The Purple List Weighs In On The iPad
Is the iPad a game-changer? PSFK asked the Purple List (our network of experts for hire) for their thoughts on Apple's recently launched device.
I see an evolutionary product, as opposed to a revolutionary one. The iPad as we see it is a logical first step; the revolution will come, just not this week.
Recall Apple’s first (successful) device innovation: the original iPod. It married the physical portability of Sony’s 20-year-old Walkman with the technological portability the MP3 format provided. In that case, the proverbial tipping point came months, even years after early adopters spread the word and eventually converted the masses–that was the revolution. Fast forward to 2010, of course, and you can’t swing a cat without hitting an iPod iteration. Hell, even George W. Bush has one.
Mashable’s Stan Schroeder makes a great point in his post: whatever shortcomings we see in this new offering are there by design. In this first generation iPad, Apple has created a new way for creators to deliver content and for users to consume it. For me, that immersive, engaging consumption method defines the immediate change the iPad offers us. And based on all the advances the iPod has seen (touch screen, integration with running shoes, video recording) and how entrenched the iPod has become in our culture, I wouldn’t scoff too much just yet.
My team is very much optimistic about Apple’s new device. We see huge opportunities across the board, particularly in Healthcare, Media and Education.
Besides being the sexiest coffee table book ever, I can’t wait to use them in meetings. I try to remain paperless, but find the use of laptops in multi-person meetings to be a major experience fail. The upright screens create walls between participants. Not only do people think you’re on Facebook, you probably are. If I take notes on my iPhone, people just think I’m texting my friends.
The iPad will be a critical note taking and collaboration device that will energize the conference table. Open and exposed, it enables a flexible documentation and sharing experience. Give it a quick spin to show digital ideas, content, and prototype sketches.
The true impact of the iPad will be felt, in large, by the change it will spur in the way humans interact with technology in general. Its a huge step forward in the evolution of gestural navigation and a more honest and rewarding user experience. The most exciting thing about the iPad is what will come next. What creations, applications/experiences/uses, will the use of a hand held computing device that is engaging, intuitive and enjoyable to use?
Healthcare, specifically, will see huge shifts in the way consumers interact with information, diagnosis, education and advertising. I think well see interesting applications of the iPad in everything from personal selling, patient records, diagnosis, support programs and systems, social interactions, pharmacy tie ins, and explanation of disease state and treatment options. Marketers will have an opportunity to delivery truly engaging and meaningful messaging to specific target audiences when they want it, where they want it, and how they want it.
I am truly convinced that the real impact of the iPad does not only lie in the product itself, but in the whole economy that surrounds everything that Apple launches. We’ve already heard about the Apple and iPod Ecosystems and now we will most probably see lots and lots of products and services emerging from the iPad launch. Even competitors of Apple take advantage of this and already now we see “iPad Killers” etc being mentioned in tech blogs. Also, the whole application market will boom.
Another great impact that the iPad launch will have is on how people expect to receive, create and spread information. The impact of tablets will probably lead to that we stop using laptops as we know them today. Just look at how the iPhone forced competitive mobile phone companies to change their design and features.
“I think the most revolutionary aspect of the iPad is that it redefines how people will interact with visual media in their homes. The iPad will make visual media interactive again and promote socializing versus not zoning out and staring. The living room can be set up in a circle with the iPad in the middle, or passed around a circle of chairs or sofas. Now most rooms are set up in a U shape so everything faces the TV or media system. The idea that you can hold the iPad and move your visual media around let’s people handle it and own it again.”
As always a new Apple product gets all attention. And as most of the products they are a “new way”, so to say. And for us in Scandinavia it will take a while before we get it. In the meantime I hope iPad will get updated, so we don’t have to repeat the iPhone mistake: waiting to long for 3G and a “ok” camera etc.
As a commodity iPad is an invention that will change the habbits of humans. Synergy is a keyword. Those (manufactures) that combine all kind of today’s communication devices in a natural and user-freindly way will win the race. iPad is one – the first?!
But I question the size: either products getting smaller or bigger, but iPad it between. Is that a new trend?
“In the short term, Apple fans and early adopters will gravitate to the iPad, though many I have talked and my own belief is that people prefer the portability of the iPhones. In the long-term the impact of the iPad will be in the advancement of other hardware manufacturers’ own foray into tablet devices.”
