iPad: Not laptop replacement, more media creator and consumer

Posted on by Mike Evans

Marco Arment (, the guy behind Instapaper, has put into words what many of us have been thinking for months.

I think Apple didn’t know any better than we did, a year ago, whether the iPad was going to end up as a productivity device in practice. They probably thought, like we did, that it would replace laptops a lot more often.

When the iPad was launched a year ago it was often billed as a laptop replacement. As I have discovered since, this is not so. As a productivity tool the iPad falls behind a lightweight computer such as the MacBook Air. What it does superbly, though, is present media, whether it be books or movies, in a unique format. And last week's announcement the new iMovie and Garage Band show how Apple is moving the goal again. It is a "post-PC" device but not a PC replacement. It is also the first example of a new genre that will transform our perception of media consumption.

I sold my original iPad six months ago because I found the Air to be much more of a productivity device. Now I'm back in the market for an iPad 2 because I realise that it has to be used for its strengths.

Marco concludes:

Apple is now adapting to the market’s actual use by retreating somewhat from office productivity and pushing strongly into new territory — casual media creation — to see if that gets a stronger uptake in practice. I think it will be a lot more interesting than office productivity, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done in iOS to make it practical (especially regarding file transfers with computers)."



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