Almost one week ago Apple introduced their iPad, as the gap filler between the Iphone and the MacBook. Since then i worked on my Itouch and my MacBook, constantly asking myself if their would be situation in which an iPad would be handy. Too be clear, I did not see an iPad in real, so did not use it. I am only trying to assess the possibility of the success of the iPad, trying to imagine why people would buy the iPad, or not. These are my conclusions :
- Mobility : off course it is portable, but I use my iTouch to read some rss feeds on the train. It is easy to slide into my pockets and I already am carrying my work laptop. If I would take an iPad, why then not taking the Macbook (or Macbook Air if the weight matters)
- Handy : would I use the iPad to watch movies, photos ? All circumstances in which I use my MacBook for that, I would not like to use the iPad, because I can not place on a table and have to keep it on my lap. A lot of “table stand” accessories will come out soon (already out by Apple itself), and will be a success.
- Handy (2): The typing on the iPad more looks like a necessary evil. Would typing this post be as fast on the iPad ? Would be that comfortable, because I would have to bend over to see what I am typing. My first impression is that is not that handy.
- Book reading : yes, the iPad can be used for a natural way of reading a book. And the surplus capabilities on the Kindle are to be welcomed. So, I would balance buying the Kindle against the iPad. (not the iPad against a Netbook)
- Memory : Apple holding on the built-in memory only is in contradiction with the evolution of media. You can watch movies in HDTV on the iPad. There will be a lot of syncing necessary if you want to use it intensively.
So, for me the iPad is not the attractive new product of Apple that fills a gap in my needs between the iTouch and the MacBook. Everyone thinks that the gap between the IPhone and the laptop is a tablet pc, and not a netbook, but why ? Is the gap defined as “a bigger screen, but no physical keyboard” ? That would describe the physical characteristics of the device, not the needs. Why does a netbook not fill that gap ? Maybe an E-reader fills the gap, but “a” gap, not “the” gap. There are thus more gaps, and depending on your needs, you could buy an iPad
Maybe when I consider buying an E-book reader. But there I am probably running into the mobility issue again. Carrying on and a laptop, and a E-book reader.
Will this hurt Apple ? I think the stock now is suffering from the hype that was created before the launch of the iPad. The expectations were too high. It is however neat how Apple reuses consistently their core OS in all their devices. In that perspective, Apple suffers more competition from Google (that explains the latest tension between Apple and Google) than from Microsoft (who has a too many OS-es for different devices).
So, Apple is a keeper for the future, who always will try to be ahead of the competition. In that perspective it is worth buying its stock, not on short term for the success of the iPad.