eBook fans that have not already gone down the Kindle path may be attracted to the classic intuitive iPhone interface now gone epic in the iPad.
Then there is the colour, lustre, flexibility and sheer sexiness of the device itself, flipping from landscape to portrait while perusing the New York Times (in colour) is a definite selling point over the Kindle. Combine that with the iTunes-music-store-style set pricing for content, as well as the new iBooks interface and the package for the eBook consumer is compelling.
The question mark is whether a backlit IPS screen can be comfortable in long reading sessions up against the familiar paper feel of eink.
Gamers will be attracted to the iPad, bringing all the benefits of iPhone portable gaming infrastructure to a higher resolution platform may steer some away from their PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS and even iPod Touch or iPhone. Given Steve Jobs made a point by showcasing games such as Need For Speed: Shift - a game more associated with the PC, PS3 or Xbox 360 - as comfortably playable, the gaming market is significant in Apple's eyes.
Even local mobile game developer Firemint, creators of Flight Control, one of the App Stores top selling applications were quick to give out information about a reengineered version of their game for the iPad. Nobody will buy the iPad purely for games initially, but many a developer will be attracted to create game software for the device, and down the track this library of choice will attract the tech-hungry gamer.
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Even if these apps feature a level of persistence as you jump around them, the frustration would build; this would especially be the case for IT professionals used to flipping constantly between applications. If you are more the kind of worker who will spend all day working with spreadsheets the experience will be fine.
On the positive side, Apple has not locked these types of users into the (quite responsive) on screen keyboard, with a Blu-tooth or dockable keyboard being an option for the key pounders.
Road Warrior Salespeople and others of this ilk will be proud to whip out an iPad in their next important client presentation. Nothing impresses a CEO more than showy technology. Sure the Sales bloke will have an issue if he has not charged his iPad battery in the last ten hours and needs to output his presentation to a projector via the dock connector, but that is just part of presentation planning hey?
As my colleague David Williams pointed out, the lack of any camera on the iPad puts a dampener on what could have been a killer business application of video conferencing, there will be ways around this however, with external devices.
It is also pleasing to see a range of models from the outset - starting at US$499 and moving up from there with increased storage and varied connectivity features and accessories to add. This approach will broaden further the audience for such a device.
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Firstly the insatiable Apple zealot and his/her close cousin, the gadgeteer. This group of people will by the latest and greatest offerings, especially from Apple, regardless of need or where else this income could have been better spent (Haiti relief, for instance). These people (and there are a lot of them) actually bought the first non 3G iPhone for goodness sake, and will absolutely salivate over the introduction of iPad 1.0, despite its shortcomings. Heck, if nothing else, the iPad will make a great programmable universal remote control for all their house full of other gadgets.
The second, and probably more significant target audience, are those people where the Web is the computer. Those that use technology no further than cloud applications, email, Facebook, instant messaging, Skype, You Tube and so on.
This is an increasing market, and Apple is well aware of this, the iPad will revolutionise the way this market demographic uses technology. Those of us frustrated with booting up a 'real computer' simply to get on the web while plonked on the couch rather than hunched over a mouse in the study.
The iPad will increase Apples Zealot share through smart marketing to this group, something that Microsoft has dropped the ball on after championing the UMPC (Ultra-Mobile PC) push with the Origami Experience back in 2008.
Apple has the company infrastructure nimbleness to bring these visions to the marketplace in a timely, sexy and technologically intuitive way.