So I’m going to wade in on the iPad debate, well rather debates as I keep reading in the media.
Lets start with the name. Do I think it’s a back handed slap to females? The answer would be no. But I do find some of the comments funny. I remember watching the iPhone launch and thinking, wow, it looks nice, but really! Does it do anything better than the Palm Treo 650 I had at the time? I’ll come back to this thought at a later date.
Was I disappointed like so many others out there? Judging by the comments of many, many others, then the answer would be no. Hey it’s cheaper than I thought, and looks pretty cool, got a good battery life, a nice weight and should be made well and running the iPhone OS, it should not crash.
Would I have liked more? Yes, a USB port and a SD card port and stop prattling on about games, this will be an mediocre games platform at best, otherwise not really.
What did I really like? Well as I said before, I’m most excited about the ability to read books, magazines and newspapers from a nice sized and weighted device. For me this would rarely leave the house, I have a MacBook Pro and an iPhone, so my portability and workability are solved. I doubt I’d watch movies on it, nor do a lot of email, some social media, such as Face Book and LinkedIn. Otherwise it’ll be some light checking out websites and buying bike bits!
So will I buy one? Mmmmm a really good question and it comes down to a couple of things, firstly the book and magazine content. How much will it cost and will the experience be good? I’ll tell you now, I’m not paying $35.00 for a Harry Potter book, when I have the hardback copies, or even any other latest release, I expect the e-books to be at least 60% cheaper if not more, as there is no distribution cost except revenue share to Apple and that’s about 30%, less if you are a big player and sell a lot of content. The same theory applies to magazines and comics, it has to be significantly discounted for digital delivery. The second thing is iTunes and the way it’s part of the purchasing process, it’s horrible and must be fixed. In fact iTunes just needs to be fixed full stop!
Will it save publishing? Err save publishing from what? A lot of the big publishing companies have the ability to buy and sell Apple without raising a sweat, but they are becoming disconnected from their consumers. So another path is good and it surely the profit margin per sale must be fantastic. All the content is handled digitally now, so cutting out the printing, shipping and distribution has good to be attractive. As for smaller publishers, well the same mechanic applies, it’s all digital now, it’s their chance to get away from the horror of the costs of printing.
I’ll leave the final word on the iPad for now with Stephen Fry, as his article for The Guardian summed up my thoughts.