Why You’ll Buy The iPad Even Though You Don’t Want One

After months of speculation, followed by  the device’s introduction–the iPad is here. I didn’t buy one, nor did I intend to make a purchase, but let me tell you why I will anyway.

My initial thought is the iPad is for content consumption not content creation. It’s not as powerful as my Macbook Pro which I use for tethered photography, Lightroom & Photoshop processing. It’s not as portable as my iPhone which aside from the obvious mobile features is really my handheld portfolio. I don’t have a pressing need for a third device. However, as a business owner, I can’t ignore existing or potential customers. It doesn’t matter what I think about the iPad–300,000 iPads sold on the first day. Twitter was a buzz, mainstream media jumped in, and the Apple fanboys enjoyed the Rapture as the iPad finally arrived in stores last Saturday. If you’re an iPad naysayer you probably want to jump in and tell me about it’s lack of Flash media support, remind me that tablet computers have never been mainstream, but that’s not the point. Apple didn’t make the iPad for the Power User, the technophile or gadget geek–the iPad is a consumer electronic device.

Consumers don’t care about how technology works, they just want it to work. Consumers expect a dial tone when they make a call, they’re not interested in how many hops the call is routed through. Consumers don’t debate the advantages of HDTV vs standard definition, they just want to watch their TV shows. Apple has created a device that my retired parents will love with proven iPhone technology so simple my two-year old daughter already uses it. Apple isn’t creating a new market, as much as they are recognizing the needs of an existing consumer base. Anyone will be able to use an iPad because the learning curve isn’t steep. Will everyone take advantage of all the nuances of the device? Certainly not, but that’s the same for a lot of consumer electronics out there. HDTVs are more common now that prices are under $1000, but only the home theater enthusiast is going to pay money to calibrate their LCD screen if they don’t tweak settings themselves.

We as content creators cannot ignore how consumers are accessing our products. Scott Kelby wrote a post this morning on how the iPad affects photographers, and I would add all industries should pay attention. In this global marketplace, you have to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. Making your content available for the iPad while time consuming AND financially redundant is the smart choice because leaders are proactive not reactive. While many people are focusing on iPad apps, Terry White mentioned the opportunity for eBook self-publishing with Adobe InDesign. That’s right, my mother could very well publish that cookbook she’s always dreamed about, and make it accessible to 300,000 people today.

In summary, it remains to be seen if the iPad will be the revolutionary device Steve Jobs claims it will be, but I’m not going to stand around on the sidelines waiting to find out.

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  • Glyn Dewis April 5, 2010   Reply →

    Great post A.J.
    I’ll be honest I was very much in the group that thought, ‘great product for sure, but I don’t think I’ll get one’ … Well, my attitude has since changed.

    Presenting my portfolios to clients with the iPad would be very impactive for sure rather than me showing on a small iPhone screen or firing up my MacBook Pro.

    Scott Kelby’s post certainly made me sit up straight and pay attention when he went through the 7 things he likes about it plus the iPad for Photographers discussion.

    This is certainly the start of a new revolution. Big things are going to be happening from this launch I feel and I’ll be honest what both yourself and Terry White say about self publishing books and making them available on the iPad excites me beyond belief.

    Exciting times ahead indeed!!!

    Great post, great work!

  • Kris April 5, 2010   Reply →

    Nice post A.J.!

    I am still planning on not getting an iPad — if I want to show my portfolio to a client I will just do it on my MacBook, which serves that purpose just fine. As for the rest of the iPad features, my iPod Touch (still waiting on my Verizon iPhone) takes care of anything I can’t do on my laptop AND it fits in my pocket. This is the first Apple device that I have not been excited about. I get what it is doing to “revolutionize” the consumption of media — but it’s not the first time magazines and books have been available on a laptop, iPhone, or iPod Touch.

    You can ask pretty much anyone that knows me, I am a Mac FANATIC. I am just not all that jazzed about the iPad, I like my iPod Touch and once I have an iPhone, I will be content. A wi-fi or 3G enabled slate / tablet device just doesn’t do much for me.

  • Dawn Camp April 6, 2010   Reply →

    I love the title of this post! 🙂

    The ebook capabilities are interesting to me, and I hadn’t even heard about the easy self-publishing (off to read that next). The high school class I start teaching in the fall has a large reading list. The iPad might keep all the books at my fingertips (need to check availability – some are older and more obscure), I’m just wondering if I would be handcuffed if I needed to find a passage during class. What do you think?

  • Vincent April 16, 2010   Reply →

    I was feeling like most of the ‘I’m not going to grab an iPad group’, until I held the device in my hands, saw how smooth the operation of the device was. I could instantly see how I could use the iPad for a presentation tool for my images. After I bought the device, I decided to test out how usable the iPad could be day to day while I travel. As it turns out, I never once had to pull my lap top out to perform my daily duties (documents and Emails) while on the road. Although if I really needed something that the iPad could not handle, I had my laptop with me and it was fully charged, so I had not fear of looking for the nearest power source to keep me going.
    The bonus was while on the plane I was not cramped trying to use it (watching a movie or writing a document) as I am with my laptop and to top it off the battery life of the iPad is a lot longer than 8-10 hours! I believe Apple finally found that under estimating the battery life to the public was the better way to go after the iPhone debacle. I do have one issue, for now I am limited to HOT SPOTS to make that worldwide connection, but that will be short lived once the 3G version arrives!

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