Gregory Birge
Apr 15, 2010

The iPad reviewed: It will revolutionise the way we handle computers

Gregory Birge, founder and CEO of F5 Digital Consulting in Singapore, is the proud new owner of an iPad following its release earlier this month. Here is why he believes the iPad is going to revolutionise the way we handle computers.

The iPad reviewed: It will revolutionise the way we handle computers
So far it has been a huge success. iPad sold over 300 000 units on the first day of its release, over one million apps were downloaded from Apple’s App Store and over 250,000 from the iBookstore.

We can talk for hours about the iPad's lack of USB, flash support and multitasking plus the fact that it's a bit heavy, but nevertheless, let’s face it, the revolution has started again.

The iPad is different from any other mobile product because it focuses on the consumer rather than the technology. iPad takes its users' needs into consideration. People's expectations of mobility have drastically changed. We need more connectivity, more battery life, more portability and more content.

The iPad offers this alternative and will change your perception of what you should expect from your future computer as it changed the perception of what you should expect from your mobile phone.

Devices like the iPhone and latest mac generation are mainly application or services driven through iTunes or Apple's App Store. In the past, the usage of devices including computers, dvd players and videogame consoles is limited to a specific kind of activity or the software you buy. The iPad, however, is driven by multi layered usage and offers a totally new approach where, in addition to multimedia, its adaptable to both personal and professional usage.

For instance applications like Modality will change the way you handle medicine and Foreflight is the perfect companion for a private pilot. As a consequence, people will use their device in different places and varying situations.

The revolution is not the fact that 3G or wireless is available on the iPad but rather that applications can take profit with a live network connection. It might annoy you at first but it makes sense and you get used to it. The best example is the Zinio app which offers a multimedia version of magazines and more opportunities for readers to interact with the content, including video, the ability to sign up for newsletters or following the magazine on Twitter. In a way, this is like merging websites and magazines.

We will progressively store our content elsewhere and access it remotely, reducing the reliance on large capacity storage hard discs. As a consequence, consumers will expect more content to be dynamic.

The iPad is changing websites as we know them. There will be different content adapted to the device you're using (size), where you're using it (work, home or remote) and what you want to do with it.

In a nutshell, it is about the virtualisation of information. Apple has managed to create a new concept that includes everything from hardware to connectivity with remote content. Computers will follow the same principle and move away from the categories of work, desktop or laptop.

Marketers will have a better opportunity to capture more information on their audience as they remain connected which in turn means a more targeted offer and the possibility of contextual paid media based on preferences.

It means integrated thought through consumer needs. Marketers of tomorrow need to be aware of hardware product usage patterns, they have to understand consumer needs and the content driven process.The debate between owned, paid and earned media will shift in a new direction.

Agencies will have to adapt again. It will be tempting to simply propose creating an app for iPhone or iPad, but will it really benefit the consumer and drive company sales? Creative content that is not integrated properly will become irrelevant.

For brands, the iPad can be a really powerful communication tool. Devices like this will become a new channel for consideration in the media mix. Consumers will be able to use such devices more frequently, in more places and with easier access to information. Expect to see major industries impacted by the iPad including education and medical channels.

Clients will certainly try to benefit through the development of apps in line with their brand image. Yahoo is doing it right. Instead of simply creating a Yahoo browser for iPad, they decided instead to release a US-based interactive TV guide. Its a clever way to approach a connected audience.

The iPad is changing the way people see or demand computers and it will impact our industry as well. It does not mean we should focus all our marketing efforts on the iPad but rather that we should, more than ever, consider multichannel and personalised communication with a good mix of paid, earmed and owned media.

Adapt or die someone once said...

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