Product in Vogue: iPad’s Identity Crisis

Posted: January 29, 2010 in Uncategorized

It’s going to be hard to top Apple’s iPad launch this year. The blogosphere was abuzz with short and long posts of iPad’s specs, what it has and what it doesn’t and why Steve Jobs forever turtleneck and jeans attire. A great chapter for Google to read as an example of effective Marketing

What I love about it:

  1. It builds on the strengths of the iPhone: its compelling multitouch interface, icon based dashboard and slimline design;
  2. It adds colour to your reading pleasure: whilst the Kindle’s E Ink technology uniquely renders the bookworm’s experience to the matching of reading a physical paper, the LED backlit display claims a crisp appearance on the screen;
  3. The retail price is affordable, starting at US$499 but with more storage compared to the Kindle

As history tells, Apple is jumping ahead on the demand curve and building demand with a sexy piece of innovation. But what perplexes me is iPad’s lack of clear positioning on the device food chain. We have portable Netbooks that let’s us surf the web wirelessly and work on the fly, the eReader is for, well, reading books and other types of literature, and the iPhone is your better than average mobile phone slash email device.

Some might say that integration of all these bits (with improved performance) into the one device is what makes iPad unique, saving on luggage when you’re out and about. But remember:

  1. If it aint broken, don’t fix it – my Samsung Netbook and iPhone is working fine and don’t intend to replace it any time soon
  2. Convergence is not always the best policy. Telco operators have spoken to death about fixed lines and mobile phones converging onto a single device (cite, BT Fusion) but this concept is now dead. Why? Some people see value keeping the utility of one device separate from another

What is clear is the need for compelling, diverse content that gives people reason to use these sexy devices on. The iBook store will only rise for the occasion if there are great items on offer!

The diversity of views with this launch has been immense – would you buy an iPad and for what reason/s?

  1. Iggy Pintado says:

    Great post, Denise and a good discussion starter. With all the innovation and technology I’ve witnessed over 22 years at both IBM and Telstra, I still subscribe to the idea that technology should “practically enable” a person to make one more productive.

    Simply put, if it works for you, use it. If not don’t.

    I have a MacBook Pro and an iPhone. I ain’t moving to the iPad anytime soon unless Apple give me one to test first to see whether it works for me or not.

    Cheers and thanks for the post, Iggy

    • schmediachick says:

      thx Iggy! Practicality is key to any purchase and majority of us need sufficient justification to make a purchase that supersedes their current device/gadget. The early adopter group of buyers seem to be growing though, as we evolve to become more connected and tech savvy – to them it’s low risk & disposable/replaceable technology after a few years.

  2. Gavin costello says:

    Denise, agree w your sentiments. I think apple are making the bet that there are millions of potential customers out there who don’t need an internet enabled phone, but don’t want to sit down in front of the traditional computer to just read the news or watch pictures of their family. How many people buy a big fat computer like that to just do email and read the web? There’s a Market for this. It’s huge. It’s just not us yet

  3. Agree Gavin – I watched parts of Jobs keynote and mostly just kept thinking “yep, cool, I like that” and agree there is a huge market for this. Watch it sell like the proverbial hotcakes.

    The 3 main things that impressed me were the fast multi-touch/gesture-controlled browser, cool photo viewing, and maps. Watching movies will be fun too. Thing is, of course I can do all that (albeit not as gracefully) with my $250 netbook (I’ve got two Eee PCs, but really like my compact PC701 – )

    Of course the netbook’s are nowhere near as graceful as the iPad – just functional.

    I can’t wait to see it in action.

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