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Chief executive officer of Apple, the pioneer of both ultra-thin notebooks and media tablets, said that convergence of slates and laptops by integrating touch-screens into mobile PCs would not to lead to devices that will compete successfully in both categories. Systemsin clamshell form-factor with touch-screen may contain so many tradeoffs that it would neither be a nice notebook nor a media tablet.

"Anything can be forced to converge. The problem is that products are about tradeoffs, and you begin to make trade-offs to the point where what you have left at the end of the day does not please anyone. You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not going to be pleasing to the user. Our view is that the tablet market is huge and we have said that since day one. [...] It was clear to us that there was so much you could do and that the reasons that people would use those would be so broad," said Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple, during a quarterly conference call with financial analysts.

Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. are encouraging PC makers to incorporate touch-screens into ultrabooks to make them competitive to various tablets and enable new usage experiences. However, since touch-sensing screens cost additional money, manufacturers will have save on something else to maintain prices, or to sell those systems at a premium.

Lenovo Group earlier this year introduced IdeaPad Yoga concept, a notebook-tablet hybrid based on Microsoft Windows 8. Thanks to use of advanced hinges, Intel ultra low-power microprocessor and other innovative technologies, the Yoga can operate both in notebook and tablet modes.

But while Intel and Microsoft may distract some attention from rapidly growing tablets and try to continue selling PCs, it should be noted that personal computers and slates are used for different purposes. PCs are largely devices for doing work or making content, media tablets are devices for consumption or very basic computing. As a result, converged systems will neither provide thin form-factors and long battery life of tablets, nor offer high performance required from PCs.

Apple believes that there are places for both ultra-thin MacBook Air notebooks as well as iPad media tablets.

"I believe that there is a very good market for the MacBook Air, and we continue to innovate in that product. [...] You would not want to put [iPad and MB Air] things together because you wind up compromising in both and not pleasing either user. Some people will prefer to own both, and that is great, too. I think to make the compromises of convergence... we are not going to that party. Others might," stressed Mr. Cook.

Tags: Apple, Intel, Microsoft, iPad, macbook, Lenovo, Windows 8

Discussion

Comments currently: 8
Discussion started: 04/25/12 07:43:09 AM
Latest comment: 04/27/12 04:22:37 AM

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1. 
I think I'll have to disagree with Mr Cook on this one.

Market convergence of laptops and tablets is most likely unavoidable - especially as technological progress in terms of power to performance ratio increases. He is correct in assuming that there will always be a niche for portable but powerful machines (gaming, CAD, etc.), but I foresee that all mainstream (office, student, family) laptops will in due time become ... *Roll of drums* ... LAPLETS...or TABTOPS (You heard it here first, just remember that!)
2 0 [Posted by: crointel  | Date: 04/25/12 07:43:09 AM]
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2. 
I think laptop with touch screen is more like refrigerator with ice-maker on the outside. The reason: without the addition, you can still perform the same function. But the addition make certain daily tasks more convenient.
I think a lot of people prefer ice-maker on their refrigerators. So I don't see why not to put a touchscreen on a laptop.
5 0 [Posted by: gjcjan  | Date: 04/25/12 07:51:51 AM]
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3. 
If Fujitsu ever makes updated versions of U820, P1630 or T580,
while dropping the prices in half, they most certainly will compete with tablets.
1 0 [Posted by: sanity  | Date: 04/25/12 08:20:42 AM]
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4. 
Chief Exec With a Sane Budget: Tablets Will Not Rival Notebooks with Touchscreen Displays.

Fixed that for you.

Tablets are toys, or a clip board replacement.

Work happens on a keyboard, I think the pencil has more potential for work, instead of app store profits.
1 0 [Posted by: AutisticGramma  | Date: 04/25/12 02:54:18 PM]
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5. 
It kind of sounds like Tim Cook is poopooing any idea that didn't originate from Apple. And rightly so I suppose. This is what all companies do however that doesn't mean Tim is correct. Ultrabooks with touchscreens are going to make the tablets a very niche product. They will take over the high end tablet market.
1 0 [Posted by: GreenChile  | Date: 04/25/12 03:44:15 PM]
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6. 
I have an Ipad3 and I am willing to bet against you Mr. Cooko.
1 0 [Posted by: Tukee44  | Date: 04/25/12 06:52:58 PM]
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7. 
Agree ever tried to use a touch screen for a spreadsheet, Word document or any sort of office/business work? They are toys for the masses who will drop them like hot cakes for the next "Must Have In Thingy" when it arrives, I forsee a short merry life span of them and they will end up in bottom draws soon.
0 1 [Posted by: tedstoy  | Date: 04/26/12 04:09:26 AM]
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8. 
A touch screen laptop is a tablet with fold-over screen protector AND a keyboard for when you need to do something productive.
0 0 [Posted by: bbo320  | Date: 04/27/12 04:22:37 AM]
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