Apple is an existential threat to the PC

Discussion in 'PC Industry' started by MfA, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. MfA

    MfA
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    If the rumors of Apple abandoning Intel are true, I think the "open platform" PC (ie. anyone can build them from components) is on shaky ground in the near future. The server market will remain for a while, but the Windows PC market could start to evaporate in my opinion. Chromebook continuing to eat margins from the bottom and Apple gobbling up the high end. With Apple in the future not even putting money into x86 and PC GPUs.

    I think Microsoft has become an unreliable partner to Intel/AMD/NVIDIA. People want stuff which Just Werks and Microsoft does not deliver. Chromebooks do, but it's a walled garden which datamines it's users. What PCs need is the best of both worlds, a semi-walled garden of certified hardware, software and apps for the common user, but connected to the open platform PC world. Where enthusiasts can run the same apps, but on self configured hardware and bleeding edge not yet certified OS/drivers.

    I thought Valve had a chance to do this for gaming, but I doubted they would ever fully commit ... and they didn't and they're giving up now. But still, if there is to be a future for the PC the time to act is now. Ubuntu despite how it flounders is probably the best bet for an independent party creating something similar to Chromebooks, but without the datamining and without turning it into a completely closed garden. Their present certification and QA program is a joke compared to Chromebooks though ... they need a lot of work and a lot of money to create something which Just Werks on the same level.
     
  2. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    I don't see it. I can see a world without Windows many years off but I can't see why, even if the Apple rumours are correct, in whole or in part, that this represents some precipice for the PC platform. Last week Microsoft re-organised the Windows and Devices Group into two new groups with distinct focus on software and hardware respectively and which fits well into Microsoft's larger re-organisation which has been separating services from platforms and hardware for a few years.

    Less Windows users in the future? For absolute certain, many people can do fine with a phone and/or non-Windows tablet and will contemplate that life when their current PC dies. But the death of Windows and the PC? I don't think so. :nope: At least not yet.
     
  3. Entropy

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    Windows and x86 will hang around for a Very Long Time. Yes, Windows and PCs have been on a slow decline the last few years, and no, nothing really seems set to change that. But the emphasis is on “slow”. Also, it’s not clear to what extent the number of Windows systems in use are actually in decline, if at all. The rate of replacement is getting slower, and for instance extending the service life of a workspace computer from three to five years makes a large difference in number of systems sold annually.
    Apple opting out of x86 would be a blow to intel. Compared to the product mix of for instance Lenovo, Apple uses way more profitable components (for Intel). Also, if Apple produced ARM cores on HP processes that outperformed intels products, there is a risk that businesses would more readily consider ARM in the server space.

    Personally, I believe we see these rumors because Apple is heading towards a new round of negotiations with Intel. :)
    It would be interesting to see what Apple could do in ten times the power envelope of their iPads though.
     
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  4. MfA

    MfA
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    It's not just Apple, but they are big part of it. It's a confluence of things, Chromebooks, greater awareness of privacy/security concerns (Facebook) and now Apple getting ready to stop pumping money in important parts of the PC industry.

    With windows teams being spread out all across it and with no single manager to lead it. Getting caught up between the conflicting interests of pushing the cloud and Surface will harm Windows. The fact they are trying to push Arm again, but without Apple's billion dollar US engineering clout making the processors actually competitive, is a testament to Microsoft's floundering. Microsoft can not be depended upon. Chromebook will eat the market from the bottom, Apple from the top.
     
  5. Malo

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    What is Apple's marketshare? I thought it was still in the single digits for Macs. Sure it's an impact but it can't be that much of an impact to call the demise of the PC? :???:
     
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  6. DSoup

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    The only place I see Chromebooks making an inroad is in education and then, only in general education where cost and convenience is well suited. As for Apple "pumping money" into the PC industry, Apple reportedly made up 5% of Intel's revenue. I think Intel will be ok, their bigger concern with be people replacing 80x86 PCs with ARM mobile devices.

    Huh? Windows is under Joe Belfiore as it has been for some time.

    Have you moved to backwards world? This is literally the opposite of the recent re-organisation. They've divorced hardware and software to separate divisions.

    As for "Microsoft's floundering", you may want to look at Microsoft's market cap, share price, revenue and net income just before Nadella took over and now. Because everything is better now. Microsoft have remove the distraction of managing hardware from the Windows people and have migrated their business so it's not dependant on Windows being dominant because it likely won't be in the future. This doesn't mean Windows is going anywhere soon.

    Have a beer, think it over. It makes sense. :yes: Windows and macOS are likely not going to exist in their current guise in ten years time but traditional operating systems are not going to disappear altogether.
     
  7. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Their marketshare is low, but boy are they eating a lot of the profits.

