iPad, Savior or Flop?

Posted by on March 5, 2010 in Business News, Business Technology, Phone Systems [ 0 Comments ]

There is no denying that it seems there are currently three prominent ‘screens’ in consumers’ lives- the television, the computer, and the mobile device. Just as marketers and businesses alike are finally finding a way to reach consumers through these avenues, Steve Jobs throws something completely new into the mix, and he calls it the iPad.

Over the past month, this iPad has been receiving a lot of hype and criticism from both critics and consumers because ultimately no one really knows what its fate will be. The tablet, originally said to release in March, has just been set back to an April 3rd release causing, you guessed it, more hype. Perhaps this is a ploy by Steve Jobs to keep his tablet on consumers minds, or possibly production is behind, but regardless everyone is on edge waiting to see if it’s technology’s newest breakthrough.

Jobs has been marketing the iPad as a mobile device that falls somewhere between an iPhone and a laptop. Critics feel that it is either publishing’s savior or an over-sized iTouch.

Regardless of what people are saying and all of the rumors, here are the facts:

The iPad features a 9.7 inch touch screen. It will have Internet access given two options, Wi-Fi and 3G via a mobile phone network. It has the ability to browse the web and read email, listen to music, play games, watch videos, download iPhone applications, and its most appealing feature, read an electronic book.

Without the electronic books, many more would agree that the iPad is indeed an oversized iTouch, but this feature makes it a key competitor for the Kindle and other mobile reading devices. Apple will be developing an online bookstore modeled like iTunes where publishers will be able to offer their content in an interactive and mobile way for consumers to purchase or subscribe to. There are even rumors that textbook mogul McGraw Hill might get a piece of the Apple pie.

Considering most articles and newspaper content is available free of charge on the Internet, critics are having a hard time wrapping there minds around the idea that consumers would actually pay for this content.

So what does this mean for businesses? A new avenue for advertising? A new technology for the office? The future has yet to be foreseen but here are some hunches: With the iPhone already being used to reach consumers, there is no doubt the iPad will be an advertising tool in the future. Putting ads in Apps and possibly on the free published content will be an easy access point for marketers. Also with its easy to use features and great graphics it may be seen in the boardroom and at trade shows as well.

Regardless of the criticism, the iPad is hitting the stores April 3rd with preorder lists starting March 8th. I guess the only question left is will you buy Steve Jobs’ newest gadget?

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