Will Apple’s iPad tablet open a whole new market?

IDEA cellular is running an ad campaign these days. The premise of the ad is to use mobile and save paper. The timing of the ad is perfect. Though expensive, the phones which are coming up are well equipped to replace paper. There are occasions when we still need to use paper, though these occasions are reducing by the day.

iPhone belongs to that category. iPhone is the biggest break the mobile world has seen after the mobile itself. iPhone had packed two things in one pack – smartphone and the touch screen. The world is increasingly moving towards smart-touch combinations.

It all started with iPhone, then came Kindle. Now, technology giants are looking to marry both and come up with something which can be sold to the masses rather than to the niche markets. Apple’s Tablet might not be that product but it is pretty close. People hate unitaskers. If you explain Amazon Kindle to a layman, then you would have to say that “I spent 20,000 rupees to buy a book reader”. The layman would say “What good is that”. When someone puts money into a product, that product has to deliver the maximum value. iPhone on the other hand is a multi-tasker. I would rather buy an iPhone than an Amazon Kindle.

As everything with Apple, the whole tech world is eagerly waiting for Apple’s next product, the Tablet. As per McGraw-Hill’s CEO, this could turn out to be a giant iPhone. And McGraw-Hill is already getting ready to push most of their text books to the tablet platform. Great news for the consumers, especially college students. This would usurp an entire market, but that’s another story.

Alan Kay thinks that a giant iPhone would rule the world. I would be disappointed if the Apple tablet turns out to be an iPhone with a bigger screen. Apple iPad  might turn out to be part of the evolution process of smart devices.

All these smart devices are for humans. And humans themselves pose the greatest challenge to the device makers. Fingers will not get any smaller and the hands will not get any bigger. So the right size for any phone or a device is limited by the human hand. How else can technology solve this problem?

Narayana Murthy (Infosys chief mentor) has a solution for this. Make the mobile screen larger on-demand. Or turn mobiles into broadsheets.

“If let’s say with the press of a button, the screen on a mobile handset enlarges to some 6 inches x 8 inches, it could become a platform for viewing of news. Again on the click of the button, the screen should contract to its original size,”  (source)

Our technology majors might already be thinking about it. Apple Tablet might not be the device the world is looking for. Now, where does our Sixth Sense fit in?

Update : Apple’s tablet is called iPad