When we started the Nextpoint Evolution newsletter two years ago, the PC was still king and most lawyers were tied to their desktops. However, 2011 was also the first year that the U.S. market for personal computers shrank. It’s been a slow, painful decline ever since.
The growth of tablet sales has been outstripping more traditional desktop and laptop personal computers for a while. It looks like we are finally approaching the tablet/PC tipping point, where the cheaper, more portable tablet is becoming the de facto PC. According to researchers at Canalys, 2014 will be the year that tablets will account for more than 50 percent of all “PCs” shipped globally. Leading this change are Android devices (with Samsung leading the charge), which will account for 65 percent of all tablets shipped. Apple will remain the single-biggest tablet brand, holding onto 30 percent of the market.
Everyone is an iPad Lawyer
Even more remarkable, in 2013, the iPad will have outsold the entire PC market. And lawyers are now part of this trend in a big way. According to the 2013 ABA Legal Technology Survey, more than 400,000 lawyers now use the iPad in their practice. In 2011, about 15 percent of attorneys used a tablet. Today, more than 48 percent of all attorneys report using a tablet.
Optimization for the Mac and iPad matters most in the courtroom, where litigators need to know that their presentations and files look exactly right and they can access files quickly and easily. Most litigators know that many court reporters deliver deposition transcripts in the PTX format, which is a proprietary, encrypted file, only readable with RealLegal software. RealLegal is, of course, not well-suited for the Mac. The format is a real headache for lawyers, especially if they need to quickly review a transcript in court.
One of the great benefits of web-based applications is the ability to be (largely) hardware/operating system independent. That’s why Nextpoint’s Trial Cloud is the only platform that supports PTX files for Macs, iPads, or any other platform you can think of. The Mac and the iPad are quickly becoming powerful tools for litigators. The death of the PC is not a bad thing, as long as your replacement device is up to the task.