The iPad: A Consumption Device
My first reaction to the iPad, as I “consumed” the uStream feed, was this:
Netbook is on “production” side of equation, #ipad is on “consumption” side. It’s a content consumption device. On steroids.
It’s more than 12 hours later, I’ve taught a class where we talked a bit about the iPad in terms of technology evolution/adoption, and I remain firmly fixed in the “it’s a consumption product” camp. But I wanted to take a few minutes and look back at the naysayers in 2007, when Apple launched the iPhone.
I saw/felt/touched an iPhone the day after it went on sale, at Seattle Mindcamp (sponsored by Andru Edwards and GearLive). Holding it, that changed my mind about its revolutionary nature, about its rightness. Exactly like holding the first video iPod — and watching that tiny movie with incredible resolution — changed my mind a few years earlier. Apple’s products are experience goods.
And that’s what I told my class — that how the iPad feels will be key to its success or failure in the market. I also think having a viable market for used eBooks would accelerate adoption — just like a converter (change that Sony or Kindle format to iPad format) would.
I’m not worried about missing slots and such. Apple has been the first major player to abandon every input device that has been abandoned: either they see the sinking ship before everyone else or they’re willing to lead the change.
But I do want to revisit post-iPhone launch commentary from three years ago. So here we go:
- “Top 10 things to hate about the original Apple iPhone: Slow mobile data (EDGE) … Battery life sucks …Built-in battery … Touch screen … Heavy data usage … Only a two megapixel camera …Proprietary tie-ins … No video iChat …Apple chooses your mobile network… Only 8GB storage (Ok, ok, sure, it’s the biggest storage capacity of any phone on the market, probably, but 8GB is still pretty limited.)” – APC Magazine
- “The most visible difference between the iPhone and its competitors in the smart-phone market is the lack of an integrated keyboard.” cNet
- “Gates wants to sell platforms. Jobs just wants to make tools…Jobs, in fact, couldn’t possibly be more out of touch with today’s Web 2.0 ethos …Like the iPod, the iPhone is a little fortress ruled over by King Steve. It’s as self-contained as a hammer.” Nicolas Carr
- “Apple TV Yes / iPhone Not So Much.” Paul Colligan
- “The iPhone is not a smartphone.” engadget
- “Apple Fails to Reinvent Telecommunications Industry – Too Bad” Fractals of Change
- “iPhone Hype: I Just Don’t Get It” Information Week, Mitch Wagner
- “But in no ways could I say that the iPhone is revolutionary. Impressive yes, but not revolutionary.” Managing Dynamics
- “The iPhone looks good, but there are some awkward questions. GMSV picks up a few — for example… No expandable memory. No support for WiFi syncing to your PC … who wants to be stuck with Cingular?” Memex 1.1
- “While this device exceeds most rumors it does not have any 3G wireless connectivity…” MobileTracker
- “From its birth in 2007, the iPhone has been criticized for lacking enterprise security…” PC World
- “How do you operate a touchphone in your pocket, or under a table by feel at a meeting?” Paul Kedrosky
- “…if you need to text, or email, or blog from your phone that using a touch screen will be very unsatisfactory compared with a Blackberry or a Treo.” Robert Scoble
Interesting that Steve used almost the same “drumroll please” delivery to share the pricing in 2007: the base model was to be $499 then, too. And then an end of the year note:
- “iPhone made the mobile phone industry sit up and realize that Apple had made a breakthrough with average consumers in terms of design and user interface…” cNet
I’ve not yet bought a first-generation Apple product (but I own stock).
Back in early 1984, I convinced my then-about-to-be-husband not to buy the Macintosh because there wasn’t (yet) office productivity software and because it would not be interoperable with the computers at work. In 1990, I explained to my then-boss how I could get more computer for our money if she’d just let me buy a PC; she told me to go buy a Mac. Back in 2007 (many Apple and Wintel desktops and laptops/netbooks later), I desperately wanted an iPhone but could not justify the price (I’m not a “pioneer” or “innovator” to use adoption theory categorization; I’m an early adopter) and, besides, my Blackjack worked Just Fine.
But I am drawn to the iPad (despite the horrible name) like a moth to a flame. So I wait, until I can touch … (which, btw, would have been a better name).
Update – Roundup:
- The iPad Big Picture – Daring Fireball (John Gruber)
- Apple’s iPad Will Come Into The Enterprise Through The Consumer Door. Again. – Forrester (Ted Schadler)
- iPad About – Stephen Fry
- First Impressions – NY Times (David Pogue)
- Hands On First Impressions – Seattle Times (Brier Dudley)
- The iPad Is Like Holding The Future. But Only Because I Graduated From iPhone School. – TechCrunch (MG Siegler)
- Four Ways Apple’s iPad Beat Expectations – TheStreet.com (Jason Schwarz)
- First Impressions – Wall Street Journal (Walt Mossberg)
- Ten Things Missing From the iPad – Wired
Update – Backstory: