Is the iPad, Apple’s Way of Attacking the Traditional Windows Laptop Market?
When the iPad was first launched, many of us (myself included) thought, well this is just an enlarged Iphone, well isn't it?
Well we have to look at what Laptops are used for these days, and I would suggest that this falls into two camps. The first is consumer consumption, what I mean by this is that consumers are using laptops for social media connectivity, email and media consumption through a web browser. Common applications such as Microsoft Office are rarely used in this camp, as teenagers and silver surfers alike just want to use their laptop basically to stay in touch with the world and possibly update their iTunes library.
With the launch of the iPad, Apple have essentially quenched the thirst for this major part of the laptop market and it now appears that netbooks will largely become irrelevant, as the iPad nicely serves many of the applications that the netbook also serves; however the iPad also has one eye on social media as a primary means of communication.
So, does the iPad serve all the needs of the laptop consumer consumption market? Well, the simple answer is no. The iPad still lacks an integrated webcam which is vital for certain applications such as Skype to work that is intended. It is no longer enough to hear people the modern consumer also wants to view the person that they are speaking with.
The second part of the laptop market, which can be coined as the professional user will be much more difficult for Apple to penetrate. First of all, many professionals are used to tapping away on a standard qwerty keyboard, this may seem like a simple thing and many people would say, well the iPad does have a qwerty keyboard, but what is vital for the professional is high levels of productivity and whilst the iPad may serve some applications, many professionals will not take the iPad seriously enough until a standard qwerty keyboard is applied.
In answer to some of these issues, as Apple continues to change and shape the laptop market with the iPad, the lack of the iPad’s functionality enables accessory manufacturers to fill these gaps that the lack of functionality creates.
One issue is Apple’s lack of data expansion ports, in that the iPad is essentially a closed system for data storage and transfer and the only means of data transfer is essentially by email. Until Apple addresses this issue (as many competing tablet PC manufacturers have), the iPad Camera Connection Kit will become one of your essential iPad Accessories. What the iPad Camera Connection Kit does is essentially act as an interface for a standard camera SD card to hold and transfer data to and from the Apple iPad.
I know that this may seem like a simple product, but as the iPad is a great visual display tool the ability to transfer professional photographs (and other documents) from your camera to the iPad serves many applications that the standard iPad just does not serve well enough. The iPad Camera Connection Kit serves is a great solution and serves this problem well.
In terms of addressing the issue: “the iPad does not have a professional keyboard”, the iPad Keyboard and Case addresses the iPad Keyboard issue extremely well. This essential iPad Accessory, in effect transforms the iPad from a Tablet PC to something that is more akin to a standard laptop; what the iPad Keyboard and Case does is address the issues raised of the professional laptop user and improve the productivity output for the professional laptop user.
To conclude, does the Apple iPad serve all the applications of a standard Microsoft OS based laptop? Well simply put, no, but what Apple are doing is shaping the market and keeping up with common trends in terms of building devices that is evolving the modern consumer communications market. Like the iPhone, the iPad will change the landscape of how media and information is communicated, transmitted and received and will become a mass market product to challenge and rival the traditional laptop market.