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In Praise of the iFad

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4
Jul
For a company that have a hold on the letter "i" - as in iMac, iPod and iPhone - I watched from the sidelines with amusement when Apple set a hare going on their new "tablet" a year ago. I gave up on the number of classy pundits who guessed wrong. I called it the iFad and in the end was only a letter out. 


The iPad as it is better known has been another Apple phenomenon. It might have happened 20 years ago when Apple played with a hand held device called the Newton but then the pressure on designers was to build a device that would recognise handwriting and morph it into text.

Gil Amelio, the last head honcho before the return of the prodigal son, liked the Newton but in the end it bit the dust. I can't recall whether in the end it was Amelio or Jobs who pulled the plug. This was in the days when a company called Go raised $75 million in the same space as the Newton and failed to bring a product to market before it was closed down!

I bought an iPad on the day they were released in the UK towards the end of May. I'd had some light-hearted emails with its designer Jonathan Ive, CBE, in Cupertino, hoping it would have 3D animation, a phone and video conferencing. And though I am sure these will come, already I hardly use any of my old computers including a relatively new Dell net book which is fast gathering moss on my study table. 


We are moving to the mobile cloud and the iPad is the first chic and friendly machine which has understood how to exploit this development. Yet again, Apple has shown a clean set of heals to its rivals but especially Microsoft who have had a dreadful tablet that you simply could not swallow. 


We are in the App world where upwards of 30,000 are being commissioned a month across the English speaking world. We could as a Government contribute significantly to George Osborne's deficit budget plans if Whitehall and local government moved swiftly to the iPad and Application solutions. 


Now wouldn't that be fun?





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