Are you sick of the iPad coverage already? Here are a few more random thoughts about the device:
We’re likely to see the greatest sales at the low end ($499) — the WiFi but non 3G version of the device. WiFi does location but won’t have a GPS chip like the 3G version.
Most people who buy the device will be affluent consumers who already have smartphones. They’re unlikely to use it instead of a smartphone. It will be used in a complementary way. It may “cannibalize” some smartphone usage here and there.
Aside from business travelers, most of the usage is likely to be at home, around the house, in my view. So in that sense it may not be primarily a “mobile advertising platform” in the sense of an “on the go” device.
The device, somewhat ironically, offers the greatest opportunity for traditional media to express itself in digital form. It’s a device that can best reproduce the experience of viewing/reading/consuming the traditional product: better than the web and better than smartphones. But it offers all the “benefits” of those devices in terms of interactivity and ad targeting.
It’s too early to predict the use cases fully but it will be interesting to see them develop.
In terms of sales there will be a slow build and then its momentum will gain as people see them and hold them. There will be lots of “lookie-loos” in the Apple store fondling these device for months before people start to buy. That’s where Apple’s retail locations really shine. If people read about — even see pictures — of the device without actually touching it they’re less inclined to buy. But holding it and seeing the screen will make people want one.
The enduring difference between Apple hardware and the rest is that you’re not compelled to touch most other devices. They’re utilitarian and not much more. Apple devices compel you to walk over and touch them. That may sound “sick” or “creepy,” but great industrial design and the corresponding compulsion to touch Apple products is part of their “magic.”