Half the world, if not all, watched, tweeted, or listened to Apples Keynote 2010, to get a glimpse of the so called game changer. It is safe to say that it was time that could have been better allocated to other activities. Instead of a revolutionary device, what we got was the Apple IPad. The IPad is essentially an over glorified IPhone, blown up in size (9.56 x 7.47 inches. Led 1024 X 768. 1.5 pounds) without its phone capabilities. It runs the same IPhone OS 3.2, and has Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities.
Missing from it however, are Flash, HDMI, the ability to multitask or video chat, a camera, no active widgets on the home page… you get the picture. It uses a 1 GHz chip, which is currently the standard in Smartphone’s today with the introduction of Snapdragon, and has a price point of $630 – why get it if you are not going to get 3G – all of which make it less than awe inspiring.
The IPad fails as a revolutionary device, however although it is not the future, it is a start, an end to a means. The IPad will serve the purpose, of taking on the role of introducing/teaching the consumer, a new way to consume media, most likely in the form of news and magazines on an electronic device, clearing the way for e-readers and eBooks in the future.
There have been other tablets released before the IPad, however Apples user friendly interface, works to its advantage, to draw in the consumer, and prime them to this new technology. It is also a way for media companies, specifically news and magazine companies, to test out different business models, and train the consumer to pay for content on the device. In my previous post on “technology is King,” I stated how the future was the delivery mechanism, and that it was the delivery of the content rather than the content itself that would matter. We have progressed, from consuming print news to online on our computers, then to our cell phones. The IPad is ushering in the consumption on portable Tablets.
On the content side, it will spur the change that is much needed in the media industry. Media companies will now have to create specific content for their apps that they put on the IPad, which hopefully makes their content more unique, and scarce. No longer limited to one delivery method, there will be a move towards interactive story telling, which will include all forms of media, from video to images, to text, audio etc. This new type of journalism will allow media companies to create content that has added value to their customers, which will allow them to make some money off it.
Disclaimer: I am not an Apple hater, even though after reading this, it might come across as so. I own two IPod touches, a Macbook Pro, and I will probably make up some excuses to justify buying the IPad.