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iPad Establishes Apple as #1
The game's changed.
CUPERTINO (Rixstep) -- The Twitter humourists are already calling it the 'iTampon'. The whingers and besserwissers and complainers are already whinging and knowing better and complaining. But the great majority of pundits are calling it a game changer.
It's Apple's tablet. The iPad.
Don't look for an executive summary. Do yourself a favour and watch the entire presentation. Click the QuickTime window below. It won't be hard to find anyway - just surf to the Apple website and it'll find you.
Remember Steve Ballmer's embarrassing presentation at the CES three weeks ago? This one's a bit different.
No matter that Apple sometimes do things people don't like. Such as betraying open source sentiments. Or leaving gaping security holes open for years. Or dismissing reports of such holes with 'works as designed'. Or mucking up the behaviour of graphic controls. When it comes to doing something like they've done here, they're unsurpassable.
Right from the design and onwards. Sitting down and deciding if there's a niche they can fill. Taking their time and studying the market, calculating exactly what's needed and where it applies. Through acquirement where Steve Jobs himself was involved - and where he dissembled so well that two years ago the media had no clue what he was up to.
Through implementation. Where hardware engineers met with Ive and his designers and the software engineers set to work. Through making the hardware and drivers so good they could magnify unaltered iPhone apps to display on a ten inch screen.
Through creating iWork all over again. Through the presentation itself.
There are no blue screens of death in a Jobs presentation. Steve Jobs walks on stage to an ovation. So many happy to see him back. He still looks thin but he's back. And people are starting to appreciate what he means to the industry.
Steve Jobs doesn't need to work at Apple. He doesn't need to work at all. He's got enough stock in Disney to support the state of California for a hundred years. Steve Jobs comes back on stage because he wants to work. And it shows.
One hour thirty minutes of a meticulous presentation of a meticulously designed and implemented computer device.
No matter if the iPad sells well or is a bomb. Apple are now #1. No one is even a close #2. They're the innovators of the industry - the 'mini-IBM'. Apple make their own processors today. They're at the intersection of technology and liberal arts, as Jobs says. No one could ever have come up with a product to squeeze between the smartphone and the portable. Microsoft and HP tried and people cringed - literally cringed. Yesterday people were ecstatic. Again.
Stephen Fry was there yesterday. Couldn't get enough of the device. Can't wait to be able to buy one.
There are things people won't like about the iPad. There always are. It doesn't have this, is lacking that, coming revisions are going to have more features, it's still connected to AT&T in the US even if it's not locked, it costs ~$100 to get in the iPad SDK programme, and so forth.
But that can't take away from the achievement people were witness to yesterday.
Dead Tree Readers
Rick Falkvinge wrote a piece two weeks ago about how the electronic reader would eventually replace the paper book. Electronic readers will have to fulfill all roles paper books have and in addition have to be better in certain key aspects, he suggested.
An electronic book reader has to be easy to read indoors with bedroom lighting, easy to read outdoors in full sunlight, be as light as a paperback, be easy to hold in one hand as one turns the pages with the other (most likely in a sweeping hand movement over a touch screen to begin with) and have a battery that lasts long enough so one's not thinking of running out of power all the time.
The iPad might be heavier than what Falkvinge had in mind. And it might not read so well in uncooperative light. And it might not adhere to all the open standards he wants. But in all other (technical) respects it's exactly what he ordered - it's his vision.
The world is changing. And technology leads the way. And the people at Apple lead the technology.
Today had a special resonance. In front of his family, friends, and close colleagues stood the man who founded Apple, was fired from Apple, and came back to lead Apple to a greatness, reach, and influence that no one on earth imagined. But a year ago, it is now clear, there was a very strong possibility that Steve Jobs would not live to see 2010 and the birth of his newest baby.
- Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry: iPad About
The Star: Book of Jobs revealed to all
TheSpec.com: There's a brand new game in town
BBC News/dot.Maggie: The morning after the tablet
CNET Nanotech: Inside the iPad: Apple's new 'A4' chip
CNET: Apple acquire low-power chip designer PA Semi
Engadget: iPad powered by custom 1GHz Apple A4 chip
Rick Falkvinge: Bokförlagens förestående undergång (1 av 2)
Vancouver Sun: 'Intimate, capable' iPad a smart game-changer