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The Epic iPod to iPad and Old Bones

Wow. Technology moves with the speed of a sirocco wind sucking the air from our lungs and leaving our brains mushy. This photo shows a gentleman in South Korea who just got his iPhone just this past November and now, today, Apple is announcing the iPad.  Which I have to admit I just can’t figure out.

Here’s my wondering: what would I, as a small solo-preneur business person, need with the iPad?  Actually what do I need with a netbook or notebook when I have a laptop, a cell phone and an iPod already?  I admit I don’t have a smart phone yet, that is on my wish list for this year but only because I’d like to check email on-the-go…I happen to have a 7-year old cell phone that does exactly what I want it to do – send and receive phone calls.  I got an iPod because I really wanted the ability to customize music listening for myself and have it really portable.  And I actually do watch some tv shows on that teeny screen.  Then there’s my laptop for all my other stuff: email, document writing, photo work, blogging, networking…general work and social use.  What would I use an iPad for?

In doing some research for this today I came across the opinions of four members of the Harvard Business School faculty who addressed this new Apple Tablet.  It was very interesting.  Here are my favorite excerpts:

  • says Bhaskar Chakravorti, Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, “…The Apple tablet has already been declared the savior of many chronically – even terminally – ill industries: newspapers, television, movies, and computing, for instance. Enthusiasts believe that the tablet could be the magic pill that will do for all these industries what its predecessor, the iPod, did for the dying music industry in 2002.”  He continues, “…But can Steve Jobs upend the status quo once again? He can if the tablet fundamentally changes our behaviors. But that does not happen through phenomenal design alone. Design can capture our attention and spark excitement. But for a product to lead to sustained behavioral change, we also need an innovative business model that changes our incentives as consumers or content creators or distributors – and motivates the entire value chain to do things differently.…”
  • from Karim R. Lakhani, Assistant Professor of Business Administration: “…This singular focus on owning the customer experience, end-to-end, has separated Apple from its rivals, first in computers and now in consumer electronics. The eager anticipation for the tablet is driven by the expectation that the user experience will be beyond what most firms have delivered.…”
  • here’s an excerpt from Daniel C. Snow, Assistant Professor of Business Administration: “…Watch for the tablet to generate spillbacks that support smart phones, netbooks, and notebooks. For example, increasingly sophisticated App Store apps will take advantage of the iSlate’s screen size and computing power…As technological barriers continue to fall, I expect to see the emergence of a hybrid computing device – something with serious onboard computing and graphics power (always connected to the cloud) that represents the best of both worlds. The iSlate is a stop on the way to this hybrid destination….”
  • and from Stefan H. Thomke, William Barclay Harding Professor of Business Administration: “…If executed well, the tablet could take Apple into entirely new businesses and an aggressive reuse strategy in software and hardware will keep their R&D and manufacturing costs in line. It has also has the potential to change how people work and play with their computers.”  He goes on to say, “…The publishing industry could certainly benefit from an alternative to reading devices such as the Amazon Kindle and more imagination about how its content is packaged, sold, and used. At the technology level, we have reached a perfect storm where components are so advanced that it takes a brilliant integrator to give customers a product that they want, use, and love. This is what Apple does best. It is rarely first to market when it comes to products or technology, but it is often first when it comes to deeply understanding the user…Ultimately, success will depend on the user’s experience with the tablet.…”

These gentlemen have said, sort of, what I’m wondering: will this new invention change any of my work or leisure behavior?  Is this new invention another piece of hardware I need to cart around from place-to-place?  It won’t replace anything, so what is its ultimate value to me, the consumer?  Or is it a step on the way to, as Professor Slate says, “…a stop on the way to this hybrid destination….”

I’m all for improving technologies that can make my work easier or more enjoyable.  I absolutely love that the laptop computer was invented because:

  1. I love the portability – it’s lightweight and I can easily use it wherever I wish.  When there is no internet connectivity I can still use the offline programs and functions.  When there is internet connectivity I can do those tasks needing that function.  I can work at my desk, or the sofa, or the bookstore, the coffeeshop and my daughter’s house.
  2. I love it’s full featured-ness – it’s a fully functioning computer, just like the desktop pc in the bedroom office.  I can do emails, web browse, post to my blogs, do research online, and even watch my favorite television episodes and stay up-to-date on the news of the world.
  3. If I wanted to, I could even add functionality like telephone and video conferencing.

I probably won’t get an electronic reader because (a) it’ll be just one more piece of technology I don’t need and (b) like Captain Picard I just love the feel of a book in my hands.  My husband and I collect books…we have a literal library in our home.  I love to open the cover and turn the pages.

