The Apple phenomenon

Originally posted at the Shufflegazine Blog (no longer exists)

Even though this isn’t a psychology blog, it is always interesting to understand how we, as humans, react. And I’m referring particularly to technology. The reason for this train of thought is the hype and the reaction surrounding the release of Apple’s iPad last week.

Quite obviously, it’s hard to be upbeat about the name. I can understand Apple’s thought process — iPod, iPhone, so yeah: iPad. But they do have the iMac, so it isn’t just an i, P nomenclature.

Apple today has a unique fan following created by themselves. A set of classy, elite devices, in their own price and performance range, and a product lock, which tends to put some people off. Yet you find yourself in a publishing house, or even in management offices, and you will see over and over again, how Apple computers have found their way into the elite space. Most people that take the move towards Mac’s never look back. Apple customers may not be as large as the Microsoft customer base but they sure are way more loyal.

So what is it about Apple? Is it the classy, white/black, chic persona they give their devices? Is it the aura that comes with owning a Mac or an iPhone? Is it Steve Jobs? It’s probably a combination of all of these things and a bit more.

Last week’s release of the iPad marks another step in Apple’s revolution. Sure, there are a large number of folks were disappointed or feel that the iPad was all hype and no value. People said the same when the iPhone came out and look at it… today it has even become the choice of phone for the enterprise. Apple brought in the iPad because they felt that there was a gap between the smartphone and the laptop and iPad is a device that does combine features of both.

My points of concern? The camera. I’m really not sure how and why they didn’t put in something that obvious.

Consider, a tablet PC with video conferences, a 10in screen with 3G. It can easily become the portable device for the enterprise as well. The potential is there.

And Apple doesn’t go without putting some strong thought into their creative process. All the iPhone apps will run out of the box with the iPad. I think that was a well-thought out decision. The pricing is definitely a marker as well, considering most people expected a device of this calibre to start at $1,000.

Apple even launched their bookstore to go hand-in-hand with this. If Apple can cover a large range of books in a good range of languages — to the level that the iTunes and App store have reached today — people will adopt the iPad. Even if they’ll never want to call it that.

Chirag Desai @Chirag