The rivalry between Apple and Microsoft has existed since the foundation of both companies, and although Natya Nadella seems willing to give a new air to the company he runs. Both manufacturers compete in different markets, but in the tablet or hybrid market, the battle is taking a very different turn: Surface is following an upward sales path, while the iPad has begun its decline .
One can argue that this is logical, since the Apple tablet has been on the market much longer and its decline in sales is due to market saturation: it cannot sell more. But, if this is so why has Microsoft started to grow in sales in a supposedly saturated segment? .
This reflection leads us to a double ground: product and market . With regard to the latter, the global sales figures confirm that the segment’s decline began in 2013 , with the iPad taking the lion’s share of the decline, being the king of the market. But the issue becomes more interesting when we go down to compare the products: are Surface and iPad similar? Of course, as far as the target audience is concerned, Apple has made it clear that the iPad Pro competes in the same segment as Microsoft’s hybrid .
A war of systems
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes at ZDNET has it clear: Apple should “copy” what Microsoft does is the Surface to “save” the iPad. Thick words that give a glimpse of the background: is the future a versatile mobile operating system that invades the computer’s competence or is it just the opposite? . In this sense, Apple’s commitment is clear: the future of mobile computing lies in stretching the potential of iOS to its limits, and we have seen this with the iPad Pro.
The colossal iPad defends itself perfectly in the field of work, and in my case, it’s already the only ‘computer’ in use for months. But Microsoft’s gamble goes just the other way: bring the thesis of a complete computer to the tablet format , which is exactly what it has done with the Surface.
The future is convertible
If we look at the analysts’ forecasts, it seems that there is a quorum in which a high percentage of tablet owners (especially those with small screens) do not plan to renew their equipment for a similar one , something consistent with the sales that the iPad is reaping in its last closures. Where are all these buyers going? Gartner argues that the bulk of them will opt to buy a convertible or hybrid , although analysts speak of a great deal of indecision on the part of buyers.
We are possibly facing a paradigm shift and consumers prefer to wait a few months before deciding on a device that requires a considerable economic outlay. The question now is whether the sales success achieved by Surface is temporary or, on the contrary, temporary. But as if we did not have enough elements of debate, the iPad Pro would have outsold Surface despite its good results, and we do not know if this is due to the sales revenue of the product itself, or also, something circumstantial.
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