Improved OS, Keep Pressure On

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-03-29 Print this article Print

5. Improve iPhone OS

Apple is expected to improve iPhone OS later this year. Previously, those updates only applied to the iPhone and iPod Touch. But since the iPad runs iPhone OS, it can apply those same updates to the tablet. That's an important element of Apple being able to match the iPad's hype. Apple's iPhone OS is just fine for a smartphone. But for a tablet, it leaves much to be desired. When the HP Slate hits store shelves later this year, consumers will find a full-fledged operating system-Windows 7-running on the device. Apple doesn't have that. And it could stunt the iPad's growth.

6. Keep the pressure on

If Apple can do anything, it is putting pressure on competitors. Unlike so many other companies in the tech industry that simply follow a leader into a market, Apple blazes new trails. And by doing so, it has been able to enjoy the kind of success few other companies in the space can. Apple needs to continue to apply that pressure on its competition. The more updates it can pump out over the coming weeks, the better. Such a strategy will help it easily stand out in the marketplace, regardless of what the competition offers.

7. Bring on the multitasking

One of the major issues most folks will find with the iPad is its lack of multitasking. If a user attempts to run, say, Pandora's music app and then switch to the iPad's Mail application, Pandora will shut down. That's a real problem. Once again, the iPad is not a smartphone and Apple is marketing the device as a mobile computer. Mobile computers need multitasking. If Apple really wants the iPad to live up to its hype, the company will need to find a way to bring true multitasking to the device. It's simply a must-have feature.

8. Consider connectivity

In order for iPad owners to connect the tablet to a USB device, users will need to buy accessories. In other words, connecting a USB printer will take an additional component. The HP Slate, on the other hand, offers full USB connectivity built-in. That's an important distinction. Hype is about sales. And although the iPad's sales will undoubtedly be high in the coming weeks, once the allure is gone and people see it for what it is, will those connectivity problems prove troublesome? It's certainly possible.

9. Marketing is key

Apple is one of the leading marketing companies in the tech industry. The company's commercials are second to none. Each spot does a fine job of showing users how the device works and why it's worth buying. Not too many other companies in the space can achieve such success in a single commercial. Apple will need to achieve similar results if it wants the iPad to be a success. As mentioned above, the iPad will first appeal to early adopters. But once the mainstream starts thinking about it, they will need some help from Apple to get them to the store. Good commercials and solid advertising efforts will help them with that.

10. Stay true to Apple's brand

The best thing Apple can do to ensure the iPad lives up to its hype is to stay true to what Apple is as a company. Apple is about innovation, uniqueness and entertainment. The company doesn't want to be Microsoft. It doesn't even plan to be Google. Apple simply provides a unique experience in its products that other companies can't match. It needs to do the same with the iPad.

In short, Apple needs to remind us in every decision that it makes that the iPad is made by Apple. And that it will deliver an Apple-like experience.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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