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The living room PC is here: the iPad

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While Apple’s iPad (s AAPL) falls into the mobile device category, “mobile” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s being used while on the go. In fact, new research conducted by McKinsey & Company found that most iPads never leave their owners’ houses, and are used most in the living room, for many of the things previously done on a home computer. Though Microsoft (s MSFT), Google (s GOOG), Sony (s SNE) and others through the years have been vying to be the “living room PC,” Apple, at least right now, is winning that battle.

McKinsey came up with this data during a recent survey of 15,000 consumers in 15 countries, undertaken to create a profile of what the firm calls the “iConsumer.” Bertil Chappuis, principal for McKinsey & Company’s Silicon Valley office, presented his findings on Tuesday morning at Forbes’ Techonomy conference (s twx) in Tuscon, Ariz.

Apple has sold about 40 million iPads since 2010. Of the iPad owners McKinsey surveyed, it found that 62 percent never take their iPad outside their house. In other words, it’s being used as just another home computer, like a replacement laptop for tasks such as watching video or browsing the web. While the iPad is “finding its way into places in the home we didn’t have computing in the past,” the living room is where people use their iPad: 70 percent of usage takes place there.

Said Chappuis:

“The PC tried to get into the living room for 20 years. Well, it’s here.”

The side effect of iPad owners finding their iPad good enough for certain computing tasks at home is a delay in plans to buy a new PC. You can see that in the slowly declining PC sales over the last few quarters: By the end of this year, IDC expects worldwide PC shipments will have grown a measly 2.8 percent compared to 2010.

“Folks who have tablets are significantly delaying their purchases of PCs,” said Chappuis. “They’re not doing away with it — [the PC] has a role to play for a long time — but that delay of a purchase is having a very direct impact on unit volumes in the PC ecosystem.”

To watch the full presentation, see the clip below:

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13 Responses to “The living room PC is here: the iPad”

  1. RT @toppercool: งานวิจัย พบว่า 62 % ของคนใช้ iPad แทบไม่เคยเอาออกไปใช้นอกบ้าน

  2. >Microsoft, Google, Sony and others through the years have >been vying to be the “living room PC,” Apple, at least right
    >now, is winning that battle

    It’s just funny that 40 million Ipads are winning the battle against hundreds of millions of laptops, xboxes, and playstations

  3. Not iPad but the more generic “tablet”. Same thing that have happened with iPhone vs. Android will happen with tablets.Within few years (my bet is on 2013) Android ability to evolve, change and fill the niches quickly will make it the dominant tablet computing platform. Apple’s “one size fits all” simply can’t work. Apple’s fundamental decisions like eliminating real filesystem and obstructing industry standards (ex. USB) will contribute to loss of market share. Apple will keep highly profitable end almost certainly but never again regaining more than 30% of the tablet market.

    • It depends on the niche really. With the smartphone Android’s niche was any carrier that didn’t have the iPhone. It built up enough of a critical mass before the iPhone made it to most carriers here in the United States.

      That breathing space gave Android the opportunity to get in front of enough people to make it clear it doesn’t suck. You also had experienced phone OEMs desperate for a way into multi-touch who would have grabbed at anything. Combine that with refugees from the Apple ecosystem that had very firm requirements such as a keyboard or a choice of hardware and we have a success.

      I’m not sure the same applies in the tablet space. There is very little breathing space there on the low end. Perhaps room enough for Nook and Fire. On the high end we will see Windows 8 systems with the added Office compatibility a virtual certainty.

      And of course this all assumes Apple doesn’t speciate or accessorize the iPad as they have done with ALL their other products aside from perhaps the iPhone.

      The important thing for Android or iOS is to continue to have developer support. At this point in the tablet market everyone’s shipment totals will go up no matter what happens. As the market segment ages and HTML 5 fails to deliver, developers will choose no more than two or three platforms to write to. Then marketshare may determine release schedules.

      Lots of smart people in the world.

  4. As a communal space, the HDTV in most living rooms is a shared display. In my home it is not uncommon to see six or more Apple iOS devices all going at once. Sometimes one will take over the screen to show others something interesting or to play a game. Mostly we all watch whatever is on the DVR while filling the time with iPad use. I read, the wife does puzzles, the boy is texting or playing games on his iPad.

    Sometimes we take turns controlling the Apple TV2 when selecting a movie to rent or a TV program to stream or NetFlix.

    I can assure you iPads are very much living room computers, dining room computers, bedroom computers, and even bathroom computers (video during bath time).

    The laptop is still there chugging away ripping DVDs, running iTunes and Mail. It sees occasional use for Safari and mouse-optimized games but is used as frequently as the Xbox and PS3 which is to say very seldom.

    I love the consoles and the laptop, I just don’t use them much. They take time to start up, their applications, though superior, are much higher cost,I have to hunt down the disk I want in order to play or install.

    The PC and consoles aren’t going anywhere. In fact they are collecting dust.

    • “The boy” – that gave me a good laugh.

      But seriously, you hit on a good point. Will tablets be preferred over HDTVs by young people? Should Apple be focusing on making the iPad the true Apple TV?

  5. Well its true for me. I made do with a mac Mini from 2008 as the iPad (I got the cheapest 16GB Wifi One) filled in the portable and fast part of what I needed for home, and the Mini was pretty much just a media server and desktop publising tool – iTunes running all the time, AirVideo doing on the fly video transcoding, and until the superdrive died, CD and DVD ripping of stuff I bought. I built my wife a replacement PC for NZ$800 two years ago, and it just runs Linux, so no upgrade for me. So I have now only just upgraded the Mini this week, to the cheapest 2011 Mini. I just dont need more than that. The old mini will now replace one of my chipped Xboxes running XBMC under the TV, so this will become our first full living-room PC – mainly so I can get the iPad back off the kids.

  6. No sir, living room PC is here and its not an iPad but its Xbox and Kinect. Living room is for entrainment and that’s something a very limited iPad can never deliver other than crazy birds on 10inch screen.