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Handheld Technology

Apple's iPad Pro is nifty but PCs need not worry

Today Apple's much talked-about and highly anticipated iPad Pro will be available to pre-order in the UK and Apple's CEO Tim Cook is super confident that it will be the answer to everything. So much so that people can just forget about their PCs altogether and not even feel sorry about it.

On his visit in Britain for the launch, he made some remarks to The Telegraph about the iPad Pro being a “replacement for a notebook or a desktop” and that once people start using it, they won’t need anything else, “other than their phones”.

Of course, we have heard all of this before. In 2010, when Steve Jobs was asked whether tablets would replace PCS, he said “PCs are going to be like trucks. Less people will need them”. Five years on and where are we now? Although Jobs didn’t quite predict the end of PCs, there is no doubt that PCs are declining. According to Gartner, PC shipments declined by 7.7% in the third quarter of 2015. IDC expects PC shipments to fall by 8.7% in 2015 and not stabilise until 2017.

So what's so great about the iPad Pro and is it a good replacement for the PC? It certainly it has some nifty features. A 12.9 inch retina display, multi-tasking features, and of course, the Apple Pencil. You can see the beautiful display being used at sales presentation meetings and Cook especially sees its use in the creative industries.

But just like with every iteration of the iPhone, the iPad Pro is bigger and better but not especially unique. Plus the other major PC players are not going down without a fight. In fact, Microsoft, Lenovo, Intel, Dell and HP have joined forces to run a campaign to get users to start thinking about refreshing their PCs with newer models. The hope is to entice people with exciting new features such as biometric logins, immersive gaming experiences, and facial recognition technology that are all in the pipeline.

It might be one last desperate measure but even if they fail initially, it will be a while yet before PCs are completely gone as there is still too much to play for. Windows 10 has so far received some positive reviews and the next year or two will be telling in how businesses warm to it. Microsoft has also got a few more tricks up its sleeve. Augmented reality headset HoloLens, investments in machine learning and facial recognition is just the tip of the iceberg in its plans to reinvigorate the PC market.

Plus, people are creatures of habit and while many will happily toss aside their PCs for the iPad Pro, many more will still find some use for PCs. But after all is said and done, if PCs are on the way out, it won't be the iPad Pro that does the killing.

There is still life in the old PCs yet.

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Ayesha Salim

Ayesha Salim is Staff Writer at IDG Connect

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