iPad: Under- or Overwhelming?

A lots of techies seem underwhelmed by yesterday’s iPad announcement. But Kevin Marks has a good pro-iPad point of view. I have another one to add:

Yep, we have seen all the pieces that make up the iPad: unibody, touch screen, WiFi, 3G, flash, big button in front, dock, … So technologically, it’s indeed a “yawn”. But this ignores the market innovation that it enables, which is the opposite of a yawn.

Just two examples:

  • in healthcare, I can totally imagine hospitals putting up a stand+keyboard for the iPad in every treatment room, and the doctors and nurses carrying iPads. When they enter the room, they put the iPad on the stand, initially switched off, and figure out what’s wrong with you. Then, they can immediately enter what they need to into their medical records system.
    This is the first device for which this has ever been true! It can be carried, it wirelessly connects, it has the battery life, and it is big enough you can actually see something. The iPhone was the closest before, but the iPad nails it. That’s not just a billion-dollar market for Apple, but there is a very good chance we’ll all end up healthier!
  • in education, it’s the device that could make printed textbooks obsolete. At $499 plus volume discount, that might even save the school districts money! And imagine what a textbook could turn into if you carried it around like an iPad with WiFi and high-end graphics available.

It’s very impressive that Apple manages to innovate technologically and market-wise in the same company. Any other company that knows how to do that?

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