I thought I could write a serious blog post about Asymco’s first quarter PC forecast, but no.
The conclusion is similar to every other sky-falling-on-Windows story you might have read: PCs are in trouble, Macs are doing fine, and the iPad is causing laptop vendors the world over to wake up in a cold sweat. Asymco’s version is a bit different because it tries to separate unit sales by operating system, not just by vendor. Therefore, the iPad has huge growth while Mac stagnates and Windows falls.
The problem is that when you try to illustrate the iPad’s growth compared to traditional computers, you end up with an insult to line graphs everywhere. As far as statistics go, it’s the polar opposite of “Percentage of Chart Which Resembles Pac Man” on the awesome scale:
Asymco analyst Horace Dediu knows it’s a stinker. “I apologize for the shape of the chart but the scale does not permit a concise visual,” he writes.
In other words, a truncated line graph couldn’t do justice to Dediu’s conclusion: “the iPad is the new PC.” That’s a debate for another day (one we’ve already had), but it’s worth noting that new product categories will always have explosive growth at the outset. Netbooks went through triple-digit percentage growth, too. Where were the ridiculous line graphs then?