The Purple List Weighs In On The iPad

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.

Dan Gould
  • 29 january 2010

Carlos X. López

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.

Michael Piliero

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.

Andrew Schultz

“ 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. It’s 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 we’ll 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.”

Roland-Philippe Kretzschmar

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.

Scott James

“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.”

Claes Foxérus

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?

Mike Maddaloni

“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.”

Dan Greenberg

“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.

Gergo Csikos

“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.”

Andres Colmenares

“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.”

James Denman

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.

Brian Elkins

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!? :)

Lauren Isaacson

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.

Robin Cox

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.

Bill MacEwen

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 conne

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