D’oh! Predicted the iPad name, but can’t prove it…

As the faithful gathered before His Steveness at the iPad event, I was reminded of Apple’s marketing brilliance. The tablet rumors were well managed, with plausibly deniable leaks to the fans, media and stock analysts. Speculation built up to a suitably high level of excitement  (or anxiety) among publishers, software developers and e-reader rivals. And, as usual, Jobs delivered the demo in classic style.

The device itself opens many new opportunities for publishers and advertisers — which I’ll be discussing at length in an upcoming study on digital editions. I regret not having publicly discussed my prediction of the iPad name, so my bragging rights will have to be limited to a few colleagues and my (thankfully) tolerant family. Bragging aside, however, the iPad is a game-changer.

In the upcoming study, I’ll be discussing the value of paginated media. In the e-reader world, pages should not be mere fascimiles of their printed counterparts. They should be well-designed, functional “idea containers” for creating what I call sequential engagement. An e-page may add interactivity and new media components, but it should not abandon those qualities that made pages desirable in the first place. A truly functional e-reader — probably led by the iPad example — can provide the best of both worlds.

The Apple iPad will allow magazine, newspaper and other publishers to retain the intrinsic value of paginated media, while adding interactive and new media components not possible with print. The question is: can publishers and advertisers build products worthy of a truly functional reader platform?

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3 thoughts on “D’oh! Predicted the iPad name, but can’t prove it…

  1. I am exclusively looking to checkout the iPad from Apple, and I am enjoyed to see what kinds of games and apps will be sold for it. I just don’t understand some of the nitpicky criticisms in this site. Size of the bezel?? Pffff!

  2. I’ve been a fan of Apple for sometime, they produce gadgets that is aesthetically gorgeous while working like a everytime I use it. Alot of companies aren’t like that, it’s typically one or the other. Tech companies don’t usually take aesthetics seriously like Apple. With that said I’ve got to say that I’m very excited about the upcoming iSlate. One thing I question though, is it too soon? I think that this product may be ahead of its time. What do you think?

    • Apple tends to lead the market in many ways — sometimes with marked success (the WYSIWYG interface of the original Mac, the PowerBook, the iPhone) and sometimes with spectacular failure (the Newton, the Mac Portable, the Apple III). Apple’s pure chutzpah often leads to spectacular results that can be really good or really bad, but seldom boring.

      In the case of the iPad, I think Apple has made the right move. Single-purpose e-readers have been with us for years, and have proven to be underwhelming. Apple is trying to create a multi-use device that combines sequential engagement (“pages”) with interactivity — a medium that print can only simulate with survey cards and other half-measures. If Apple can successfully augment the “media/reader” platform with other, laptop-like or phone-like functionality, then I believe they will create and dominate a new niche.

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