5 Reasons Why Apple Will Win Again with the iPad
Fool me once. Shame on you. Fool me twice… I won’t get fooled again!
How about a third time?
Almost as soon as Apple came out with the iPad, it became fashionable for the technorati to point out its flaws. However, Apple will surely prove the naysayers wrong, just as they did with the iPod and the iPhone.
Here are 5 reasons why Apple will win again:
The Purple Ocean
As I’ve pointed out before, Apple doesn’t look for Blue Oceans, but Purple ones. By that I mean that they attack markets that are already established but have serious growth potential. Despite the usual Apple hyperbole, the iPad isn’t revolutionary, it’s evolutionary.
Just like the iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player and the iPhone wasn’t the first mobile phone (or even the first smart phone), the iPad isn’t a new idea. The Tablet PC and the Kindle have been out for years. As many have pointed the iPad is basically a larger version of the hugely successful iTouch.
That means there is plenty of data out there to crunch. Apple would have to be enormously stupid (which they clearly are not) to misread the market potential. If they say it’s there, it probably is.
Apple isn’t a company that produces new ideas (even the Macintosh was based on a graphical user interface developed at Xerox), but one that builds fantastic products. There’s a big difference.
One thing that nobody disputes is that the iPad works incredibly well. It’s fast, looks great, and is extremely tactile. They even brought it in at a surprisingly low price (which is probably a first for Apple).
Everyone who has actually ever built a technology product knows how hard this is. Any idiot can dream up a wild idea. For a concept to succeed you have to get a thousand things right and make them all work together. That takes more passion and dedication than most companies can muster.
Apple wins because they get the details right.
Most of the criticism has been about what the iPad lacks. For instance it doesn’t have a camera or run flash. That’s not disregard, it’s discretion. Good strategy is about making choices and that means deciding what not to do as much as it is selecting what you will do.
Every time you add a feature, you lose usability. Loading up on software sacrifices speed. Adding hardware such as a camera and accessory ports increases both weight and price. Making a great product requires tough choices. Trying to please everybody will inevitably lead to a clunky, overpriced product that does nothing particularly well.
Besides, who needs a built-in camera for a device that is made to lay flat anyway? The lack of flash is probably more of a problem for Adobe than it is for Apple. As Dmitry Fadeyev, points out, “the iPad will be a very successful product for Apple because it solves problems rather than competes on features.”
The iPad will win not because everyone will buy it, but because the ones that do will love it.
The iPad is launching with almost 140,000 apps available, some of which have the potential to rejuvenate the print industry. Again this shows the wisdom of Apple’s strategic clarity. They are building off the existing technological and commercial infrastructure that they have already have in place.
Moreover, as industry insider Robert Scoble points out, developers are “slobbering over themselves to develop for the iPad.”
Even better, because Apple has taken this disciplined approach, developers can co-develop apps for the iTouch, iPhone and iPad, which will allow them to amortize costs over a greater potential market.
While some reviewers have whined about lack of accessories and ports, that’s a pretty minor problem. Although I too am a bit mystified that the iPad doesn’t include a USB port, it’s very doubtful that accessories will be a deal breaker.
Much like software developers, I’m sure there won’t be a lack of companies rushing out hardware accessories. Unlike reviewers, hardware companies have a business to run and there will be plenty of money to make with the iPad.
Why Apple Wins (and Google too)
While it is quite likely that the iPad never attains dominant market share, I doubt Apple cares that much. The Macintosh has never been a market share leader and the iPhone commands a paltry 1% of the mobile phone market. Profits are what matter and Apple is a money making machine.
Apple wins because they make great products that people love and will pay a premium for. Much like Google, they are a product driven company that does what it takes to deliver for the consumer.
That takes more than money or strategy. It takes leadership and the passion of thousands who truly believe they are making the world a better place.