Where is Apple Going?
Most questions lately that I am asked about Apple have to do with obvious limitations imposed by the iPad. And yes this has been well documented. The iPad could easily become the killer academic computing device, but it does not need to for another year.
Apple is currently experiencing their greatest success in adoption rate of MacBooks by universities. They really should ride that out until other market factors force them to upgrade the iPad to be a self sufficient computing device. This is a transition year for E-Textbooks so Apple does not want to put the cart in front of the horse. I also do not think Apple really knows how it will all play out. If they could force the world to always tether an iPad to a computer then they most likely would benefit greatly from that computer selection. But Apple is foremost a business that is making the smartest business decisions. They will lay the groundwork for many of the iPad needs by boosting the iPhone line. Within a year all of the iPad issues will be solved and they will begin to position the iPad as stand-alone computing device. But in that time period they will also acquire a vast number of new customers that will be primed for their next generation of computing devices that will most likely be entertainment driven. And do not underestimate the power that the eventual stand-alone iPad will have.
Apple is extremely well positioned for the technology buying trends for the future as well as for the advertising and entertainment trends. Think of the market that will be created by the many million new iPad customers who will be ready to seamlessly link their iPad into a more powerful “Entertainment” device. But that market foundation must still evolve with vast improvements to our Internet grid and lot’s of content copyright definition.
There are many who bash Apple for their proprietary agenda. But are you bashing from behind or ahead. I supported Microsoft in their rise as passionately as I may now support Apple. What I support is the technological innovation. When that ends it is time to bash the proprietary control, but during the rise I am willing to jump on board. It is OK to follow a leader if they are actually leading you to something better. Apple’s power and influence will dwarf what Microsoft was ever able to attain. However, Apple’s greatest success may be written by how they deal with their eventual leveling out.