Yesterday, Apple did its big announcement of the Ipad 2. Basically, after all is said and done, it’s the original iPad with a few extra bells and whistles. Or the same bells and whistles, but they made the bells chime longer and the whistles a little louder. What was probably more interesting was the fact that Apple is so paranoid about the people that will be replacing Steve Jobs when he retires/dies that they brought Jobs out of sick leave to make his usual announcement. This does not bode well for the future of Apple if they can’t even let the man rest long enough and let his successors actually try to succeed.
Having said all of that, I thought I would then address the Ipad 2 itself. Without getting into the details of the device, like it has the whole camera thing, supposedly a better screen (that might not be immediately available) and, well, nothing else that makes me want to go out and buy one. What is significant about the Ipad itself is that nothing announced so far has me anxious to want to go out and buy one. Yeah, I’ve been in Best Buy a few times where I’ve played with one to see how cool it is, but after I’m done playing with it, I realize that it doesn’t do anything that I don’t already have covered. And unlike my iPhone, it doesn’t combine enough OTHER things that I might want to add it to my toys to replace stuff that has become too encompassing.
And that is definitely the problem of the Ipad. There’s nothing about it that causes me to think it’s worth buying an actual tablet computer. And that’s the problem that Apple is facing in the long haul. Right now, it owns the tablet market, but it is still trying to build a “need” rather than a curiosity for that market. In olden days, when every house has an oven, there was this new device called the microwave oven. And it took a lot of convincing to “convince” housewives that they needed the gadget because an oven was capable of doing everything the new device could do. However, a media campaign that could have riveled the attack at D-Day managed to convince the average American that it was now a need, not a curiosity, or something for the rich only.
That is what the tablet still has to do, and it’s not succeeding. Sure, Apple is selling a lot, but Apple sells a lot of a lot of things that don’t become household givens. Until tablet companies do something that convinces the average person, like me, that we should want and need one of these gadgets, most of us are going to be sitting on the sidelines laughing at the people who bought one but still have no major need for one.
That is the press conference that Apple needs to succeed at. So far, they haven’t done it. As a matter of fact, Apple has recently done everything possible to destroy its own little niche market by trying to own that market completely through draconian rules and charges that benefit Apple only, cutting out other companies from investing in the Apple dynasty. As long as that keeps happening, you’re going to have a lot of people thinking, well maybe I don’t need the Apple one, so they’ll look at the other companies and then suddenly realize they don’t need a tablet at all. So far, the tablet hasn’t been the success that spin doctors really want you to think it is. The majority of Americans haven’t bought into it. A lot of people have, but a lot of people doesn’t translate to market saturation or even market itemization. It’s a gimmick right now, and as long as it remains in that category, it’s going to stay a gimmick.
Now, I know there are people reading this who are thinking, “hey, I bought one and I love it.” That’s fine, but you’re the outliers right now who Apple and tablet companies want to use to convince everyone else that their product is relevant. So, you need to start doing that and earning your pay you’re not receiving from a company that wants to get as much money out of you as possible by limiting your options in getting the best bang from your product. So do their dirty work for them. That’s kind of how the game works. For them. Be the tool they need you to be.