Having had a few days to digest all the iPad information I could and read more than my fair share of iPad essays I’m finding myself more and more convinced that it will be an enormous success. I’ve gone as far as to say this already in a tweet and I’ll be more than happy for people to mock my inability to see the future when and if the iPad is roaring failure of Cube proportions.
I’ve read as many iPad will be a failure blog posts as I could to see what the people who have the opposite opinion to me were saying. Most, if not all seem to revolve around a sentiment that I really, really can’t agree with and it’s this:
People want what they already have.
They have USB ports they want them in everything, they have flash enabled browsers they want them in everything, they have multitasking they want it in everything. The list goes on. I’m just not convinced this is true.
The iPad lacks USB?
The most popular reason for the iPad to have USB seems to be so that I can transfer my pictures on to it and this is a perfectly reasonable request, however it’s not a deal breaker for a couple of reasons. First, there’s an adaptor and yes, I know that it’s extra cost and you might lose it, but there it is – you can transfer your pictures to it. Second, and this is perhaps the most important point in my view, in a few years all cameras will transfer images wirelessly. It just makes sense. I have an Eye-Fi card that does it for me already and that’s the way it’s going to be. Not now, not today, but soon.
The iPad lacks Flash?
The arguments sparked by a lack of Flash on the iPad seem to have split the tech journalists and bloggers right down the middle. I’ve seen some compelling arguments that Apple should just make it’s own flash player for the iPhone OS if they think Adobe’s is that bad, but on the other hand I’ve read compelling evidence that Flash is a big pile of technical hurt and it would be better for everyone if it we take it out back and put it out of our misery. I can’t say that a lack of flash on my iPhone has caused me any real problems, but obviously without an iPad to test I can’t say the same would be true on that device. However, as Kevin Costner’s dead dad said:
“If you build it they will come”
By this I mean if the iPad takes off in any meaningful sense all those flash only sites listed on that hilarious blog post are going to run, at speed, to whatever technology enables them to work on an iPad. Be that an iApp, HTML5, HTML5.5 GTI, etc, etc. If the iPad doesn’t sell I’m sure lots of tech pundits will say it’s because it lacked flash, but I don’t think that will really be the reason.
The iPad lacks Multitasking?
Well yes it does and as it stands I think this will be a restriction for many people. I currently have Twitter, Safari, TextEdit and Mail open, but the fact remains that I’m only using TextEdit right now. What I think the iPad needs is not a multitasking OS necessarily, but an intelligent switcher. A switcher that would allow you to swipe between apps rather than going back to the homepage to move between them. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that Apple doesn’t add either a switcher or multitasking for quite sometime, but I find it hard to believe they are simply being belligerent about multitasking or that they don’t have iPhones and iPads running more than one app at a time already.
The iPad lacks a webcam?
It does. How many people actually use them? Not one of my contacts has EVER suggested a webcam chat even when we’ve been using iChat with video enabled Macs. I’m sure I’m not alone and I’m sure there are other’s who do this all the time, but it’s a feature the iPad doesn’t need.
So why will the iPad succeed?
What I think people want is a product that does what they want. It’s that simple. It also has to make money for the company that make it. Tis a two way street.
Which leads me on to the reason I think the iPad will be successful and it has nothing to do with the hardware.
The reason the iPad will be successful is because it acts as a window to an important store front. Music, video and books in one place at one time with a simple one-click mechanism. I want to watch 2001 a Space Odyssey, but don’t have it on DVD? I simply press a few times on the magical window and hey presto there we go. I want to read the book on which the film is based, oh click here. Are you sure? Yes, and whilst I’m here I’ll buy the soundtrack too. Easy, simple, straightforward. And best of all? It’s not just Apple that’s making money here, it’s the companies behind those items and as long as they’re making money for doing nothing but providing content they’re going to be happy.
But it’s not just the music, video and books, it’s the apps too. I know a few developers have had issues with the App Store and its processes, but it must be worth something to somebody because there are lots and lots of apps on there and I imagine they’re making money from those apps because more and more keep being added. I’m not suggesting that App store developers are rolling in the green stuff, but there has to be a compelling reason to develop for the App store or the number of apps wouldn’t keep rising. As with all things: Follow the money.
The reason people are saying the iPad will fail is because they are comparing it to what they already have and not seeing it as a third way device.
The iPad isn’t a computer for non-geeks it’s an information device for everyone. This is why it IS the magical third-category that netbooks and slates failed to provide. Its not a computer at all and that’s the difference.