In the last week two news items have emerged that are better understood together . The first is the reorganization announced by Microsoft. The second we had yesterday on the transition of the Mac from Intel x86 processors to some ARMs designed by Apple, scheduled for 2020.
The alliance formed by Windows and Intel, known as wintel , has ended. And with it, the importance of the traditional computers, which pass to the background . A fact that even Microsoft itself has ended up reluctantly acknowledging with its reorganization.
The Post-PC era was this
From the interview with Jobs during the D8 conference in 2010 we have this extract full of information (above, shortened to simplify its words). Eight years later, his prediction has proven to be correct . The personal computer is no longer the most important computing device for most people.
The Post-PC era only displaces the importance of the computer in people’s lives, not eradicates it
At the time of the interview, the iPad had been on sale for a few months and Apple was not expecting such a positive reception in the form of sales. That’s why it’s very likely that Jobs saw in this device the main adversary of traditional computers . However, he was not entirely convinced of this. In the end, it was the smartphones that cast doubt on his role.
For hundreds of millions of people around the world, the smartphone is their primary device. The most important one. The one they always carry with them, with high-speed connectivity anywhere. So much so that they see it as a little piece of their personality, which is why sleeves end up playing a role that goes beyond protection to fashion. Never before seen in a PC.
PC and Mac are the past
Many have confused the Post-PC era with the disappearance of the PC. But they are wrong. The Post-PC era implies that the conventional computer is seen displaced in importance, but does not disappear . And that’s what has happened.
According to the latest IDC data for computers, smartphones and tablets, 259 million, 1,472 million and 163 million devices were sold last year, respectively. For Apple, that’s 19 million Macs, 215 million iPhones and 43 million iPads.
Translated into market share, we would have superior representation. Although let’s not forget that this metric is misleading, since Apple mainly competes in the premium segment of each of these categories. In other words, a single Apple device generates more revenue and profits than the average competitor. These numbers are the consequence of this shift in user attention. The smartphone and iPhone are the most important devices for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. An influence that the computer has never enjoyed.
Del MacBook Pro al iPad Pro, nuestras experiencias: Las Charlas de Apple.
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For Apple, the Post-PC era has been a bet that has come out well. With the iPhone they put the company at risk, in the words of Steve Jobs, and now they are about to become the first company to reach $1 trillion in market capitalization. However, Microsoft has been forced to drop the ballast of Windows once and for all . As Ben Thompson said yesterday:
Microsoft eliminated the division of Windows from its structure, dividing its responsibilities among different segments of the company. Now, the company located in Redmond is formed by two large groups :
- Azure Cloud Platform: groups the cloud, artificial intelligence and the Windows Platform team.
- Experiences & Devices: groups Windows as operating system, devices (Surface, Hololens and Xbox) and Office 365.
That is, the future of the company is in the cloud and artificial intelligence, while the past remains in Windows, devices and Office. Nadella understood that Microsoft needed to let go of the ballast so that it would have a chance tomorrow. And she has finally completed her plan with success and the blessing of Wall Street.
One does not announce the end of his milk cow and doubles the value of the company every day.
The Mac: change today to fight tomorrow
And back to the Mac. If Microsoft has already assumed that conventional computers are the past and that growth is elsewhere, what does that mean for the Apple computer?
After the introduction of the iPhone and the subsequent arrival of the iPad, the Mac began to receive news from both devices. Both in hardware (lightweight designs, SSD, retinal screens, Force Touch, Touch ID, Touch Bar) and software (FaceTime, Messaging, AirDrop, Continuity, APFS). But it has come to a point where a major transformation is needed .
The world has changed. We, the users, have changed. But the Mac has barely done so in comparison. So it’s time for a significant transformation
The world has changed. We, the users, have changed. But the Mac has barely done so in comparison . Apple is an expert in change, adaptation and preparation for the future. More than anything, because it has been the protagonist of most major movements in the last twenty years. Change is its specialty.
For the Mac, the change is to maintain or increase its relevance in a mobilized world full of apps . To do this, Apple must push two fundamental aspects in all its products:
It will not be an overnight leap . There are numerous pieces in motion, quite a few more than when Apple made its famous transition to Intel in 2005. What is certain is that when changes are coming, some users will feel uncomfortable. As Jobs said eight years ago.