go home, I'm content with my idevices. When out and about, there is no comparison – the integration of location based services is amazing on hanhelds.

        I really think Jobs found the perfect analogy with cars and trucks. We have a 2004 Dell in our office that we will continue to use. However, it is the equivalent of keeping insurance on an old truck just in case. We don't use it to get around town, but now and then we'll appreciate having it for heavy loads. We will keep buying new cars every few years, but that truck is going to need to have a lot of miles on it before it gets replaced.

      • Shaun

        @Kenny, DOS never came with Pascal (it was a separate product) and OSX still ships with XCode. DOS came with BASIC.

        That's not the point though. The point is there are no limits on what you can do on a desktop OS unlike iOS and they're arbitrary limits put there by Apple. Why can't you replace the browser or the Mail software for instance?

        If you're happy with those limits, then that's ok for you but the comparison with the iMac from 2000 is pretty lame since it had none of those limits.

        I'm reminded also that the iMac in 2000 shipped with a really easy to use interface called 'At Ease', kind of like Microsoft Bob. Yeah, we slagged those off those interfaces for the 'vast majority' too back then. :)

      • Kenny

        @Shaun

        "Why can’t you replace the browser or the Mail software for instance?"

        Opera has browser that's available on the app store:
        http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/opera-mini-web-bro

        There's another browser available for the iPad:
        http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/atomic-web-browser

        There are other mail clients as well, such as this mail client for hotmail:
        http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mboxmail-hotmail-w

        That's not the point though. The point is that you are biased towards iOS devices and you're drawing a very arbitrary line to isolate the iOS away from other computing devices.

        For example, you say:
        "The point is there are no limits on what you can do on a desktop OS unlike iOS and they’re arbitrary limits put there by Apple."

        Are there really no limits? Can you replace the Windows 7 kernel with your own compiled? What about OS X? The darwin kernel is open source but not everything is available for you to swap your own kernel into snow leopard.

        So if there are limits for Windows and OS X, why are the limits unacceptable for iPad? Where is the Shaun Acceptable Levels of Openness Guidelines that determines whether a computing device is open enough?

    • berult

      Shaun, "nimble" is the word in tag- team problem wrestling. Ask any toddler around.

    • RattyUK

      Shaun It’s pretty obvious that you have issues.

      “I didn’t say they did. My point is that by setting the bar so low with the iPad and iPhone, the ‘vast majority’ don’t even have that option.”
      But you are trying to make a point with the current state of affairs. How’s Photoshop running on your Android for example? But Android has “no walled garden” how come Adobe haven’t got it running yet?

      You are looking at the current iPhone and iPad and are judging it one what it is. By looking at the specs it’s pretty obvious that the iOS devices are perfectly capable of running these tasks of which you are claiming that they can’t be run. So on paper there really is no issues from a technical standpoint why Photoshop from 2000 couldn’t run on today’s iOS machines. (yes I know that the processor is different so it would have to be recompiled but in principle…)

      “They’re in condescending locked down dumb mode where Apple says this is all you need. That’s never been the case in the computer industry before. We’ve never pandered to the ‘vast majority’ at the expense of people who want to learn. Even Steve Job’s original Mac wasn’t that restrictive.”
      Look you don’t have to buy one. No one is making anyone buy one. But they do do what most people want to do with computers. Blame the world for only wanting to use facebook or sending SMS messages but don’t do what I think you are doing which is to attempt to blame Apple for the destruction of computing as you know it.

      The point is that nobody needs to do most of what computers do. Really. Nobody needs to learn Photoshop unless they are in prepress or other photography or printing related industry. Really. So saying that these things don’t add up isn’t really the point. The point is that most people only need to view facebook, send messages and read emails. Honestly.

      Real, professional people, use desktop or laptop machines. And that is fine. But, I kid you not, most people can get their computing requirements from these handheld devices.

      • Shaun

        The original closing remark from Horace was "Some still argue that the PC will never be replaced."

        All I'm seeing is a lot of overly defensive people with their shiny new gizmos trying desperately to justify a reason for them when a PC does what they want it to do and more. If the iPad/iPhone is to replace the PC, it's not ready yet and arguably never will be because of it's form factor alone.

        I've not bought an iPad. I used one for two days. I can't see where it would fit in with my life. iPhone similarly though if it did SIP then I'd have a use for it. I've a number of friends that have sold on their iPads because they don't use them as much as they thought they would or they start invading into time that was previously family time.

        Kenny brought up the car/truck thing, totally missing the point. Jobs made that comparison on the basis that people had trucks when all they needed were cars. ie. they had PCs when all they needed were iPads. He wasn't suggesting they needed trucks AND cars. At the moment though, if the PC is a truck then the iPad is a sports car – a little too limited to be practical so you still need a truck. My argument with the iPad is that it needs to be a car before you can replace your truck.

