I was wrong about the iPad (Part I)

Apple’s unveiling of the iPad in January was big news – so big that on the day of the special announcement event, Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, generated as much news coverage as President Obama, who delivered his first State of the Union Address only hours later.  Still, as I poured over the analysis that technology reporters and bloggers were offering and polled my Apple-obsessed friends and colleagues, I got the feeling that Apple’s "revolutionary device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more" wasn’t such a big deal.

I didn’t think that Apple had positioned, or marketed, the launch of the iPad effectively.  It seemed like just another new device – of which there are a seemingly endless supply these days.  It sounded like an over-sized iPhone – and an expensive one at that.  I couldn’t find anyone who was going to rush out to buy an iPad.   In fact, I couldn’t find anyone who was planning to buy one at all.

Unlike previous Apple product launches, with the iPad I was convinced that this time there would be no hyperbole-laden proclamations from media experts that Apple had changed everything we know about technology and society.   I was confident that the long-lines of obsessed fans that we have grown accustomed to seeing wrapped around Apple stores on the day of a big release wouldn’t materialize.  
I was so secure in my belief that the launch of the iPad would be a total flop (at least by Apple standards) that when my friend, Dorian Benkoil, offered to wager on the success of the launch, I jumped at the chance.

Well, I was wrong.  I lost the bet.  

The iPad doesn’t arrive in stores for another week and it is already clear that Apple has done it again. iPads are already sold out.  Stock in Apple set a new all-time high today.  Some of the largest brands, advertisers, and media companies are in full-scramble mode to create new products and apps to run exclusively on the iPad.  And everyone is buzzing about what it will actually be like… and how big a deal it will turn out to be (without having even put finger to screen).

What did I miss?

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  • valerio rositani

    Dear Brian
    I think that in think that in this situation you missed a bit of the dream and be too much cynic on the ipad classifying it as a big Iphone with innovation inside where I think that most of the people who have an Iphone will upgrade to an I pad due to his simplicity,size and prize of having the opportunity to live in a computer the consumer friendly experience of the iphone. Apple is reinventing the way of living the online experience and companies like AT&T should understand this as they did with the iphone offering asap convenient 3G subscription plan for it...and then the fun will begin

    last but not least marketing wise it is a huge tootl to enter into the low price market (the only one currently growing)to then upscale consumers to the normal I margin Imac



  • Adam Dixon

    Hi Brian - I did in fact think the same as you, but one app changed it all for me......Scrabble! It hit me like a ton of bricks, this puppy has big potential, the device is big enough to share and enjoy with your friends. Imagine all the old boards games on the iPad. So for me the joy of sharing will be the big winning feature of this gadget. Educational apps may also score heavily on this platform, kids with learning difficulties, that are visually stimulated (e.g. Autistic Spectrum Disorder)may enjoy learning with a device like this. Long live Apple and their amazing ability to think laterally. Respect and Peace!