Will iPad Succeed
Will iPad succeed? We will know the answer to this question in few months time but I would like to put my neck out and apply one of my theories about why such devices succeed example – iPhone, iPod, Blackberry, Palm, Walkman etc.
For any new device to become very popular – it needs to satisfy at least one and possibly both the following criteria (elegant design is not one of them):
- Does it have a new and very responsive user interaction mechanism suitable for the form factor on the device?
- Does it allow user to perform one important task very effectively which was not easy to do with any of existing devices?
Here is list of successful devices:
- iPhone: Responsive finger touch + Internet surfing experience (history of iPhone)
- iPod: Click wheel + Ability to easily buy individual song (history of iPod)
- Blackberry: QWERTY keyboard, side scroll wheel & trackball + Email access (history of Blackberry)
- Palm Pilot: Stylus based touch screen + PDA functionality (history of Palm)
- Walkman: Headphone + Listen to music on the move (history of Walkman)
Now let us evaluate iPad on these dimensions:
Does it have a new and very responsive user interaction mechanism suitable for the given form factor on the device?
- Yes, it will have the same responsive figure touch as iPhone & iTouch
- Yes, even after 3 years, no other device has been able to replicate the same experience (see an interesting discussion)
- No, it is not new – it is 3 years old
- No, finger touch zooming and panning is not as critical for a device with larger screen
- No, it does not have any innovative user interface mechanism – nothing new in handwriting recognition – nothing new in voice input
Does it allow user to perform one important task very which was not easy to do with any of existing devices
- No, nothing comes to mind immediately
- May be, as an eBook reader – if users find reading in color vastly superior – better experience than current eBook readers like Amazon Kindle (see 2 comparisons – here and here)
- May be, as an internet surfing device on the move – much larger screen than Smart Phone – faster booting than Netbook
- May be, as a device to access applications in the cloud – can work in conjunction with Google Apps – bypassing Microsoft Office
- May be, as gaming device – but will the size, the interface, the processing power be right for gaming
- May be, for watching video – but connectivity may be an issue – no USB or DVD – no Flash
- May be, in the hospital as many CIO’s have suggested – but it will be a niche not mass market (see CIOs say iPad and other slates have a place in business)
- May be, in other specific enterprise situation like for airlines crew – but lack of multitasking can be a limiting factor
I searched Google with iPad will succeed (1,320,000 results) and iPad will fail (2,240,000 results) – wisdom of the crowd?