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The iPad … I’ve had a vision.

January 28, 2010

Well,  folks, as always Steve Jobs has stood on a stage and set the whole world to talking (and picking the new thing apart, and making fun of it, and generally missing the point). I was pretty confused for a while now too, but suddenly I get it.  Last night I had a vision and have a sudden urge to buy Appple stock (I’m not kidding … at all).

Here’s the deal.  The world’s large collection of grumpy people has seen the iPad and compared it to their desktop machine or their laptop and don’t understand why they should buy this new thing.  This is precisely the problem.  As some of the pundits have been saying, this is not a computer that competes with your other computers … this is an appliance. The revelation came as I was talking to my wife about this later last night.  I said, “imagine the iPad sitting on its stand on the kitchen counter … it’s nice to look at, it has no cables or other annoying computer things, and when anyone wants to do anything, they just grab it and use it wherever they want.  Check your email while cooking, watch the news, browse the web, consult a cookbook, play music … take it to the deck on a summer night to check your email and use it as a media hub” …. suddenly, I said, “shit, this is exactly what those guys at Apple saw when they were designing this thing.”  My wife said, “we have to get one of these”.  I swear Jobs and his mates saw this happen in countless tests and knew what they had to build … most people don’t need a big computer with all of the bells and whistles.  They just want something to do the things that they do with computers … get and play their music, look up the scores, watch some video, soon to read a book … for $500, this thing will fill that huge niche.

And here’s the real kicker for me.  I thought of this thing in my parents’  house.  They have always grudgingly had a full size PC for the things they do with computers.  They trudge upstairs to it to use dial-up to check their email and buy tickets, etc.  They have no affection for it’s wires and clutter.  Put an iPad on their kitchen counter!  Damn … they can be reading their mail and doing everything, plus discoveering iTunes … for me, they also could get the 3G version and surf all on the cellular network, so I don;t have to worry about anything to do with an ISP and they can take it with them anywhere.  Oh my ….

Now, why didn’t Jobs et al sell it just this way when they introduced.  They used it like a laptop on stage, instead of showing it in the context of a common house … that would have been powerful, but maybe they prefer to let this thing creep up on us.  It is amazing to me how people react to these things. Hardly anyone has shifted the context yet … they’re all still imagining this thing replacing something else in their current environment.  It’s not like that. I was doubtful about this at first, but I now think it’s true … Apple has created a category. (again)

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One comment

  1. I should add a comment: unfortunately, my examples of things to do with an iPad are things that can be done with a netbook, so I’m comparing too, like I said that I shouldn’t. So, to clarify, yes, it does the same things, but it does them with a multi-touch interface, a very nice high-quality screen, the App store and 140,000 custom-made apps (many free), deals with the publishers for book-type content, a very nice ebook reader, a weight of 1.5 pounds, an accelerometer for rotation and what has been shown on the iPhone to be a pretty snazzy games interface, iTunes for msuic, movies, and TV, an integrated unlocked connection to cellular networks, and a really pretty design. And I haven’t even actually seen one yet … I’m only talking about the little bit that I know.

    And, I’m sure that tech guys will always hate it, and mock you for buying one.



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