“iPhone on steroids” – that is the phrase many are using to describe the recently announced product from Apple – the iPad. It is an interesting product and I think the timing could not be more suitable. Why is that?
The industry has been struggling to find something larger than a phone and smaller than a laptop. So we are seeing a variety of “netbooks”, those cheap mini laptops used mostly for web surfing and watching video. This is an emerging new market for devices that also doubles as e-readers, music and video players, and as game consoles. The early PC doing only word processing and spreadsheet seems so antiquated!
Apple’s iPad has an attractive large screen for e-readers, so it is a threat to products such as Kindle, Nook, Skiff, and Que. It can also be an attractive video player, so a threat to the netbook vendors. The big advantage of the iPad is its inheritance of the vast array of games and other software from iPhone. That cottage industry of iPhone applications is a fast growing industry and iPad rides on that goldmine. Devices are as good as the availability of applications for consumers. Otherwise it will be like a nice television without any shows to watch. Apple’s pricing is also quite aggressive, from $499 to $839 range.
Someone said that the iPad does not have a camera or a phone. I can’t imagine using the iPad as a phone, like holding a brick to your ears. The form factor is wrong.
So amongst gadgets we all need,we have the smartphone, a laptop, and some people also carry a Kindle like device for e-books. Now it can be the iPhone and the iPad to cover the entire spectrum.
We will watch how this evolutionary product catches the fancy of the consumers over next few months. But well-done Apple, as always.