Apple’s iPad: Just Good Enough to Transform the Publishing/Media Industries


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My quick
take on the iPad, based on the video footage of Steve Jobs’
announcement, is that it is a transformational device. I believe that
the iPad will transform the publishing industry. Magazine and newspaper
publishers are breathing a sigh of relief. The iTunes/iPhone model of
delivering content encourages people to pay for subscriptions or by the
issue. On the Web, publishers worry about charging for content. But
once the content is downloadable on a mobile, portable device, people
seem to be more willing to pay for it. Steve Jobs pioneered paying for
music through iTunes. Jeff Bezos made it work for digital books. Steve
Jobs will now do it for newspapers and magazines.

The other good news for book publishers is that Apple’s eReader (iBook)
uses the ePub format. Book publishers have already begun to standardize
on ePub as their e-format of choice. ePub formats are accepted on a
wide variety of e-Readers, so content providers won’t have to publish
in a different format for each platform.

  My earlier hope, based on Don Nicholas of Mequoda’s prediction
that Apple and Amazon would strike a deal to allow Kindle eBooks to be
read on the iPad, did not come to fruition. At least not yet. But
remember that all iPhone apps will work on the iPad, and there is
already a Kindle app for the iPhone. So, you WILL be able to have both
your Kindle books and your iBooks on the iPad. While I’m sure that the
iPad will seriously damage sales of the single-function, less-sexy
Kindle, it may not eat too far into sales of Amazon e-books.

How the iPad Fits into Our Lives. A
lot of people are wondering whether consumers need yet another device
with yet another form factor. My take is that the iPad will be the
device of choice for leisure activity. We’ll use it at home, on
airplanes, and on camping trips.

I envision my
iPad sitting on the coffee table, next to my favorite chair, with the
latest issues of all of my favorite magazines. In fact, I suspect that
I will read a lot more magazines on the iPad than I do in paper form.
Why? Because they’ll come alive. Magazines will no longer be flat.
They’ll be interactive—the way they are on a Web site—but with greater
intimacy and sex appeal due to the high resolution screen and the full
motion high def video, combined with the interactivity of social media.
Steve Jobs describes it as “holding the Internet in your hands.”

I predict that many households will wind up with several iPads, just
the way we now have multiple cell phones and laptops—one for each
person. In fact, I am worried about the impact on family life. Instead
of sitting together to watch a movie or TV show, family members will be
sprawled on their separate couches or chairs, each person watching
their own personal movie or show, probably with earphones on. On the
other hand, gaming will be another killer app for the iPad, so perhaps
instead of each watching our individual shows, we’ll play more games

Will we use it for business? Probably. In particular, I suspect we’ll
use it for online meetings. Instead of sitting at our desks and staring
at a computer. We’ll relax in a comfortable chair on the deck and
participate in productive meetings.

As someone who already owns an Apple/Windows laptop, an iTouch, a
Blackberry, a cell phone, and a Kindle, I know I’ll be buying an iPad
too. Then it will be interesting to see which device(s) I gravitate to
the most.

Like the rest of the pundits, I was appalled that Steve Jobs apparently
made the mistake of continuing his exclusive agreement with AT&T. I
hope it expires soon. In the meantime, I’ll use my iPad with Wifi and
avoid paying additional connectivity costs. I can’t wait!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Patricia Seybold
With 30 years of experience consulting to customer-centric executives in technology-aggressive businesses across many industries, Patricia Seybold is a visionary thought leader with the unique ability to spot the impact that technology enablement and customer behavior will have on business trends very early. Seybold provides customer-centric executives within Fortune 1 companies with strategic insights, technology guidance, and best practices.


  1. I’m with you Patricia. I think Steve Jobs and his team have raised the game yet again.

    My favourite part of his keynote was the fact that he left the eBook reader to the end of the features. What a tease. As you say, I can easily imagine multiple iPads in a house.

    My only worry is, is 1.5lbs too heavy to hold when reading in bed?

  2. Apple is known for bringing out products that are not only path breaking, but have an enigma of their own. They create a niche market for themselves and they have a niche line of followers who always stick to Apple products.
    Thanks – iPad Table


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