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Friday, 16 April 2010

Apple iPad: who will use and what for? All is now clear!


Apple iPad, originally uploaded by iLounge.

There is no doubt that Apple managed to create huge noise and discussion in the run up to, the actual announcement and the launch day of the iPad in the USA (a week ago as I write this). There has been monstrous amounts of coverage, comment and discussion.

One of the most common threads and themes through the whole process is around What the hell is the device for and Who the hell would want one.

There has been a lot of debate about people saying they do not see how it would replace what they have already (PC/ laptop/ smartphone/ blackberry etc) and it was surely just an oversized iPhone. Some more kindly said Apple geeks would buy it, and as there were a lot of those it would be a nice little side earner for the company.

I have watched the debate with interest, and then saw 2 comments that were “AHA” moments for me. 2 things that made it all clear.

The first comment was: “the iPad is a content consumption device, not a content creation device”
The second was: “the iPad is perfect for your mother”

It all made such sense to me, and of course the 2 thoughts are related, although I did come across them in different articles and comments.

Let me explain why I saw these as so profound and clear:

Anyone who has an iPhone knows the quality of images and look at stuff viewed on it is stunning. It is a great device to use, even for someone like me who struggles t use a laptop without a mouse! It is though damn hard to type and work on traditional content generation (be it documents, presentations etc). The iPad will not really overcome that, but will be big, beautiful and clear for consuming content like books, websites, video, applications, playing games and so on.

And so to the next point. People like my mother have no interest in creating content. They want to consume it, view it and at most tap out a simple email. They also do not want to have to have a desk for a PC or laptop, have it out or around, boosting it up and logging on. The iPad would be perfect. Easy to have in a drawer or in her bag. Easy to sit down with a coffee and consume.

Time will tell, but it seems to me that the iPad is a device to consume media by people who don’t want all the content creation capability a PC has.

Me I want it because I love gadgets. But at least I now know why I want it and how I will use it....


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