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Old 04-23-2011, 05:00 AM
Michael Knutson
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Default Competitors Don't Understand How to Beat the iPad

"When unveiled in 2010, Apple didn't know why iPad would be a major hit.* After spending most of the keynote explaining some of iPad's basic features, such as email, reading books, and surfing the web, Apple left the fundamental question of why iPad would become popular to the marketplace to answer.

*I didn’t write “if iPad would be a major hit”, but instead, “why iPad would be a major hit.” Apple has a history of releasing major products only after it knows it is worthy of becoming a hit."

Why? Apple has transferred innovation to the user. Apple offers initial satisfaction, followed by continuing satisfaction and enjoyment. Competitors don't really understand why people are buying iPads. Walk into any Apple Store (or Best Buy) and look at faces as people play with iPads. Electronic crack. The bottom line is that the author feels that they are winning on emotion (winning hearts and minds), taking cost out of the equation. His feeling is that the only way that competitors can be successful is either by making a low-price commodity item (does this mean a throw-away tablet?) or by out-innovating Apple. With Apple having a stranglehold on the components market, competition on price alone will continue to be difficult, so that leaves beating Apple at introducing new features or even developing something completely different (Monty Python, anyone?). With nearly 20 million iPads sold, I wonder how many of the niche players will simply drop out of the competition.

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." Albert Einstein
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