Spot on analysis at the end, but I have to add my two cents in.
Essentially, a good laptop is a far better thing to have than an ipad, unless all you do is read websites and look at photos
…but that’s essentially what the iPad excels at. I don’t think Apple ever intended for it to completely replace a traditional computer, nor should a tablet take the form of a traditional computer. Manufacturers have attempted to shoehorn a complete installation of Microsoft’s Windows operating system on tablets for years, but look at where that’s taken us. Let’s face it, tablets are meant for touch. Make the operating system optimized for touch – and when I say optimize, I don’t mean simply including an onscreen keyboard – but this is all a dribble for another day.
Right now, many see the iPad as a much larger iPod touch or iPhone – and that’s the point. The iPad is supposed to take advantage of the larger screen with applications and web browsing. Just because it’s a larger iPhone or iPod touch doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing.
Looking back at the iPad’s introduction back in 2010, it was obvious that Apple was singling and targeting the netbook market. They introduced the iPad as a device that can supplement your phone and notebook, and unlike a netbook, could excel at media consumption with a great screen and fantastic battery life. I mean, let’s look back at the netbook. Not only did it have a subpar screen, it also was cumbersome and hard to use as your primary computer. You were given a mediocre keyboard with a tumor-like battery that (at most) gave you a battery life of five or six hours – all this for simply ‘browsing the web’. I mean, let’s face it. No one truly needed a netbook. The only selling point was the fact that they where cheap and easily disposable. Not good for a market looking to jump start itself.
Now the iPad comes along and completely cannibalizes the netbook market by storm, and other manufacturers are following suit. In order for a device to succeed, it must excel at one or more tasks. Netbooks, by their nature, were compromises. They didn’t excel at anything. Tablets, and the iPad specifically, excel at internet browsing and media consumption – thus their instant popularity.
In the end, it’s important to see whom the modern tablet is aimed at. I just don’t think it’s fair to compare the iPad to something like a MacBook. It’s like comparing a scooter versus a car. Two completely different market segments for two completely different audiences.
But let’s not forget, these are luxury devices. No one needs an iPad, just like no one needed a netbook. They just acted as supplements, and should be treated as such. Could tablets play a bigger role in the future? Sure. I’m not doubting it. But right now, they’re toys. iPad doesn’t necessarily solve problems you already have, but it could solve problems you never knew existed.