The number of people predicting a forthcoming Apple Tablet keeps growing.
In the next round you’ll see one with two or three USB ports and a removable battery as well as a tablet version. Both will run the iPhone software at least as an option. The tablet might run it as its only option.
Dave also sees the Apple Air notebook as a harbinger of thin things to come. I think he’s correct on this. Wha t Apple has going for it in its designs is not just a little bit of metal or well placed plastic or fancy graphics. Apple’s key design wins have recently been its thinness. It scored well here with the iPhone in comparison to other Internet browsing devices. It scored well here with the Air and even the MacBook Pro for that matter.
If Apple can bring together thin mobile devices with relatively low cost, then Apple’s going to continue to take market share.
My prediction a year or so back was that we’d see 30% market share of Apple devices. Forget about the PC as a single system sitting on a desk. What it’s really about now is a combination of connected devices. Signs continue to look like it’s going to happen. I imagine in the next year or so we’ll see analysts talking not just about PC market share, but connected device market share. What will matter is if the device can get to the cloud. If so, it counts in the pile. And if Apple can bring together its OSes even more across its devices (phones, iPods, PCs), then Apple’s going to wind up with a significant market share even in the OS category compared to other “PC” manufacturers.
In this game, Microsoft may want to rethink its strategy of “hiding” the OS in its game consoles or Zunes or even consolidating better the notion of an OS in its phones and the OS in small notebooks. The lines are blurring. Fact is, 10 million here and a 100 million there of competing devices that belong to the same OS family and its going to raise some competitive feathers.
Now one could argue that the OS can be hidden just fine, particularly the smaller the device gets. However, as the iPhone has shown it’s still about the developer, developer, developer. Do you think we’d see the same amount of interest in the iPhone today without all the developer efforts–official or not–around the iPhone? Nope.