Apple’s iPad unveiling and misconceptions…

Now we all know what iSlate is, happened to be iPad though.

So I leave the specs alone. Here I try to kill most of the wrong concepts around it. All those may be because these reviews were done by tech guys. It is obvious that iPad is not an answer to any of those guys who needs a all in one device. Still I bet it would be in some day.

Don’t expect this to be a netbook, notebook or Tablet PC of any geek’s must have, it isn’t intend to be.

Many say it’s over-hyped and under-delivered. Some expected a netbook or a notebook replacement. But I see many missed the whole point here. Steve Jobs would be crazy to fight already meager netbook profits or kill his own cash cow Macbooks, nor his highest selling iPod Touches or iPhones for that matter. So what is Jobs & Company’s intentions?

Very obvious, as we know it now Jobs’ got bigger & better dreams, better than anyone we knew of in the tech circles. What Apple is targeting with iPad is creating a whole new tech gadget category and a new publishing channel where others tried but without much success. They did this to music, movies, mobiles and then for software apps with the explosion of the App Store.

Now it’s imminent they are aiming at troubled old-school print/ publishing business which still struggle to go digital.

Here’s why:

1. The traditional publishing business is incredibly inefficient. It absorbs most of the money paid for a book before they get to its creator. That reduces our favorite authors’ incentive to write more books. Consolidation and other changes in publishing are limiting the availability of books, magazines and short stories. Ebooks could theoretically solve all of these problems.

2. People have been predicting the imminent takeoff of a mass market for e-books since the late 1970s. It didn’t happen then, and it’s not happening now. Even with over hyped Amazon’s Kindle, commodity e-Books are still nowhere to be seen. Partly because Amazon or others sell only a handful of Kindles or likes and keeps bigger cut than even the author.

3. Unlike e-music, there are major structural barriers to the broad adoption of e-books. The problem is not just technological. The most important barrier is a chicken and egg situation: People won’t buy an e-book reader until there are millions of e-books available for it, but there won’t be lots of e-books available for an e-book reader until it has millions of users. This circle effect decides the higher e-book price too.

4. Until we break that circle, the mass market for e-books will never develop.

I guess Apple is trying to tackle and harness this bold new channel. One testimony to this is iPad is coming in traditional 4:3 print magazine form factor , when all other tech gadget screens now come in famous 16:9 wide (stupid*) display form factor.

For *Stupid new (LCD) screens you pay a premium which anyway goes wasted either with blank-black-screen-bars, stretched picture, lack of wide-screen content or for inferior color accuracy. Here is a good reading on “Why Everything New Sucks” by Ken Rockwell.

Personally I wouldn’t mind an electronic magazine/ paper/ net subscription delivered cheaper than a newsstand which I get over my bed tea and lies in and around my couch or bed. I imagine iPad is being exactly that “device” and beyond*. For better or worse “the news-paper-magazine has to die from any day now“. It already has no room in my house. Even my uncle who once was a “paper-holic” now don’t buy paper-stands anymore.

Imagine the people who still needs this for their work…

Beyond* means given the 150K odd apps already, iPhone Touch SDK, and pumped up classy hardware, (shame it doesn’t come with an optional stylus-pen for hand-writing) it’s pretty much capable than advertised and I am sure developers will soon crank up a whole new world of desktop class touch interfaces for this baby. It says Apple spend last two years for porting iWork (Mac OS MS Office equivalent) to iPad signals no ordinary feat. They have shown the developers that iPad Touch APIs actually capable of desktop class touch interfaces. Then it’s possibly an attempted desktop replacement (killer) too.

This is regardless the iPad’s whole enterprise and educational potential. Which is given the right software it will be loved by all sales people, lawyers, doctors, students, engineers, network guys like people who are on the move who needs such a device without lagging bulk. The future of desktop class cloud software with a touch interfaces will emerge and then if Steve is still lucky he will unveil iPad OS3.0! 🙂

We will wait and see in three years what it’ll become.


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