When Apple announced the iPad on the 27th January 2010, many things were expected. Like all rumour based predictions, some came true and some not.
But a low powered tablet based computer without a keyboard, webcam or even Flash, is this really the future or has Steve made another Newtonian error?
We call it the iPad
Positioning the iPad as a device somewhere between an iPod and Laptop, Steve Jobs is once again trying to define a new genre of interaction between user and technology.
As with a lot of Apple release kit, Steve has embraced the idea that Eye Candy engages users and well designed gadgets actually overturn conventional thinking and build brand confidence.
What is odd about this latest offering from Apple is technology that was expected but is missing. After all this should be a killer way of interacting on social networks like Facebook, but with no bundled keyboard, webcam or Adobe Flash, this would appear not to be the case. After all casual gaming has become hugely mainstream and any technology that does not embrace this may not fully understand how people toward work and play together.
Adobe flash up until now has been the backbone for most of these casual games and without it Facebook Games like Farmville just would not exist.
A look to the past
In the early days of Personal computers, it was not just a case of Mac or pc, in fact there were thousands of home computers available with each their own language and operating system, none which would speak to each other. As with any market that becomes saturated, most of these companies died out. What brought the PC as we know today as a market share leader was a standard that developed out of companies copying IBM computer design. With a unified Operating system by Bill Gate meant that for the first time by buying a ‘PC’, you were not tied down to a particular company. This introduced competition into the PC market that cut costs down a point that made them irresistible to most people. Apple are the only company today that survive this massacre and still do well today surviving on less than 10% of the PC market. But also they make the whole solution, not just the hardware and not just the software. Microsoft may have nearly a 90% share of the operating system market, but they only make the software, without the hardware Microsoft would have finished back in the early 90’s at the hands of such giants as Commodores Amiga.
Although Apple has done well out of creating innovative designs and ideas, it has not always gone Apples way. Apple was one of the first companies to mass produce a laptop. Due to cost it never sold lots of units. It then tried again with the Apple Newton; this small device was a cross between a smart phone and PDA. Again due to cost and being too far ahead of the game, this was considered another flop.
It is fair to say that these devices (amongst others) nearly bankrupted Apple, and there were pundit that time after time predicted the end of Apple.
Let the music play
In early 2001 Apple Released the iPod and iTunes.
With a business model radically different to everything before, Apple now has the market share for downloaded music content.
Without broadband this would not have happened, but Steve Jobs realised that people will pay a premium for convenience and he was right. Even with new players in the game Steve has raised his game and still offers an amazing product in the form of iTunes to anyone running a windows or Mac based operating system.
If Apple never built another Computer thanks to iTunes, its future is secure.
Bye Bye Facebook welcome to iTunesbook
When Apple released the iPad, one of the curious omissions was Adobes Flash. Adobe Flash powers lots of content on the web and with Apple taking this decision there must be something behind it.
Listening to Steve Jobs speech on the launch of the iPad, you can see where Steve believes the next decade will take us online.
I believe Steve’s business model for the iPad revolves solely around the ITunes store. Currently it’s free to read news and watch video online. Some newspaper and video providers are now starting to charge subscriptions to view content. I believe Steve is pushing the iPad in this direction.
And if rumours are to be believed there are plans for iTunes to become more than just a music store.
Imagine Steve’s Pitch now.
‘By combining shopping, news, films, books, games and hanging with your friends, it’s a totally awesome experience for the user and all for 99 cents a day’
Is Apple crazy?
I think not, they are one of the few companies that have proved you can make the hardware, write the software and box it as a product…..
But then again isn’t Bill trying this with Xbox live?