April 17, 2010 Jeff SanGeorge

What is the Significance of the iPad?

We all know that the iPad is “Cool“. And by selling over 700,000 units in the first few days is also “Hot“. The iPad is fun to play with, show-off and even do work on. But what is the real significance of this mobile tablet device?

If you ask different people you are bound to get different answers, but to me I can see that the beginning of the end is here for print as we know it. I’m not saying that there will cease to be newspapers, magazines and books altogether. The vision of a “paperless” world of a few years ago is still a far off dream.  Many people will never change reading the written word on paper. But I am saying that the mass-adoption of hand-held “reader” devices like the iPad, HP’s Slate, Amazon’s Kindle and many other similar devices will be a game changer when it comes to the way we receive and digest written information.

Why do you think partnerships are forming between companies like Barnes and Nobles and Best Buy? Smart companies are thinking about how to take advantage of the way they deliver content to people. Google reader is a platform that will inevitability grow as more people adopt their reading habits. Companies like http://www.mygazines.com/ are positioned to help publishers make the jump to mobile.

I see a day in the not so distant future where local newspapers and magazines can be downloaded based on location. So let’s say you are visiting Atlanta, you can pull out your iPad, do a quick search, and easily download the complete “Creative Loafing” to find out about local events, restaurants and more. Or you can easily download the entire Atlanta Constitution for a small fee, and read on your device of choice.

Besides publishing, there are numerous other applications for these devices. How about a restaurant menu? Do you know how much an average restaurant pays for printing menu?  Believe me, over the course of a year it’s enough to pay for several iPads.

When it comes to developing applications for the iPad, the possibilities are endless. Do you have any thoughts as to how these types of devices will fit into our not so distant future?

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