The iPad: part 1

The iPad.  The anticipation of its arrival hit levels not seen since the release of the original iPhone. Surely, Apple seeded some of the bits of info here and there to raise the furor.  But the online masses had no problem using its imagination to guess just what it might be.  In the end though there really wasn’t much that was even a surprise.  We ended up with a device which looked, and behaved, more or less like many of us expected.  One might even say it is simply an iPhone with a big screen (and bezel).  Watching the responses around the ‘net  I have the impression that many people were ‘let down’ because it didn’t blow them away with new and innovative technologies.

Well, I think these folks may be missing the point.  This device is all about the form factor, not about the software, and not about the technology (both of which are already superb on the iPhone).   This device is going to be the future of computing for the masses.  It is simple, elegant, and very good at the things most folks use most of the time; email, internet, media consumption, and reading.  Why would I get mom another Mac Mini when an iPad is simpler to use (like a phone), can do everything she needs it to, and can fit in a purse?

The Kindle indeed paved the path that the iPad aims to widen to a freeway.

The iPad is going to be huge.  And here is why…

Apple isn’t a company that ventures into territory that isn’t potentially profitable.  And by that I mean “incredible potential to make insane amounts of money”.  The few flops aside *excuse me while I shed a tear for my beloved Cube* Apple has done some incredible things right and this is going to further that trend.

The iPad is a winner in software without Apple even lifting a finger.  All iPhone OS applications will work without ANY modification whatsoever.  You have over 100 thousand applications available DAY 1.

When people realize they can replace their computer 99% of the time with a 1.5lb device that costs $500 and things are going to really start cooking.   Yes mom, this is your next computer.

The iPad is the de-evolution of the modern computer.  It obscures the complexities of a modern operating system into something that even a child can utilize.  It incorporates all the features that most people do in today’s tech-savvy world…  all this without the worry of viruses, installations, formatting, or anything.   It is the closest thing you can have to an appliance that is also a computer today.

So what you have is a new form factor for computing that is unlike anything the world has ever seen.  Just like the iPhone before it, it doesn’t bring anything amazing to the table in terms of features, but it does it in a way that will make it appeal to an extremely broad audience.  And it solves a problem people don’t even know they have yet.  The modern computer has become too complex.

For years we have been sold on the fact that we need more computing power, more features, more complexities, and functionality that most people actually never use.  The iPad illustrates that you can have all your media at your fingertips without needing a degree to operate it.

I for one welcome this simplification of computing and think it opens up a whole new class of device which will replace commodity computers in many homes very quickly.

So watch for bargains on used Kindles in a couple months.  Trust me, this is going to be big.

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