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back to article Cook: iPad is a gateway drug which leads to harder Mac addiction

Apple CEO Tim Cook has claimed that surging iPad sales could result in people buying more Mac computers. Answering questions after he announced quarterly results last night, the Cupertino overlord said that tablet sales could end up getting users hooked on Apple products, perhaps encouraging them to graduate to more expensive …

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Byz
Happy

More iPads equals

more work for iOS app developers :)

And all those developers need a Mac to develop the apps on.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: More iPads equals

"More iPads equals

more work for iOS app developers :)"

Great, just what we need, more shitty Apps! Another fart app or talking cat anyone?

Give me a handful of decent useful apps, the rest can be deleted.

Sad but true.

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WTF?

Re: More iPads equals

Since iPads and Macs run on different OSes and do not directly share any Applications, I wonder why Cook thinks that iPad owners will be enticed to get Macs

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Re: More iPads equals

It's part of the "halo effect" that the iPod had. People get an iPod, like the design and how it works. Then they think "You know, Apple did a good job on this, I wonder what their computers are like."

The Linux and Windows core fans dismissed this at the time, but Apple sales data and survey data sure back up the idea.

Also, the -2% vs -11% is not to be sneezed at.

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Re: More iPads equals

With the past couple of OS X versions the apps have begun to merge, even using the same names. They all share the cloud and work together so that may very well entice one to get a Mac. I've seen it happen many times. First they got the iPhone, then an iPad and now they are talking to me about a Mac.

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Mac Pro not available in Europe. New iMac can't have more memory fitted unless you get the 27" one. Mac Mini - an interesting idea - but when I upgraded a few years ago from my G4 Tower an iMac Refurb was much better value. Starting to think about a new laptop - current MacBook is starting to show it's age, but the MacBook Air screen is too small, and the MacBook Pro is too expensive...

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Happy

funny enough...

I replaced an octo core 2008 MacPro with a top end macMini this year. Fitted a DIY fusion drive, maximum memory and it churns out Compressor renders, Squeeze renders just as quick as the old MP. But without consuming 500W of electricity. It does my FCP work just fine (albeit nothing too stressful). Even my storage is taken care of via USB3 and Thunderbolt. All in all a fine purchase and replacement.

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Re: funny enough...

Agreed, the hardware has gotten so fast that you can get an outstanding value by buying and entry level machine (ie mini, iMac) and max out the memory and upgrade the drive. I just picked up a used iMac mid 2011 and dropped in a OWC 32GB ram upgrade kit and this baby is snappy running FCP.

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"We're going to continue to innovate in it." - Apple stopped innovating in the mac division a long time ago didn't they? I thought the hardware division was made a high end generic hardware producer to all intents and purposes.

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They made it really really thin on the edges. If that ain't innovation, then I don't know what is.

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Coat

"They made it really really thin on the edges."

The next one is going to have such thin edges you'll be able to chop vegetables with it. They're going to call it....

... Mac the knife.

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Happy

It slices! It dices! It'll even make Julienne fries!

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Anonymous Coward

Julienne fries

Aren't those the ones with rounded edges?

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Some blokes are already chopping veggies with a Mac

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byCiTN4F1dg

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Meh

Innovation, can't wait

I wonder which port, slot, or media reader they're going to remove in the 2013 model.

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Re: Innovation, can't wait

...or which standard port they're going to replace with a new, innovative and far better proprietary connector, which means you have to replace half your peripherals.

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Anonymous Coward

Surging iPad sales?

On what planet would this be? It's clearly not this one....

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Re: Surging iPad sales?

iPad sales are up 27%, sounds like a surge to me. The doom and gloom headlines focus on Apple only narrowly meeting its targets and "only" making $9.5 billion in profit, but that doesn't mean sales are down. The only problem Apple have at the moment is shrinking profit margins on what they sell, hence why profits aren't higher than ever.

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Re: Surging iPad sales?

Maybe AC is one of the first guys in that Mars One thingie?

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FAIL

Re: Surging iPad sales?

@Si 1 - "iPad sales are up 27%, sounds like a surge to me."

Not when the entire tablet market is up 117% - http://desktops.cbronline.com/news/tablet-shipments-increase-117-in-q1-report-240413

iPad is down to 48% of the market from an earlier 63%. When whitebox tablets are included, Android is at 52%, iPad is at 41%. While the iPad sales increased 27%, Android tablet sales increased 177%.

