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Old 05-06-2010, 12:52 PM   #1
Steven Lyle Jordan
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I'm sick of hearing about iPad! iPad iPad iPad!!

Okay, I'm not really sick of it... I was merely thinking of an essay I wrote, in a similar vein, about the Kindle. (Not to mention a certain sibling rivalry from a certain old TV show.)

There's certainly nothing wrong with the iPad catching the attention of the public and the media, and taking off. But I worry about what its influence is doing to the e-book industry (among others), in a similar way that I registered concern about the iPhone and Kindle and all the attention they were getting when they were released.

The iPad and its app store may be a wonderful combination, and individuals and companies want to swarm to it to add apps and make their (potential) millions. But many companies are putting all their eggs in the iPad basket, and ignoring the fact that at some point, the iPad is not going to be the Big Toy on the block. I've said before: "Today's iPhone is tomorrow's Razr." As it is with all technologies, sooner or later a new device will come along, and everyone will run to catch up with it. In fact, the Kindle was the Big Toy to get onto just last year... remember? And those who are tied too tightly to the last device will have a hard time switching over... and in some cases, may not survive the switch.

And in the meantime, all this concentration on one device is leaving other devices relatively or completely unsupported. How many e-book apps are being readied for Windows-based smartphones and PDAs, for instance? Amazon is creating an app for the iPad... where is the app for my HTC phone? Where's the Popular Science digital magazine app for my laptop? How many Kindle products are being canceled at this moment, in favor of iPad apps? Creating proprietary apps for one device is leaving a lot of other devices unsupported.

If you think I'm just feeling left out... I am. A bit. But I'll wager I'm not the only one. And as others will feel the iPad iterations are not for them (or too expensive for them), others will take up the same cry: "What about us? Aren't we worth selling to? Aren't we worth providing for? Must we become Madison Avenue zombies, jumping on the latest what-the-#^@!-ever bandwagon, to get noticed?"

iPad owners: Sooner or later, someone's going to come along with something brand new, and better than what's out here now... and every manufacturer will switch over, again. Think about how you'll feel when all the apps you loaded into your iPad can't be ported into your new device, or at least, not without paying for it all over again. Think about all those e-books you're buying, that won't be making the transition off of the iPad to your new device. Enjoy that Razr while you can, darling.

And don't think the rest of us will be gloating over your pain. We'll be too busy complaining about one more device that is pushing our devices further into non-proprietary oblivion.
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