“I am in agreement with Mike Maddaloni. The fans and early adopters will gravitate to it. I expect that a certain number of developers will also, as the iPhone app market is very saturated. (Let’s hope that Apple has some discipline in approving iPad apps — that would be a change.) But for mass market success, you need to be able to say what it will be used for. Here are a few of the ideas I’ve heard on that and my opinion on each:
You use it around the house, so you can watch your media wherever you want. That is, it’s AppleTV Portable. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t get why I’d want to do that when I have big TVs everywhere in my house. I also have multiroom DVR. And any IPTV would be over my nice broadband, instead of pokey 3G. So I am not buying for that.
You use it for business. As an experienced road warrior, I call BS on this one. I normally travel with a laptop and a phone… and I usually try to minimize weight and electronic devices (especially with current security checks requiring removing all of them from my baggage!). So, the iPad needs to substitute for, not augment, what I’ve got. Can it be my laptop? Maybe, but I type a lot on my laptop, so I prefer a keyboard. Maybe that’s just me.
It’s an eBook (“Kindle killer”). Doubtful. First of all, it’s too small of a market to change the world. Second, Amazon has a tremendous advantage in content… they already are the book store. Third, iPad is a *very* expensive substitute for a Kindle.
It’s a giant iPhone. Great, but it does not fit in my pocket!
Summary: I don’t see the market for it. I have been wrong before, but I don’t see this one reaching the heights of iPod and iPhone. If there is a market, others will be drawn there: as Mike said, it will spur innovation in the area.
By the way, the name is already getting unfavorable comparisons to feminine hygiene products and it’s way too easy to confuse it with “iPod.” They could have done a better job.
“Whether the iPad as a device is perfect or not is irrelevant. We all know it is not. The real deal is synergy. With user expectations, developers and the Apple ecosystem as a whole?
Sure this device doesn’t have everything that one might need. Not having a camera, not being able to run multiple applications simultaneously, or still not having Flash sucks big time. But, we’ve heard very similar critiques with the first G iPhone some 3 years ago and by now, after the 3rd edition, most of those complaints seem to have disappeared and everyone must admit that what the iPhone did as a business is massive, unmatched and is still booming. I think whether it will make it or not will be down to its own ecosystem. Look at it from another angle. There are already a dozen sexy features that everyday users will instantly fall in love with, entry level price is quite OK, and developers will surely give it a try – to say the least – learning from the success of the iPhone apps. So from this perspective, I think it is quite promising.”
“In these eclectic times I doubt that a product like the iPad will change the world as the iPod did. First, Apple is not the brand it used to be. For good or bad it is now massive around the globe, which will make trendsetters turn their head, wallet and followers to competitors and emerging products (i.e.: QUE reader), I don’t think the iPad will reach the “level of standard” the iPod (and maybe the iPhone) made. However if the product reaches new users (digital natives) and spreads in schools in emerging countries, well that might really change the world. One last comment, iPad? this name sounds like a hoax, in my humble opinion the magestic rumor marketing failed with the final name. (as well as not having a camera). Time will tell.. the Apple team is betting high (maybe too much) on this one.”
Watching back the official Apple video, it’s obvious that those guys think they have got something really special on their hands, certainly for a normal user (as in beyond the hardcore tech/early adopters – who are already voicing their dissatisfaction) it could be a transformative device. iBooks looks like it could really be a game changer, as an ecosystem and they have, amazingly kept the high price points for the books. The lack of a flash player inside this version seems like it limits how much of a transformative device this could be though in the short term. I guess it just comes down to how innovative and novel the app developers can be, which is part of it’s charm and for me, the most exciting element of it. But you do get this feeling of disappointment at this release, which in some ways is inevitable, but Apple, with it’s super secretive approach (and a complicit rose tinted media, looking for a saviour) has encouraged. It certainly represents a big development for the brand. That is probably the most interesting subtext of this launch.
