The last thing the world needs right now is another blog post about the just announced iPad from Apple. But I feel compelled to put in my two cents, and here’s why. Newly announced Apple products are typically polarizing. The enchanted swoon and the disenchanted spew bile. It happened with the iPhone and it happened again yesterday after Steve Jobs left the stage. I reviewed the blogosphere at length and noticed there was a new and sizable population of neutral observers. They pretty much said that it looked like an enlarged iTouch, and asked, “What’s the big deal? One of my staff told me that he believes that it really was an iTouch and Steve Jobs had shrunk himself to make it look larger.
Like all exceptional Apple products, and they aren’t all fantastic, it’s about the experience. When they get it right, like they did with the iPod and especially the iPhone, it delights beyond imagination. I truly believe that the reason some people felt it was a let down yesterday is because it looked too familiar and too simple. They were expecting a miracle (the danger of hype) and felt cheated.
Apple engineers and design experts think deeply about how humans use products and software in their daily lives. But they don’t stop there. What sets them apart is their products are designed for their place in space and time. Mr. Jobs fully expects his products will become obsolete, that’s why he keeps reinventing them. He matches evolution with revolution. Macs continue to sell and gain market share because they fit naturally with how people live their lives today. Photos, movies, social connections, calendar and the web all converge in people’s lives. Having a device that can work seamlessly to help you organize and optimize a complex world is very attractive.
When you listen to Jobs describe the iPad and he says “It’s the best browsing experience you’ve ever had,” he means it. Simple is always better and unique experiences are valuable. That’s Apple. They live on the corner of main and main. I say wait till it comes out and give it a try. Then fall in love or not.