The Geeky side of me is saying no-no-no but the business side is saying yes-yes-yes. I only have to look at how my wife, parents, and neighbours struggle with technology to see how good this device can be.
This is “Keep It Simple” at it’s best and the reason behind the success of the iPod. This is also what ultimately limits Netbooks or Windows OS based devices from dominating. Not because Windows 7 sucks, because it doesn’t, and certainly not because of it’s flexibility or ability to connect easily to networks and other devices. For a lot of people this is just way too complicated. Too many choices, too many paths to go down before getting lost.
Look around you at the people you pass in the street, or stand next to at the counter. Most of them ultimately want their life simplified not made more complicated. Most want less choice not more. A fair number of them actually want decisions made for them. This is not saying all people are like this because they aren’t but for too many, the technology simply gets in the way.
In the case of the iPhone/iPad, this is where the lack of multi-tasking is a benefit. Sure there are some power users who want to have many things on the go but how essential is this really. How many iPhones are currently happily being used without multi-tasking. It may be the very lack of multi-tasking that is assisting it’s success.
Also, Jobs is a businessman first and foremost. He understands business very well. He knows it is better to get to market quickly with a good product but also to hold back some of the fruit to ensure future rebuys. Sure the iPad lacks what some would say are essential features but are they really that essential? No camera at launch, well boo hoo! Who really cares. Plus it’s a nice little feature to provide in a later version. Do you think it is just bad engineering or bad business decisions that leave out features that are available in one form of the iPod when others get it. Camera, radio, video have all been incrementally released across the product line instead of all at once and despite the tachnology being cheaply available. Has this affected the sales? Not one bit. Stand back and watch a master of business at work here. A lot of people take the time to satirise Jobs and Apple (including me) and what is often pointed out is the boring predictability of Apple announcements (January, June, September – thereabouts). An incremental upgrade here or there and then every 2 years a new product. People, take notice, this is the master busines plan. If you want to run a successful (product based) business then this is how you do it. Ignore at your own peril.
As for the coming windows tablet devices, take note. You can pile on all the fruit for the launch (cameras, usb, etc.) but it won’t guarantee a kill of the iPad. It will also require a more smartdevice style interface.
Disclaimer: I am not an Apple fanboy. The only Apple product I own is an old 40Gb iPod Photo model that I still use at work every day. I actually run a Windows media centre home theatre via my xbox360 so mainly Windows through and through.
Red T-Rex on why he thinks the iPad will ultimately be a success. And after I got over my initial frustration at the announcement, this is pretty much the same position that I came around to on the device. You may not like anything Apple, but ultimately you have to concede that they tend to make very intelligent business decisions, even if it is at the cost of the consumer…