iPad, Children & the Wii

Taking my family out for lunch today, I noticed something interesting. While waiting to sit down, my 2.5 yr old nephew asked for my sisters iPhone. He grabbed it, unlocked it and proceeded to navigate to the SpongeBob Square Pants game that she had on there. Sitting there quietly, he played until we had to move.

Now, tell me what other full blown computing device you could put in front of a young kid and have him use. Think about what it takes to even launch a game on Windows or Mac OS X.

What I just described is exactly what people are missing from the iPad announcements. The iPad is not aimed at ‘us’ as in techies, developers and people generally comfortable ( to some extent ) with computers as they are. It’s aimed at people who would otherwise not be using computers. Such as children and the elderly. People who either a ) missed out on the ‘computer’ generation or b ) haven’t been exposed to the current file / folder / desktop metaphor of computers.

Frankly, it’s the ‘Wii’ of computers. Just like the Wii found a largely untapped market of people who would never buy a video game system, the iPad will become the computer for generations ( young and old ) and demographics ( soccer moms, travelers, etc.. ) that normally wouldn’t buy one. The computer that is useful enough to carry with them, while at the same time being fun and easy to use. No drivers. No disks. No hassle. No confusion.

Just functionality & simplicity.