Apple released some numbers today that certainly caught my attention. One million iPads in twenty eight days. So what does this mean?
1. Apple has validated this market. As i’ve talked in the past, there’s a worldwide market for 50,000 of anything. Try to sell 500,000 that’s another story. Get to a million and you’re a success by any measure. I suspect that in the history of ‘tweener devices, if you added up all the efforts over the last decade they likely didn’t app to a million units sold. The market is real and it’s a new line of business.
2. The reason Apple was successful was they optimized for the form factor. Sure, iPad looks a lot like a large iPod touch but in practice it’s much more than that. Vendors building on Windows 7 need to think how that will play in the market. Windows, like OS X, for better or for worse was designed for large screens, mice and keyboards. Likewise, Android in current format works best for phones. It will be interesting what Google has to say about tablets at I/O.
3. This space is going to heat up. Once a market is validated, expect others to jump in big time. Much as Apple validated the market for GUI based PCs in the 80s, expect others to challenge them this time around as well. Apple has laid out a paradigm of the next 20 years of personal computing. The rest of the market is not going to cede that to them without a fight. Expect to see weak challenges for the next 30-60 days but some very strong competition as we get into the second part of this year.