Boy people sure do seem to hate the name iPad. I heard that iTampon was the #3 trending topic on Twitter yesterday!
Here are some things that people said about another Apple product - the iPod. IPOD stands for:
- "I Pretend it's an Original Device"
- "Idiots Priced Our Devices"
To be fair, there was so much hype leading up to yesterday's announcement that perhaps there was no way even Steve Jobs could meet expectations. The iPad was supposed to change the world. Create a whole new category of gadget, which, according to Walt Mossberg and others, Steve has never done. By their definition, the pundits will say that Steve Jobs did not create anything new here either.
Here is another good quote about the iPod from October 2001 (it sounds like many quotes I heard about the iPad yesterday):
"Apple has introduced a product that's neither revolutionary nor breakthrough"
Finally, here is a link to a video of Steve Ballmer laughing about the iPhone in 2007.
For me personally, I believe the iPad will be the leading product in a killer new category. It has been nearly 10 years since the iPod launched and competitors still have not caught up. I think we could be saying the same thing about the iPad 10 years from now. The integration of hardware (including their own A4 processor - a huge move) and software should keep them in the lead as long as they continue to execute, as they have with the iPod and its successors, including the iPhone.
I've been anticipating the iPad ever since I got my hands on the Kindle. The Amazon folks have been expecting it too (Apple has been the only competitor the Kindle team feared).
Over the past few months, I have been anticipating the iPad even more as I have used the iPod Touch and Nexus One more and more as content consumption devices. The Touch, in particular, is just a dream to use; it's really a pleasure. Even though the screen is not nearly as good as the Nexus One (or even my Blackberry) the tactile feel and responsiveness to the touch in my hand as I scroll through information is matched by no other devices I've ever used. Believe it or not, the Touch is the only Apple device I use. I am NOT a particularly big Apple fan. I don't use Macs (although I still do have a 10 year old Mac) and I gave away my iPhone after a year of frustration.
I am a very loyal Windows and Blackberry user. Yet I have seen glimpses of a product experience that is truly magical with the Touch. If the Touch had the screen resolution of a Nexus One, it would be my only handheld content consumption device. For certain types of content, it's better than my Blackberry, PC or the Kindle. In my office, I have a fantastic laptop which connects to a beautiful, large scree which extends the screen real-estate of my PC. I love working at my desk. But even as I sit in front of two large screens, I often find myself interacting with certain pieces of info on my handheld devices. It's just more intuitive and pleasurable.
I believe the iPod Touch is one of the most under-rated electronic gadgets ever. However, I have no doubt that Steve Jobs understands its importance. The Apple people know the numbers. Both unit sales and usage/content consumption have been going through the roof. The iPhone gets all the attention but the Touch has quietly become a juggernaut. The iPad, or the "iTouch XL", as some call it will be even bigger (literally and figuratively). It will unleash a whole new content consumption experience. It believe it will become my favorite device.
In the enterprise world, there are transaction processing systems which require databases that you can write to as well as read from. There are also read only or "mostly read, occasionally write" type of systems which require a totally different database architecture and computer systems. In the consumer world, PCs and phones are much more like transaction processing systems. I use those devices to get work done. I don't find much pleasure using those devices. I just want to be super efficient.
I believe in the personal computing world, iPad and similar type of devices will become the "mostly read, occasionally write" devices that the vast majority of consumers will use and come to love in the coming decades.