Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? It's iPad

Cool Apple has confounded critics and pulled it off again, launching the iPad as the next must have device set to wipe the floor with rivals and make a fortune for the Cupertino company. Cue over-hyped copy and shameless iPlugs.

Everyone is all, like, very excited. Live blogging and twittering. But what to wear? Quasi-steampunk worsted fabrics is all the rage for cool kids in the Bay. The guys and gals over at MacFormat in Bath must be wetting themselves.

The iPad has been a long time coming, bridging the gap between smartphones and laptops which Apple reckons will do everything it says on the box - which can be sold on at eBay.

Rumour mills have been in overdrive. But Apple is notorious for keeping its new babies under wraps and away from prying eyes. After all, Steve is still the main man. Still wowing them after Ridley Scott's ground-breaking 1984 Superbowl ad and a computer named after an apple.

The Orange Party has been a Mac-head since Jobs had long hair. Spending many a Happy Hour then subbing with Quark on a Mac. Now a hacked off hack and stereotype political blogger.

So stick that up your old GUI, geeky Gatesy nerds. All a-huffin' and a-puffin' and a-stealin', with your crappy Windoze and tacky laptops.

iMac, iPod, iPhone now iPad. Cute name. Sounds like a designer tampon. Apple has been craftily using shell company, Slate Computing, to buy up domain names and trademarks of anything that fits into the broad idea of the new product, including iPad. They hope.

And let's hear it for dear old Blighty and Newcastle poly's school of industrial design, with Chingford lad, Jon Ive's design, along with the iconic iMac, unibody MacBook Pro, iPod, iPhone and every cool device Apple has ever given birth to.

3G and iPhone apps, so that's one for greedy cell network operators. Wireless for dodgy Wi-Fi hot-spots and warchalking.

It's Apple so it must be cool and expensive. Posting a whopping $3.38 billion (£2.08 billion) profit last quarter, up from the $2.26 billion previous. Worth every dollar just to keep CEO Steve in trademark black mock turtleneck sweatshirts.

But the iPad's a snip, with prices from $499 for Wi-Fi and from $629 with added 3G. Sharp-eyed shoppers can pick up a bargain at $498.99. Or pick up an iPlad in Bangkok.

A gaming device, Kindle killing ebook-reader, a really big iPhone, a really small laptop? Yup. Multi-touch is at the heart with Apple's easy to use interface replacing the mouse and keyboard with finger swipes.

The iPad is set to redefine newspapers, textbooks and magazines as part of Apple's media revolution, according to the hype. And it probably will.

Apple is hoping for a repeat of the clever iPod business model when the media player filled a gap and the iTunes store filled up profits. 

Apple's focus, goes the spin, was on "reinventing content, not tablets". And reinventing the balance sheet.

Behind the hype and razzmatazz, Apple has been busy getting publishers on board to bring books, newspapers and magazines to the iPad as well as broadcasters and movie moguls.

All part of the drive for a new platform for content creators, with books, magazines and online content and a new revenue stream.

At a featherlight 1.5lbs and sylph-like 0.5 inches thin, with a 9.7 inch multi-touch screen, this baby will slip into your handbag or satchel no probs.

Will it sell and join other killer devices in Steve's stable? Sure. Who cares what it does. It's Apple. It's cool. It's a tablet. So it must be good for you. Keep taking the media marketing medicine.

But still no Beatles on iTunes. C'mon Apples give us a break.

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