If you know how to use an iPhone then you know how to use an iPad. I would not agree with some who say the iPad is *just* a "big iPhone". In fact I see the iPad as the beginning of the end of a lot of things as we know them today. It will not immediately replace laptops, netbooks, magazines, Kindles, and televisions -- not immediately. Over time, however, it is easy to see how the world will change. When we introduced the ThinkPad in 1992 it seemed like a huge deal just to get everyone at IBM to agree with the name. No one, certainly not me as VP of marketing at the time, had any idea that more than 30 million ThinkPads would be sold. The iPad will surely sell multiple times that number but more important the iPad will change the model of personal computing -- not immediately and not for everyone, but for many millions of people the PC will begin to look like a dinosaur.
John Patrick was VP of Internet Technology at IBM before retiring and was VP of marketing for the introduction of the ThinkPad in 1992. He sees the iPad as becoming “so pervasive in our lives that even though it is a very powerful computer, it will not be thought of as a computer."
Patrick suggests the iPad “is at the crossroads between technology and the arts.”
I've used a friends' iPad for a few hours. Even formerly staunch naysayers who browsed with it came to the same conclusion I did—this experience is the way to read a newspaper or magazine “online”. At the same time, it's sufficiently typable to make the netbook form factor obsolete.
My own reaction to handling the iPad startled me. While I'd speculated about it before, I didn't expect the experience to be so pointed. I'll explain later this week after interacting with it more, if I feel the same after the newness wears off.
Apple iPad is the first complete, general purpose, computer DRM platform and all people complain about is plugins. Music DRM went away because it was stupid. Idiot users pirate everything not bolted down and you end up with Bluray, Xbox, Playstation, Kindle, iPhone and now the Apple iPad. There has never been more DRM and people think they are winning. No, because Internet piracy and hardware piracy has given birth to yet another locked down platform. Because companies need to make money and do what is required.
The iPad exists because you wanted it. Blame yourself if you don't like it. Personally, I might buy one for my mom. Because it's probably a great piece of web surfing, picture browsing, hardware. And OMG do I need one of those.
At first that read like a rant, but Jan ended up wanting one for his mom.
We've been saying this for a decade: if you make music and video easy enough, users will pay for it. Pirating is hard, but pirating is because users want to consume media on their terms: when they want, and on the device they want.
Users' sense of ownership was formed by physical things. Buy a book, share a book, get the book back. Copy a CD you play on the stereo to a cassette you pop in the car. Excessive restriction fosters circumvention so people can use the media they consider theirs. Follow iTunes' lead to work with users. Let them share in the home, and have 5 copies on 5 devices. Maybe even give them a way to loan or share with a few friends. The iPad itself is sharable, like a comic book or an LP.
Make life easy enough, and users don't actually care about the DRM. They just want to watch and listen their way.
Great products, according to Mr. Jobs, are triumphs of “taste.” And taste, he explains, is a byproduct of study, observation and being steeped in the culture of the past and present, of “trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then bring those things into what you are doing.”