New 64-bit iPad 5 will pile more pressure on beleaguered PCs, analyst claims

New 64-bit iPad 5 will pile more pressure on beleaguered PCs, analyst claims

Summary: Desktop virtualization and iPad deployments in the enterprise sector is expected to put further pressure on PC sales, and Intel's Haswell processors and cheap ultrabooks might not offer OEMs much hope.

TOPICS: Mobility, Hardware, iPad, PCs
Apple's A7 processor as found in the iPhone 5s
(Source: Apple)

Apple's introduction of the iPad might not have been what single-handedly bought down the PC industry, but it certainly was the catalyst for a chain of events that heralded the era where "post-PC" devices dominated.

But one believes that things are only going to get worse for the PC industry when Apple unveils the iPad 5.

According to Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank Equity Research, the additional pressure on the PC market will come as a result of the iPad 5 making greater headway into the corporate environment.

See also: iPhone 5s 64-bit A7 chip is a 'marketing gimmick,' says Qualcomm exec

"We expect growing [desktop] virtualization and iPad deployments in the enterprise to pressure corporate PC sales through 2014-15," wrote Whitmore in a note. "We expect Apple's iPad refresh to include 64-bit architecture, which should enable a greater array of enterprise App development and facilitate greater enterprise penetration over time."

While nothing is officially known about the iPad 5, it is widely anticipated to feature a 64-bit processor similar to the one found in the new iPhone 5s.

As a result of this additional pressure, the estimates for PC shipments for 2013 and 2014 have been cut by 10 percent and 8 percent year-to-year respectively, from previous estimates of 8 percent and 6 percent.

Whitmore doesn't put much faith in Intel's new processors to help buoy sales either.

"In the near term, back to school PC demand appears relatively soft and recent new hardware releases (Haswell) had little impact spurring incremental demand. Furthermore, we believe the corporate upgrade cycle will peak in the [second-half] 2013 as corporates complete Windows 7 transitions ahead of Microsoft's ending support of Windows XP in early 2014."

Even cheap ultrabooks aren't expected to generate much holiday cheer.

"We expect [sub-$500 ultrabooks] to create additional PC average selling price and profitability headwinds."

Personally, I don't think that the transition to a 64-bit processor will make that much of a difference to the iPad in the short term. Apple's transition to 64-bit with the iPhone 5s is more about setting the groundwork for the future than it does with providing an immediate benefit for users.

The same will be true with the iPad, and while IT admins might have their interest piqued by a 64-bit processor, the real advantages it brings will only show up over time. 

And it's also not all plain sailing for the iPad. I foresee the tablet experiencing pressure from Amazon's new BYOD/enterprise-ready Kindle Fire HDX.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, iPad, PCs

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Desktop Virtualization

    Hmm... Lets think about that for a moment. So you get your 64-bit iPad5 out and log in over the web to a desktop session running on some VMWare or Windows virtualized server farm. Better have a real good net connection there. Okay, so far, so good. Now you run your Windows app. oops!! Its not touch-enabled, its not built for touch!!! Better bring up the iPad internal keyboard! or better yet, better go out and buy an iPad keyboard extension place it on a desk and don't forget to get a mouse too!!! What a joke. Articles such as these really insult people's intelligence. This article is not only useless, its laughable. At least Kingsley-Hughes downplayed the 64-bit portion. 64-bit doesn't make any difference to virtualization at all. The iPad is good for email, web browsing, perhaps watching a movie on a plane and playing games. It is not nor never has been built or designed for business and using it with virtualization is simply a joke. The folks at Deutsche Bank Equity Research have been smoking that stuff again! LOL
    • here here

      thanks for saveing me the trouble of pointing out how wrong they are, the ipad has such a long way to go to replace my desktop pc. and it doesn't matter whether 32 or 64 bit or even if you could load windows on it directly. The work my desktop performs would bring the iPad to its knees and have it screaming uncle. on a typical saturday afternoon, I play a mmo at a resolution spanning 2 23' HD monitors, in the background its doing a batch video conversion from MPG to XVID, and at the same time its recording my favorite tv, show/sports. now tell again how the pc is dead and your iPad is going to replace it.
    • iPad, virtualization and business

      The iPad, by itself has nothing to do with "desktop virtualization", especially virtualizing Windows.

      iPad however has been built with the enterprise in mind and is gaining mind and market share all the time. Not because of Windows virtualization.

      An new 64bit iPad might be more interesting for the enterprise, because it will have much higher horsepower and will permit a new class of applications, never before available on mobile device. Again, nothing to do with Windows virtualization.

      If your world is all Windows virtualization, the iPad might not provide any immediate benefits for you. But the non-Windows virtualization world is much larger, including in enterprises.
      • No it wasn't built with the enterprise in mind. Thats just ridiculous.

        And no it doesn't permit a new class of applications either. 64bit means NOTHING unless you put more than 4G of ram in it. The new A7 is also a generation behind intel tablet chips in performance. A few stupid exec types might want the "gold" case but that's about it for it's "enterprise" appeal. It's still as insecure as ever, still horrible for input, still horrible for management.
        Johnny Vegas
        • 64-bit allows for more than just >4 GB of RAM.

