Then it struck me. How much money is Apple taking from us each year or two? First, let’s travel back to the not-too-distant yesteryear when all we had was a home phone, a television, and a computer. Singular, each; three devices. How does that compare to today?
Cost Multiplied, Money Not
One who lives in a mostly capitalist society needs to understand that everyone– everyone– is out to get your money.
In exchange for our money we get stuff in return; and that ranges from food and clothing, to transportation and baubles, to near necessities of life– like telecommunication and computing devices.
Today, in our household, we each have a couple of Macs (desktop and notebook). Collectively, we have a couple of iPads and iPhones.
Each device is connected to a cellphone company, each with their own monthly fees. We also have a few TVs, and those are connected to the cable TV company, which also supplies internet access.
Think about the change in society. Just a couple of dozen years ago we paid for a telephone line, and TV was free over the air. Today, we pay for half a dozen devices to be connected, watch hundreds of TV stations, and we’re connected to the internet.
Where $20 a month paid for the phone service, we’re paying many hundreds of dollars to remain connected to the internet with mobile devices to entertain us and connect us to others. Where television was once mostly free, we pay large monthly sums for a few hundred channels we’ll never watch.
That brings me to how Apple’s iPad is going the way of the Mac. No, the Mac isn’t going away; what with record sales, and all that. But Macs get purchased on a cycle; anywhere from every two years to every five years, but certainly sales are steady and cyclical in nature.
Unlike the iPhone, so goes the iPad. Functionality remains much the same as the original iPad, so we keep the iPads longer than iPhones, while still offloading functionality once reserved for the Mac.
Like the Mac, iPad sales have seemingly stalled, though every Android tablet maker would love to have the same sales numbers Apple enjoys. Stalled isn’t the right word, though. iPads are a mature product and will enjoy continued sales success, but not grow by leaps and bounds.
The Mac installed base, about 30 years after it was introduced, is estimated to be about 60-million computers still in use. The iPad, in just four years, has sold over 220-million units, of which the majority remain in use.
Until the next insanely great thing hits the streets, the iPad will live a life much like the Mac; comfortable, steady, not too exciting, with annual upgrades to become thinner, lighter, faster, and more useful, but it’s not just an iPhone with a bigger screen. The iPad is more like the Mac without a keyboard.