A few month ago I writte upon my iPhone the following note:
a screen for email?
a screen for internet?
a screen for word?
a screen to excel?
a display for photos?
a screen for films?
a screen for books?
The question marks are there to show that it was only a wish. The iPad rules them all in one elegant device with a wonderful user interface.
This brings me to some thoughts about the newly presented iPad. A lot of comment have been done by nerds and consort to predict Apple and iPad a dark future. This should be taken with care because the nearly all (95%-99%) of internet users are a silent majority. But on the other hand the very same nerds seem (at last in my neighborhood) to want to buy one at its very launch "only for testing purposes". After all, they may see some light at the end of the tunnel and acknowledge that some humans' beings could be interested because of the price. Just read that and that, and you will see that the device category Apple iPad has created is there to stay.
They should know that the iPad is positioned as a consumer device because it is powered by iPhone OS. They should wait a little for a Mac Touch Pro upon Mac OS X (10.7 ?) and pass the 1000$ limit. The iPhone OS choice simplifies a lot of the interactions envelop because of the multitouch, the development of applications (mono task) and empower the developer to invent the app from a blank page. Nonetheless as a side effect, Apple controls everything for security / safety reasons. This iPhone OS choice made the convergence smartphone-computer convergence real. Google shows it will be done in the near future as a trend. Google explains us the trend, Apple realize the wish with iPhone OS.
The iPad is a very good case of blue ocean strategy: do not bath in red waters. It is what happens to all the PC makers at the moment.
Red Ocean Strategy
Netbook maker choices
Apple choice with iPad
Blue Ocean Strategy
|Compete in existing market||PC market||iTunes store and AppStore||Create uncontested market space|
|Beat the competition||Plenty of clones devices||One power full touch device||Make the competition irrelevant|
|Exploit existing demand||A tiny laptop with windows XP||Touch tablet||Create and capture new demand|
|Make value-cost trade off||Below 300$||499 $ : higher price, higher value||Break the value-cost trade off|
|Align the whole system of a firm's activities with its strategic choice of differentiation or low|
|Add features and lower the cost||Remove features lowers the cost||Align the whole system of a firm's activities in pursuit of differentiation and low cost|
During the conference Scott (VP of iPhone software) uses the term "goldrush". Indeed, Apple is the new vendor of shovels, pickaxes, tents of the new gold diggers who are all the apps developers. This is very true as the figures of available Apps are at 140 000 and the revenue of the gold diggers becomes a lottery game.
It is fascinating to see the number of headlines the iPad has created in comparison to the CES or any other new gadget/computer around. Newspapers act with the news behavior: "don't miss the big story". Apple thanks to its track record of revolutions: Apple II, Macintosh, flubber iMac, iPod, iPhone and failures Newton, Cube, is seen as a game changer. They are also found of the Robin Hood of the IT aka Steve Jobs, even if he could be better casted as the Prince Jean.
In conclusion I am waiting firstly to have the real device in hands to see its potential. Secondly the Apps to be created upon this blank page: medical apps, graphical apps, magazine store, complement for a computer, partition reader, classroom device... The iPhone shows us that the user interface paradigm of the touch is usable by a 1 year old child. The user interface so far is folder/files centric. Thus the need of the finder at the center of your electronic life. The iPhone and now the iPad show that this paradigm has worn off. The mental model is now obvious to everyone. Don Norman could be happy because it is the ABC (Activity Based Computing) idea that comes to life. And this idea disturbs a lot our nerds mental model, thus their cold acceptance of the product.