iOS is the new Linux
Steve Jobs described the iPad as “The Future of Computing” when he introduced it in 2010. When it first launched, the speed at which sales were growing was outpacing even the iPhone. In the last few year; however, quarterly sales for iPads just keeps falling.
Apple posted some record breaking sales figures this quarter, but the iPad continued its downward trend, losing 22% since the last year. The iPhone for comparison, was up around 55 year over year.
This has continued the trend of hand-wringing over the state of the iPad. Some think it may not be the future of computing at all while some smart and dedicated nerds use iOS and iPads to do serious work.
As a software developer, I don’t think I will ever be able to use iOS professionally. I don’t think I would ever want to either. I love PCs too much and I don’t think Apple would ever allow terminal apps in the App Store or give me file-system access. I’ve even considered moving to Linux or Windows because of the neglect of the Mac. That is just me, but its a trend I am seeing outside of just nerds.
The future of computing is the smartphone. That should be pretty clear. For a lot of people, that is their primary, if not their only, computer. So where doest that leave the iPad and the Mac? Or more generally, the PC and the tablet markets?
I am not a business analyst, it just seems like professional iPad use is probably never going to take off. Most people use their iPads as reading or watching video.
Every year, we hear about “This Year will be the Year the iPad sales grow.” Or “This year there will be major productivity features for the iPad.” Or something along those lines. That sounds a lot like “This year will be the year of Linux on the desktop.”
Linux is a great server operating system the same way iOS is a great consumption operating system. And iOS is a poor productivity operating system the same way Linux is a poor desktop operating system. Some people are dedicated enough to invest the time into making it work for them, but the rest of us will just stick with the easiest and most productive option.
So what does that make the Mac in this metaphor? Linux : iOS as macOS : Windows?