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Tablets overtake laptops, just as Steve Jobs predicted


John Paczkowski of AllThingsD has an interesting story this morning, noting that PC shipment data released by NPD DisplaySearch indicates that tablets like the iPad will outship notebooks this year. That statistic once again points out how prescient late Apple CEO Steve Jobs was about the future of tablets as computing devices.

At the D8 conference back in 2010, Steve Jobs compared the transition from desktop and laptop PCs to tablets with the transition from trucks to cars. His comparison noted that trucks were initially more popular than cars since the U.S. was a much more agrarian country in the early 20th century, but that as the nation became much more urbanized, cars took over sales. Trucks are still around, but they're not the dominant form of vehicle in the country.

Likewise, Jobs said that eventually "PCs are going to be like trucks. They're still going to be around, they're still going to have a lot of value, but they're going to be used by one out of X people."

It took only three years for tablets to overtake laptops in sales by almost 16 percent. Jobs believed that some day only a small percentage of people would need a traditional computer, and that day is getting here faster than we can imagine.

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