This started off as a comment on Kneale Mann’s blog, but then I realized that a lot of my regular readers are probably expecting me to weigh in on the iPad, and why not! Ironically, Kneale’s post is about all the free publicity that the iPad is getting. :)
There are a lot of people griping about what the iPad doesn’t have, and its name:
iTablet was the obvious (good) choice IMHO, but it breaks the ‘two-sylabble rule’ of the Apple naming conventions, and the recent predilection for the use of the letters ‘iP’ at the start (iPod, iPhone). Complaints about the name are missing the real story here:
All the coverage I have read misses just how much this device is going to revolutionize everything! Apple has created a huge developer community and worked them into a lather over the potential of becoming rich, famous, or rich & famous developing the next multi-million-downloaded iPhone app. Now they provide those same developers a new platform to innovate on.
Lots of analysts seem to think that this is about Kindle vs. iPad, but that misses the point too. The Kindle is a very well executed specialized reading device which will continue to do well in the segment of eBook readers. The iPad provides the opportunity for innovations of much greater scope.
Expect big revolutions in:
- Medical charting and visualization
- Graphic design
- eBook technology
- GPS & mapping
- Human interface design
- How you enjoy video and music
- Point of sale enablement
- Retail displays
Just as an example: imagine you go into the local car dealership, and instead of being handed the usual marketing glossies you are handed a iPad with an interior and exterior visualization of your new car with all the interior and exterior features & colours, exactly to order. The same could be applied to making all the selections for a new home, where colour and material choices can be visualized in a 3D rendered world navigated by intuitive screen gestures and/or movement of the whole device.
The tablet itself is a nice piece of work at a compelling price point (especially compared to the capabilities offered by netbooks), but the real monster unleashed here is the rabid pool of developers who now have a completely new form-factor to innovate on. In 6-12 months, the folks at Apple will look like geniuses (again).