Saturday, January 30, 2010


If you had to draw up the perfect business model you'd probably start with Apple. What a very clever and successful company. They produce elegant, functional, modern, 'toys', guaranteed to give every Apple fan-boy a stiffy.

They charge two to three times the price for similar functionality (but with a few more bells and whistles) and, like similar manufacturers, produce equipment that soon becomes obsolete because they will produce an updated and 'better' version just down the road. They hook you in brilliantly, tie you in totally so that you can't go anywhere else and then sell you more stuff when they produce a more finished product. Very, very, clever.

The iPad is no different. It's a nice piece of kit but frankly it's nothing more (at present) than a big iPhone, with the notable exception that it can't make phone calls.

Unless you are a complete unblinking Apple lover then this latest product should not be bought. And, when they finally get it up to spec in a few months time, it will be more expensive than the present model and offer similar functionality to existing stuff at two to three times the price. So not much has changed there then.

The iPad would appear to be competing in the net-book market, a market that I suspect is already fairly saturated. I have a net-book, which I use when I travel, and my machine already does more than the iPad. Why would I change?

I walked past the Apple store at Odysseum on the outskirts of Montpelier the other day. It was elegant and very enticing, it was full of young men fondling their dreams, and it reeked 'expensive'. Many of the shops in this new shopping centre will try and sell you goods at inflated prices. Most of them were empty but not the Apple store. The technological equivalent of sports fans. You have to support your favourite team whatever the cost.

Whilst I find it very difficult to be enthusiastic about their stuff, I must admit that I admire their business acumen. I just wish that I could be as enthusiastic as others.


Boris said...

You're absolutely spot on, Alex.

Bob Walder said...

Like many others, you have missed the point completely. I will preface this by saying that I won't be buying the first version of this product, but that is because I will be forced to carry a Windows laptop for business when I travel, and my iPhone will do everything else I need. FOr eBooks, I will use my Kindle.

However, anyone who REALLY wants a netbook, wants a small laptop. The iPad will not help them.

Anyone who wants a smartphone - they have the iPhone, or equivalent from other manufacturers. The iPad will not help them.

But for those who do not need the large screen real estate and processing power of a laptop, who only need to do some basic note-taking and blogging, who only need to do their e-mail, and some browsing, and who only need to show a PPT presentation when they arrive at their destination - for those people, the iPad is a 1.5lb dream come true.

Alex said...

Hi Bob, I wondered how long it would take for you to respond!