The (success of the) iPhone will be a midget to (that of the) the iPad

Edit: This is just a reporting of an old blog post of mine from another blog. I haven't been that wrong - which is ok, given the blog and press reaction of the skeptics at the time. But Ibhave to say that Android adoption goes up at my workplace and that Honeycomb still isn't my cup of tea, UI and UX wise but it might work well on the tablet market.

Years ago, early in the morning I stood in from of our offices. I work at a geek place definitely. I, a geek myself, work at a geek place, definitely. The evening before I just received my iPhone.

The clumsy procedure involved me having to drive to an ugly customs office with depressed and demotivated customs guys having a ball on trying to make me feel illegal because the iPhone was still supposed to be illegal when you unlock it. Yes, and I tried to save the import tax ;-) Anyway, I drove home and had the iPhone set up in 5 minutes time, I had it unlocked and jailbreaked in another 5 minutes. And I had all the music I needed synced in another 5 minutes, I guess.

Standing in the cold in the front of my office it didn’t take long and other geeks working at my place came along. the iPhone thing was quite new and I still an early adopter. The other early adopter syndrome plagued guy, my brother, didn’t yet have it. I knew right away what would happen: Hide or be bashed. And so it was: All the gees at work were so smart: Oh, you don’t know there’s no copy and paste? You surely know, it’s only Edge, no 3G, do you? You know the camera is crap compared to my 5MB Ericsson/Nokia, you name it bla bla device - and so on and so on.

What was bothering me right away was the fact that all the guys were working for  the same company as I did - an internet company making a fortune on an internet product. So, I guess they shouldn’t be blind to the fact that all the shortcomings of the iPhone were more than compensated by the incredible and before unseen simplicity and elegance of the User Interface - and that despite of all the innovation behind it.

At the time they were all waiting for some new fancy linux based PDA or this and that or the newset fancy Nokia with any useless navigation on it and god knows what.

You know what happened. Today they all have iPhones. All of them. They even disrespect it (some of them) by placing it in a strange dock beneath their work station. Sure, the new cool thing for a developer is the Android (the good vs. the bad - again, so it’s good that google makes a statement towards China so that they are bit more ‘good’ again ;-)

And now - dejá vu - the whole geek planet is again complaining about the things the iPad is *not* and thus being blind to see what the iPad is and what its potential is. (And all the opportunities it will open for geeks and developers as well).

But guess what: It is a mass market device. Apple does not enter markets anymore with niche products to gain momentum. They have momentum and can directly address the large crowds.

Geeks may be disappointed by the iPad not having USB, exchangeable battery (again), no real keys, no extendable memory, still a closed environment, no camera!!!, etc. And yes, they are all shortcomings.

But my mum will be delighted. She doesn’t even want to know what USB is. the doctors running around in hospitals, using the iPad for documentation will not care about battery life, the sales forces don’t care about the keys and so on and so on.

The content providers will be more happy about the new revenue stream provided by the new marketing channels than they will be unhappy of the camera being added in v 2.0 of the iPad and concurrency in OS 4.0.

And guess what, all my geek colleagues will love to surf, watch movies on the couch, chips and beer on the side, an iPad in their hands in just some months.

The iPad will be Apples biggest success ever, whatever its current limitations are, because it defines several completely new markets and revenue streams.

(From an agile perspective: We always drive business to be content with a very minimal product to enter the markets, learn on the market and only add the features that are absolutely necessary to drive demand. It seems that many, as customers, do not like what the preach as those crafting the products ;-)
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