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Re: Surging iPad sales?

> While the iPad sales increased 27%, Android tablet sales increased 177%.

Statistics, statistics. Surprisingly if you increase a small number by X you get a much larger percentage gain than if you increase a larger number by X.

I'd be very interested in that figure in profit terms - I suspect most of those Android tablets are cheaper than an iPad, and actually make far less money for the companies. Not saying Android tabs are bad (I have a Nexus 10), but not all tablets are equal. It's like complaining Ferrari doesn't sell many cars in emerging markets.

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Nya
FAIL

Believe what I say not as I do

If he believed in the Mac market than perhaps Apple would be placing orders for them, oh no, it seems he's cancelled all production for the second quarter and also not given out any lead to the supply chain for anything in third quarter either. Ok yes, they are clearing inventory at the moment, but the fact Apple have cancelled production does underline the fact that what Cook is saying here, is not what he is actually doing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Believe what I say not as I do

[citation needed]

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Re: Believe what I say not as I do

If what you say is even half-true, I'm inclined to wonder whether or not they're about to re-jig the whole space i.e. re-define all that is shiny...

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Nya

Re: Believe what I say not as I do

Digi-times covered it last week, and PCR had the same story as well. They could well be redesigning things, highly likely actually. But it was mostly caused by the fact Cook and co believed they would escape the downturn in the desktop market and built far to many. Thus having a huge inventory to clear now. But, it does point that what he is saying isn't what he is doing. All this comment is about is trying to cheer up Wall Street into increasing the magical share value.

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Boffin

Re: Blindfold firmly secured? Let's go!

Nobody is buying desktops in any signficant numbers because they already have desktops. They are buying tablets because they do not yet have a device in that form factor yet.

In ~5 years when all of the current desktops are burning out and business collectively start running out of spare PC's from a downsized workforce during the recession years, there is going to be an "unexplained" surge in buying desktops at the expense of tablets, at which point the media is going to start decrying the death of the tablet.

The PC is not "dying" now, and the tablet won't be dying in ~5 years when that starts getting reported. Just because there is no reason to buy a replacement for a working device in perfectly good condition doesn't mean that the form factor it belongs to is dead!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blindfold firmly secured? Let's go!

I suspect Mr. Cook includes the Macbooks in his view of the Mac world, and they are very definitely portable and selling well. I think you missed the point

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Happy

Re: Blindfold firmly secured? Let's go!

Bit unfair with the downvotes here methinks.

I will say though I like my hefty home PC and view laptops and tablets as a portable 'second best'.

The big box PC still is the best way to upgrade bit-by-bit although admittedly there is not the hardware vs software race as in time past.

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Facepalm

Re: Blindfold firmly secured? Let's go!

Not at all; I had MacBooks specifically in mind. The thing is: there may be a small migration from iPad ownership to MacBook Air ownership, but anyone who's starting out, or has been converted, by tablet use won't be hankering for a big, heavy laptop or a desktop. That's soooo last decade.

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Re: Blindfold firmly secured? Let's go!

@Peter2: Stop making sense; this is supposed to be El Reg!

I would also add that in my own case, the potential upgrades to desktop innards over the last 2-3 years have not been sufficient to tempt be, except for a boot SSD. Most other evolutionary advances (CPUs, GPUs) have not been advanced enough to warrant the expense. (CPU changes usually resulting in new motherboard + CPU + RAM)

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Re: Blindfold firmly secured? Let's go!

@Peter2 - if everyone had bought desktops at the same time, you might have had a point. But they haven't. Desktop replacement - IT equipment refresh in general - is a rolling process, and there's no reason to expect a sudden peak in desktop sales in five years' time, any more than there is in four, or three.

Quite the contrary: there's an increasing tendency amongst corporates to "big bang" transitions to "private cloud" virtual PCs, serving desktop thin clients and/or mobile computing devices, and that's where we're seeing sudden sales peaks, driven by an increasingly nomadic workforce that still needs access to corporate resources over VPN and secure client.