While there is no doubt that the evolution of hardware design will impact, and drive those fast followers to develop their versions of tablets, the iPad for me represents yet another spike in the rapidly changing manner in which content is created and disseminated. Much like the ongoing battle between cable and telephony to own the pipe into the home and office, these devices will continue to drive a certain convergence where consumers will look to access a diverse range of content and platforms on one device that can serve a wide range of functions. It will not be just media companies chomping at the bit to deliver content, but other device developers looking for means to integrate tablet devices seamlessly. Again, probably not worth too much personal investment until version 2 or 3 as seems to be the case with most apple products, but will be exciting to watch the impact on content providers in the coming years…and furthermore in bringing similar technologies beyond the consumer segment to serve as a tool in other sectors…may not be the gamechanger the laptop was (as it serves close to the same function) but perhaps the integration in people’s lives will become more and more seamless with increasingly functional design…and yes, what’s in a name!? :)
Much the way the iPhone gave the cellphone handset market a much overdue shove, the iPad does the same for the ereader market. Single purpose devices have minimal value in the digital age. Sir Ken Robinson commented on how his teenage daughter sees no use in wearing a watch that only tells time when her phone could tell time, make phone calls, SMS, and play music and games. Why would a youth such as that desire a device that only allows her to read text?
The iPad may not be as remarkable as the iPhone at the time of its release, but it is a strong correction for the ereader market and a good extension of the Apple product line. Now we can look forward to more multi-use interactive personal devices that give us a more intimate and relaxed computing experience.
Reading your comments so far, I do have a different perception of the overall objective Apple has with introducing a device such as the iPad.
Personally think a great addition to their current portfolio. And why would the aim be to cross-path any of the existing iPod’s/ iPhones or laptop’s?
A synergy of functionalities, combining features of both iPhone and laptop’s would not indicate that the iPlade will subsitute one or the other.
The truth does not lie in a synergy of capabilities (finding everything in one), but more in the change of mindset and creation of a new type of user: audience fragmentation.
It’s broadening user capabilty that will fit to certain particular consumer needs.
Design remains consistent and still drives enthusiasm, only this time due to pricing more accessible for a different audience: a new sales strategy. iPhone and Macbooks will remain strong for particular audiences.
Think of the automotive industry: introduction of the SUV, a mix of city and off-road car. Proves to have a purpose. Mostly to people that can’t decide to go small or large, just very convenient.
In my opinion, the iPad’s audience:
1. Housewive’s for quick use email, showing pictures, reading books, playing apps. Household use.
2. Business: quick presentations, on-the-go sales men.
It may sound strange but I think the biggest difference between the iPad and the laptop is that it won’t have to be opened. As a result you’ll see people walking down the street with it, using it as a map. Reading on the bus, and generally using it to become more connected to their surroundings. I think the iPad goes a step further in severing people from their desks.
Furthermore, having 3 devices (iMac, iPhone, iPad) will make syncing even more of a pain in the ass. Companies that come out with cloud based applications that run on all three units will do best.
We have no idea yet how the iPad (wow – 8 hours in, and I still hate the name) will change the way we do stuff, because the REAL power of this thing will be driven by the apps developed for it. The iPhone was cool enough at first, but it was really just a phone, a browser, and an email device: all pretty standard stuff. But once developers started making apps, that’s when the real power of the device was unleashed. By combining different features – like location-awareness, or the accelerometer, or bluetooth, or wifi – in creative ways that the Apple designers hadn’t ever thought of, or had only loosely considered, independent developers created hundreds of thousands of new uses for the device. They range from the mundane (like shopping lists and recipes) to the gimmicky (like iBeer or Smacktalk) to the social (like FourSquare) to the highly specific (like astronomy or ethnography apps) to the musical (like Ocarina) to the crazy weird (like I am T-Pain). And that’s what is ultimately exciting about the iPad. Apple creates an amazing user interface platform, with some great core functions, and then opens the door to developers to do the rest. It’s a brilliant model. And I bet once the developers play with the iPad GUI and SDK for a while, we’ll start seeing another gold rush of apps that allow us to do things Apple, and we, haven’t even thought of yet.
Naturally, there are mixed responses regarding the iPad. Design-wise it’s more accessible than a laptop; it will shake up the eReader market, and further deepen users’ ability to interface with their various hobbies, interests, and environments on the go and at the office.
In the ‘big picture’ things are more complicated. A Businessweek article by Olga Kharif claims that the device is “pushing more Americans to pay more for wireless”. Blip.fm, which enables Twitter users to tune into music lamented the fact that it does not support flash (yet) and thus their service will not be accessible through the iPad. To cite a couple more publications, AdWeek said Apple undelivered by not catering enough to big media players in entertainment who expected iPad to be “a game changer for film and TV studios”. Ad Age’s Nat Ives published an article reflecting the publisher’s perspective on how challenging it will be to cater to tablet users.
