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A lot of people are asking what Apple’s target market is, and how they’re going to sell this iPad. These people are all stupid. Apple has told us exactly how they’re going to sell it.
Our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.
Bam! That’s their selling point! Somebody gets paid lots of money to write that sentence, and they earn it all, because that sentence will sell several billion of these things.
Geeks are getting pissed off because this isn’t a real computer/doesn’t run OS X/doesn’t have XYZ/is a glorified iPod touch. This is because geeks know nothing about advertising, which is another way of saying they don’t know how people work. Admen get paid to understand the entire planet and to synthesize it all into a sentence. So when you look at Apple’s advertising, you know that this isn’t just empty speech. Apple has figured out what the entire world wants and it is magic and revolution. That’s how they’re selling it. They figure the only people who won’t want an iPad are people who don’t like magic.
And guys, they have a point. This thing could save the publishing industry and the newspaper/magazine industry. It could revolutionize the digital fine arts. It does essentially everything that can possibly fit on a screen that size, almost unconsciously. It is so magic that it does things you’d never imagine wanting something to do. (There’s a hands-on video of a guy handing the iPad to his friend, and by the time the friend’s picked up the other end the screen’s flipped over and reoriented itself for him.)
Apple is such a big and powerful company that it can get away with things you don’t even notice because there’s so much going on. They’ve killed every photo frame company on the planet today, you know that? A cottage industry annihilated. They’re going to reintroduce the part of music that went away when the LP died because they’re offering a special music format with artwork and special footage and just unbelievable immersion in an album, and that entire format is so minimal to their plans that they don’t see fit to mention it on the iPad site. I’m betting they’ll kill most of the Kindle, because people like magic more than they like epaper. And when developers hit this thing, you’ll see them kill off proprietary industry after proprietary industry, because now the hardware’s available, most data you’ll ever need is available, and so the only thing you need to make a beautiful program is a beautiful graphic designer.
It’s easy to look at the iPad skeptically and say that, no, it’s not doing anything truly new. It’s basing itself off the iPhone and the Macbook. Sure, the unibody is revolutionary, the battery is revolutionary, the interface is revolutionary, but it’s all been done before. To which I say, Yes, but it’s never been done all at once. It’s like how Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band wasn’t making any sort of music that wasn’t all pioneered. Yeah, but it did it all at once. And after it came out, music exploded because suddenly everything was allowed. This is kind of like that.
Apple’s not stupid, critics of Apple. It’s launched two products in a row that led to Apple’s dominating the music industry and gave it a position of power in the movie, television, phone, and gaming industries. It’s not like they did that accidentally. This is the most powerful company that’s ever existed.
How did they accomplish that? What will lead to them becoming more successful in all those and gaining an even larger monopoly in other fields? It’s really not hard.
Verizon launched a Droid ad two months ago that essentially let the world know how doomed they were. The ad showed a bunch of “iDon’t”s. iDon’t have 5 megapixels. iDon’t have multitasking. Item after item of flaws in the iPhone that this new technology could solve.
Apple, meanwhile, showed a phone that could speak foreign languages at you, identify birdcalls in the wilderness, guide you through cities. They weren’t selling technical features. They were selling you magic. Real magic. The kind of magic where, thanks to world-class designers and programmers and marketers, it actually comes true.
The iPad is a 10” computer with a 16GB flash drive and multitouch technology. What makes that so worthwhile? Haven’t we seen this before? How is this better than a Windows tablet or a netbook?
Here’s why. Apple’s not actually selling a computer. Or a flash drive or multitouch. They needed to make those things for their product, but that’s not what the product is. The product is, simply put, a magical screen that can do anything you ever want it to, no matter what that is.
Here you go. It’s five hundred dollars. If you pay me that, I will give you this magical thing that can do anything. You don’t have to read a manual. It will do anything, and it will do it right now, out of the box.
Other companies are selling computers. Apple’s selling magic. Which one would you rather have?