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16 February 2010

I-PAD - a genuine gap in the market or the ultimate in contrived design!

The launch of Apple's new I-Pad product has created genuine controversy in the design world. Initial excitement about a new Apple product seems to be quickly being replaced by lethargy now people have realised it is nothing more than a scaled up i-phone. The bottom line is there is not a scenario in which the I Pad truly comes into its own. You already have to carry a lap top, you already have an i-phone. Does anyone out there need a third item to carry around. It is clearly not a laptop and has very limited functionality as far as that strange word "work" is concerned,  so therefore can't replace your laptop. It is too big to put to your ear so who cares if it has a phone / skype or 3G built in. Any digital reader currently on the market is far more portable than an I Pad and your trusty laptop has a better quality screen for movies on the move. Further than stimulating a bit of an "ooooooooo" from your clients when you show them a movie on it, it really doesn't seem to have any mileage.

Bizarrely, those experts at Apple who have been historically brilliant at tapping into genuine gaps in the market seem to have missed the mark big time with this product. No doubt they will shift a few to the fashionistas out there who suffer cardiac arrest if they don't own Apples new products but to the majority it is almost unjustifiable as a purchase. £400 to do nothing different seems like a lot of money.

Ultimately most theorists will tell you that  design at its most base level is about solving problems -  that is how design is generally distinguished from the world of  Art. Therefore it would seem that Apple have lost the plot and created a product that has solves no discernible problem and looks great....Otherwise known as a piece of art. The problem is, most artwork is left at home on a day to day basis. Not great when you also double as a portable media device.

Don't get me wrong, I love my i-phone.  Just not enough to buy myself a giant one.

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