I kid, but it’s true. One of the shortest sighted things that nerds do is project their dreams and wants onto devices. This is great, in theory, but your mom doesn’t care about RAM, Gigahertz or processor cores. Your mom wants to do some stuff.
As the days pass, the longer I think about the iPad, the more I think Apple is going after Amazon. I believe Apple will permit the Kindle app on its devices and is largely allowing multiple distribution channels on its devices. I can’t see that changing with the iPad. So how is Apple “going after” Amazon? Hardware.
Today a Kindle 2 is $289 on Amazon.com. A Kindle DX with a 9.7″ screen is $489. For $10 more for an iPad I get:
-8x the storage
-a color screen
-a touch screen
-a touch OS
-a better web browser
-a better media player (iTunes)
-works on my home/work/plane wifi network
-the ability to download apps that do other things like play Scrabble and do Crosswords
Still think it’s a shitty device? That Apple didn’t “try hard enough”? You aren’t the target. Reader buyers are. On flight after flight, I’ve had conversations about the Kindle. It’s a good reader. But navigating text with foot or endnotes? PAIN. That kills a certain segment of books I can read. Tech books with diagrams or code snippets on a Kindle? Nearly unusable in my experience. Your mileage may vary. Do not buy this device if you think that it will be a horrible reader. PLEASE.
Apple is an experiential brand; you love the Apple product because of what you experience while using it. Apple is about providing that experience across your entire life with the device; from the moment it arrives in the box, you unwrap it like a present and every time you touch it, you are reminded of how deeply Apple cares about the most mundane piece of the device. The iPad will be no different. I will guarantee that once someone touches one, they will think about where this might fit into their life.
The final piece of this for me is that $499 is a killer price for something that could replace a laptop for the most casual of users. In this category I include people who surf and do email, with some light productivity needs: YOUR MOM.
In short: a shit ton of people are gonna buy an iPad.