And workforces, far from being downsized, are increasing. In the past year, the number employed in the UK has increased by just under 500,000, with the trend generally upwards. [Source: Office for National Statistics] In general, the white-collar recruitment freezes of the past few years are being loosened by the companies that survived the financial crisis, and the startups are competing with them for recruits (as I know all too well). IT departments are having to make big decisions now, to accommodate the new arrivals, because the recycled kit from the previous departees is running out, or breaking down, and it's time to choose whether to continue down the old paths, or make a major transition now.

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Re: Blindfold firmly secured? Let's go!

Jon, my point is that the rolling process stopped rolling in many businesses and has remained firmly stuck since. There an an awful lot of businesses out there right now with difficulty meeting their payroll- do you think they are keeping rolling replacements of working equipment going? About the only place I know of still doing that locally from fellow techs is the Council & NHS, who hardly have to worry about such mundane issues as cashflow and not going bankrupt.

Yeah, a lot of businesses aren't this bad but a lot are. Looking at the employment statistics (lies, damn lies and statistics) still shows that the percentage of people not in jobs in the UK is far higher now than before the recession, and applications we post for jobs get responses counted by the hundred so I am assuming that for every thriving business there is another business hard up against it.

And yes, your right. 5 years is awfully arbitary, however the principle stands. Point in case, I just pulled a 1.4GHz pentium 4 of 2002 vintage and replaced it with a 3ghz P4 from 2006 from a steadily diminishing stack of spares. The order of the day here, as with other places I know locally is "make do and mend". It's not too difficult to see that as a ballpark it's going to take another couple of years for us to run out of PC's from stores and have to start buying a handful of replacements, followed by a large torrent of replacements as a shitload of decade old PC's snuff it within a similar timeframe.

We know it's going to happen, management knows it's going to happen but can't (not won't, can't) do anything about it with the financial resources available at this time so it's just going to have to be dealt with when the problem arises in a few years. (It all depends on how long you expect desktop hardware to keep going for, I doubt it's going to be much beyond 12 years...)

Misco also knows- just pick up the misco catalouge and have a look. there are several pages in it dedicated to 3 year old refurbished hardware from other peoples refresh cycles- were those in there 5 years ago? Do you think that's co-incidence or Misco meeting a demand for cash strapped companies buying replacement PC's on the cheap? I'm betting it's the latter.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blindfold firmly secured? Let's go!

The death of the desktop is greatly exaggerated, for lots of reasons I will not go into here, but "horses for courses" is an appropriate phrase, as well as 30 years of inertia. Tablets are complimentary and in most cases not yet a full replacement. MS are actually on the right idea, albeit a pretty poor implementation of Windows 8, but they will get better, but in the meantime they must not drop Windows 7 improvement.

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Anonymous Coward

Peter2.....

.....he understands EXACTLY how businesses and the real world are suffering right now, and the impact upon IT spending, unlike many overpaid and arrogant ponses commenting on this site.

As an founder and Director of several small business I would probably take on someone like Peter2 to be responsible for my IT without a single hesitation, he simply "gets it" and operates in the real economy, not the pumped up fluff which is akin to a pyramid scheme whici is about to crash.

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Re: Blindfold firmly secured? Let's go!

Wearable computing lol, we still doing that? While we're about it, what exactly is the advantage of a wearable computer over my patented Modular Wearable IT System? (current configuration: a hoodie with my tablet in the pouch and a pair of wranglers with my berry and my gameboy color in the pockets)

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Anonymous Coward

rMBP

Well, Macbooks are probably the only thing worth buying from Apple these days, so he might be right. iOS is stale (and has always had major shortcomings) iMacs are ridiculously over priced, and the whole concept of all-in-ones is a bit of a silly niche. MBA is no longer worth buying as MBP is only a little heavier and is a much better machine.

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Re: rMBP

MBP not much heavier...

I had a couple of upgraded MBPs and they weigh the same as a pregnant elephant.

I am now on my 3rd mac book air, and it a pure weight decision. The 4gb of ram and i5 means its fine for everything that is not ray tracing, so all my dev work is fine.

The only bummer is the 120gb SSD... it doesn't save the battery as much as claimed.

Oh i also have an iPad (mini)... but the laptop was first... and the ipad was after an android tablet and various android and iphones.

Tim Cook is just saying something because he must, no-one who can think beyond 10 minutes is really paying attention to him,

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Anonymous Coward

Re: rMBP

I am generally Apple-averse, but today I had a quick look again at the Mac Mini and the related server, now that looks like a decently priced and spec'd bit of kit for the novice and expert alike.

