If you’d asked the average person on the street in 1995 what Apple Computer sold, they’d have talked about the computers the guys in the art room at their work used while everyone else was on a real computer with Windows 95. If you asked the same question even 10 years later (let alone today), they’d answer with a variation on ‘media consumption devices’.
Anyone else remember back around 02/03 when Apple was pitching a unique slant on their products, the ‘digital life’. You had your iPod, a digital camera and maybe some home movies you’d managed to convert into a digital format. The Mac was suddenly the hot ticket consumer PC where you bought it all together and it worked seamlessly, and it was so easy to do everyone from your Mum to celebrities were coming out of the closet and declaring themselves Mac users.
Of course, one of the big USPs of the iPad is the newspaper and magazine apps. The results (and the sales) have been mixed so far, but we’ve not only heard Steve Jobs telling us it will change the print media. No less that Rupert Murdoch himself chimed in, saying if everyone had one the cheaper distribution platform for news ‘may well be the saving of the newspaper industry.’ (Of course, the discussion was about justifying his Great Paywall of China, so keep the comment in context).
With the first iMac in 1998, Steve Jobs’ return to Apple’s helm was about veering the company towards billions of consumers hungry for gadgets they didn’t even know they wanted and away from the traditional and much smaller market of creative professionals.
The company then set about producing the hardware that would enable the digital life it was spruiking, and now they’re being hailed as the Great White Hope of the news industry because of the first widely accepted device to make all your content digital You have to ask yourself — did they know something we didn’t?