Apple released its iPad on Saturday. Already CNET.com is declaring that HP’s slate will be an ‘iPad Killer’. I find this funny because iPad hasn’t had time to establish itself, let alone sort out what market it is being sold to and yet, CNET is certain of the powerhouse that iPad will become. So much so, that they feel the need to start bestowing titles upon competing devices as though iPad is already dominating a market that barely even exists.
Admittedly, in the mobile device world, 300,000 units sold on opening day is nothing to spit at, but it hardly compares to the avalanche of iPhones that Apple has sold. You may not know someone that has an iPad. But odds are very good that if you don’t own an iPhone, you know at least one person who does.
Think about that for a minute.
No, I mean it. Really think about the implications of that.
What it means is that Apple has created a product that millions of people worldwide have fallen in love with. AT&Ts less than stellar cellular service does not stop Americans from going out and buying iPhones in droves. People still buy iPhone anyway. They do it because iPhone is good at what it does. It’s a smart phone that’s so easy to use that it belongs in a Geico commercial.
This was a game changer. The minute that iPhone hit the shelves, every smart phone vendor that did not have a touch screen phone was standing there with his proverbial pants pulled down to his ankles revealing tacky boxer shorts that screamed advertisements for a cruise line based out of Aruba.
I believe that one thing we have learned in the nearly 4 years since iPhone’s release is that iPhone isn’t dominating the market because it has a touch screen. If that were the case, then other touch screen phones would be selling equally well and they just plain aren’t.
The important thing about iPhone is that whole Geico effect.
Anyone can do it. Anyone can make an iPhone do cool things. You don’t have to be a programmer to use Shazam or Snaptell. All you have to do is tap.
You do not have to flip and flick through layers and layers of menus to get to the one application you want. It’s RIGHT there! iPhone is all about instant gratification. Coder geeks, the guys who are used to figuring out how stuff works and discovering ways to do new things with the old stuff are not an instant gratification sort of crowd. They are all about customizing and tweaking and adding their own features. With iPad, the option is there if you want it. The SDK is free.
But you have to remember that iPad was not built to wow the technophiles.
It was built to be used by ordinary people who had no idea that a computer could be used to do something other than “google”.
Wilson Rothman made this point beautifully when he posted this article on Gizmodo about taking his iPad to church with him on Easter Sunday. He said, “My mother-in-law may not care a fig for most of what Gizmodo covers, but she does see the iPad as a tool to help her in her work—and in her faith.”
This is exactly right. iPad is a tool.
Not a tool box.
A lot of folks out there who are speaking ill of iPad and its potential are forgetting this very simple thing, much like they did with iPhone. iPad is not meant to replace your PC. It is designed to create a different kind of user experience for you. iPad is a device meant to challenge your ideas about technology and its place in your life.
That, my friends, is innovation.