iPad which is using the same OS as that used by iPhone is perhaps bringing the curtains down on Mac – Apple’s PC platform that has been there for 26 years. Microsoft Windows may no longer be the serious contender that it used to be for Mac. Rather, it is Apple itself that may soon obliterate the presence of Mac from the consumer market. And the soon to be released iPad may be just speeding up the process.
Apples wishes to see itself as a company that specializes in mobile devices. This means more of their products are likely to get the iPhone OS. If Apple is to do the Mac once more, it is the iPhone OS that the company is most likely to rely on. So what this implies is that there will be less number of open-source projects, no torrents, Flash and Firefox while the peripheral market will become so much more restricted.
Portable devices like the netbooks became popular under a Windows environment and it looks like Apple is keen to entice away some of the netbook users with iPhone OS running mini PCs. If such a move clicks and Apple turns its attention away from the Mac, it might be the beginning of the end of the Mac. First in line for the graveyard could be the MacBook and Macmini as they cost less and are targeted mainly to the consumers. On the other hand, MacPros will be the last to die since a wide range of strange hardware and accessories tend to be of use to the professionals. The reasons for such conclusion would be enumerated in the succeeding lines.
To begin with, it’s not all about ARM vs. X86 that shape up the relationship between the Mac and iPad. Also, both the Mac and Apple devices use the latest NIX based Operating system. But while the Mac is mouse dependant the iPad is touché screen operated. In any case it is now proven that touch screens need not necessarily be small in size and looks, courtesy HP and others. In fact, they can be as big as a PC screen. Also, the all new iWork app developed for iPad proves conclusively that there’s no reason why Mac like productivity apps can’t co-exist with ARM based platforms.
But the one thing that differentiates the Mac from the iPad like no other is that Mac is basically an open platform and iPad is not. The Mac like its mate, the PC has a lot of third party developers creating application for it. This led to an incredible pace of innovation though there’s a negative side to it as well, that of increased chances of malware infection.
The Apple devices and in particular the iPad would not have this advantage. It’s a restrictive scenario in that anything that anyone creates will have to be verified and approved by Apple. Of course the intentions are noble, that of less bugs since all of them are verified, a clean user interface and ease of distribution through a single store.
However, there’s a negative aspect to this as well, the implications of which depend on to what level Apple decides to maintain its dictatorship. Absolute power at a single point can have huge implications, more so if there are no proper checks in place. Sure iPhone has flourished under Apple’s dictatorship though the entire thing depended on Apple control remaining benign at best. And now, with iPad entering the scene, it’s like a bit more pressure on Apple’s control over the entire thing to continue remaining benign.
And if there is a change of tactics on Apple’s part, read exercising more control over the apps or processes that is to feature on the iPad, things surely will turn for the worse. Particularly for those who prefer innovation to not get stunted. For who would like anyone else to dictate what you would install and run on your own personal computer at home.
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