American popular and not-so-popular media has been clogged with opinions about the new Apple product with a much maligned name - the iPad.
While the device is being torn apart for features it does and does not have, I am more interested in the role it (or another device like it) is supposed to play in the future. For this purpose I wanted to break down devices into two broad categories: Content Creators and Content Consumers.
- Content Creators are devices that are better at allowing you to create or assemble various types of things such as music, movies, photos, videos, documents, and so on. These type of devices primarily have easier data entry mechanisms, keyboards, video cameras or ability to work well with other content creation devices (for example camera) in assembly.
- Content Consumers are devices that are primarily for consuming content. They ideally are small (but not too small) and mobile. They provide interfaces for quick and easy access to media producers.
From the perspective above, I would summarize the iPad as follows:
Apple may have created a device that draws a fine balance between creation and consumption. However, it does not replace devices on its either side. While it clearly is a new category it isn't clear whether there is a market for it.
Will I buy one? Well, of course! If I don't then how would I know that I don't really need it!