Its sleek, sexy.. of course it is, it’s an apple!
iPad sales figures have been outstanding to say the least, outselling the iPhone in its debut – selling 1 million in 28 days and 2 million by 60 days ( ref:NZHerald) And probably the cause of Apple overtaking Microsoft’s market cap for the first time.
However will it become a household item? Its name certainly has but in terms of itself, I’m not so convinced.
It is something that early tech adopters (16% of us) crave. Something that is found in the offices of design, consulting, social media/ web firms, start-ups but not in the common household. Why? Because for $1,000 people (the other 84% of us) can’t see how it would integrate into their current lifestyles. Is it meant to replace their laptop/ desktop? their written media? their playstation? It sits in a funny place. There are a still a lot of consumer behaviours that need to change for it to make sense. e.g. people still haven’t gotten to grips with receiving their magazines/ books/ newspapers solely in a digital form.
The iPhone was different, smart touch phones already existed. The iPhone just did everything that normal phones already did, except better.
So where will the iPad fit? I see it having huge benefits as a business tool as opposed to consumer product. Particularly in business situations where it will be used for a core 1 or 2 functions/ programs/ applications (as opposed to the plethora a pc would have). Where it can take a paper laden process ( or heavy tablet pc) and streamline it. Where A particular pain can be addressed with a $1,000 product + a piece of clever software.
It is the first tablet that actually makes sense. It will make the full translation into industry work place applications where the tablet was only limited mainly because of its size, complexity and slow responsiveness ( you cant just pick up an iPad and start typing on it). With a smart app development community behind it, these programs will enable an ability to interact, process, create and distribute information real time in a way a tablet pc has yet to do.
In a sense the tablet pc has paved the way for the iPad. The applications of such technology are insight but have yet to be fully realised.
A few easy examples:
HOSPITALS – patient data processing, maintaining records/ status can be done real time. Processing of medical data (x-rays/ blood test/ scan results) and its delivery to the doctors/nurse iPad. Helping patients understand what’s going on with them through medical educational.
EDUCATION- teaching kids e.g to write, spell, maths etc
SALES/ MECHANDISING STAFF/ SUPERMARKETS/ STOCKTAKE/ RETAILING- stock take, placing orders on site, advising on shop layouts
DESIGN,CREATIVE SERVICES – enough said
CONSTRUCTION/ SURVEYING/CAD– visualising & drafting plans
TRAVEL – Replacing the netbook as your means of connecting with the world while you’re away from home. Kevin Roberts thinks so.
RESEARCH – Lab note books?
Its success will depend on the development of these pieces of software for niche applications. A good thing, as it paves the way for developers to gain greater margins by generating higher value apps.
Will i buy one? TBC. I do get disappointed when I see that the biggest HD is only 64GB. Come on guys, USB pen drives are more than that these days. A camera would have been handy too for applications and video calling. However I do eagerly wait in anticipation to see if these industrial applications come to fruition.
On a side note we (Spark) hope to give away one this year as a special prize in the Spark $100k Challenge so keep a look out.
Graeme @ graemefielder.com