          64-bit buys you a lot more than just being able to address memory beyond 4GB. 64-bit registers can provide really good performance gains with encrypting and decrypting, making VPN connections faster. Don't get me wrong, the thought of using an iPad (or any tablet for that matter) to hit a terminal server makes me cringe, but 64-bit might make it a bit easier.
      • 64bit enterprise class apps

        Tell him he's dreamin
    • That is an opinion

      and not necessarily a correct one. Our biggest app here is a Windows app, but a touch enabled one, patterned after Squirrel, which we created about 11 years ago. It would work fine on an iPad.

      Certainly, if this is the iPad use case, I don't know why it would bother Microsoft partisans - a virtualized Windows desktop requires a CAL, so Microsoft makes every cent off this they would anyway.

      But that's the problem isn't it? When you get to the crux of it - the "iPads are only good for..." - this is demonstrably false. The iPad clearly can do the things that there are apps in the app store to help it do, and since those are in the many of hundreds of thousands, that's a lot of highly varied activities. Different activities than a PC, to be sure - but that is not necessarily a bad thing depending on the company needs.

      But to make matters worse, companies of over 500 employees are allowed to sideload their own apps on the iPad. And the more corporate LOB apps that get written in Objective C, the more entrenched the iPad gets. And don't for a second fool yourself into thinking there are no scenarios in which 64 bit doesn't matter. Quite the opposite - that begins to allow it to do some very PC like things with data.
      • Name me

        Just five large (non-tech) corporations that have an Objective-C development staff and support and NO Apple doesn't count of course. I would challenge you to name me just five NON-TECH firms that have any capability of developing Corporate apps in Objective-C. I seriously doubt you can name two. This device was never envisioned for business and doesn't fit that model. You quote all the apps out there in the app store. Well, look at the business apps and take a serious look. They are ALL garbage. Why, again because Apple didn't design and build this device for business. You can have a 128-bit, 8GB RAM device in this form factor and unless you dock it to a larger monitor and more peripherals and a more powerful CPU - essentially turning it into an iMac, then I would still tell you the device wasn't structured for business.
        • You, um, are kidding right?

          They've all got Objective C skills. We do. You know most of these companies have apps in the app store, right?

          And sorry, this isn't a bluff you get to call.

          - IBM
          - Genentech
          - Bechtel
          - General Electric
          - Medtronic

          They all have in house Objective C for iPad teams.
    • Translation: Everyone in the universe has EXACTLY the

      same computing needs I do. Because, well, because I AM the center of the universe.
    • Many companies use iPads

      There are many enterprise apps and uses for the iPad and many companies are using iPads for business as we speak so you really have no clue what you're talking about.
      new gawker
  • iPad not a PC and never will be

    Don't see the point of this article, first you say it will then you say it won't. The iPad will never replace the PC. Yes some people will opt for a tablet(whatever type) for home use or mobile convenience, but for business, can't see it a happening any year soon. Too many of us rely on software that an iPad will never be suitable to operate.
    • 2x faster at not running enterprise apps.

      Or maybe 3x faster... Who really cares how fast you can fling the monkey or whatever game you want to play. As far as typing on the screen or displaying a virtualized PC screen... The key is Citrix and optimized desktop delivery... It's the protocol.
      • enterprise apps

        The iPad already runs a whole lot of enterprise apps.

        Enterprise apps, you know (or might be, you don't know) do not only run on Windows or in Microsoft environment. The iPad by the way, was never designed as remote terminal for virtualized Windows desktop.
    • Never is an awfully long time.

      "Too many of us rely on software that an iPad will never be suitable to operate." I wonder how many VAX computer operators said that they rely on software that a PC will never be suitable to operate.
      • The screen size alone..

        ...makes it unsuitable for most common enterprise tasks, such as doing things in MS Office (currently not supported), working ERP software such as SAP, or mainframe emulation. There is a big difference with the mainframe -> PC transition, namely, a stable interface bridging the two (keyboard and monitor). How you interact with an iPad is radically different, making it unsuitable as a transition device. Do you know what IS suitable? Something like the much-maligned Surface.
        • So how do you feel about Microsoft's $!,929.98

          Netbook, the "Surface Pro 2"? It as a 10" screen, and a 1.5 GHz Core i5. Both distinguishing characteristics of a "Netbook".
          I hate trolls also
          • It's $1,929.98, not $!,929.98

            I hate trolls also
          • The Surface Pro 2 is "not just a tablet", and, while it comes with the

            limited real estate on the 10" screen, the Pro 2 does support larger screen sizes via external connections. At that point, "it's not just a tablet" anymore, and it's a full-fledged PC running with high spec hardware and running a full-fledged OS. The iPad starts out being a crippled device with a tiny screen and with limited hardware specs and with a limited OS written for media consumption and playing videos and kiddie games.

            And, why do you hate yourself?
    • Atom powered iPad

      When the iPad is built using an Atom chip and it can run native x86 apps it will challenge. As long as it runs Xcode only it would have to run an Xcode x86 emulator and your desktop class iPad will be sluggish as 30 degree molasses.

      When the Mac goes ARM it dies because it will be a low end device only and because it would be yet another incompatible Mac platform migration. The iPad could go Intel transparently since it runs Xcode anyway.