Both of these are valid reactions depending on where you fall on the scale between Apple “fanboy” and skeptic. Another 90 days and some sales figures will tell the tale of how successful the iPad is. My guess is that it will be big… very big. Here’s why:
- If the iPhone is any indication, there’s a market for Apple innovation
- Pricing is right – $499 – $840 depending on features
- While there is an AT&T data “deal,” you won’t get locked into a contract
- It further leverages the powerhouse iTunes distribution platform and adds books to it
So the iPad is great for Apple partners and investors, but why should marketers care? The answer is simple. The primary function of the iPad is media consumption. Web, music, movies, books, games – the iPad is tuned for all of these. But it is not a productivity powerhouse in a small package. It will compete with Netbooks and other tablet computers like the one recently announced by HP. Make no mistake, the iPad is very much an iPhone/iPod Touch with a larger screen and much longer battery life.
The iPad is another goes-everywhere, have-to-have-it device with a voracious appetite for media. As the iPhone gave smartphone innovation a shot in the arm, so too will the iPad spawn a rush of products aiming to take part in an energized tablet market.
Marketers now have an audience that is always connected to a fast Internet, through a device that will present their message beautifully, at a size larger than 4-inches on a side. Direct digital marketers have more opportunities to reach the target audience with robust, relevant Web, mobile and email experiences and interactions well beyond the confines of the mobile device.
Time will tell if Apple has again changed the game. If so, I still say “game on.”