Given Apple’s user-centric approach to design, I have great confidence in the iPad’s probable success. However, I’m not sure how it harmonizes with the rest of their product portfolio. I feel that the device is a great way to avoid buying an Apple laptop and/or smartphone.
The iPad, just like its predecessor, the iPod, will introduce us to new behaviors, namely, how to further untether from our desks and start living in the outernet (the world of connected devices). If the rumors are true and the iPad will eventually have proximity sensors and controls, (it already has a digital compass, accelerometer, and GPS) then this device could help us get familiar with user experiences that are influenced based on how close we are to it and other networked devices. Combine that with location-sharing and the predictive web, and this device could help us discover an entirely new way to interact with our social graph or conversely, to be marketed too. I call it “proximity influence.” Given the power of Apple products to drive adoption because of their high cool factor and real innovations, I believe the iPad will be like training wheels for more convergent behaviors.
The iPad addresses the two hallmarks of today’s consumer experience: personalization and collaboration. The tablet design and wireless features facilitate group participation more effectively than laptops, and the touch screen encourages tactile interaction with on-screen elements and graphical (rather than text-based) organization. This may encourage more people to take on design challenges (described as the “maker revolution” by Wired).
Apple build hype better than any other tech firm, perhaps even any other retailer.
Will the promise live up to the hype? Let’s wait and see.
What made the iphone great was solving the problem of no longer having to carry a phone and an ipod. Oh yeah, it looked and worked really, really cool.
What made the iphone even greater was the App Store that brought the wider market’s creativity to the iphone. Apple created the platform and thousands of creative people surprised us daily with the new apps and technology that were built on the platform.
What makes the iPad great?
I’m not sure. This is where the need that Apple have identified is fragmented. For some, it will be a great presentation tool. For others, a great entertainment device.
Will it replace a laptop? Maybe for some. Will it replace a phone and a laptop. Definitely not.
Will it be a massive new category? Maybe, maybe not.
What will make it great? I think the App Developers are more needed now by Apple than ever before.
Will I buy one? For $500 it’s worth the punt for the cool factor. Maybe that’s what makes it great.
iPad = iMeh. A little underwhelmed. Overall, it seems like a great (and beautiful!) device for consuming media, but not producing it. And I think my iPhone covered that base pretty well already. So for me, not a game-changer. Just a signifier of better, hopefully more useful things to come.
I’m not crazy about the name they picked for this new device, but I am excited about a couple ways it will change things…
The iPad will be huge in changing the lives of University and College students everywhere. Forget the days of purchasing expensive textbooks and lugging them around from class to class. If Apple gets enough textbooks for sale through the iBook app, students will be able to download all the required reading and textbooks directly from the store. Hopefully, these textbooks will be much cheaper in price due to the savings of printing and shipping.
Students will have every book they need on their iPad. Imagine being able to read your textbook on the iPad, watch embedded videos demonstrating things you are reading about, and best of all, you could highlight important facts and quotes right on the iPad. At exam time, you could pull up only the highlighted text from each book to study from. Brilliant!
The price of the iPad would be nothing compared to the savings from not purchasing the hardcopy textbooks and carrying around an overloaded bag or knapsack. Students will also be able to take notes on the iPad so that its everything they need to pack for lectures and classes.
The iPad will become the most important portable gaming device. Already, App Store titles like Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars are hugely outselling other portable platform versions. The iPad gives way more options for game play than the DS or PSP. Also the size of the iPad opens the door for games that would never work on tiny screens. The iPad is a better size for portable gaming because it more closely mirrors the console gaming experience.
MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS
The thing I am most excited about is how the iPad is going to revolutionize the very troubled magazine and newspaper industries. You will be able to purchase the latest issue of any magazine or newspaper, from ANYWHERE in the world, instantly – right from the comfort of your home (or where ever you happen to be). You will be able to have more in depth experiences with magazines and newspapers – there will be video and links to websites and you will be able to go deeper into the articles if you choose. You will get all this without losing the graphic design and experience that the print versions deliver. You will be able to select pictures, stories or recipes you like from an issue and save them for later.
I can imagine reading an issue of Mens Health Magazine. Usually, I find a ton of things I want to rip out or flag for later in the print version. As I read the version on the iPad, I could highlight and select tips, recipes and exercises I want to remember later. Then when I go back to look for that great new exercise, instead of having to flip through the whole issue, I could choose to only see the stuff I selected that is of most interest to me.
