Today the iPad went on sale to the general public in the US. In the video I’ve included below from Mashable, a number of slightly deranged people (including ‘queuing enthusiast’ Greg Packer, competing for the claim for first in line with German blogger Richard Gutjahr) who have been waiting in line for several days are interviewed.
Odd that one can gain public notoriety for queuing in the right places. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time waiting in line for tube tickets in London and have never once been on TV for my troubles.
Anyway, whilst I can’t say I share this unbridled enthusiasm for the iPad, it’s no doubt going to re-energise the tablet format, which until now never really took off. Looking back at tablets over the years, it seems to me that the two main reasons for the lack of popularity are:
- The technology hasn’t been there to create a truly useful user interface as an alternative to other portable platforms.
- It wasn’t fashionable enough to catch on for either users or software manufacturers
From what I’ve seen of the iPad so far, it will won’t fail for those reasons. The technology has caught up over the past few years, with the iPhone-eqsue environment already tried & tested: by both end users in the case of the user interface and programmers in the case of the very similar SDK. As for being fashionable, the Apple fanatics queuing up outside the stores provides at least anecdotal evidence that there won’t be a problem in this area.
So it would seem Apple have developed a very successful business model with the iPhone over the past 3 years. They’ve capitalised on mobile phone companies discounting the hardware to gain a massive number of users. This, coupled with the simplicity of the App Store and iTunes Connect, making commercial app development accessible to all has led to an army of both fans and developers – a wonderfully symbiotic relationship.
Admittedly the target demographic for the iPad is different to the audience for the iPhone. It will be aimed more at a smaller (older) market sector, with a higher retail price, no subsidies through mobile phone operators and more expensive apps. Nonetheless, Apple have nurtured the market, releasing the iPad via the iPhone springboard and I think it will do well.
I started this article with a reference to Mashable’s coverage of the iPad launch and I will end it by pointing you in the direction of their list of 10 best iPad apps – a taste of things to come…