The Apple iPad has an impressive set of features which is augmented by an exciting new hardware platform. It will sell very well and be trending on Twitter for months to come. I don’t think that anyone can argue those facts. The trending question is “Why should I buy an iPad if I already have an iPhone?” The argument is valid and not without merit. The iPad is not a revolutionary device nor is it a must have device. It’s simply the next evolution in mobile computing. It’s the device that sits between what the iPhone and laptops are not.
I understand the argument – why buy an iPad? For many us the iPhone is near perfection in both form and function. The iPhone’s most impressive attribute, is what I believe, is the most damaging marketing position for the iPad – portability. I was speaking with Ned May of Outsell and he explains that “it just fits in my pocket” – referring to the iPhone. The equity in portability is why so many people have become loyal brand ambassadors.
I see the iPad as a media tablet that will not be for mass market consumption. The iPad will be for a small but progressive subset of the population. These are individuals that see the iPad not only as a device that will add value to their lives but allow them to consume, on demand. Content creators now need to think about how to best leverage the iPad.
It’s no secret that publishers are struggling. They are attempting to build revenue models that will allow them to capitalize on the democratization of information. A great many of these publishers were depending on Jobs to provide that life line. I think that these publishers are placing too much faith in technology for salvation.
It’s not the technology that will save the publishing industry or content producers for that matter. A new way of thinking must be developed. Which is based in part on a new revenue model that adds value to content. This new model must take into account and leverage the power of the iPad. I agree with May, we have been trained, for better or for worse, to pay for content on our mobile devices. The iPad has given content producers an Internet connected launching platform – where media companies large and small can “package and sell,” news papers, eBooks, videos, magazines, games, photos and music.