Daily Finance [dot com] today has a great article about the iPad which had a few interesting points.  The article is written by Sam Gustin, Apple Tablet: 10 Things We (Already) Hate About You.   Of those 10 things, the ones that struck me most:

  • point #2: “…You don’t need a giant thousand-dollar smartphone. You’ve got an iPhone. You’ve got a laptop. You just received a Kindle for Christmas. Why do you need a tablet? You’re probably not sure. Unlike the iPod and the iPhone, this is a product without a clear need…”
  • point #4: “…Multifunction devices can do a lot — just not well. Other than your couch, where might your tablet be more useful than what you’re using now? Will you use your tablet instead of the PC at your office desk? Will you watch videos on it instead of your flat-screen monitor? Will you use it instead of your smartphone when you’re out? No, no, and no….”
  • point #7: “… No keyboard, no mouse, no dice. Typing (or “typing”) on touchscreens is annoying. How many Tablet buyers will wind up connecting peripheral keyboards and mice? And then…well, what’s the point? Besides, mobile devices are only as useful as their battery life. Unless the tablet has more than about six hours of power, it’s going to wind up tethered to a wall. Just like your desktop.…”

And from USAToday Technology Live earlier I read as reporters Ed Baig and Brett Molina gave a nearly minute-by-minute account of the iPad unveiling:

  • 1:12 p.m. ET: It’s official. Jobs unveils the very thin iPad tablet computer.  Jobs claims it will offer the best browsing experience you can have, like “holding the Internet in your hands.”
  • 1:14 p.m.: The device will include e-mail, photos, maps, built-in iTunes store and YouTube functionality.

Well, my laptop does all that. I’m one consumer who will wait until I can see an actual need for this new bit of hardware before I put it on my Christmas gift wish list for this year.  Not that I’m being negative, but with money being so tight right now, I just can’t see the need to spend the whatever hundreds of dollars this will cost at this time.

OLD BONES. From new technologies to the work other people do with old bones that just fascinates me.  There are times when I wish I knew how to do software programming because I have this idea for a fun iPhone app – if anyone knows how and wishes to collaborate send me an email.  But my expertise and interest is not in coding…rather in mosaic-ing and painting and writing.  I do, however, have a lifelong interest in and fascination with archeology [see my alltop page for a couple interesting sites] and paleontology.  Hunting for ancient artifacts and dinosaur bones.  There are those romantic times when I wish I’d gone in those directions while still in college.

Today’s newspaper carried a story about dinosaur digs in China.  The article, written by Washington Post writer Ariana Eunjung Cha paints an exciting picture of a massive dig site with thousands of Cretaceous period fossils.  From the article, “…The fossils here — more than 15,000 fractured, mangled and blackened bones from about 65 million years ago in the late Cretaceous period right before they went extinct — support theories of a catastrophe. Global fires. Explosions. Climate change…’This find is very important for understanding the very end of the age of dinosaurs,’ said James M. Clark, a paleontologist at George Washington University who has examined some of the fossils…The excavation here, believed to be the largest dinosaur fossil site in the world, is one of a number of groundbreaking research projects…The pit has yielded some of the world’s largest duck-billed dinosaur specimens, bones of a type of dinosaur that had never been seen outside North America, and at least six new species….”

I just the other evening watched Jurassic Park [for probably the 40th time-looking forward to the blu ray edition] on our new 46″ plasma tv [which is why I don’t need any kind of hand held technology to watch movies].  I would never want to travel in a time machine and go back to the time of the dinos but I find the whole idea of them fascinating.  My husband has a tooth from a megladon that he found back east on a dive trip years ago and it is huge and extremely old.  Yes, I’m a believer in the idea that we humans can learn important lessons from digging up the artifacts of the past – artifacts of societies long gone and artifacts of ecologies long gone.

What would future archeologists think if they uncovered a cache of items that included a smart phone, a desktop computer, a laptop, a hand held reader, an iPod, a netbook, a notebook, a laptop, a personal dvd player, a transistor radio…?

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4 Responses

  1. Today is the day that Steve Jobs blessed us with the Apple iPad. Personally it’s exactly what I thougtht it was gonna be practically a bigger iTouch, I’m actually gonna wait to pick one up. I want to see one with multitasking, a camera, usb and a microphone before I’ll make the jump. I especially think that a microphone is the most important feature it is lacking. What do you guys think?

  2. […] See original here:  The Epic iPod to iPad and Old Bones « Linda's Business Blog […]

  3. I think the new ipad looks great and cant wait to get one for the wife. Nice site by the way.

  4. Great post. I’m not worried about android catching up to iphone, they are just too far behind. Thanks! Ryan – iPad hacks

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