It’s been a week since the iPad announcement, and like many in this business, I’ve followed the opinions and punditry. My personal view is that the iPad is going to be a great product for Apple. It will also — and this isn’t quite the same as being a great product — be a commercial success.
There’s a lot of criticism about what the device doesn’t have built-in, or doesn’t support. And there’s been a lot of “why, it’s nothing but a big iPod Touch.” And the usual lists of “must have but missing” features from engineers and developers who are already gnashing their teeth about how useless the iPad will be.
Here’s why we should ignore premature predictions of doom for the iPad.
Sure, there’s nothing shockingly new here. In a sense, it’s a big iPod Touch. Or it’s a slimmed down Tablet PC with integral Kindle. Actually, it’s all of those things.
What we’re forgetting is that Apple’s main strength isn’t necessarily inventing a new category (marketing spin aside), it is in bringing hard-core user research and industrial design to bear on creating devices which end up “crossing the chasm” to the mainstream for a given technology. THAT is what Apple, and Steve Jobs, are good at.