May 28, 2010

iPad 2015

With people queuing for the new iPad and Apple surpassing Microsoft as the most valuable technology company, you have to wonder where things will go in the future for a company many thought was dead in the water 15 years ago. If you look at the first generation iPod from 2001 and compare it to the iPod touch of today it is clearly shows a quantum leap in capabilities and possibilities. In this article Henry Blodget has some interesting thoughts about the iPad’s future but we can imagine something so much bigger. So let’s fast forward five years and try to picture how the iPad might evolve…

iPads everywhere

In the same way that some people call any vacuum cleaner a Hoover, slate devices from manufacturers like DELL and HP could be referred to as “iPads”. Will Apple try to ban people from using the term for anything other than their own devices? Is that the police banging down your door? In the future the iPad OS might be in the cloud and no matter which device you pick up, if you are a true iPad user your thumb print will grant you access to your own iPad hub with all your preferences and content. Not an iPad user? You’ll be stuck with the Android version that will still look like clipart hell. Even though you are accessing your iPad hub via your friend’s DELL slate the experience will (of course) be slower and the screen less bright. Apple will always try to make sure their hardware is one step ahead. Next time you are visiting friends remember to bring your own iPad.

Free iPads

Today colour printers cost very little as companies like HP and Canon make a fortune on ink cartridges. With Apple making more and more money from apps, advertising and content they could actually give away the iPad but make it useless if you don’t get all your content from them. In this scenario you would see iPads lying around in Starbucks waiting to be picked up so you can access your own iPad hub with all your music, magazine subscriptions and secure access to your social network.

iAd therefore iAm

We’ve seen a preview of the iAd solution from Apple. Five years from now it will be so sophisticated that it will know everything about you, where you are and what you are doing next. In this article from Oren Frank he imagines a predictive context device that knows your every want and need. Brands will be clamouring to be part of this holy grail of advertising. They will be able to target the right person at the right time and place with the right message for them. They still won’t be able to use Flash in their ads but it really won’t matter. How about privacy in all this? Well of course people will be able to opt out. But those who do will soon regret it as their lives will be a lot poorer and empty. In the iAd future there will be a new class of people – the sponsored few. If you’re not connected to your favourite brands then who are you? Oh, and of course Apple would have bought Facebook by 2015 with instant access to all the personal data that comes with it.

How do you see the iPad evolving in the next 5 years? Or will it just be a flash in the pan?

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