Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Apple Tablet and Steve Job's Legacy

The Apple Tablet is a potential saving grace for print media. What is it you ask? Well it’s so new and top secret that even Apple is not discussing the Apple Tablet. According to Wired, “the tablet remains a technological unicorn -- a mythical beast whose beauty, elegance and singularity we can only imagine”.

What need does the Apple Tablet fulfill for print media? According to the article, “Many have defined the problem -- people are abandoning old media for new in droves -- but nobody has come remotely close to figuring out the formula to monetize this audience in a way that ensures the range and level of news and periodical content and offers the rich experience advertisers will pay a premium to be part of”. Jobs has a flair for innovation, and as he considers his legacy with Apple, “saving journalism would be the Holy Grail”.

In order for the Tablet to succeed, “The device will have to make readers forget -- really forget -- the printed page. E-readers, for all that they do, don't do this yet”. E-readers such as Kindle have much invested in them and Apple is studying the trends of this and hoping to adapt it to fit the Tablet.

Part of the innovation of the Apple Tablet is that “the unveiling of an Apple Tablet will have to be accompanied by a fundamental policy change. Apple will have to let publishers roll the dice on pricing and cede control of the customer relationship it has jealously guarded”.

While it seems like a tall order to Apple to succeed in this innovative venture, “Jobs' resume is one long treatise on paradigmatic yet somehow pragmatic innovation.” He brought new life to animation when he joined Pixar. While at Apple, Jobs “Apple fixed their business with an iTunes/iPod ecosystem and a one-price-fits-all policy that made sure not all music was going to be provided by pirates”, thus changing the way music was shared over the internet. Another example of Job’s innovative streak is with the iPhone. Apple was able to bust through a “mobile phone market controlled by a tiny band of hide-bound telcos and handset makers”.

As one ponders Job’s legacy was he truly a great innovator, or was he at the right place, right time with the right people to succeed in these ventures? Did he capitalize on the failures of other innovations and just improve them?

Is the Apple Tablet something that will be successful and change the future of print media? Is it truly innovative or just improving upon things such as the Kindle?

Since not much is known about the Apple Tablet, other than it has enormous potential to change an entire industry, I think it is a truly innovative device that will succeed and build off the successes off things such as the Kindle. Steve Jobs will add to his legacy as a great innovator.


  1. Here is another article I recently found on CNNMoney about the Apple Tablet

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