Yesterday was a huge day. Tons of activity, conversations with friends and colleagues about the iPad. SO much discussion. There are definitely flaws in the design. This post captures the biggest of them, I think:
But though this post does point out a number of things that Apple could improve on (and I suspect they will, over time), bottom line, I think the post misses the bigger picture. Apple has created something new and incredibly useful. Right out of the gate, I can see two markets where the iPad can really shine.
The most obvious of these is the eBook market. Great for me, the avid reader, great for me, the writer, great for Apple’s shareholders. Though I am a big fan of the Kindle (do almost all my reading on one), the iPad definitely makes my Kindle look old and dingy. There has been an explosion of eBook readers over the past year, and the iPad just leaps over all of them, much as the iPhone did over its smartphone competitors. And books are typically more expensive than CDs (those round shiny things from the old days), so more revenue for Apple, less dead trees. And as an author, Apple gives me a much more efficient path to the marketplace. Win, Win, Win.
The less obvious, but no less important marketplace for the iPad is in health care. The iPad has an important role to play, putting the latest patient data in the hands of their doctors and nurses, ensuring that a patient’s history and current drug regimen is front and center. The iPad can add intelligence and rigor to that process, ensuring that a doctor doesn’t forget about a particularly subtle condition noted several years ago, or about a newly released drug interaction warning. This market is particularly underserved right now, and the iPad is stepping in at the perfect moment. The fact that it shares an OS with the iPhone and iPod touch means a wide range of choices for health care professionals.
There are many markets where the iPad will change the status quo. To me, focusing on perceived shortcomings of a device that has not even arrived is incredibly short-sighted. The iPad is a leap forward, no doubt in my mind. And I can’t wait to get my hands on one.