Which Companies Will Still Thrive When The iPad Rules The Earth

Which Companies Will Still Thrive When The iPad Rules The Earth

Which industries will thrive in an iPad-dominated world? Which will fail?

Led by the iPad, tablet sales are now expected to overtake laptop sales within four years. Given how disruptive the iPad has already been to many industries, it’s almost impossible to read reports like that without wondering which industries the iPad will topple or transform over the next five to ten years.

A new Morgan Stanley report identifies some of the likely winners and losers in an iPad and tablet dominated world. The industries expected to succeed include a couple of surprises – at first glance.

The top three winners and the three biggest losers were identified and explored in a recent Nasdaq post.

Here’s a look at the winners.

Apple is already the world’s biggest consumer of NAND flash memory, a trend that can only be expected to accelerate with the ongoing success of the iPad and the broadening of the tablet market alone. Add in the ever-growing mobile device market, including the smartphone market, and it’s obvious that companies making NAND memory will be big winners.

The overall media and entertainment sector is also likely to be a big winner. The iPad is an amazing personal entertainment center that can access a range of content – news, TV, movies, music, radio, podcasts – across a range of different services like iTunes, Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, and plenty of others. Of course, the iPad isn’t alone in delivering entertainment. It’s part of the same ecosystem as the Apple TV – a strategy that other companies are beginning to mimic.

Cable and satellite providers could be a winner or loser, but will more likely be on the winning side. The iPad and other devices like the Apple TV, Nexus Q, and Roku boxes are making cord cutting viable, but the vast majority of viewers see these devices as adjuncts to traditional home media options rather than replacements. As providers look at ways to capitalize on iPad sales, Time Warner’s iPad being a good first step in that direction, they could actually position themselves pretty well. Cable providers also have the advantage of providing broadband access.

While not in the big winners category, companies in the display panel, software development, and electronic publishing are looking at positive futures if they can capitalize on the opportunities that the iPad and tablets are offering them.

There are, of course, losers.

Personal and commercial printing devices and services are likely to be big losers. How many of us actually print documents in our home or office at the levels that we did ten years ago (or even five years ago)? We aren’t a paperless society be any stretch of imagination, but we definitely are less print-centric than we once were.

PC and peripheral makers, which Morgan Stanley lumps together under the hardware moniker, are also likely to lose in an iPad-dominated world. After all, we’re talking about iPad supplanting the notebook PC market. Then there’s the fact that many users may consider moving to a true post-PC existence by using just an iPad and a smartphone as their home computing experience.

Gaming systems and devices are also likely to lose some of their luster. As iPads and other mobile devices snatch more of the mobile gaming market, they’ll do so by stealing users from dedicated mobile gaming devices. Even gaming consoles in the living room or PC-specific gaming hardware may take a hit. AirPlay already makes iPad/iPhone a great gaming option. The gaming market isn’t likely to disappear but it could suffer notable losses.

About the author

Ryan FaasRyan Faas is a technology journalist and consultant living in upstate New York who has written extensively about Apple, business and enterprise IT, and the mobile industry. In addition to writing for Cult of Mac, he is a contributor to Computerworld, InformIT, and Peachpit Press. In a previous existence he was a healthcare IT director as well as a systems and network administrator. Follow Ryan on Twitter and Google +

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