Could the iPad be the death of the Mac (and the PC)?

Apple is pulling out all the stops when it comes to selling iPads, and it seems to be positioning the device as a way to move beyond the Mac. And, for the first time, Apple is also targeting PC users.

Could the iPad be the death of the Mac (and the PC)?

Apple analyst Neil Cybart recently looked at how Apple is now pushing the iPad and came to an interesting conclusion.

"For the first time," writes Cybart, "Apple is also making a concerted effort to reach prospective iPad owners by targeting PC users. On the surface, these efforts seem like a last ditch effort to save iPad, which faces continued sales declines. However, Apple is guided by a different motive. There are signs of Apple pushing the iPad like never before in order to solve its growing Mac dilemma."

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So what is Apple's "Mac dilemma?"

Cybart sees this as the two different options that face Apple management in terms of the iPad:

  • Double down on the Mac and continue to improve the Mac lineup.

  • Move beyond the Mac, and give the laptops and desktops less and less attention over time.

    As Cybart points out, this is a tough choice for Apple since the Mac line brings in $23 billion of revenue per year -- $4 billion more than iPad because of the higher average selling price. And there are plenty of companies and individuals that rely on the Mac.

    "My suspicion is that Apple is pushing larger screen iPads because management is determined to move beyond the Mac," Cybart believes. "Apple thinks now is the time to raise awareness that the iPad is a legitimate PC alternative for hundreds of millions of consumers."

    Over the past 18 months, Apple has been work on tuning the iPad lineup by doing the following:

  • It added the iPad Pro to the line.

  • It simplified the lineup.

  • It introduced aggressive pricing.

  • It is pushing the iPad Pro as a PC alternative.