iPad is an Oversized iPod

Is the new Apple iPad A Product Without a Market?
With a 9 inch plus screen size and at only 1/2 inch thick, the iPad looks like an oversized iPod.
The prices look great too, and much less than what the analysts had thought $499 – $699 for 16GB up to   64GB models. This just proves that corporate secrets can still be kept, even in the day of the Internet’s “run of the mouth”.

Steve Jobs does a great job of selling his products. The man was surely a snakeoil huckster in a previous life. He sat there on stage showing all the nice tricks and things that this new device can do. The question is, has Apple created a product for a need that does not yet exist, or have they essentially extrapolated on the iPod to a bigger size to capture all consumers. e.g. from iPod, to iPhone, to iPad, to MacBook, to… you get the idea.

What is the iPad niche?
As I watched the news conference, I tried to imagine shlepping an iPad around on the train, or on a plane. Like the iPhone/iPod, there’s no cover to protect it (unless you consider a plastic film a ‘cover’). I think it would be in that awkward size – too big for the pocket, and too small to really get work done. If you’re traveling to work, you want to listen to a podcast, maybe a song or two, or catch last night’s episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. Are you really going to take the iPad with you for that? The iPhone/iPod size is just right for media on the train.
If you are traveling by plane, and you expect to get some work done at the airport gate or on the flight, what do you really want to have with you, your Dell Studio, or the iPad?

I guess the iPad is looking for the niche of home users who want easy access to online media, such as online books, videos, and music. Essentially, the iPad will give the iTunes store a bigger footprint to work with. Is that a game-changer? I don’t think so…

The Kindle is not such a whopping success in terms of units sold. So, iPad can’t have its crosshairs on the online book market. Likewise, the home media experience is still much better in surround sound stereo on your huge LCD HD Plasma screen.  Does the iPad have a niche of its own that has not yet been created?  Apple sure does have experience in convincing consumers that they _must_ have products that weren’t even invented a decade before.

What market niche is left for the iPad? Giving your kids a video player for their bedroom?  I guess we’ll soon find out.