Apple Holds The World (And The iPad) In The Palm Of Their Hands

When Steve Jobs unveiled to the world, that which we already knew – there was little that surprised with the iPad.  In fact, the most surprising aspect of the details once revealed, was how underwhelming the news actually was.  In fact, those unimpressed with the device seemingly have plenty to complain about.  Under technical scrutiny, the iPad is far from perfect.  In fact, it lacks so many “obvious” improvements, many have referred to it as a toy.  Hardly revolutionary.  And though I cannot argue with the “logic” of these arguments, and when I hear Molly Wood rant about how impractical this device is I want nothing more than to jump on the nearest rooftop and accompany her screams with my cries – “Who Is This For?!! Who Will Buy This!!! Why Do We Even Need It!!” … in the end, no one is listening.  For who can be heard above the din of such phrases as:
– “When Something Exceeds Your Ability To Understand How It Works, It Sort Of Becomes Magical…” 
or such superlatives as those uttered by Steve Jobs…as he cast his magical spell on the world last Wednesday:
The iPad is magical, phenomenal, wonderful, incredible, beautiful, huge, great, awesome, magnificent, gorgeous, exciting, remarkable… 

You see, I finally get it now.  No, I don't mean that wearing a black turtleneck sweater is the secret to delivering a lasting, impactful presentation regardless of subject matter content.  Though yours truly WILL be buying himself such an item and wearing it the next time I need to pitch something compelling to a room full of skeptics.  (I'll let you know how it works out.)
What I Get Is That It Really Didn't Matter WHAT Steve Jobs Said Last Wednesday.  It Didn't Matter What Features Were Or Were Not Included In The iPad.  The Fact That A Front Facing Camera Would Be Just Silly Not To Include Or That Limiting The Storage To 64GB By Refusing To Include A Model With A Hard Drive Was Plain Idiocy.  This Blog Is Called Making IT Work But This Is In Fact Apple's Secret Sauce.  
If you haven't seen this promotional video yet, force yourself to watch it to the very end.  It will likely be difficult.  Fight the urge to laugh out hysterically or yell at the screen.  You might miss a key superlative.  Once you are done watching the video, get it all out of your system.  Say what you have to.  And once you have nothing more to say….just reflect on what you just heard and saw.  Think about this device, not as a smart phone.  Not as a computer….  

We've seen it on Star Trek, in the movies and have been talking about Apple's product for almost a year.  The touch screen interface has been a long time coming, and no one has been able to get this product category right. Until now. 
Look at our kids. They learn how to touch with their fingers long before typing or using a mouse.  Give a toddler an iPhone and they'll figure out the interface on their own.  Old or young, the iPad will be used by the masses.  Forget the long time debate between PC and Mac.  
Those who own an iPhone for a while often comment that “It Has Changed Their Life”.  The iPad will be everyones computer.  This is Apple's vision.- a device that a young child will pick up and learn to operate before they learn how to read, and the same computer your grandma uses to send e-mails, browse the web and edit photos. If you think about how an appliance like this will impact people sociologically, suddenly the iPad is far more than a larger iPod Touch, as many have described it. It’s the computer for everyone: an idea Apple has been working toward for years. And now the future is here
And yes, many at Microsoft are not happy.   How can you blame them? Back in the 80's and 90's this was Microsoft's modus operandi.  Take someone else's idea – be it Graphical Operating Systems, Mouse Input Devices or Personal Computers – and create a product everyone wants, and buys.  Now Apple has turned the tables once again.  They did it with the mp3 music player and now they're on the verge of doing it with the Tablet.  Creating a device that is appliance in nature, unarguably lacking some needed features. but ultimately a device that will appeal to the consumer masses.  A device that will expand the powerful and addictive Apple ecosystem to an ever growing user base.  From the young child who can master this interface as they explore the world with their hands and senses – to those in their golden years – who crave simplicity and the ability to connect with the rich media and applications that connect them to the world around them. 
The battle ground now is being defined by Apple and Google – the fight for the mobile user and the untethered computing world of the 21st century.  From my perspective, Apple has a leg up on the monitization game.  They know who we are – what music we like – what movies and podcasts we consume – and they already have our credit card in the iTunes ecosystem.  
Is Apple on the verge of defining the next era of living room computing? Or will Google's Android & Chrome OS usurp Microsoft from the throne of personal computing powerhouse?  Whatever happens next, it sounds like the consumer will win, win and win yet again.  And from where I am sitting, Apple is running with the ball now. But will Apple's walled garden approach prevail over Google's “open and web service friendly” model? And what role will Amazon play in influencing the pricing model of choice for content?
Pass the popcorn.  This will be interesting to watch unfold. 
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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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