Charlie discusses the iPad, the new publishing models, and the hope that Apple intends to “conquer the world.”
There’s been a lot of discussion of the iPad lately, and weird speculation about whether it will be eating into the laptop market. I basically see it as filling two niches: 1) an alternative to the Kindle, especially for people like my mom who are starting to question why they still subscribe to bulky newspapers, but don’t necessary want to sit at their desks to get the news [and may not want to deal with computers]; and 2) as a way for diarists, bloggers, Facebookers, and Twitterers to jot down their thoughts on the go. I haven’t tried out the iPad keyboard, but it is very likely to be superior to the one in the Kindle, and either device will fit into my oversized purse.
The point is, if I jot something down on a real writing pad, I must transcribe it in order to get it online, or get it to an editor. If I type it out, even on a deeply flawed keyboard, it only needs a bit of editing to be publishable.
What I suspect is that the iPad is relieving the “on the go” crowd from the tyranny of typing with their thumbs—and that might be worth a great deal to the “content providers” who serve up the written word. (This remains theoretical for me, until I generate more revenue—but for the culture at large, it’s pivotal.)
As for me, I’ve been wanting a Kindle for a good long time. After all, I love to read while lying on my back, and laptops don’t do it for that purpose: it’s got to be a book, or a padlike object [Kindle/iPad] without external wires. Given that the iPad sports a keyboard, however, it might enable me to write while I’m waiting for the dentist, as well as reading in bed. That would make a big difference, you know.
The people who should be concerned are the folks at Amazon.