I don’t use an iPad. I own one, but my son uses it now, mostly for games. Between iPhone, Desktop, Laptop, and Kindle I could never find a place for it in my life. So I’ve started quizzing my tablet-using-friends about theirs. I ask friends, “When do you use your tablet and what for?” Almost unanimously the answer is: around the house for web, Facebook, email, and books. Basically a living room couch web browser and e-book reader.
What I noticed though, is that all of these tasks are largely platform agnostic: It’s tough to tell Facebook running on an Android device from Facebook running on an iOS device. There are some great platform specific apps of course, but they seem to be more niche use cases, at least in my anecdotal polling.
This made me wonder if the iPad’s platform agnostic nature will have a long term impact on the the platform. Without app lock-in will less expensive tablets become more popular?
The new iPads are now both very light and both have amazing screens. Just refinements, perhaps, but amazing ones. However both features seem to be nearing the point of diminishing return. Further weight reductions and screen improvements are unlikely to make for a better Facebook experience in the living room, we’ve reached “peak Facebook” already.
And here’s the crux of this post: what else is there? How does Apple make the living room web browsing experience better than this? Or how do they change what users are doing with their iPads? When Samsung catches up in a few months what will keep people from choosing the least expensive device? Or will there be any reason at all?
I don’t doubt that Apple has something planned, maybe even a few things, but I do feel that they’ve painted themselves into a corner more than I would have expected.