Why Apple’s DNA puts the iPad 2 ahead of the competition

Fri, Mar 4, 2011

Analysis, News

There are a lot of nuggets to devour from Apple’s iPad media event, but one tidbit worth writing about is Steve Jobs’ take on the tablet market and why he feels Apple is uniquely positioned to succeed where other tablet manufacturers are not. In essence, it cuts at the very way Apple views the tablet market.

This is worth repeating. It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology is not enough. It’s tech married with the liberal arts and the humanities. Nowhere is that more true than in the post-PC products.Our competitors are looking at this like it’s the next PC market. That is not the right approach to this. These are post-PC devices that need to be easier to use than a PC, more intuitive. The hardware and software need to intertwine more than they do on a PC. We think we’re on the right path with this.

And given the tweaks manufacturers can and have been making with Android, the relationship between hardware and software is bound to be much more confusing than we even experienced during the PC era when the OS was the same and all that varied was the hardware.

Apple’s success, in contrast, is rooted in high-level software design, world-class hardware, and as Jobs intimated, familiarity and a seamless interaction between software and hardware. As has been stated countless times, Apple’s competitors like to brag about specs that most people find boring at best, or confusing and alien at worst. Apple gets that it’s not about what a product is in a vacuum, it’s about what one can do with a product when it’s put in your hands.

Is it any wonder that Apple spent so much time harping on iMovie and GarageBand on the iPad 2? Apple is providing user experiences that competitors like Motorola simply can’t match. Then there’s HP with their planned TouchPad, RIM with there much ballyhooed PlayBook, and Microsoft pulling up the rear with no real tablet strategy to speak of. None of these competitors, including Google, can match Apple anywhere aside from cold, hard, and boring specs. But specs don’t sell tablets, user experience does, and that goes to the heart of Jobs’ oft-used analogy of Apple focusing on the intersection of technology and the liberal arts.

Android enthusiasts might counter with a chart talking about RAM and megapixels, but Apple could care less. The iPad is being used in schools, in Medicine, and has even proven a hit with the elderly and those living with Autism.

Like Jobs said, competitors are erroneously viewing the tablet market as if it were the PC market of the early 90s.


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3 Comments For This Post

  1. Jared Says:

    In the presentation, Schiller I think (in the video) even said that the retail stores have played a major part in this, almost like museums where people can go to actually test this stuff out. For geeks, they can read the reviews and research the specs. For normal humans, they want to feel it in their hands and try all the apps that are pre-installed at the Apple Store. This strategy is really important because it takes out the risk for buying a high-end product. You know what you are getting because you’ve already put your hands on it. Compare cell phone carriers — they rarely let you manipulate a running device, make phone calls, or send emails from it. What, are they ashamed of their products? If they are proud of their products they really need to get them operational in the hands of the public. If they can’t or won’t do this then they deserve to fail. It’s pretty simple. Even for products I don’t buy right away (MacBook Air, iPad when it came out), going to the Apple store (admittedly I live walking distance from one!) and trying it beforehand plays an important part in my purchasing decision.

  2. Tower Says:

    I love this post and I’ve been thinking about the same aspects of Apple’s approach over the past few days.

    Quick note… “Apple could care less”? They could? I often hear this phrase used incorrectly. The proper phrase is that they “couldn’t care less.” (aka: The amount they care could not be less)

    Keep up the good work. I love checking your site.

  3. dj Says:

    good article – and the reason Apple will stay on top.

    BTW it should say

    Apple COULDN’T care less – I see that misuse of a phrase all the time. think about it. sp heart not hart.

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