It can be easy to envy Apple. Recently reinstated as the world’s most valuable company after a glowing earnings report caused its share value to surge, the tech firm is also sitting on top of one of the most coveted gadgets around.

Yes, I’m talking about the iPad. I know you’re probably sick to death of hearing about it, but some recent facts regarding this nifty connected device cannot be ignored. Apple said it sold 15.43 million iPads during the last three months of 2011. How many PCs did Hewlett-Packard, arguably the world’s largest PC maker, ship? According to research firm IDC, HP shipped 15.12 million computers in the fourth quarter of 2011. Lenovo shipped 13.01 million, and Dell shipped 11.97 million PCs.

So what does this mean? It means Apple is moving more iPads than each of these companies is moving PCs, individually. Does it mean the tablet will kill the PC? I don’t think we can make that assumption from the data. Yes, the iPad is selling like hotcakes, but that doesn’t mean tablets as a category will overtake PCs (or laptops for that matter).

A lot of people already have a PC. They may have added an iPad to the mix. After all, iPads can be fairly inexpensive compared to shelling out for a new desktop. If I had to give my opinion (which is luckily what blogs are all about!) I would guess there is room for the desktop, the laptop, the Ultrabook, the netbook, and the tablet in our world.

Customization is the key. People want a device that fits into their lifestyle, and they want it to be the exact size they need. This means some people want a 12-inch screen tethered to their desk. Others want a 7-inch screen they can slip into a briefcase. So instead of arguing about which category of device will ultimately win out, let’s just accept that variety is the new norm, and that people will demand devices with wildly differing specs.

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