Thursday, January 28, 2010

iPad, youPad

If there's one thing that's fun about the gadget of Apple, it's prognosticating about new devices without even touching them. I probably won't buy an iPad, but I think it's pretty nifty technology and it will probably find a niche beyond just "People Who Buy Anything that Steve Jobs blesses." Still, even with all the info reveal, I think there's still a question of where it will fit in a consumer's arsenal of technology:

* Work - There's pretty much no way this device will work at work. Imagine modifying a spreadsheet with this sucker. Seems improbable right? If the iPhone couldn't dislodge the dominance of BlackBerrys there's almost no way the iPad will become a widely used business tool. Just not gonna happen.

* Play - The joy of the iPhone/iPod touch is that it's a proper portable and innovative gaming device. PSPs and DSs are great, but most average folks aren't carrying those around, unless they're gamers already. Will there be a whole lot of new awesome games for the iPad? Absolutely. Will people buy this sucker specifically as a gaming device? Highly unlikely. Then there's music capability. Now, it's nice that I can listen to iTunes and buy music on this tablet, but similar to a hardcore gamer, if you're a big music listener you've already got an iPod and a home listening setup (a turntable or fancy computer speakers or whatever) and there's just no real need for this device as a portable music player. it does nothing really that an iPod/iPhone doesn't already.

* Other Stuff - This vaguely defined area is probably where iPad will succeed. As a book-reader it will at least give Amazon some competition, which is a good thing. As an internet device, it will give netbook makers a bit of fright. But I think the real killer app will be something that doesn't even exist yet. The biggest benefit of this device, as many commentators have said, is that it's literally a blank slate. A well executed, innovative app could make this thing a must have device. And believe me if I knew what that was, I'd be downloading the SDK today.

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