Advertisers will also love it because as I flip through a magazine and onto an ad, I would be able to see video for the ad or click on the ad to go to a website or to purchase the product.
The possibilities are endless, very exciting and will revive this industry.
In my opinion it is far less revolutionary than the iPhone, since the basic features are the same. Still I think it is a great product, because I think with the iPad Apple is again (after music) changing two industries: book and magazine publishing.
The experience of reading a book on an iPad will not differ much from how we read a book nowadays. It is still just about reading a good storyline. I do think it changes the distribution model and sales channel. I love it how iTunes becomes more and more THE starting point when I want to buy media of any kind. Again, a very strong strategic move.
The iPad will change the way we read magazines. Magazines (and newspapers) will finally become interactive on a device as such. It will not be just a simple pdf copy of a magazine on an eReader anymore, but an interactive experience that will bring the possibities of the internet (video, interactivity, gaming etc) to magazines. Magazines and newspapers in that form are here to stay!
There may be several short comings to the iPad (What’s Missing from the Apple iPad?), but one thing remains, Steve is fearless. I understand he is a tyrant with taste. He is uncompromising.
Today, mobile device manufacturers are paralyzed with indecision. They can not decide on obvious design decisions…a phone without a keypad…hmmm…a laptop without a keyboard…and open garden system…etc…It is so simple…now its too late… FYI: The fast follower strategy will not work if you don’t own the platform.
Too many companies are fixated on the next Kindle killer or iPhone killer…which is not the point. They should be thinking about empowerment. Empowering the user, the developer and the content provider…then profits will follow. I know most of the people in the trenches at Apple’s competitors understand this, but their hands are tied in a tangle of corporate committees and red tape.
Whether or not the iPad is successful, this episode, again, sheds light on how timid the rest of the industry is. Companies like Nokia, Samsung, and Sony are filled with talented engineers and designers. While they can build great devices, they have yet to build a culture of empowerment around their brands. It is that very culture of empowerment that enables Apple.
The one thing I have to say is Apple surely knows how to create a buzz and an expectation. The iPad will most probably come not even close to changing the world – we see the troubles note books have as they are to small to do a real computer job, and too large to compete a smart phone. Nevertheless, the iPad is beautiful, edgy and smart, so early adopters and apple freaks will buy it…only time and may be version 2 will show if it can fight its place in peoples minds.
I think Apple’s R&D is led by the marketing strategy of launching a new category concept first, sharpening the product design later. Ipad may not be a sufficient product yet, so we needn’t argue about its specs, but the new category idea it represents. Apple’s marketing strategy is akin to automotive industry, only the processes are much more quicker. They show the prototype and then mass produce and sell it in a glimpse, only after, they get feedback and evolve the design to come up with a full functional product. Automobile models has a face-lift or a FMC or a special edition almost every year, and for Apple models it is twice a year. And that is sustainable in this era of fast consumed technology.
The only question in my mind is how can Apple be the “only” brand to find new category ideas? Convergence concept is not new and it has been always inspiring… But only Apple has the guts to come up with “converged” ideas, others just follow or create “add-on” mutants.
So, briefly, we’ll all have ipads; sooner or later, original brand or a me-too brand.
I really believe that Apple’s R&D is paying off, not only because Apple is able to provide such an innovative device for 499 USD, but also because the launch of so many outstanding products so often is boosting the company’s image.
The product itself looks really innovative, mostly because it adapts to the user, not viceversa, becaoming an every-day item, to be carried around, just like a book or a music player.
I’m sure, once you buy it, you’ll wonder how you could ever do without it.
I think that my mom will love it: like Wii for videogame, a little, mouseless and keybordless computer could be a breakthrough innovation for casual computer users, with his portability and hassle-free controls and the usable iphone OS.
Ubergeek view: The interesting thing isn’t what it looks like now, or what the hardware is theoretically capable of, but what people are going to find to put on it and use it for. It’s all about the software and the content. Shame there’s no camera; that’ll limit it a bit in some areas (augmented reality, for one).
Publishing view: iBooks looks interesting and a possible Kindle-killer, but things will really get interesting if/when iMags happens. And if that follows the iTunes trend of breaking the link between songs and albums, you’ll be able to publish a single feature or long interview, plus good-looking visuals, on its own without having to put it in a magazine and surround it with shampoo ads and drivelly, fluffy news/lifestyle/gossip nonsense. There’s a thought.
