Friday, May 7, 2010

iPad in, Netbook out

If reports out of the USA are correct, it would appear that buyers may find themselves able to score some pretty hot deals on Netbooks in coming months.

Why?

Well apparently a significant (44%) of those who were previously planning to buy a Netbook have instead opted for the iPad as a "sexier" alternative.

Even though the iPad lacks true multi-tasking, has some wireless connectivity issues and locks its purchasers into Apple's software, users are flocking to it in droves.

Whether it's just a fashion trend or an acknowledgment that the iPad's simple, intuitive user-interface and 10-hour battery life are ultimately more important to people than anything the Netbooks have to offer is a subject for debate.

When I first saw the iPad promotional video and read the specs I knew this was going to be a massively popular product and was surprised that so many commentators said it wouldn't sell because nobody "needed" it.

Nobody "needs" HD TV either, but it sells like hotcakes, because it's what people "want" that empties their wallets just as much as what they need.

But why is the iPad selling in such huge volumes? (over a million shipped so far)

Because, unlike a Netbook or laptop, it isn't a computer -- it's a tool, and a very well designed tool at that.

iPad users don't have to worry about what OS they're using or what anti-virus software's installed. They don't need to concern themselves about compatibility with this application or that peripheral.

Rather than all that geek-stuff, they've purchased a shiny rectangle of fun that lets them read e-books, watch movies and surf the web in a most hassle-free way.

It's not a generic untailored product that attempts to be all things to all people -- it's a slick "appliance" that just does a few things really, really well.

If you're one of the millions who really want an iPad, that's probably good and bad news.

Good, because it's an endorsement that you'll be getting a pretty cool piece of kit.

Bad, because it means that, with demand continuing to remain high, prices will not drop and you may find yourself waiting longer than you'd hope to get your hands on one.

If you're a Netbook lover or someone who likes the challenge of trying to get your computer to do as many different things as humanly possible (all at the same time) then you'll also be happy.

Should the reports be true and the market be turning away from Netbooks, demand will fall and, sure as eggs and, with falling demand comes falling prices.

Thank you Apple for making life better for iPad and Netbook users alike.

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