    I don't have any laptop numbers, but in the smartphone market, iphone is in the lower double digits marketshare, but scoffing like 85% of all profits. Most of the sales in the smartphone biz are budget phones where margins are cut to the bone, and some makers have been losing money, essentially pumping up Apple's figures even higher. :p
     
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  8. Malo

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    Yes we all know how obscene Apple's profits are, that wasn't the question and irrelevant for this discussion. Phones aren't relevant either for this proposed impact.
     
  9. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    I think for the mainstream, their current PC or smartphone is more than good enough for what they need to do. I remember my earliest laptops were all sorts of compromises whereas my 12" MacBook (yeah, the slow-arse one) just aren't unless you want to game - which I don't. I see new version of Windows, macOS, iOS and Android and there is nothing groundbreaking happening to drive the demand for new technology which is likely contributing to this.

    I have the 10.5" iPad Pro and yeah, I have zero qualms about how quick that thing is. How far could they push their CPU tech in a different thermal envelope? I'm genuinely curious. :yes:
     
  10. zed

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    Slow decline!!!!!??????
    It went from ~90% OS marketshare to (according to microsoft themselves) 13% marketshare in just a few years
    seems windows is about 7x the size of OSX
    http://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share#
     
  11. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    What's a PC?
     
  12. AlBran

    AlBran Ferro-Fibrous
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    A miserable little Pile of Crap.
     
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  13. Silent_Buddha

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    Or for some people (like me) it is Pure Cocaine. :p

    Regards,
    SB
     
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  14. Gubbi

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    Because Google has zero knowledge of you and what you do online, right ?

    7.8 million Chromebooks shipped last year, 162 million laptops shipped , - so market share is a little less than 5%. A lot less if you count markeshare by $.

    Chromebook launched in 2011, so they've spent 7 years to get to 5%.

    It's dead.

    Cheers
     
  15. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    It's only dead if you do like Microsoft and smartphones, and give up, grab your ball and go home. Or Intel and mobile CPUs.
     
  16. MfA

    MfA
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    You lose on privacy, you gain on security, it's cheap ... and it Just Werks. It's not an effective competition to Apple except on the low end, but is to PCs where Microsoft can no longer really be trusted for privacy any more either.

    Apple's profits are relevant, if they stop investing any of them in x86 CPUs/GPUs there is a real chance of them just getting a runaway performance advantage. Much as is happening on mobile phones.
     
  17. tongue_of_colicab

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    Apple is/was buying existing parts, right? In that case Intel/AMD might lose some sales but nothing more.

    Apple has always been very closed with not much in the way of hardware upgrade options. A very small product range also help optimize software and hardware as opposed to Windows or Android that has to run on a much wider variety of hardware.

    I don't see Apple potentially moving away from x86 as a big threat to the "open pc" platform. We've been moving away from that for a long time anyway. Its not like Intel and AMD aren't building SoCs. Yeah technically you can upgrade your pc over time, but how many people only upgrade a CPU? Usually by the time you need to replace your cpu you need a mainboard and memory upgrade as well. That has been the case on every pc I ever built (athlon xp, athlon 64, core 2 quad, i7).

    I don't think it will be impossible in the future to buy parts and build your own pc but it will become a increasingly nice market I think.
     
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  18. jacozz

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    I don't think Apple's choice to make their own cpu's will have a big impact on the pc-industry. But what I do believe, is that smart phones will replace most laptops. IOS-OSX-integration will make your Iphone usable in the work environment. Just connect the phone to your office monitor + a keyboard.
     
  19. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    For a lot of people, these are not separate things.

    It wasn't until the second generation of Unibody MacBooks and 2012 iMacs that it began to become difficult (then impossible) to replace HDDs/SDDs and swap RAM. Prior to that, Apple made drives and RAM easily accessible to the user. I've yet to own a PC laptop (which included a 17" Dell Inspiron XPS2) that was more upgradeable than older Apple laptops.

    I am interested to see where Apple goes with this. ARM supplementing x86, ARM replacing x86 in low-end, ARM replacing x86 across the board. Apple have migrated CPU architectures twice. I wasn't round for the 680x0/PowerPC transition but was for PowerPC/Intel and it was painless. If Apple can turn in decent (or even) better performance per watt/dollar in an ARM Mac than Intel then the PC industry are within reach of it as well. x86 may finally get some competition and maybe Intel will stop phoning in CPU upgrades as they have the last few years.:runaway:
     
  20. MfA

    MfA
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    Who are then mostly forced into Apple's hands, with Microsoft having become untrustworthy and Linux being a PITA at the moment outside of Chromebooks. The situation of the PC platform both for general purpose use has become dire ... for gaming it's only acceptable because of the lack of real competition, but it could be a lot better.

    Valve was halfway towards improving things with SteamOS, but they lack commitment. They need to have a special SteamOS shop for games which have good steam-controller support and Doom3 level of porting, OS/driver releases for SteamOS certified devices should be pushed and QA'd by Valve and SteamOS devices should be designed to easily run other OS's through virtualization.
     
    #20 MfA, Apr 4, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
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