Perspective: iPad and the keyboard -- getting inside Apple's head
Noted analyst ponders whether Apple could out-Surface Microsoft, concludes it will do so only if it thinks the category is ripe
Computerworld - By arming a larger iPad with a 64-bit processor and a keyboard cover, Apple could crack the nascent 2-in-1 device market -- out-Surface Microsoft and its OEM partners as they push the concept of tablet-as-notebook, notebook-as-tablet -- if it decides the effort's worthwhile, a noted analyst said today.
"Apple's not driven by what the competition does," said Tim Bajarin, founder of Creative Strategies and an industry analyst since 1981, or almost as long as Apple and Microsoft have been around. "But history says if Apple sees a segment of the market, and they believe they can improve on it, they consider it."
Bajarin was reacting to speculation that started with several Wall Street analysts trying to make sense of Apple's move to the 64-bit A7 system-on-a-chip (SoC) in the iPhone 5S, its flagship smartphone. Like the industry analysts Computerworld spoke with a month ago about the A7 and its long-term implications for the Cupertino, Calif. company, financial experts theorized that Apple could use the more powerful ARM-based processor, more system memory -- which a 64-bit CPU can address -- a keyboard and perhaps even a larger screen to transform the current iPad into a convertible device. The resulting device could entertain like a tablet and produce like an ultra-light notebook, depending on the circumstances.
More recently, other pundits -- mostly bloggers -- have picked up on the idea, adding fuel to the hypothetical fire.
"We're not picking anything up from the [supply] channel" that Apple will actually make such a move in the short- or mid-term, Bajarin cautioned. "But they do look at markets if they see potential, look at the good and the bad about something that already exists, and if they can make it better, they do."
Apple does have a market to examine in this case.
Rival Microsoft has pinned high hopes on the tablet-notebook concept, betting that its Surface line will find hordes of customers eager for a single device to replace the two they own, even promoting the Surface Pro as a substitute for both an iPad and an Apple notebook. Microsoft's OEM (original equipment manufacturing) partners, like Lenovo and Dell, have also grabbed hold of the idea and released devices, called "convertibles," "hybrids" or "2-in-1s."
Even though Microsoft hasn't convinced many that the concept is worthwhile -- in an eight-month span that ended June 30, the company recorded Surface revenue of just $853 million, or less than Apple's iPad generated in a typical two-week stretch during the second quarter -- the company will stick with it: The Redmond, Wash. firm launched its second-generation Surface devices today. The devices, which start at $449 for the Windows RT-powered Surface 2 and $899 for the Windows 8 Pro-equipped Surface Pro 2, come minus a keyboard cover, -- an odd omission considering the use model. The keyboards cost between $80 and $130, putting a 64GB Surface Pro with the Touch Cover at $1,029, or close to double the current ASP (average selling price) of a Windows 8 touchscreen notebook.
- iPad sales skew even more toward Mini
- Apple's Mac ends up in tablet cannibal pot, too
- The case for an iPad Pro
- Is Apple's 13-in. iPad a desktop for kids?
- Balky browsers tick off tablet owners
- The PC's fate hinges on tablets, but it's 2014 or bust
- iPhone, iPad dwarf mobile rivals in small- and mid-sized firms
- iPad grabs top spot in tablet purchase poll
- Tablets remain tops in American gift-buying plans
- iOS 7 now powers 3 out of 4 Apple devices
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Tablets White Papers | Webcasts