Apple iPad Is a PC and Nothing Less: 10 Reasons Why

News Analysis: Apple's iPad has been the subject of debate recently over whether or not it's really a PC. It is. And it's about time everyone realizes it.

Apple's iPad is often the subject of debate when research firms release PC market share figures. Some research firms say the iPad should not be included in PC market share tallies, since it's a tablet and not a PC in the purest sense. There are others, however, that say that tablets are PCs, just in highly compact and mobile packages. Thus, Apple's iPad should be included in research on PC market share figures.

That argument makes the most sense. Although the tablet doesn't look like a PC or act like a PC in the simplest sense, it is a PC. From its functionality to its design, there is simply no reason people should look at the iPad and think it can't hold up against desktops, notebooks and netbooks. The iPad is extending the PC market, and as much as HP and Dell don't like it, the device is making a mark in that space.

Read on to find out whythe iPad is a PC and should be considered one by research firms, consumers and everyone else who might be on the fence.

1. What's a PC, anyway?

Whenever the PC debate crops up around the iPad, no one can come to a consensus over what a PC really is. Does a PC have to be a laptop or desktop? Does it need to run Mac OS X, Linux or Windows? Should it only come with certain accessories? There is no real way to pinpoint exactly what a PC is. Therefore, why should market watchers exclude iPad from something that has a fluid definition?

2. Touch screens are not a disqualifier

Most often, critics point tothe iPad's touch screen to prove that it's not a PC. They say that a real PC requires a mouse and keyboard to function properly. But then how do they explain away touch pads on laptops? Better yet, how do those critics explain away the tablet PC, which uses a stylus to control Windows? Touch screens are by no means a disqualifier. And to say that they are makes no sense.

3. The files and folders concept is nonsense

On a PC, critics say, they will be able to manage files and folders and access utilities that allow them to manage their operating systems. On the flip side, they claim, the iPad doesn't allow for that. But with the addition of folder support to iOS, that argument isn't as strong as it once was. Furthermore, utilities and more well-rounded software management don't mean much. When it comes to PCs, software should be the last thing that should qualify a device as a PC.

4. When did sophistication become a prerequisite?

Apple's iPad is widely viewed as a simple device, since it lacks the processing power and components to allow it to do everything. But let's not forget that video editing is possible on the iPad, as well as surfing the Web, checking email and typing out Word documents. The iPad might not be as sophisticated as a top-of-the-line Dell desktop, but neither is a standard netbook, which people readily call PCs.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...