Shocker — it’s the iPad! Honestly, I didn’t think that anyone could have envisioned success of this magnitude, at least this quickly. Remember, it wasn’t but a few years ago when everyone was building these tablet things. All of them failed. Yet, even with the odds stacked against them, Apple made it work. How?
Sure, Apple knows how to design beautiful, sexy devices. They also know how to sell a product for a decent premium (Apple products aren’t cheap). Furthermore, they also have some of the most loyal customers in the world — it even makes me wonder if it will ever be possible for the company to release a future flop. No one is doubting the company on these facts. But is the iPad really worth it?
As CNBC puts it, the growth is astounding:
This sales rate is blowing past the one million units the iPhone sold in its first quarter and the 350,000 units sold in the first year by the DVD player, the most quickly adopted non-phone electronic product.
Still, this is nothing more than a tablet computer, right? It’s, at its core, the same device that quite a few others — just like me — have argued is little more than a giant iPod Touch. So what’s the deal here?
Apple must have done something right. But what was it? It’s clearly obvious that people want this thing — and they want it badly. They are willing to pay for it, too. This can’t possibly be another case of Apple’s loyal followers purchasing this product just because it has an Apple logo on it. This is something different. And I think I know what that something is.
I think it is the iPad’s simplicity. It fulfills the basic needs of the consumers in a way that no other device has come close to accomplishing, and it does it without all the extra fluff. Never before has such a simple device with so much functionality been given the opportunity to go mainstream. Thanks to Apple, it has.
Think about it. If you give someone any notebook computer with any traditional operating system, that person has to worry about software updates, OS updates, device drivers, security, endless tweaking, networking, compatibility, and so much more. But we live in a time when people don’t care for all that stuff. They don’t want to deal with it. The majority wants a device to do what it is intended to do, and they don’t care about the extra crap. If it does its job, it is a winner.
The iPad is that device.
You click on Safari if you want to surf the Web, iPod if you want to play music or video, iBooks if you want to read, Maps if you want to figure out where you are, YouTube if you want to watch babies laugh, and whatever other application to accomplish what is necessary. In short: you turn the iPad on, determine what you want to do, and do it. There is no other BS that separates you from accomplishing that task. That is the beauty of the iPad. If you tack on the fact that the iPad also capitalizes on Apple’s rich, ever-growing ecosystem of third-party content, the potential was there all along. It is something that, even with my hesitancy towards the iPad, I can appreciate.
This shows that consumers are willing to sacrifice freedom for direction. Ironically, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As long as Apple doesn’t get too arcane with its treatment towards third-party developers, this ecosystem of content and applications will prove even more valuable to Apple than they might even realize.
In closing, I admit that I was wrong about the iPad. The the concept and idea of the iPad, along with its competition, is the future. Its method of distributing content and applications is the future. Its input methodology is the future. Its ease of use is the future. Its simplicity is the future. And while I’m not purchasing one until the next version, I have finally come to the realization that, at least for the typical, everyday consumer, the iPad is the next evolution in computing.
Hardcore computer geeks of the world, like me, might have trouble adjusting. They might even resist this change. The success of the iPad, however, is not a mistake — it’s an icon of change. Apple just so happens to be the one taking charge.