At a the resent Nordic game conference in Malmö I noticed that not many people carried laptops. Instead they had tablets, mostly iPad. Few speakers also presented using a tablet. This trend is more dramatic than expected. Tablets are causing a real disruption in the PC market and how people use computers.
Then as I was leaving the Nordic game conference, the Silicon Alley Insider Chart of the day reported on a survey on how people use their devices (see below).
As it turn out people claim to use their iPad 37% of the time compared to 27.2% of the time for the laptop. While the iPad usage is up, the laptop usage is down. According to the same source sales of Microsoft consumer PC sales growth has dropped from 37% to -4% in a year.
The iPad is also disrupting print. One example is my own subscription to the Economist. The magazine hits the streets every Thursday. Since I live in Iceland, it will be in my office on Tuesday, some five days later. Since I have an iPad I usually download a copy of the magazine to my iPad app before the weekend and read the magazine over the weekend. I also download it to my iPhone, including the audio and more often than not, I listen to some articles while walking or running. Needless to say, the printed version is pretty much outdated when I get my hands on it. I just stacks up on my desk now:
It turns out that the iPad is a pretty good reading device. When the personal computer became widely used in the office environment, many believed that printing would be a thing of the past. The opposite happend since with quality laser printers, printing document exploded. The reasons was that reading from computer screen is not comfortable and thus, people print the paper. It may be due to the position people are in. When reading from a computer screen, whether desktop screen or laptop, its not a “reading position”. With tablets you can get in a more relaxed positon.
A new paper by Morgan Stanley about Tablet Demand and Disruption confirms this trend:
We are seeing some changes as people with tablets seem to print less than PC users. Tablets are disrupting how people work in the office and the result is printing is declining. The Morgan Stanley report shows that tablet owners print less paper in the office. They predict that tablets reduce office printing by 1-2% in 2011 and by 2-5% in 2012. These are not high numbers but any impact the printing industry.
When tablets appeared with the iPad in 2010, it was not clear how consumers would react. Many technology pundits were skeptical and some predicted the iPad a horrible fate. It is now clear that the iPad is disrupting the computer market and changing how people use the Internet.