back to article Pads propel PC market growth

World PC'n'pad shipments were up seven per cent during Q1 2011, market watcher Canalys said today. And, interestingly, seven per cent of the devices counted were tablets. Shipments made during the quarter topped 88.6m units, up from 82.8m in Q1 2010. Some 6.4m tablets shipped during the quarter, higher than the unit increase. …


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Canalys gets it

All of the other big PC market analysts are still calling these things "media tablets," but Canalys figured things out right away. These devices are being bought by people who don't need hard keyboards, optical drives, beefy CPUs, or tons of ports in their mobile computer — who don't need a laptop.

The other analysts will come around, eventually. If they don't, the PC market will look stagnant and boring as tablets snarf up all the growth.

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" These devices are being bought by people who don't need hard keyboards, optical drives, beefy CPUs, or tons of ports in their mobile computer — who don't need a laptop"

Really? In the case of the iPad, what are they activating and syncing them with then? The phrase "sucks arse" doesn't even begin to describe a tablet that relies on ownership of another computer in order to function. Sort that out and you may have a point.


Nothing new?

I guess the categorisation thing is nothing new and depends entirely on where you position any given 'Pad' now.

Historically we had:

- "tablet PC's" (PC's) (failures ... but yeah, Apple did not 'invent' this category with the iPad

- "portable media players" e.g. the 7+ inch Archos offerings etc.

Unsurprisingly the iPad falls somewhere in between the 2 running the OS of a mobile device (effectively an oversized iTouch) -- but featuring App platform capabilities not generally seen in personal media players like Archos historically.

Personally I think the iPad is more in the mould of a PMP and Apple gives this away with it running iOS as the OS and doing everything through their media centric iTunes ... if they moved towards running full OS/X (as some of the Win 7 tablets are doing), then I would definitely count it as a PC. Likewise ... Android tablets as a PCs ??? ... Nah!

How can you take a clearly mobile platform and blow up its form factor and call it a PC?

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No they do not get it.

As has already been pointed out you cannot use an iPad without access to a pc or a mac (I shall not say a word about iTxxxs). The iPad is in practice being purchased as a *supplement* to an existing home pc/mac setup (desktop and/or lappie) - it is not designed to have "independent life", it is indeed correctly described as a media tablet. Now there is nothing wrong with it being such a device and it clearly makes a lot of punters happy - it is just not a *replacement* for a pc or a mac. *That* will not happen until the available hardware has more power without slaughtering the battery and tablets are being sold with Win 8 and/or OSX compiled to run on ARM architecture. *Then* we can talk about the new mobile devices replacing the pc/mac - because they will be running proper operating systems with full functionality.

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Oh please

Once activated you only need to connect it to upgrade its firmware. Activation is useful for iPads with 3G as it sets the device up to work with the SIM card installed, downloads carrier information.

Also firmware upgrades via USB are still more reliable than any other method at the moment. If the device gets bricked the bootloader still works.

I'm sure many people will want to connect it to their computer to syncronise music they have already and other media. If this was not possible then it would mean re-purchasing all their music.


knock apple if you like...

but they seem to be a major driver in this industry.

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