The iPad is swallowing more and more of the PC market. No less than 50 million tablets are expected to have been sold by the end of this year and twice that number, 100 million units, next year. In the meantime, PC shipments only recorded a 2% growth in the Q2.
This is why many in the personal computer industry are adopting an innovative strategy: changing the design of PCs, to make them more like tablets.
Following the iPad's example, having a more user-friendly interface and easier installation of software from outside parties, are just two of the features the PC industry needs to adopt, according to Yang Yuanquing, Lenovo CEO (opens in new tab).
Nevertheless, PC makers are not just trying to copy the iPad, but also trying to bring something extra; such as physical keyboards on hybrid devices, or touchscreens on powerful heavy-duty machines for design or photo editing; in their desperate attempt to compete with the growing tablet market.
One difficulty they must overcome is the operating system of the future iPad-like PCs. Microsoft's Windows isn't a good option, since Intel processor chips rapidly drain batteries. On the other hand, the iPads use cellphone-style ARM chips, which are able to save power by turning off parts of them when not being used.
The PC makers' think-iPad strategy needs to materialise quickly, since 21 million people are expected to buy a tablet instead of a laptop this year, and that number will probably grow even more in an increasingly mobile world.