Six comments worth reading about iPad

Saturday morning is the best day to read more in depth analysis. I collected six articles that amused me, largely from the HBR blogs (one of the best source of food for thoughts, IMHO).

If you, like me, are fascinated by innovation and by the physicality of objects I suggest you to read Apple iPad’s Product Development Approach . It’s a brilliant lesson to learn for all companies out there building devices

Beyond the half-pound device’s elegant silhouette, interface, and operating system, the gadget is worth paying attention to for innovation lessons from Apple.

Many comments have given me the impression that the iPad is not clearly positioned. It’s clearly not a phone nor it’s a notebook/netbook. Strategically, the iPad opens a new market for Apple, one that may cannibalize its own products: if you already have an iMac/MacBook and an iPhone, would you buy also an iPad or sell the iPhone and get an iPod nano instead? As Scott Anthony says in Does the Apple iPad Make Strategic Sense?

The two things I admire most about the company are its ability to think holistically about business models (iPod + iTues, iPhone + the App store, iPad + iBookstore) and its willingness to keep innovating. Imagine how different it would have been if Apple stopped at the first generation iPod, or just rode the iPod for as long as it could. Its willingness to step out and enter into new categories is an important lesson for all companies.

The blurred positioning of iPad make it harder to identify a clear competitor. TechCrunch clearly identifies Kindle in Top 10 Reasons The Apple iPad Will Put Amazon’s Kindle Out of Business.

Apple has upped the game for Amazon. Jeff Bezos and his team better start a clean sheet of design if they want Kindle to catch up again and play as a leader with consumers.

For HBR the ultimate competitor is only maybe Kindle, but in The iPad Showdown: Apple Versus Comcast argues that Comcast may get some headache.

At twice the price, maybe the iPad is a Kindle Killer — maybe. But Kindle is a single-purpose device for reading, while iPad is a multi-purpose device for entertainment.[…]  The real face-off  […] is Apple versus Comcast — the largest cable provider in the United States, serving 24 million homes […] [T]he new device creates “anywhere, anytime” access to the broadband Web, including broadband video streams.

A colleague argued that tablet pc have existed for over 10 years, with many more features than the iPad. Looking at the facts, though, tablets never took off: too expensive and with poor user experience due to bad software and hardware. Another lesson about product development and radical innovation is in Apple’s Secret? It Tells Us What We Should Love:

This was validation of Apple’s peculiar innovation process: Insights do not move from users to Apple but the other way around. More than Apple listening to us, it’s us who listen to Apple. This contradicts the conventional management wisdom about innovation.

I learned about the iPad name from twitter while I was at the gym and I didn’t understand the jokes about the name until my american wife explained it to me. The comment The Day Apple Turned the Web into Junior High from HBR about naming is interesting.

Perhaps Apple underestimated the power of a viral joke, but it seems more likely that the company, thinking long-term, has so much well-founded faith in its products and its brand that it has no doubt the real iPad will eclipse the joke iPad in the minds of consumers as soon as it’s released.

I would add that the name has other meanings only for native English speakers, not for the rest of world.