How Apple Can Take Over The World

The iPad has become the Tablet standard, and Apple managed to come out with an improved version before any of its competitors had even managed to come close to matching the first iteration.

As the news breaks that Amazon is going to be offering an eBook reader that they hope can compete with the iPad, one is bound to ask what the features of such a device might be.

The Kindle and other eBook readers are awkward, clunky, and less versatile compared to the iPad. The only things that they offer that make them at all desirable are the following: price, size, electronic ink and battery longevity.

So what could Amazon offer that could compete with the iPad – and what could Apple offer that could blow it out of the water? In essence, something like an “iPad Nano.”

No, not this bit of humor that circulated before the iPad was released:

but something in between the iPhone and the iPad, something that could fit in a jacket pocket, but would offer the same apps (and perhaps even the ability to make phone calls?) as the iPad and iPod Touch, so that it would offer the one thing that is currently the only major drawback of the iPad: the possibility of simply sticking it in your pocket and having it with you even when you don’t want to carry a bag.

The alternatives, of course, are for Apple to offer a new line of iPad-compatible clothing, or work to accomplish a fashion shift that gets men (and not just hipster men) comfortable carrying “murses.”

For some more humorous versions of iPad-compatible clothing, see this article on iPad Kangaroo Pouch clothing from Australia.

But none of the above options will allow Apple to take over the tech world completely. Here are the things that are still missing:

The iPad Mega/Macro/Supersized: Whatever you call it, imagine a device that is essentially an iPad but either 4 or 16 times larger, and can be mounted on your wall. A touchscreen TV that you can pull down from its wall mount to use for art, board games, and other purposes. Add a wireless keyboard and/or wi-fi interaction with smaller Apple devices, and Apple takes over the flat-screen TV market, no contest.

The iPad Demi: If Apple develops a device which can be folded in half and tucked in your pocket, but open flat and not have an unseemly line visible down the middle, it would be phenomenal, and a smaller-sized version could wipe away the desirability of competing eBook readers, while a larger-sized version would allow one to have a large-sized tablet (for projects, knock-hockey games, reading newspapers, etc.) that can also serve as a laptop in folded position.

The name of the game used to be making devices smaller. I think that Apple already offers devices that are as small as anyone needs them to be while still being useful. The challenge is to give devices that are affordable, can be conveniently carried, and do everything that other devices do and more. I could readily see variations on the iPad that render not only other eBook readers, but also laptops, TVs and telephones obsolete. I think the future of technology is versatility and comprehensivity rather than miniaturization.

This is NOT where Apple should go next.

  • Anonymous

    I own a Kindle (and have tried a Sony PRS-650) and have extensively tried both IPads and their relevant ASUS and Samsung cousins. They are very different beasts. IPads are, simply put, not very good ebook reader when compared with the dedicated ones. Their main advantage for readers are their better handling of .pdf files (easier to soom on the Kindle).

    E-Ink and battery life, dureability, weight, and prize led me, at least, to postpone my planned purchase of a tablet in favor of a Kindle – the plan was to use it mainly for reading, anyway, and let my smartphone handle internet access and the rest of the tablet features – the only thing I can really think of that it really does better is games. The battery life alone is an enormous disadvantage – on a recent car drive of only six hours, my Kindle’s battery bar did not move, despite me reading for five hours straight. The Ipad in the back seat died after 3 hours. Asides from that, reading on an e-Ink screen is not nearly as tiring as on an internal lighting screen, and in many ways actually preferable to reading an actual book (!). The Kindle fits in my jacket pocket, even inside a fairly bulky protective sleeve. The Ipad is not nearly as mobile.

  • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

    I’m really surprised by some aspects of your experience. I don’t think I have ever had my iPad battery run out before the end of a day, assuming it had been fully charged to begin with. 

    As someone who reads not only for pleasure but for use in the classroom, research, and writing of reviews, the lack of ability to annotate and note take conveniently and effectively on a Kindle makes a huge difference for me. If they came up with an eBook reader that provided students and educators with these sorts of things that are absolutely essential, then my impression of the state of eBook readers might well change.

    • Anonymous

      You can annotate and note on ebook readers, although I think I would get the one of Sony’s (http://www.the-ebook-reader.com/prs-650-pdf-review.html – the old model) for that rather than a Kindle, which is more clunky for it due to the lack of a touch screen (although I do use the Kindle for notes in-document too – it is just not ideal for it)

      I guess the next model has been delayed by the chaos in Japan, though – I was unable to get the PRS-650 because of that plus Pearl screen shortages (the Kindle and PRS-650 share the screen type).  

      It is also worth noting that .pdf technology is now almost twenty years old. With automated formatting of text to fit screens now speeding along nicely, the only use of the A4/ISO216 document size feature of the .pdf format we are likely to see in some years is for printing physical copies. At least I hope so – it would be ridiculous to use a format size developed for printers when everybody are using hand-held devices that can show letters in your preferred size. This is of course applicable regardless of system.

  • hagguslips125

    This is by far one of the silliest articles I’ve read on this subject by far. First of all Amazon is not releasing an ‘EBook Reader’ to compete with the iPad. They already own the EBook market. They are releasing a Tablet to compete with the iPad. A talbet that they could sell for nearly any price and still earn a profit seeing as how they are the world’s largest online retailer. This is more than enough to put a huge dent in Apple’s sales. Secondly, Apple can not ‘take over the world’ simply because we have laws against just that here in the United States. They would also need to drop several key suppliers (who also happen to be rivals) in order to do that. Apple would have to cut loos Intel, Microsoft, Samsung, and ASUS just to name a few. You see no matter how successful Apple is they always end up paying PC manufacturers to provide them with services and assets which insures that these companies will always be around as they all get a slice of that Apple pie.

  • Robert

    Having just returned from a trip to Europe I was surprised at how many iPhones were out there. Granted we stayed in tourist trafficed locales but even amongst the locals there was a growing abundance of iPhones. 

    That said the only people I encountered using other Mac products (such as laptops) were American students on study abroad programs. Everyone else was using PC based machines. They were everywhere and it is clear that Microsoft and other PC based OS/Software systems dominate the market.

    Now that’s not to say Apple isn’t the better, more sustainable product moving forward. For now they are. As I traveled all I had with me was my iPhone and iPad…it is all I needed. The tablet revolution is underway and nobody can compete with Apple’s offering. (Well not until someone develops a platform that runs Apple, Andriod, etc apps at the same time.)

    I’m neither a technologist nor a futurist (I’m a historian…thankfully not a luddite like my colleagues.) The big issue to me seems to be what products are going to be able to host and run all the applications and battery life.

    BTW, I use my iPad as my ereader platform via PDF annotator and Kindle apps. It’s great. I read for six hours straight on the plane ride back from Europe yesterday. This morning I turned on my iPad and I had 64% charge left. Perhaps the first poster’s brightness settings, bluetooth, wifi are draining unnecessarily. I love the iPad and it has revolutionized my research, writing, and life. 

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