April 21, 2010

The real importance of the iPad

When the iPad was presented 3 months ago, the web prophets were not very enthusiastic. No flash and so on. Now it’s the big hype. In 3 months at the latest we will have the Android Pad and next Christmas the masses will have a device from Medion. But still hardly anyone understands what is going to happen.

My theory: In the same way that the iPhone finally made a breakthrough in on-the-go Internet use, the iPad is taking us from the desk to the couch.

I recently downgraded at home: from a 17″ notebook to a 13″ MacBook Pro. This has completely changed my surfing behavior. Work that requires concentration, things that I have to do, I do at my desk.

If I want to surf around in a relaxed way: watch Top Gear, watch Mouse again with the kids, or even look for old fishing technology on eBay: I do that on the sofa.

This has a lot to do with the good old relaxation ritual.

I believe that’s exactly what the iPad will achieve: a new usage situation in which everything comes together: a small, handy device, WiFi everywhere, and above all a touch screen with a great user interface.

The consequences of this can of course be extrapolated from the iPhone apps. Nice new surfing experience, reading, watching videos.

But this will also result in something for eCommerce: I still do search orders at my desk. This will remain the case in the future. If I know what I want, if I need it quickly, then it can be done quickly from my desk.

But if I don’t know what I want, if I want to browse, like I used to in the mail order catalog, then I use the iPad.

And one more thing: The IPTV prophets, who have been babbling about convergence for 15 years, are finally at their end. The television as the central focus still exists. If you really want to see something together.

But anyone who has ever tried to operate an Internet screen on the television with a remote keyboard or remote control knows: As soon as everyone can literally have the whole thing in their hands for a few hundred euros, the interaction will be in their hands. An iPod for each family member to view and browse individually. If everyone really wants this right away so that they can have a say afterwards – from DSDS to the crime scene, then it will remain the telly. But shopping on the TV – not even grandma.

Oh yes, the numbers on the chart above: That’s my estimate. Definitely more accurate than all trend researchers combined.

Stephan Uhrenbacher

Coach for entrepreneurs, founder, speaker and author

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