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Anonymous Coward

Really?

I think TIMMEH-chan might be dreaming just a bit. At the danger of being all anecdotal, a lot of people buy an iPad to have "a tablet", or something that travels well, but regard it as more or less a creature unto itself. They can browse (sans adblocker, unless they want to fight tooth and nail), get at their gmail/facebook/whatever, and play games. That's all fine, to a point.

However, there really isn't what Steve Jobs used to call a "halo effect" any more. A lot of iPad owners don't even connect them to their computers, even, and don't see that they should be overly related, on an intuitive level.

Maybe a company with smarter leadership could seek to exploit residual halo effects of some kind- though it's so weak that it resembles the CMBR now. A company with smarter leadership might also be able to make some sort of capital from the dislike of Windows 8 on laptops/desktops. This worked quite nicely in the VIsta era, when lots of non-techies suddenly realised that there were different choices, after all, and that they could try doing all their normal "stuff" on MacOS or PenguiniOS. Of course, actual full fat personal computers are less of a central issue now, like it or not (I don't), so even that is going to be an attenuated effect.

No, I think TIMMEH-chan is just trying to talk himself up. I know that world+dog have their ill-informed reckons about that various big tech giants should do ("they should just.."), and it's never that simple. Despite that, here's my ill-informed outburst:

I feel that Apple have been resting on their laurels for too long, even with their wildly sucessful mobile devices. Slowly cranking out incremental improvements is all well and good, but it's just treading water. Competitors will erode their market share, slowly and surely; this is already happening. The buzz is a little absent, now. Their personal computers.. well, they're even less thrilling than their mobile devices. No-one gasps when you self-importantly plop your Macbook down, any more. It's just a case of "a computer, wutevs".

They didn't get where they were today, sitting on a giant Scrooge McDuck style cash pile by producing incremental tweaks to the Lisa. They got there by executing well on products which weren't always completely new ideas, but which others hadn't executed properly yet (the original iPod vs the DIamond Rio and chums, or the iPad vs years of piss poor tablets). Producing shiny devices that you didn't already have, rather than slightly faster ones. Obviously, a few failed hilariously, but them's the vagaries.

Soooo... it has all felt rather uninspired under TIMMEH-chan. He hasn't been able to call a halt to the legal dickwaving, but nor has Apple actually brought anything reasonably different to market in his reign- the worst of both worlds. Obviously, with that much cash, the company is probably not likely to vanish overnight, but if they just coast along as they are, they will atrophy as the more vocal shareholders peel off strips of flesh, and competitors... compete.

It will be interesting to see if they can come up with a new category-smashing... thingy that makes as massive a splash as the iPad did. I suspect that a smart watch isn't going to be it. Hell, even Google are putting weird batshit Future Stuffs into production.

The ball is in your court, AAPL.

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Next "innovation" in Macs

Will be one with ARM and OS X more like iOS.

Yes essentially an ipad with easier to use storage, keyboard (detachable?), bigger screen. Perhaps using a 6" iPad as mouse/touch pad replacement.

An more appliance like Mac looking cooler, with x4 battery life and better profit margin.

"Computer" is gone from their name and the Mac servers are gone.

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Re: Next "innovation" in Macs

Maybe but couldn't replace the current Mac lines for some time, and its a big jump from A6X to a SoC to compete with Baytrail and even then the cost savings aren't enormous on an MBA type BOM.

One of my side-bet predictions is an ARM+x86 iOS/OSX hybrid multitouch detachable where the (retina) screen as tablet has passive cooling and you have choice of battery + higher powered CPU etc. in keyboard section. Seems a very obvious step though doubtless would be announced as revolutionary and innovative. Should be doable at MBA-MBP pricing with 2014 tech.

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Re: Next "innovation" in Macs

"One of my side-bet predictions is an ARM+x86 iOS/OSX hybrid multitouch detachable where the (retina) screen as tablet has passive cooling and you have choice of battery + higher powered CPU etc. in keyboard section. "

It seems more likely to me that they'll start leveraging clang and LLVM and describe a universal binary format which runs over any CPU at near native speeds with API that cherry picks functionality from iOS and OS X. Kind of surprising it hasn't happened already really.

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Anonymous Coward

Bollocks, probably

I know a number of people with iPads, including Mrs A. Coward, their "other computer" is a Windows PC.

