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Colonel Archon

Monday, March 29, 2010

The iPad - New niche that only Apple sees? Or is it the next iPod?

I've been watching the news quite a lot lately, and I've made quite a few observations. Some have become tradition, such as political unrest in the Middle East. Others, though, simply blow your mind. North Korea suspected in the sinking of South Korean warship, three earthquakes in a record period of time in three seperate parts of the world...not the usuals.

But I've also been following tech news. Microsoft's conquering the OS market with Windows Seven. The iPhone's the must-have phone of 2010 (same as 2009 and 2008), while the Nokia 5530 is beating competition in the 'budget smartphone' category. Netbooks are in vogue, and big [17 inch+] laptops are slowly leaving the market. Every niche has been conquered: the smartphone and the netbook have replaced the PDA, and iPods are simply head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to portable media players for the masses. But then the iPad comes along, and BANG! Oooooh, drool. Yes, it looks brilliant. But what's it actually for?

Besides being an avid technophile, I'm an even greater petrol head. And every time I look at the iPad only one thing comes to mind..... BMW. Just look at their X series cars/4X4s/luxury whatever. What's their purpose? Are they good off-road? Nope, except for the X6. Are they sporty? Nope. An indication of social status? Nope again. These cross-overs are conquering the market. Are they any good? Surprisingly, yes!

Are they good for carrying the family around? Yes. Can they tackle some light snow, or flooded streets? Yes. Can you carry the shopping AND the family around in a 150 mph+ car? Yes again.

But, you may ask, what does all this have to do with the iPad?

The iPad seems to be a netbook/tablet/iPod Touch cross-over. No, it won't work as an ebook 'cause it doesn't use eInk, therefore your eyes will melt in their sockets after a couple of hours of Hemingway. But, it's probably great for movies. It's all touch, so web-browsing needs a whole new definition. Besides, the thing looks small enough to carry around between two files. Or two sheets of paper. Sure, it will get dirtier than other devices, as with all touchscreens.

Rather than filling anew niche, Apple have simply watched as the opposition stumbled into a new market for pocket devices. Then, with the Terminator's 
precision, they delivered a perfect sniper's head shot. The iPad won't 
revolutionise the industry, it will simply be everything the industry could be: 
just like the iPod.

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