iPad 3D Model by LunarStudio

iPad 3D Model by Cleo of Lunarstu­dio. Copy­right 2010 by Lunarstu­dio. All Rights Reserved.

There’s been a lot of recent dis­cus­sion regard­ing the “use­ful­ness” of the Apple iPad. Some are say­ing it’s going to be worth­less, while prob­a­bly a vocal minor­ity have expressed inter­est. The truth of it all is that 99% of us that have formed an opin­ion hasn’t actu­ally played around with the device because it hasn’t been offi­cially released. So right now, it’s mostly our own con­jec­ture that has formed the basis of our opin­ions. How­ever, this much I can tell you.

I have an iPhone and I use it quite reg­u­larly — often I’ll check my emails on my back porch, while lying in bed about to get some sleep, when I’m car­ry­ing out chores around town, or when I have a meet­ing. It’s not just lim­ited to check­ing emails either. At the time of its release, it was per­haps the most capa­ble mobile web browser on the mar­ket. Other com­peti­tors have had to play catch-up with this device. And in some cases, they have suc­ceeded in sur­pass­ing the iPhone’s web brows­ing capa­bil­i­ties (the Nexus cur­rently comes to mind.) The one thing that I’ve always wished my phone had was a larger brows­ing inter­face, and with the iPad — that makes this a real­ity (minus the phone obvi­ously.) The phone is not with­out fault, but a lot of the inno­va­tions included in the orig­i­nal iPhone design has forced a wake-up call on other man­u­fac­tur­ers to pro­duce a more capa­ble and user-friendly expe­ri­ence. The iPad is going to do the same thing to the tablet mar­ket, as what the iPhone has done to the cell­phone market.

When com­par­ing the iPad’s com­peti­tor — the Kin­dle, I would think that it would strike any­one with half a brain that the iPad sim­ply shat­ters the Kin­dle in every pos­si­ble way. 4 col­ors, a much bet­ter web brows­ing expe­ri­ence, a bet­ter .mp3 player, the abil­ity to play videos, a bet­ter way to dis­play your pho­tographs, high porta­bil­ity, ease-of-use (judg­ing from Apple’s pre­vi­ous prod­ucts), VOIP (Voice over Inter­net Pro­to­col accord­ing to some rumors), wire­less 3G con­nec­tiv­ity, gam­ing, etc. In a nut­shell, it’s an over-sized iPod touch with bet­ter per­for­mance, more capa­bil­i­ties, and a larger screen. Where it lacks is the cur­rent lack of cam­era, mul­ti­task­ing, Flash sup­port, and embed­ded phone. How­ever, what more could you expect from a first gen­er­a­tion device (and also a com­pany that’s try­ing to main­tain a monopoly)?

I could eas­ily forsee cart­ing around this highly portable device to meet­ings — most of the time all I need to do is dis­play ani­ma­tions, stills, and occa­sion­ally take notes. Any­thing con­cern­ing per­form­ing my actual work is nearly impos­si­ble on a lap­top any­ways. I could also see bring­ing this on to my open-air back porch dur­ing the warmer months and watch­ing stream­ing tele­vi­sion. If you don’t think peo­ple aren’t going to be sit­ting on the trains here in Boston with an iPad (or some­thing sim­i­lar in the near future), read­ing the daily paper and lis­ten­ing to music — then you lack the capa­bil­i­ties to see into the future.

iPad with keyboard

iPad with key­board 3D model by Charles Leo. Copy­right 2010 by Lunarstu­dio. All Rights Reserved.

So what Apple has done, while not com­pletely “new” per se, is pro­vided the most portable device that does most of the basic tasks we use com­put­ers for, and then some. From the sounds of it, it will be the best tablet on the mar­ket to date. This will also serve as a wake-up call to other man­u­fac­tur­ers — show­ing them that they need to dras­ti­cally revise their own cur­rent devices and inno­vate oth­er­wise they’re as good as dead. And if you don’t think that this isn’t the Kindle-killer, than you can’t see the future star­ing right in front of you. Jeff Bezos and his Kin­dle team will have to scram­ble to either lower costs dras­ti­cally, or rush to come out with a sim­i­lar device or better.

Now, I’m not an Apple fan­boy — in fact, those types of peo­ple annoy the hell out of me. Sec­ondly, I’m not try­ing to sell any­one on any­thing. Thirdly, I’m not tak­ing any of this per­son­ally nor am I get­ting defen­sive. I’m just stat­ing what I think are the facts objec­tively, and shak­ing my head at dis­be­liev­ers. If you don’t think that they direc­tion of the future for soci­ety is to come up with the computer/laptop sweetspot — some­thing highly portable yet func­tional, then you are not see­ing the for­est for the trees. It is a mere step in the direc­tion towards the future and if you’re a naysayer, then you’re sim­ply demon­strat­ing your lack of fore­sight. And if this first gen­er­a­tion doesn’t impress you, wait until the sec­ond or third — and if that doesn’t catch your eye than wait until you see what the com­peti­tors can come up with.

Some day, the pub­lish­ing indus­try and most lap­tops as we know them will be dead. Whether or not that occurs in our life­time depends on how quickly the slower fol­low­ers take to play catch-up.

Tagged with → apple ipadapple tabletcleocompetitorfutureinnovationsipadiphonemobile webmp3 playertablettablet market 

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