Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Oct 2010 16:00 UTC
In the News An interesting discussion is currently raging through the world of computing, or more accurately, through the world of bloggers and analysts. It basically comes down to this: should the iPad be included in laptop and desktop sales figures? If it is included - Apple becomes the largest PC manufacturer in the United States. But, if the iPad should be included - why not the modern smartphone?
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What is a PC?
by Drumhellar on Mon 18th Oct 2010 19:21 UTC
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I think this whole question is similar to the debate regarding what makes a planet a planet, which eventually led to Pluto being demoted from planethood.

To me, Pluto is not a planet. I know this intuitively. It is actually the first of a new class of objects, much like the asteroid Ceres, once considered a planet, was really the first of a class of objects (Asteroid belt objects). However, the officially accepted definition of planet is messy, as it was crafted with the intent of excluding Pluto. (Pluto fails 1 of 3 planetary tests, which is whether or not it has mostly cleared out it's orbit. Earth has cleared out it's orbit, so it is a planet. However, if it was orbiting at the distance of Pluto, it wouldn't have, and thus it would not be a planet)

Any strict definition of a PC will include systems that aren't PCs, and may exclude systems that are PCs.

To me, an iPad is not a PC, because it doesn't resemble what a standard PC is. It offers no expansion, limited software choices, and limited capability. While it is technically capable of doing anything a standard PC does, it is not designed for those goals.

Being designed with an eye towards flexibility is really what makes a PC a PC. The limitations of the iPad are not inherit in the design, but are conscious design choices by Apple.

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