Why the iPad will succeed

>Robert Scoble recently tweeted:

“Normal people still don’t see as having a great web experience on their mobile phones as important. I see it everyday in mobile stores.”

and

“For instance, I search Google for sushi, find a restaurant, then click on its phone number. We aren’t doing a good job of explaining this.”

It is this inexperience with technology that will make the iPad succeed.

The geek crowd at TechCrunch, Engadget et al. myself included, see the iPad in the context of all the other great devices out there. To us it is evolutionary, a great step forward, but not a massive one.

The other 95% of the poplulation isn’t exposed to the most recent technology in the same way – they will see the iPad on the TV, both in the news and in Apple’s adverts, and they will see a magical device.

I can imagine the reactions now:

“I saw one of those in Star Trek/Avatar I want one”

“I didn’t know you could do that”

For the first time they will see that technology is getting very close to meeting the promises it has been making for the last 20 years – and I think they will want it.

It will also be interesting to see how the other players respond to it.

I think Microsoft will have to get into the hardware business – there is no way they can compete with that level of integration without owning the end to end experience. They need to drastically shorten their release cycles to catch up and they can only do that with a new approach.

Windows Mobile 7 will be a defining moment for Microsoft, not just for the mobile platform, but for the company as a whole. It will demonstrate to the world that it can innovate in a way that can match Apple and Google. They will have to start from scratch and they will have to be willing to drop the Windows Mobile 6.x legacy.

There are signs that this will happen, but if they don’t then I would take that as a sign that they will not be able to keep up, let alone take the lead.

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