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The Day Everything Changed...maybe

January 20, 2010 - Dave Hecei
The date has been set. Apple will be showing something new on the 27th. While most agree that they will be showing the long anticipated Slate/Pad/whatever, Apple is very quite about the whole thing. The air has that same tinge, like when they announced the first iPhone.

Maybe it’s not that ominous, but if Apple does release a Pad it will most likely create a whole new device category. Since Apple’s homerun with the iPhone, which by the way created a new standard in smartphone design and user interface, this new Pad will likely do the same thing with netbook/tablet/e-book reader devices. It will set a new standard.

Of course, if Apple doesn’t release this device all bets are off. Also, if Apple cannot wrangle the price to something reasonable, it may have trouble selling the device. I remember when Steve Jobs first showed us the original iPod, a tiny music player that held 1000 songs and cost $400. I thought it was cool, but way overpriced. What I didn’t understand was how radically different it was. That original iPod didn’t change the world, it was the combination of all the necessary pieces. It was the combination of the iPod player, the UI (user interface), the amount of storage, iTunes software, and the iTunes Music Store that redefined the portable music/media market.

If Apple does release a Pad device it will have to be something so radically different that it defines a whole new way of working with your digital life. This can be music, video, books, magazines, newspapers, Internet, E-Mail, and social networking. There are devices out there now that can do these things, but nothing out there that ties everything together, which is something that Apple is very, very good at.

Will we get an iPad next week? Only Apple knows that answer. Will everyone buy one? Probably not right away. If you look back at the iPod it took a couple of years before they really hit it big. Sales were ok at the start, but in 2004 they started to take off. By 2005 it was an explosion. By 2006 the iPod was completely dominant. The iPad could easily mimic the success of the iPod, but it rests heavily on many pieces of a larger puzzle. The biggest piece is getting the consumer, not just the Apple fans, to bite.

 
 

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