What Happens When The Bar Is Raised…High

Small Business Insights: Technical

Originally posted in 2010

Like millions of others, I spent a portion of my day struggling to find a worthwhile feed/stream from the iPad debut. At one point I found myself on a website listening to audio being piped in via cell phone with the corresponding video relying on a video feed from ANOTHER website. And even then, the website with imagery was relegated to frequently updated still images from the event. It was pathetic. I was pathetic for watching it for as long as I did. But nevertheless, it was a textbook case of how well Apple manages its brand, the product, and their hype. Make no mistake about it–Steve Jobs remains rail thin from illness but he’s still in charge and still calling the shots. Like everyone else, I was lining up to drink the Apple ‘Kool-Aide’

The iPad looks like an amazing piece of hardware. My first MAC was a Performa 630 with 4 megs of RAM and now about 15 years later, we’re literally holding Jetson’s grade gadgetry in our hands. But within hours, I was finding blog posts techno-sniping at all of the things that the iPad could NOT do. Some arguments were admittedly valid and of course many were just cynical.

At the risk of sounding like an old crank, I have to come to the defense of a 50 billion dollar company. Small sidebar: I use a Windows 7 machine now. I bailed from the Mac platform when the stock floundered at $8 a share and I was confident that this and their 10% market share spelled doom. Say it together with me: iPod. And as I write this, the stock tips the scales at $200 a share.

Alright back to business. Sure it’s inexcusable that the iPad (more so than the iPhone) doesn’t support Flash. I found it somewhat amazing (or perhaps arrogant–it’s a common Apple perspective) that within the context of Mr. Job’s initial presentation, he visited three sites in succession that clearly used and required a Flash plugin. Smack dab in the middle of the New York Times website he scrolled past the troublesome and annoying blue cube that alerts users to the need for Flash. But wait–we can watch the insane on YouTube so I suppose all sins are forgiven? Uh. No.

But I digress. The iPod uses an IPS display that is far superior to 90% of the LCD flat screens being used in homes and offices as we speak. Certainly better than the display I’m looking at right now. Built-in WiFi, music videos, email–the whole shooting match. And no, this was never designed to be a camera so tell me again why that matters?

Clearly, Apple has been victimized by the bar that itself has placed so high. We’ve become spoiled by the handheld machines with more computing power than the mainframes that sent men to the moon. I count myself among those that demand quality in their hardware but let’s not lose track of the amazing accomplishments that have poured out of their walls over the past 10 years. And no, it’s not a perfect product. But it’s still what we’ve come to expect from Apple–super sleek engineering and unmatched ease of use. Perhaps most critically the iPad nay-sayers are missing the bigger picture. That is, that who else has even come CLOSE to developing and launching such a product. No one–and no one is on the horizon either. Will I buy one? Time will tell–I’ll need to hold one in my hands before I part with $500 or more.

Now tell me again about the Kindle? What does it do?