On Novelty

A few days ago I wrote about why I won’t be buying the iPad.  Since then, many people have speculated on what role the iPad will really end up filling, and how it might best find success.

Some of these ideas include targeting non-traditional computing markets – kids, older folks, etc.  Other ideas include incorporating the iPad’s functionality with the existing iPhone infrastructure in novel ways, such as a board game.  Imagine if the iPad was the Scrabble board, and you held your tiles on your iPhone, and were able to interact with both devices and your fellow players at the same time.  That might be a novel application that would drive some serious iPad sales – and I may be forced to eat my words.

Other items have hit the market with great skepticism or early misconceptions about usefulness or applications, only to find massive success at a later date.  Take, for example, pizza.  If my introduction to pizza was the below video, I’m not sure I would be to keen on eating a “biscuit base” topped with “nippy cheese.”  Yet, can you imagine America today without pizza?

Other items have debuted to similar circumstances.  Take the original iPod, for example.  After it’s debut, industry experts were critical:

Apple may take some heat for entering the consumer electronics market.

I question the company’s ability to sell into a tight consumer market right now at the iPod’s current price.

Other apple technologies have had a rocky roll-out, too.  One article said that

“the iPhone has the potential for a high disappointment level because of the high expectations,” and “the initial market looks to be quite limited.”

How did it turn out?  To date, Apple has sold over 42 million devices.  That’s a smashing success, and the skeptics are left looking foolish.

I don’t know how the iPad will turn out, but my only hope is that I don’t end up looking like some of the other early critics.  I still won’t be buying one, but that doesn’t mean that 41,999,999 others won’t.


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