We’ll take a little break from Liam’s football posts now, to talk about the iPad.
The iPad was released here in the UK last week, and despite the media frenzy we haven’t seen many of them around these parts (we’re based in Shoreditch – where you would expect to have seen them!). We’ve also heard mixed reviews, some saying it’s just a larger (and much more expensive) iPhone which can’t make calls, whilst others say it’s the best thing ever, and the final nail in the coffin for the traditional book and magazine (and some even say, ‘it do telly’). What isn’t in doubt is that it’s a beautiful machine – it took all my willpower to not buy one based solely on its looks!
But how will the iPad effect digital? Well, if you are to believe Steve Jobs and the iPad does in fact replace traditional print media, then all print advertising would become digital – which would be bad news for Flash developers. But more likely than not, it won’t. Who really wants to take their iPad to the beach? Or risk having it near a swimming pool? Or, for that matter, on a night bus? The iPad is also extremely expensive, almost prohibitively so. The ‘basic’ 16GB Wi-Fi iPad costs £429, with the 32GB costing £499 and the 64GB £599. And you can’t even connect on the go. To do that, you’ll need the iPad WiFi + 3G, which costs £529 for the 16GB, £599 for the 32GB and £699 for the 64GB model – and then you still have to pay for your network data plan on top of that! One way around this is to buy the Three MiFi which offers up it’s 3G connection as a WiFi one for your wireless devices (tip courtesy of TechRadar).
So should advertisers rush to develop ‘iPad friendly’ ads? Or should they wait and save their resources until there is a mass consumer take up? Does this mean the end of Flash? Or the PC? Personally, I don’t think so. People will still continue to use their laptop PCs and MacBooks for work, but maybe more people who work and browse on the go, whose work is limited to spreadsheets and email, will use the iPad – whereas they would previously have used a small netbook.
Overall, the iPad is a very useful- and also a very pretty – piece of kit. And with the App Store, it’s only going to get more useful. Whether it changes the way we use computers however, remains to be seen…