iPad, do I need one? Yes, Jim but not as we know it…


iPad loaded with New York Times subscription?

Apples’ new iPad was launched to much excitement and so many blogs that it seemed to be pretty pointless giving any further response to the new product – yes, we all agreed, it was wonderful.

However, now the dust is settling, people are beginning to ask – ‘I’ve got a PC or Apple Mac, I’ve got a iPhone or smart phone – do I really need an iPad’?

It is a good question – because the answer is, to paraphrase the reply to Captain Kirk; yes Jim, but not as we know it…

Will the iPad be a better portable computer? Clearly not, because it is designed to synch with a PC or notebook – so not a replacement.

Will it be a better smart phone? Again, no, because it doesn’t have a picture taking camera nor any ability to talk.

So, why then?

Well, the reason that we’ll all have iPads is because we will want the media products that it will stimulate – and that haven’t yet been built!

Essentially, Apple have offered the publishing industry a holy grail – and after 20 years of steady decline, this industry is desperate for good news.

The holy grail is that newspapers – the FT, New York Times, Daily Mail etc … will be able to deliver their product as a whole entity to the iPad each morning.

Sorry for the language here – whole entity – but I’m just trying to say ‘the whole newspaper’ – which means selling a product or brand rather than the common internet language of ‘selling content’.

The media conversations around ‘selling content’ will now die and it will become; selling an iPad subscription to such and such a newspaper or magazine.

Now, here is the crunch, why read the newspaper or magazine on your iPad when it is free online? Simple, because;

a) it will feel like a physical newspaper (or magazine) – you can do the ‘B’s’ that is – take it to the bath, bedroom, beach, bench, bus and, yes, bog. Okay perhaps only the bath is in question – but all other Bs are fully taken care of – this is not so, remember, with you PC (but it might be with your iphone???).

b) it will be delivered to your home ontime and everyday– regardless of the weather, the paper boy or your dog’s desire to chew before delivering. And, we humans, are habitual – that is we like routine and when your newspaper arrives every morning you will read it more regularly than if it does or doesn’t depending on the day or traffic or some other factor

c) thirdly, your newspaper will come alive. You’ll have embedded video reports for news, highlights of the goals, videos explaining health techniques – and you’ll be able to click through to the internet or put favourite items straight into your shopping basket.

Oh yes, the newspapers and magazines will come alive on the iPad – they will be quite different products – and this will allow the publishers to sell them on a subscription basis and advertisers will eat them up – lovely colour and moving image with a direct clickable link for ‘more information’

So, truly, the products and publications that you will want on your iPad haven’t been built yet, but they are coming.

And when they do – you will want (need) an iPad. Perhaps we should start saying; its publishing Jim, but not as we know it…