I heard a story about some dude exercising with his new iPad, trying desperately to get attention and show how cool he was. I also heard a report about how some people were hesitant about the iPad because it couldn’t replace their iPhone (duh). Anyways, my theory on why the iPad will not be an overwhelming success is supported by these two reports. Essentially, because the iPad is targeted more towards the living room, there will be much less opportunity to show it off and get the gee-whiz that’s-so-cool reaction, which is a big part powering the Apple distortion field. For lack of a better name, I’ll call it the large-audience showoff feature or LASOF for short.
You have to think that the popularity of the iPhone is due in large part to its LASOF. People just think that Apple makes cool devices and I’m not saying they don’t. But there are much more powerful phones out there; however, they don’t have LASOF. Now you might argue that non-Apple phones don’t have LASOF because of this or that feature, but the bottom line is they don’t and the iPhone does.
It’s important to note that, if you exclude computers, Apple has done a very poor job of making it into people’s living rooms. The most glaring and recent failure is Apple TV. Yes, it’s a cool and functional device, but it lacks the all important LASOF. Don’t forget the Apple HiFi released just a few years ago. Basically an expensive iPod speaker dock. (Steve looks very proud doesn’t he?)
I think devices carve a place in people’s homes more because of usability and features, and let’s face it, there are severe limitations to the iPad. It’s going to have to compete with netbooks, Kindles, etc. and in the near future slate computers. You can debate as much as you want as to the importance of these limitations, particularly Flash, but you can’t debate them out of existence.
Personally, I’m looking forward to more slates coming out that are full computers, like the HP Slate. I already have the pen-based Motion LE1700 and really like it, but am looking forward to the next generation with a touch interface.