Here is a newsflash – Apple’s IPad is here to stay. This handy little tool has taken the 2010 computer industry by storm…in a down economy no less. Steve Jobs and Apple are currently unmatched when it comes to finding and attacking new consumer markets. While other IT giants are putting most of their efforts into defending their current status and following other companies in sectors that are already near saturation, Apple continually innovates and creates a market where one previously did not exist. Whether it be ITunes, the IPhone, or even Macintosh computers (which refused to bow down to Microsoft Windows as the end-all-be-all in home and professional computing), Apple is a leader – not a follower. The IPad is simply the latest product in this legacy.
There are a myriad of reasons why the IPad is so popular. However, the #1 reason is its ease of use and well targeted functional focus. While not an overly powerful hard drive, the IPad has all of the functions that the casual computer user needs and few that they typically do not. Its features of a clean fast operating system, easy to use touch screen (complete with pop-up QWERTY board), and emphasis on media usage has made it a hit with users of all ages. At $ 500, it also sells at a lower rate than most modern lap tops, although lower end models from most major retailers do come in below the Apple price. With fall courses starting across the country on college campuses, the IPad is selling like hotcakes to the younger generation.
There are a few drawbacks to the IPad. As far as computing power goes, it is very limited. The touch pad keyboard is not going to be a hit with users that are frequently using word processors or heavy programming. It is also a bit of a tweener when it comes to size. It is too big to fit into your pocket, but not big enough to feature a large widescreen and full keyboard (with number keypad) that is common in the most popular laptop models today. More experienced users will also find issues with the system’s networking capabilities. There are also some issues with what happens when the product has problems. There have not been many common issues yet, but eventually every technology has issues (even Apple computers). How well the IPad is able to adjust to those on the fly will prove important. Ultimately, it is about knowing your computing needs and weighing those against the products specifications and capabilities.
But people who need these programs extensively are not the target audience. Apple simply realized that most computers offer more power and more features than the average person will ever need. The days of users frequently needing to add to their hard drives and clear space to make room for new applications is (for most people) behind us. For people who use a computer primarily for media (internet, music, movies) or just need a simple OS for their computing needs (i.e. college students), the IPad is proving to be a terrific option with few drawbacks. Apple has done it again.