Apple’s latest product, the iPad, was announced on Wednesday and it already has loads of people talking. I personally was disappointed by it, but some analysts are saying that it is just the sort of thing that the tablet market needs.
Tablets have been around for a while—Microsoft introduced one in 2001—but they have never really taken off. (I actually think I could count on one hand the number of people I have seen using tablets.) Some analysts have nothing but praise for the iPad. Van Baker, an analyst with Gartner Research, calls the iPad a “winning product,” adding that he “can use it in the living room, the classroom, for light work and at the coffee shop.”
Steve Jobs said in order for customers to buy the iPad, it had to offer a new sort of experience that other devices cannot offer. But according to some analysts, this is precisely the problem: the iPad does not offer anything new. MG Siegler of TechCrunch says, “Unlike the iPhone, which filled an already well-established need, there is no existing need the iPad fills.”
Apple does have a history of creating small niche markets that grow into larger ones. The iPod is an excellent example—other companies offer competing MP3 players, but it was Apple that really created this niche market. The iPad could do the same thing and inspire other manufacturers to offer competing tablets.
Only time will tell if the iPad will be successful, especially considering that it will not be released for another few months.
Via BBC News, image via Apple.