Monday, August 16, 2010

The iPad - Back to the Basics or Mindless Brainwashing by Apple?

In the tech circles, I often here this immature and silly mantra:

"The reason that the iPad is selling so well is because mindless drones will buy anything that Steve Jobs puts on the market."

Here is my reality. When I was in high school (mid 80's), all I knew was Apple computers. When I went of to college, I then learned of the Unix based computers. When I ventured into the business world, in the late 80's and the start of the 90's, it was nothing but IBM. Soon Microsoft became the staple operating system and would remain the primary system until even today. In that same period, I saw industry leaders like Novell, WordPerfect, Lotus Notes, Lotus 123 and countless other companies get manhandled my Microsoft. The one thing that has remained constant in that time is that "everything can and will change". Nothing in the tech world stays the same. Those who should benefit won't necessarily do so and those who you never suspected would, may surprise you and do.

While many are surprised that the iPad is doing well, I have never doubted that it would. When Palm, just a few years ago, announced the Folio - I was for it. Why? Because I loved what my tiny Palm OS device could do, but I wanted to do the same things on a bigger screen. While I loved what the Palm OS device could do, I wanted it to do even more, but meant that my battery would drain even faster. I also loved the fact that my Palm OS device, and the announced Folio, booted up instantly. The other thing that my Palm OS device invaluable to me was that it had thousands of apps that allowed me customize it to my personal needs. And whatever Palm didn't develop for the device, there was a developer around the corner that would. When they picked up the ex-Apple executive who cancelled the project, I was devastated.

So when my ears picked up on this news of the iPad last January, I naturally was excited. Because I had done so much with the tiny Palm OS devices over the years and had continued to do so with the tiny iPod Touch and the tiny Palm Pre, I already knew what this device would offer. Apple has timing on their hand. But it is not just timing, they also have the guts to try something that everyone else was afraid to do. They have the benefit of learning from the advancements and failures of Sony, HP, Palm, Microsoft and others in the mobility space has shown possible. The larger speeds and lower costs of the Internet packages have helped to make the delivery of digital wares possible. Apple's multitouch screen has helped too, but others have duplicated the screen without duplicating their success. The mistake that other have and continue to make is that only make the hardware or just the software. Apple makes the whole ecosystem: the OS, the hardware, some of the accessories, some of the applications, the delivery or distribution system, and retail to move it.

There are many factors that combine to make the iPad a winner for Apple. But the device cannot be a winner for Apple if it was not made to me a winner for the enduser. While there can always be more to the iPad, the way it is made today works well for the enduser. The reasons that iPads are selling so well are due to the following factors; the batttery lasts all day, the device turns on instantly and the thousands of app ensure that the enduser has plenty to do after surfing the web, listening to music, working with their emails, showing off their pictures, managing their calendar and contacts.

At least 90 % percent of what most people do on a desktop, can be done on the iPad. The other 10% can be done "from" an iPad with apps like Logmein Ignition and Team Viewer. Most desktops are way overkill for the masses of users. They only started getting laptops because they didn't want to be trapped at a stationary location on a desktop. Laptops were the only option, outside of a much smaller smartphone. Now that they have a big screen option to a laptop, they are seizing the opportunity and literally running with it. They are even more mobile than they would have been with a laptop.

Most people have made purchases of laptops because they didn't want to be chained to the desktop anymore. The laptop was just a tool to allow that to happen. Then another thing started to happen. They started looking at adding additional laptops to the household or office because other members of the home or office started to want the same liberating option. The expense of the laptops made this a harder decision, so manufacturers sought a cheaper alternative called netbooks. While these offered some mobility, it also brought pain because they expected to perform the same tasks as they did on the desktop or laptop, but found that the netbooks were too slow. They could not do ,what they were designed to do, with the same speed that the alternatives would allow. While they wanted to be mobile, they wanted to do their desired tasks while on the go.

Many started to be attracted to Smartphones because they were constantly being told that they could do many of these tasks on these increasingly popular devices. While this was true, many would discover what I had many years ago on the Palm device. It was just too little. Oh yeah, and the battery would drain so fast that you wouldn't have any power when you wanted to do all the tasks that you wanted to perform.

I used to do more from my Palm Pilot than most people did from their desktop for so many years, that I didn't have to be convinced of what was possible with a bigger mobile device. I have serviced users of technology daily, since I was out of high school, and one thing has remained true all these years...most people have way more computer power than they ever need. The tasks the majority of computer users perform are not real taxing on their computer in the slightest. They could get by on a computer that has the specifications of a computer that was developed a few months or even a few years ago. The problem is that the manufacturers don't sell those older computers because they want to turn a certain profit. So they add the latest bell or whistle to the specs so that the consumer desires to get the latest and greatest feature. The reality remains the same, most of those features will go unused or underutilized.

Sure there are always exceptions to every rule. Every now and then, I run into a person that real works their computer to the fullest. Taxing the processors, taxing the video card and putting the memory to full work, but this is not the norm. Don't get me wrong, the importance of the task is just as important to the users at both ends of the spectrum. The task is always key over the tool used to accomplish it. For most users, the iPad is just enough computer to get the majority of the desired tasks done. With the thousands of apps, iPad users are finding even more better and more enjoyable tasks to perform. As for those other 10% of the tasks, with all the fun iPad users are having, they may not want to make the time to do them if they don't have to.

Another fact is this. When I first entered the work force, people used applications. If they exited WordPerfect, Quattro Pro or any of the other apps and ended up at the DOS prompt; they would be lost. They didn't know or care how it worked, as long as they got their tasks done. They didn't care about file management. They simply hit the save button and saved the work where the app allowed them. When they wanted to open an file, they launched the app and clicked open to find it in the list. The iPad has returned users to it humble beginnings and made it the app the king and not the platform or the OS. iPad users don't care so much how it works, but that it works.

For you iPad users, I ask the following:

What is the percentage of time spent on your iPad versus your desktop or laptop?

Do you have a smartphone too? If yes, do you perform less tasks on the smartphone now that you have the iPad?

Were you considering a laptop or netbook before you purchased the iPad?

Have you purchased a new desktop, laptop or netbook since the iPad purchase?

Have you purchased or considered getting an additional iPad for someone else in the home or office since owning the iPad?

Since your purchase of the iPad, have you purchased or considered purchasing any other Apple product, where you may have no done so prior to owning and using the iPad?


Carl W. Brooks
iAmThereforeiPad, Founder and Chief Editor

iPad News, Reviews and How-To-Dos.
We help make your iPad experience Magical through information!

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