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Weekend read: Why tablets are killing PCs

My recommended read for this weekend is an article from the back end of last year by Charles Arthur of The Guardian, in which he posits that tablets are killing off the PC business.

Young man / student using tablet computer in cafe

While sales of computers are slowing and tablets are rising (though by no means as quickly as they once were), it’s clear to anyone that there are roles for both. The journalistic technique of dichotomising technologies and claiming that one is “killing” another might be good for getting clicks and hits, but it is rarely true. Indeed, when Arthur himself wrote in 2009 that “laptops are taking over computing, especially with the rise of netbooks”, he was evidently wrong.

But, sniping aside, the insights in Arthur’s article make it worth reading. For instance:

The 2012 Greek bailout – the biggest in history, requiring the renegotiation of €146bn of bonds among 135 principal bond owners in just 30 days – was completed using iPads.

Over the past twelve months or so, I’ve seen a real shift in how people use tablets in my line of work. A couple of years ago, when I went to meetings, most people would be taking notes using paper, and a couple would be using laptops. Then there seemed to be a period where some people switched paper for tablets. And then, within months, it seemed that laptops and paper had been almost completely usurped by tablets.

I now sit in meetings relatively frequently where I’m the only person handwriting notes – even I tend to view papers on my tablet, but prefer the flexibility of handwritten notes which I usually then scan in and store electronically with the papers.

Anyway, I digress – enjoy Arthur’s article.

This 2,276th post was filed under: Weekend Reads, , .

2D: Apple (again)

Published a fortnight ago, my last 2D post offered two articles about technology giant Apple. With an originality rarely surpassed by this blog, today’s 2D post is about… Apple.

Having come across two more brilliant articles about the company in the last couple of weeks, I didn’t want to deny you the pleasure of reading them simply because I’ve done something similar recently.

My first selection today is this recent Guardian article by their technology editor Charles Arthur. He makes the point that while the Apple Maps app is often a source of ridicule, within the US at least it appears to be winning the long-game, with Google Maps losing millions of users to Apple’s version. It’s one of those interesting articles that explains why the cultural narrative around a certain story borders on counter-factual.

My second selection is this article from The New York Times published last month, and written by Fred Vogelstein. It’s been pretty widely shared, but I only got round to reading it last week. It’s a remarkable account of the development of the iPhone, and – perhaps most interestingly – the development of the iPhone’s launch announcement, and how buggy the iPhone was at the point it was announced. It’s a remarkable tale.

Next time round, I promise you something that’s not Apple…!

2D posts appear on alternate Wednesdays. For 2D, I pick two interesting articles that look at an issue from two different – though not necessarily opposing – perspectives. I hope you enjoy them!

This 2,083rd post was filed under: 2D, , , , , .


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