Bringing Tablets to the Fore

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Bringing Tablets to the Fore

Perhaps more than anything else, the iPad should be celebrated for bringing tablets into the fore of the technology industry. Prior to the iPads launch, tablets were dull niche products for special industry applications. Consumers largely ignored them, and smartphones took center stage. But now all that has changed as both consumers and enterprise users are buying iPads as highly mobile devices that deliver more functionality than a smartphone and most of the features found in larger laptops or desktops.

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Trouble for Smartphones?

Whats interesting about tablets is that they bring a level of mobility that consumers typically only find in smartphones, but with functionality closer to that of a netbook or even a notebook PC. Thats why the iPad has been so popular and Apple continues to capitalize on its mobility factor. Moreover, because of their similarities, some folks have opted against buying the latest smartphone in order to get their hands on Apples tablet. No other tablet can add that to its resume.

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Death to Netbooks

Prior to the launch of the iPad, netbooks were all the rage in the mobile space. In fact, many analysts believed that they would eventually take over the computing market. But in just a couple short years, the importance of netbooks has been marginalized, and now, some analysts are wondering how long the devices can hold on.

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A Competitor for Notebooks

Aside from netbooks, tablets are also proving to be trouble for notebooks. The iPad, for example, allows users to surf the Web, check email, download applications and perform nearly all the duties they can with their traditional notebooks. And although the virtual keyboard falls short in the iPad, its keyboard accessory more than makes up for that. Believe it or not, the iPad is a fine notebook competitor, and its proving to hurt sales of those products.

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Apple's Size

Earlier this year, Apple hit an important milestone: Its now the biggest company in the world, as measured by market capitalization. That simply would not have been possible without the iPad. Apples tablet has proven wildly popular around the world, and people arent finding any other device that would justify their buying anything but the iPad. Without its tablet, Apple simply wouldnt be as huge as it is now.

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Solidifying Steve Jobs' Legacy

Over the last several years, Steve Jobs has done quite a bit to solidify his legacy in the technology industry. With the iPod and iPhone, he was almost certainly going to go down as a tech great. But with the iPad thrown in, Jobs has nailed down an unsurpassed reputation as a CEO whose vision has inspired his company to consistently deliver the most innovative products in the IT industry.

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Guaranteeing a Future of Tablets

Without the iPad, theres no telling whether tablets would have ever risen from niche market obscurity. Sure, there would be other devices that would be popular, but the market wouldnt be nearly as big as it is now, and it might have turned out to be little more than a fad. Thanks to the iPad, that wont happen.

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The Enterprise's Changing Attitude

The corporate world has always been resistant to change. IT decision makers around the globe simply cant stand the thought of adopting new technologies and investing in new software unless they know for sure that the solutions will help their businesses. But when it comes to the iPad, all that has been thrown out the window. Apples tablet isnt the best of enterprise services, and yet, the corporate world is adopting it at a rapid rate. Who would have thought that an Apple product would break down that barrier?

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Consumer Focus Has Changed

The iPad has significantly altered how consumers judge products today. Previously, folks would buy several different solutions to arrive at some benefit. But now, tablets are all the rage among consumers who want to get their hands on the latest and greatest products on store shelves. All other product categories, like cameras, computers and even software, have taken a backseat to that. Its an enormous shift that cant be overlooked by any company trying to succeed in the technology space.

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Ensuring Apple's Dominance

As noted, the iPad has helped Apple become the biggest company in the world. But what it has also done has cemented Apples position as the most dominant company in the marketplace. Look around, and try to find another firm that can enter a market and immediately control it. Even better, try to find any company that has entered a space that Apple is in and supplanted the Cupertino, Calif.-based company. It hasnt happened. And it wont happen, thanks in large part to the iPad, and consumer perception of the device.

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