Let’s chat for a bit about one of the biggest headliner of late, the Apple iPad. Some reviewers thought that the iPad was a mistake for Apple. After all, the iPad does not have CD or DVD slots, hard drives or USB ports, so it must obtain all new apps over a wireless network, with the iPad 3G also able to operate over AT&T’s cellular network. Certainly, an iPad is not a direct replacement for a notebook computer.
Now let’s go back to 2007 when Apple introduced the iPhone. Many people decried how the new phone broke with the past and wondered what Apple was doing trying to be a cellphone manufacturer. We know now that the iPhone represented disruptive technology, so much so that all new smartphones today are based on similar touchscreen and gesture technology. Mobile manufacturers whose technologies didn’t follow this path are all now struggling.
The same thing is happening with the iPad. Many people lamented that it wasn’t more similar to a notebook, wasn’t as convenient to carry around as an iPhone, couldn’t run Flash, easily import or export files, and so on. But none of that really mattered. Apple wasn’t making a device to fit in between a notebook and a cellphone but a device whose manner of being used flipped the existing ownership paradigm on its head. Instead of “your computer” or “my computer,” what we have now is “the iPad in the reception room” or “the iPad in the den.” Computers are fun again, and they’re not called computers any more.
Apple, Google through their Android smartphone operating system and other follow-on manufacturers are thinking outside the box to advance portable device graphical interfaces and data networking. For more that three decades, Apple has been a stalwart leader focused on ease-of-use and other human factors surrounding the use of technology. While technology changes so quickly, it’s refreshing to have a company like Apple and Google make those changes fun and exciting instead of slogs of drudgery that no one looks forward to. It’s no wonder that more than two million iPads were sold in the first two months after its release, attesting to the interest people have and helping to propel Apple to be the world’s most significant technology purveyor, exceeding Microsoft in stock market capitalization.