The now unveiled Apple iPad is more interesting for what it isn’t than for what it is and is another demonstration of Apple’s ability to excel at positioning.
· It isn’t a phone
· It isn’t a computer
It is this odd device that sits between a phone and a computer, with characteristics of both but without cannibalizing sales of either.
· It doesn’t have a phone radio (only WiFi and on some models 3G data).
· It doesn’t have a camera
· It doesn’t have a keyboard (though there’s an accessory one)
· It doesn’t run the same OS as the computer
What it does do is to safeguard Apple’s existing revenue streams (both hardware and AppStore), create new ones (new product, eBook store) and augment existing ones (more likely to watch TV and movies on this device, thereby augmenting iTunes Store sales)
· It has an AppStore model so it is completely closed to anything that isn’t blessed by Apple
· Its pricing protects Apple’s all important hardware revenue and uses memory capacity as the sole differentiator between models.
· At first glance, it seems relatively inexpensive (starting at $499) but ascends to a stratospheric $849 for something that is a glorified iPod touch.
· It signals the demise of the iPhone exclusivity with AT&T by being an unlocked 3G device.
· It throws a grenade into the netbook market.
· It throws another grenade into the eReader market (Kindle and Nook) and probably kills the Sony Reader.