Reality view: So far, so meh. It was so pre-hyped that it could have cured cancer, eradicated poverty and been personally hand-delivered by a naked Beyonce and it would still have been an anti-climax. What’s it for, exactly? It’s just a big iPod Touch, but far more difficult to put in your pocket. We’ll see.
It will force marketers and their agents to invent new advertising units that work well in the new publishing environment. At first it will be messy, but slowly it will improve. The IAB ad standards board will be busy, as will publishers (newspaper, magazine, book) figuring out how to charge. Those first to market will help define the the landscape.
Smartphones and tablets:
Smartphones and tablets are two different approaches to the same end goal — one started with the small, mobile device and gave it more features, the other is the result of taking feature-rich computers and making them more mobile and accessible. Perhaps someday they’ll meet in the middle and we’ll all use the same device, but not for now.
Even though the differences appear to be small between an iPhone and an iPad, I think we’ll see that there is a market for both. My own personal prediction is that we’ll see two different types of people adopting smartphones and tablets. The avid communicator who loves to talk, send messages, and chat online will stick with increasingly fast, efficient, and user-friendly smartphones. The person who lives and breathes in media — the news junkie, google reader using, netflix subscriber will likely love tablets that will provide an enhanced experience for reading, watching, or listening to stories.
What the iPad means for marketers — another device for social interaction:
Apple’s advances into the mobile space (not just phones, but the on-the-go lifestyle) are a telling sign that we’re closer to an era of “post-digital” marketing than we think — something frequently referenced by the likes of Russell Davies, Helge Tenno, and the folks here at PSFK. The more accessible media, stories, and social interaction become through technology, the more digital marketing will become just marketing. Benjamin Palmer’s comment that social media is “not media space, it’s behavior” rings true now and will only become more apparent as time goes on. Regardless of whether the iPad is successful, it signals an era when technology and the web are even more deeply ingrained into our behavior patterns and social interactions than ever.
The iPad will not fundamentally change the way data creators work, i.e bloggers, tweeters – the active web population like us. It will, however, change the way the large proportion of data consumers work; people like our parents who have minimal use for the web (surfing, emailing, perhaps booking tickets and so on). For people like us, the iPod Touch and the Macbook are necessary – I see the touch screen as not being very conducive to use for epic blog posts, for example! The iPad will be an addition to a suite of internet-enabled accessories that a person may have. It will be very useful on the go. HT: James Higgs (@higgis), whose views prior to the release of the iPad proved to be true to a large extent.
In the immediate future, the iTab (sorry, we all just need to pitch in and come up with a socially acceptable name for this thing) will make for a great interactive travel guide and one hell of an instructional cookbook. If the iTab can entrench itself as both an e-reader and a netbook (as the price point is designed to help it do), then it will be in a position to revolutionize location-based ads – particularly those stubbornly stodgy classifieds.
It can also prove to become an enhancer of physical live events. People stuck at the bleacher seats now have a potentially sexier view-zooming alternative to binoculars. Just imagine access to high definition, multiple angle views. Corporate sponsored media content can play during long timeouts or halftime of a sports game.
Sure, it looks just like a bigger iPod Touch, but because it’s bigger, it leaves a lot of spare room for more powerful apps, more sophisticated games and more seamless cross-interactivity with its features. Road warriors can look forward to video conferencing just a little more (assuming they like their coworkers). And the virtual keyboard should be a lot less cumbersome in this size now.
Now if only there was a way to solve the author book signing problem.
We should not think of it as a netbook, an e-reader nor an iPod Touch on steroids, although it can serve all functions handsomely. The fact is that much of the criticism towards the device is led either by emotional causes or the rumors that preceded its release. I can still remember the “rock versus iPhone” comparison (http://amnesiablog.wordpress.com/2008/09/26/iphone-versus-rock/), and yet what we saw was the the entrance of a game changer in the market.
Let’s face it: it may not offer the “reading comfort” of a Kindle, but it’s way sexier. Not something that would seduce the textbook consumer, but certainly appealing to the regular magazine / newspaper reader. In that matter, the iPad offers a whole new spectrum of possibilities.
Compared to netbooks, the iPad is still limited in flexibility, but again: let’s give the developers a shot. There won’t be long until apps start popping everywhere.
