Apple's iPad arrives on Saturday, so it's only natural that the tech media's in a fit of excitement about the thing. But so are the platform's developers, and according to some analysis Apple's even distracting devs from other markets.
According to one developer, Social Gaming Network, who was speaking to the Wall Street Journal, 90% of its developer team was occupied with the business of putting together apps for the iPad. Rephrasing Apple's own excitement about the opportunity to develop a whole new tranche of apps, the WSJ notes that "the device is set to expand the audience for apps and paves the way for developers to introduce new innovations." We've remarked something similar several times already, and as the evidence mounts, it certainly seems likely that the iPad will be truly transformational, partly due to its tech and design but mostly through the new apps that'll arrive and create new ways of using a mobile computer.
Developers are rushing toward Apple's device for two reasons: First, industry experts fully expect Apple to sell anywhere between 6 and 10 million of the things in the remaining 9 months of this year--creating a huge user base who, if the iPhone's phenomenon is repeated, will be keen to download apps by the ton. Second, the control Apple maintains over the iPad means it's a write-once affair as far as developers are concerned. For Android, they have to write separate code for smartphones, tablets, or other devices that each have their own screen resolution, graphics processing capability and touchscreens with their own quirks and varying sensitivities. Apple's common OS means an iPhone app works on an iPad and vice versa.
Windows-based tablets are on their way too, but there's already a software market for Windows PCs and it's not an App Store. Windows tablets also suffer, slightly, from the gloomy MS reputation, which is most definitely different to Apple's shiny gadget cachet. The WSJ thinks, as we do, that this will be a big reason why Apple will sew up the tablet market speedily.
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