Tablets will be bigger than PCs. Are you ready?

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook spoke at the Goldman Sachs Technology Conference yesterday; Macrumors has what looks like a full transcript. Do not expect hot news; there is little or nothing in the way of announcements. It is interesting though as a recap of how Apple sees its future: iPad, iPhone, iCloud, Apple TV, maybe some future huge acquisition financed by its cash pile.

This is what stands out for me:

From the first day it shipped, we thought that the tablet market would become larger than the PC market and it was just a matter of the time it took for that to occur. I feel that stronger today than I did then.

I agree. The reasons are similar to those that caused laptops to outpace desktops. Mobility and convenience trump the better computing value you get in a desktop PC. Note: we still use desktops, and both desktops and laptops will continue to sell, but in smaller quantity.

Although you can list numerous reasons why tablets are not good enough – no keyboard, small storage capacity, underpowered for cutting-edge gaming, not really expandable, favourite apps not yet available, and more – none of these is sufficient to prevent the tablet taking over in the majority of cases.

You can have a keyboard if you want; build it into the case. Storage is increasing all the time, and we have the cloud. Graphics power is increasing all the time. Most people are happy to sacrifice expandability for the simplicity and reliability of a tablet. If your favourite app is not yet available, it soon will be; or else an equivalent will appear that replaces it.

Tablet benefits? Cost, no flappy screen, light and small, designed for ease of use, reliability of an appliance versus a computer for starters.

In itself, the move from one type of computing device to another is no big deal. The reason this one is such a deep change is because of other factors. I will list three:

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