In terms of usability and learning curve, Apple performed a master move, teaching users everything they needed to know with the multitouch trackpads and the iPhone, so that the adoption of the new tool could be completely painless.
Of course, it lacks some features. There’s no built-in camera – although I still question myself about the real need of one, since taking pictures with a device like this would be somewhat awkward and for videoconferences you have much more appropriate tools. There’s also no flash support, whether it’s something personal with Adobe or not. It didn’t affect the iPhone, but since it’s not a phone, maybe Apple has an alternative in mind. It’s not multitasking… well, what did you expect for only US$10,00 more than a Kindle DX? If you really need multitasking, wait a few more months until there’s an A5 chip which can handle that without a problem. iPad 2.0, here we go. And if there’s no USB or memory card slot, it may be an indication that 3G, wi-fi and bluetooth are more than enough to link the user to other devices, not to mention that cloud thing.
Bottom line: Apple created something that doesn’t fit into the netbook or e-reader categories, and yet both segments are impacted by it. For those who were waiting for the holy grail, the iPad could have been disappointing, but it’s a fine and beautiful device. Maybe not for the hardcore geek or for professional work, but a sure shot for entertainment, content consumption and trivial tasks. And all of that at a very decent price.
I think the iPad opens up the apps industry gates and starts to democratize the use of apps. If the iPad is to change the way we live it is because of its ability to convert apps in an asset for a wider use. Today iPhone and iPod devices give apps an individual use, and therefore a limited scope. The iPad will probably become an applications home enhancer, some sort of a Hub to be used by different members of a family or group. That will probably become a sales pitch to counter the high price perception of the device. If content providers like Hulu, Youtube (and mighty Rupert Murdoch), and game developers like EA continue fueling the free content stream, the iPad will start to become an alternative to cable modems and game consoles. At the same time, the iPad will give brands the ability to target via ip addresses, just like the soon-to-be-real addressable TV.
The iPod, Apple’s greatest success, was the unique result of a convergence of consumer wants and consumer needs. People had been dealing with clunky, unattractive, and often counter-intuitive mp3 players for years. They needed something better. Apple managed to make something that was not only better, but desirably so: it stoked the flames of want in the market.
The iPhone has mimicked the iPod in a way, but realistically, there isn’t the same amount of need in the market for it… in the sense that plenty of people are loyal to, happy with, and excited by other platforms that they’ve already established a relationship with. Apple has done really well with provoking desire for the iPhone in various ways, but it has not and will not achieve the same level of ubiquity as the iPod.
When you look at the iPad, there is even less of a need for it in many ways. What Apple has done here is still fantastic, because it has broken down the walls and opened up this arena, but this pivotal first step won’t get them the long-lasting acclaim they received with the iPod. I fully expect other entries into the tablet computing arena to be much more significant in the long run.
Apple may have designed certain flaws into this initial iteration of the iPad, but the fact is that taking baby steps for the sake of maximizing a product line’s lifespan and your bottom dollar isn’t the smartest business strategy anymore.
I’m with Peter Kim of Create Digital Music ( how a great product can be bad news apple ipad and the closed mac ) on the iPad. It is a storage device that you own but all of the content is controlled by someone else. Its not really a Mac but an expanded iPod Touch. It appears to me to be a device you use rather than create things on which is probably what I would prefer to own. Maybe the hackers will get somewhere with it. I do like the size. Of course my personal computer ownership has been going against the trends of portable and smaller for years. My G5 weights more than a Mini Cooper, I run dual cinema screens and use a gigantic wacom tablet. The reality of getting all that reduced down into a 9″ tablet would be “magical”.
The operating systems we use today and the approach they take: the mouse pointer, visible file system, draggable overlapping windows, etc. are all interaction paradigms that haven’t fundamentally changed since the Sixties. With the iPad, Apple is putting its money on touch-interfaces as the next major wave in human-computer interaction. And I would too. But to rethink the way we use our computers, touch has to be at the core of the software; not just something that’s tacked-on or a “mode” that you enter into, and the iPad is the first full-sized, mass-market consumer electronic device to do this. My guess is that within the next decade or so, everything that can be touch-based will be touch-based. I could see keyboards and mice becoming more like specialty tools that you pull out to do a specific type of work, much like how someone working in a CAD program today might use a special tablet and stylus.
