On March 2, Apple had a press conference in which they introduced iPad 2. iPad 2 is a nice incremental update from iPad with spec bumps and improvements in the form factor of the device. All good stuff, but what was really interesting is not the device itself, but how Apple is positioning it. Everyone was surprised to see Steve Jobs make the presentation. He wasn’t there to introduce a new device, but to explain Apple’s new philosophy.
Jobs called iPad its third post-PC blockbuster (iPad and iPhone were the first two). Expect to hear the term “post-PC” a lot. Apple is redefining how people use information technology. Its not about specs, its about the experience. This is true in the hardware and software, both of which Apple control.
In the hardware Apple made iPad more personal. It feels better to hold because of the new shape and reduced weight. It is available in two colors. It has the coolest screen cover ever in a rainbow of colors. If you’re interested in a 3G version you can choose between AT&T or Verizon.
When talking about hardware in a post-PC world, specs are fuzzier. It has an HD video camera. Its twice as fast and its graphics are nine times faster. No mention of clock speeds or megapixels.
In the software, Apple showed two videos the things people are doing with iPads. Testimonials from educators about increased scores by students using iPads. iPads are shown as ways that doctors can more efficiently get information and communicate with patients. Autistic children can learn skills using them.
Then they demoed the new iMovie and GarageBand for iPad. I’m not a video editor or musician, but both apps seem awfully impressive. For a device that everyone says is for consuming content, there are now two very powerful content creation tools available (or will be on March 11). And they only cost $5 each. So now you can own a movie editor and music mixer for $510. These are things that you can now do without a PC.
So does iPad 2 replace your PC? Probably not. But it can make you use your PC a lot less often.