I know one Mac notebook owner, his tablet is a 7 inch Nexus, his main computers are an Alienware tower and an Alienware "portable" (weighs a bloody ton)

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Holmes

Apple.next

The purpose of a company is to make profit for the owners - not to satisfy the egos of pundits, analysts and the assorted nerds and geeks of the world.

Apple makes 10s of billions of dollars in profit a year and is still "banking" cash at a rate of $50B p.a.

Apple are hideously successful and continue to be, despite a whole industry of punditry which has their collective knickers in a knot because Apple won't "do what they say" and continues to chart its own long term course without reference to the punditry's opinions. Tsk, tsk - how dare Apple do that. Better start beating on them some more.

While all you geeks & nerds sit there and froth off about iOS being stale, and there being no innovation blah, blah, blah, Apple continue to provide the market with what it apparently wants to the tune of 10s of millions of devices per quarter. Sales are up in almost every category, despite 3 months of solid "poor sales" messages from the anal-ysts. Macs down 2% in a market that tanked 15%.

* The wearable computing is a nerd thing. The greater part of humanity doesn't (and won't) give a shit for decades if ever.

* The iWatch idea was executed quite well by Sony but no one wanted to buy it. Pebble is meh so far. I am not convinced that Apple will bother either without some killer feature that changes the state of the art.

* An Apple TV. Here the opportunity is massive. Once you have tried to use what TV manufacturers call a SmartTV you will know that this is an area ripe for a sophisticated "user-friendly" interface. The market here is wide open, and with Apple's proven ability to deliver content for a profit, this is I submit the most likely .next product from Apple.

* An Apple car maybe :D

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple.next

My lounge TV is 6 years old, the smarts are in external boxes. I'll update it when it fails or 4K/UHD becomes affordable in around three years time. The very last product I want to add to the lounge is a TV designed with a 3 year lifetime before it feels old, a panel with minimal on board electronics is fine.

That's just me but all the evidence from the TV industry experience is most consumers don't want to replace their screens very often. I'm sure Apple could sell branded TVs in reasonable volumes at a better than typical margin but its hardly a new big part of the business, much easier to make an interesting new Apple TV box to plug in. They could try to lead the UHD transition my offering a huge contract to Sharp to accelerate large panel production but hardly worth the gamble I suspect.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apple.next

"* The iWatch idea was executed quite well by Sony but no one wanted to buy it. Pebble is meh so far. I am not convinced that Apple will bother either without some killer feature that changes the state of the art."

Bollocks was it. It was broken, buggy and fugly. The damn thing didn't actually work properly. It didn't sell because while it looked cool on paper, it wasn't a finished product.

It's a bit like the situation with tablets, until someone made a non-sucky one, they didn't take off. Now we just have to see who actually nails it first, the game's afoot.

(Though I still have my doubts that it's a massive never category, either way)

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Re: Apple.next

"Bollocks was it. It was broken, buggy and fugly. The damn thing didn't actually work properly. It didn't sell because while it looked cool on paper, it wasn't a finished product.".

I have a first gen Sony smartwatch, it took a lot of effort just to get the thing working properly. Had to ditch all sonys software, which just wasnt reliable enough for everyday use, and use an open source alternative, then run a tasker like app to reconnect the thing to Bluetooth every time it disconnected (which was constantly). Next up was modding the case as you couldn't charge it without removing it from the strap (why would you design it like that?). After all that, it worked pretty well, until the battery dies without warning, thanks to its lying battery gauge.

So yeah, it wasn't great out of the box.

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Thumb Up

Better Bet

Apple has a better bet of surviving the mobile revolution than does Microsoft, for exactly the reasons Cook stated. Microsoft will become the IBM of this millennium, a service centered shell of its former self.

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Anonymous Coward

Gateway? In the sense gates block you, yes.

My own experience with an iPad as a peep over the walls of the "garden" that is Apple was a gateway all right - a gateway with the gate firmly locked, an armed security guard posted, a list of fees, rents, and costs beside it, and a big sign over it saying "Abandon all money ye who enter here". Considering that at every turn the iPad blocked my ability to do simple, common things without involving iTunes or the iStore, buying expensive iApps to do things my Androids all did out of the box, it was a gateway I quickly determined that I would NOT be passing through.

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