I see a huge potential for the iPad to change the model for the way businesses interact with their information and consumers. It strikes me as the affordable and portable version of what the microsoft surface wants to be — a programable touch screen interface to content that can be shared around a table or other small group environment. It’s cheap enough that replacement costs are minimal, it’s user friendly enough that interactions can be intuitive, and it has the kind of form factor that instantly can give a design boost to your brand.
I can see it being paired with a rugged sleeve and quick dock stand as a POS in restaurants and shops. I can see it being loaded with content and utilities and being handed to shoppers entering a design or furnishings store. I can imagine it being used in resorts as a combination tour guide and child entertainment. I can see it quickly becoming a must have kids educational toy with a set of content, games and tools. I can see it quickly becoming the go to jobsite computer for architecture and construction management firms (again with a solid case.)
I think the potential that it provides was vastly undersold in the presentation — the opportunities for the iPad to become a new brand/business/consumer interface are vast, and the opportunity for it to provide utility and value to business users in diverse ways is limited only by the programs we can produce to run on it.
It doesn’t matter if a bunch of knowledge workers don’t want to buy one to bring on business trips. It only matters if they can figure out how to design and build things that run on it that make work, entertainment and learning easier, more efficient and more enjoyable.
And in the end, it will also push folks like Microsoft to get their version running on the multi-touch model built into windows 7 out there that much faster. And we’ll be able to design and build these applications on a wide range of portable digital pads. And that could lead to a very nice leap in productivity, entertainment and education.
There is no doubt Apple has incredible power to capture our collective imaginations. The launch of the Apple iPad once again signals the wider cultural context of this brand and its effect over an entire industry. The widespread response suggests disappointment that this product won’t quite offer what many of us were hoping it could, which becomes increasingly inevitable as Apple reaches to wider audiences and speaks less to a hardcore (and extremely vocal) niche.
However, the greater opportunity may yet lie in the uptake of new users and new markets for which the simplicity of this device speaks more directly towards. It doesn’t quite meet the promise of the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) concept either, but I think the Apple iPad has the chance to engage new types of customers for whom the ‘laptop’ concept of the past bears little relevance in their requirement for connectivity.
In the tech world, every innovation is based in either new technology or new convenience. Yes, thats an oversimplification, but the biggest steps in innovative technologies are based in one or both of these thingsthink light bulbs, Facebook, electric keyboards, laptops, cell phones, the Adobe Creative Suite: all of these things introduced either a new technology or a new level of convenience. And at first glace, the iPad doesnt really exemplify either of these two things.
Sure, it has a color screen, but is that really enough to set it apart from the Kindle by $200? Perhaps. Digging in further, this oversized PDA provides not only the ability to have content pushed to the user but also allows the user to create, using iWork. Not bad, but nothing a netbook cant already do (with equivalent programs of course.) I think its biggest oversight is, from my understanding, its lack of communicative properties. A netbook can host any number of applications to facilitate connection, and most all of the smart phones out there not only allow calls but user to user chatthe iPhone has SMS and MMS, Blackberries have user-to-user IMing, and the Android hosts GoogleTalkand I feel that connection and communication is at the base of all of our technologies and is central to consumer behavior across the board. I have no desire to have to hold an iPad up to my ear, but free communication options would greatly sweeten the deal.
Thats not to say that they wont sell like hotcakes. I think that for colleges students, this could be a hugely important convenience, as lugging textbooks and a laptop around campus takes it toll. For early adopters that havent already purchased a netbook to accompany their smart phone, this could be the perfect next step; more functionality, more ease, and simply more packaged in one platform. The Kindle provides no more than the convenience of having your subscriptions and novels all in one place, and look where it has gone. I think my hope for the Apple tablet was that it would surpass the Kindle by leaps and bounds and create a new category of mobile technology, a kind of alternative laptop thats smaller, lighter, more affordable, and just as powerful. Unfortunately, with the iPad missing key technologies as simple as a camera, I think the iPad only skipped the surface of what could have been a huge splash for the tech industry.
I completely agree with Anjali, it will not fundamentally change the way data curators work and yes, it will help change those that consume data. Having said that, the iPad might help increase apple markets share up just as it occurred with the iPhone. Its user-friendly experience might attract those consumers who would have never thought of buying an apple computer before, thus fulfilling their experience with the brand. Lets not forget apple´s market share for computers is still small and it has the potential to still grow a lot compared to others.