      • RattyUK

        "All I’m seeing is a lot of overly defensive people with their shiny new gizmos trying desperately to justify a reason for them when a PC does what they want it to do and more."
        Opinionated much? No defense. The iPad is what it is and does what most people buy computers for.
        " If the iPad/iPhone is to replace the PC, it’s not ready yet and arguably never will be because of it’s form factor alone."
        But the point being is that most people don't need the other things that YOU are arguing for. It's sad. But the world is moving on.
        "I’ve not bought an iPad. I used one for two days. I can’t see where it would fit in with my life."
        We get it. The iPad is not for you. Why are you coming back on a daily basis to keep posting the same comment? You have made your point. Move on.
        "iPhone similarly though if it did SIP then I’d have a use for it. I’ve a number of friends that have sold on their iPads because they don’t use them as much as they thought they would or they start invading into time that was previously family time."
        Good for you. But there are a hell of a lot of people who are still using it on a daily basis. Some of which never bought a computer before. You are using a generic phrase which is cannot be confirmed but implies authority "I have a lot of friends…" but then follow through with two different reasons. They didn't use them or they overused them, but both appear to be reasons for getting rid of them… hmmm.

        The rest of the comment is just reconfirming that the iPad is not for you. Which is where we came in but with less of the Horace insults you started with. So some progress made there.

      • kevin

        @Shaun: "At the moment though, if the PC is a truck then the iPad is a sports car – a little too limited to be practical so you still need a truck. My argument with the iPad is that it needs to be a car before you can replace your truck."

        The point is that for you, it's too limited to be practical. For you, it's not what you want in a car. But for millions of others, the iPad is a perfectly good car, not a sports car. You are not like most people. Your expectations of what is needed in a car is clearly influenced too much by your having spent 30 years as a programmer.

        Just remember most people don't use bookmarks; they just go to Google for anything. Most people have no interest in "wasting" their time with energy-sapping programming; they just enjoy their lives, relationships, and duties via Facebook, YouTube, iTunes, their mail/IM/calendar app/website, maybe a word processing and/or photo app/website, and maybe a tax prep app/website. That's about it. It's quite possible that over time, the iPad will involve them in a more diverse set of apps than they actually used on their PCs.

      • Kenny

        @Shaun

        "If the iPad/iPhone is to replace the PC, it’s not ready yet and arguably never will be because of it’s form factor alone."

        "Never"? That's a really strong word. Apple can always come out with a dock that connects the iPad to a large monitor with keyboard/mouse, as well as the right software updates to make the experience usable. That alone would achieve feature parity with a PC/Mac. And also make you regret using "never".

        "I’ve not bought an iPad. I used one for two days. I can’t see where it would fit in with my life."

        "Kenny brought up the car/truck thing, totally missing the point."

        No, you missed the point.

        "Jobs made that comparison on the basis that people had trucks when all they needed were cars. ie. they had PCs when all they needed were iPads."

        Correct.

        "He wasn’t suggesting they needed trucks AND cars."

        Correct.

        "At the moment though, if the PC is a truck then the iPad is a sports car – a little too limited to be practical so you still need a truck."

        Still correct. Nobody, not me, not Horace, said the PC is being replaced today by an iPad or an iPhone. The current iPad doesn't even function properly until you sync it with iTunes.

        This blog is all about asymmetric competition and technology disruption. The whole POINT of technology disruption is that underpowered products (such as the current iPad) will eventually disrupt and displace products that have overshot the needs (such as PCs and Macs).

        "My argument with the iPad is that it needs to be a car before you can replace your truck."

        And everyone's argument is not that it is a car now, but that it eventually will be.

        I'm glad we're all on the same page, now that we've clarified that you misread our comments.

        I strongly recommend you read and understand the Innovator's Dilemma so you can keep up with the discourse on this blog.

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  • berult

    Less has to be more. Prune your learning, your decision making, your task execution tree and the productivity/creativity yield will increase.

    The ideal position one could wish to be in would be to get access to the full potential of one's own brain at any given time. With limited access comes compensating dependency on outside computational support. Logically speaking, the more you harness your own brain for problem solving, the less conspicuous and demanding is your need for artificial support.

    Hence, networking trees of knowledge and data become crucial for heavy liftings and result centric ponderations. A PC short-changes us on our brain in so far as it structures "in vitro" what we acknowledge to be wired "in vivo". A PC reminds us that we're thinking at more or less twenty percent efficiency.

    A good physiotherapist incites away from crutches for, make believe is central in successful therapy. Likewise, to help make the mind believe in harnessing its core, shrink and spruce up the peripherals.

    An iPad pushes us onward toward greenback ergonomics.

  • http://fredbrunel.com/ Fred Brunel

    And you forget about the difference regarding the GPU, that's part of the core architecture of the iPhone and it's far more powerful than anything you could find in 2000.

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