Apple believes that the iPad is the first step to the future of computer design and they're absolutely correct. As I've always said, one thing that Apple does well is intuitive interface design for the average consumer (although I personally find it restrictive). The iPad's interface removes an additional layer between you and whatever you're working on; no need for a mouse or some other control device, just move it to wherever it needs to go.
While its feature set is currently very limited, this will change with future revisions and similar devices will cover more and more of what most people do with their home computers. Other companies will copy the idea and the industry will shift around to include such devices in the mainstream (much like it did for smartphones). In the best case scenario, consumers will avoid the iPad (and other closed systems) and instead go for open alternatives that provide more control.
Saldash wrote:Whilst I do understand what you mean, I am uncertain that being a "closed" product means it will have a harmful effect on the future. I for one welcome this type of "closure" on a mobile device such as the iPad, it means less to go wrong and less troubleshooting.
That's a pretty scary statement, and exactly why I think such closed systems are harmful to the market. It's perfectly natural that anytime you limit what people can do with something, you're going to end up with more stability.
Take your car to a closed circular track, secure the steering wheel so that you can only drive around in a circle and push the pedal down to a constant slow speed. As long as you have a steady supply of gasoline, the car will run indefinitely until there are mechanical (hardware) problems. Perfect stability. Now you need to purchase gas, but the owners of the track don't allow other companies to bring gas in from the outside; you have to buy it from them with a 50% markup. Enjoy the perfect stability.
Imagine if this "get your content from us or nobody at all" mentality spread to other items. Sony television could only play content sent from Sony, your pens could only write on paper licensed by the pens' brand, etc. On the bright side, the brand could absolutely guarantee that their pens would not smudge on the $20.00 paper you would be forced to buy.