THE BLOG
06/02/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Apple iPad...an iConcession?

Technology reaches into everyday life... this is part of the platform that drives the part-computer/part-product-design company Apple Computer. With design work that boldly stretches across technical boundaries, and recreates itself as everyday user uber-friendliness, Apple places itself at the forefront of what "can be", as opposed to "what is" or worse, what "you have to learn to deal with".

So, with the twilight of the iPad arrival fast approaching, I am left wondering what the average Apple user sees in the iPad.

For a second, lets forgo the obvious, and envision what the iPad promises to its end users. Its a tablet type device, with many, if not all of the features of an iTouch or an iPhone. Okay, so its a large scale iTouch/iPhone then (depending on whether you opt for the 3G version or not). Once you connect, you can iEmail, iPhoto, iText, iSurf, iZoom, iMessage, iClick, iSave, iDelete... well you get the point.

The iPad is based on Apple specific device usage, and is not just an Apple specific device in and of itself. I think a lot of what Apple hangs its hat on, as do the many thousands of Apple faithful, lies in the adoption of Apple usage methods. Let's call it Apple's "iAdoption". After all, what better way to get widespread adoption of a product, then to [subconsciously] train people to use it the way YOU want them to? This is the Holy Grail of product design -- to combine good design features along with great adoptibility. Its basically the product and the user "meeting in the middle," where the product offers what the end user wants, with the caveat being that the end user just needs to "learn" how to use the product.

The iPad leverages the adoption of the iTouch and iPhone usage methods, and scales it up into a bigger "super size" family version. No longer will you need to tap wildly on a little touch screen while typing a message; you can now tap wildly on a big "computer sized" device. The iPad is an extension of the iTouch/iPhone, now that thousands of people have "trained themselves" in use of Apple "i" products.

I recently spoke with a coworker who is an Apple faithful. He is waiting for the 3G version of the iPad, and waxes poetically about how he will be able to hang out somewhere and surf the net or send messages in the comfort of his lounge chair with his trusty iPad. What he does admit, is that the missing iUSB ports and iCDDrive are a bit of a disappointment. But in the same breath, you will hear him [and many thousands of others] exclaim that his iPhone doesn't have them either, so there's nothing to miss. For these folks, Apple has successfully "taught" them what they do and don't need. Bravo Apple... well played.

So as much as I admire Apple for their product designs and product intuitiveness, I also have to give them props for being able to train their users how an Apple "iproduct" should be used.

Afterall... a successful product design is, at its heart, part innovation, and part concession. The ability to mask the concession from your end users, is what makes the sale...