More Utility, More Mobility: Why the iPad’s Taking Off

October 14, 2010by hiebing2021

More Utility, More Mobility: Why the iPad’s Taking Off

I love my iPad, because it is a simple content consumption device. I was slow to adopt the iPod for my music, but once I finally did, it put my entire music collection at my fingertips. When I first heard about the iPad, I imagined that same utility across all of my digital media – print, video, web content (well, all but Flash), and audio. I got all that and more, and I’m not alone…the iPad sold 3 million units in its first 80 days and has a current sales rate of about 4.5 million per quarter.

Why has this device outpaced the DVD Player, and even the iPhone? It filled the need for a larger mobile device that allowed consumers to consume digital content. The product itself could have come out years ago but was shelved by Apple in favor of the smaller iTouch. When it did launch, critics complained that it didn’t have an adequate input interface, making it difficult to contribute content. John Stewart even joked that it was an oversized iPhone. There was this assumption that it was a step backward, not forward, from Apple. What did everyone miss?

The majority of consumers are looking to consume content not create it. I know I don’t want to haul my laptop around and actually prefer using a desktop computer when I really have work to do. But I, and apparently a whole lot of other people, did want a portable media consumption device – with a simple touch screen interface and access to a whole host of limited function applications.

I love my iPad. I’m not using it to replace my work laptop, or the other three desktop computers in my house. I’m not using it for a phone replacement either, although I find texting on my phone’s small keypad to be a pain. It’s really a distinct entertainment device for consuming digital content, and I don’t know what took them so long to finally bring it to market.

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