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What is the iPad Good For?

. Rod Rakic

iPad, iPhone & iPod TouchImage by DrewVigal via Flickr

Since well before we got the darn thing in our hands, my team and I have been thinking quite a bit about the iPad.

A new category of device doesn't come along all that often. With over 2 million iPad sold in the first two months, it's pretty clear that the tablet experience is here to stay. Those of us in the business of selling, especial in the retail space, have been trying to figure out what the opportunity really is.

This exercise has lead us to have plenty of conversations about, "context of use," for the iPad.

It boils down to thinking about it this way... CREATION vs. CONSUMPTION of CONTENT.

Let's think about this as a spectrum of devices and experiences from small (and intimate) to large. (and more formal)

iPhone = the most intimate, but not something I want to stare at / work on for any length of time. Any media I consume there must be the most “snackable.” I carry an iPhone, only because I can’t have it implanted yet.

iPad = A great device for CONSUMING content, even reading emails. It’s big enough to make the experience comfortable, but small enough to be unobtrusive and easy to carry. Which is why I love it in meetings. It’s great for firing off a few quick emails.

Laptop = This is still my weapon of choice for CREATING content. I really don’t want to build wireframes or slides on my iPad. I don’t want to spend 20 minutes processing my inbox hunched over an iPad. I still want a good chair, a big screen, and for now, a mouse and a real keyboard when I have some heavy-lifting to do.

Ignore the context of use at your peril. Brands that think hard about how their customers use the Ipad, how it fits into their media diet, are the ones that have the best chance of creating killer experiences for it.

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