Feb 5, 2010
There’s a raging debate over the iPad. Is it a revolutionary new device or is it an oversized iPhone?
When Steve Jobs presented the device to the world on January 27, 2010 the online and offline peanut gallery of technology bloggers and writers went nuts attacking the device.
For instance, ismashphone.com wrote they’re “not betting on the device” to succeed. Molly Wood of cnet news said the iPad is ahead of its time, is missing features and looks a lot like a “sucker’s buy.” The most trending topic on Twitter the day of launch was ‘iTampon’ as opposed to ‘iPad’. And, then there were the viral spreading video parodies of Hitler ranting about the iPad. All in all, Steve Jobs’ iPad announcement did not receive a warm welcome.
But, the media’s tune on the iPad is now changing. Bloggers who initially criticized it are eating their words. The now trending praise of the iPad may have begun (or at least gained steam) with a guest post by Ethan Nicholas to TechCrunch called, “Why My Mom’s Next Computer Is Going to Be An iPad.” Ethan Nicholas wrote that despite the hate being directed at the iPad from the likes of Slashdot, Digg and Penny Arcade, the device will succeed because of its simplicity, mass audience appeal, and ultimately, its suitability for his mom.
On Jan 26th I wrote a post called, “Apple Tablet is Nail in the Coffin for Real Estate Mags“. I’ll now add to that initial statement with the following five ways in which the iPad will change real estate and the world:
1. The iPad will complete the shift from print media to digital media: Digital media such as the internet has been gaining on print for a while. Print has held some ground though because of the portability of books and magazines as well as the fine resolution of printed letters on paper. With the exception of Amazon’s Kindle, digital interfaces have had difficulty matching these characteristics. The iPad changes this with its physical design, portability and high resolution 132 pixels per inch display. The iPad makes books and magazines a waste of valuable lumber.
2. The iPad will become the new presentation interface for industries such as real estate: The majority of presentations are quick and one on one. This is especially true for real estate professionals. With the iPad, agents will be able to provide clients with on the spot and media rich presentations that are not possible with standard computers, laptops, projectors or mobile devices. The iPad is the ultimate medium for small group presentations.
3. The iPad will usher in the next generation of real estate websites: To date, most real estate websites have adhered to the standard computer interface of mouse, keyboard and monitor. With the iPad, real estate websites will turn things up a notch. As users embrace the iPad, the new online user interface for real estate websites will become intertwined with touch.
Websites such Trulia, Redfin and BuzzBuzzHome will modify their sites to leverage the magical feel of a touch screens and ultra portable design. These website modifications will be rapid. The newly designed sites will be like super charged iPhone Apps.
4. The iPad will further empower the consumer and diminish the necessity for traditional real estate agents: I’ll start this one off with an apology to traditional agents – sorry. That being said, your days are numbered. The majority of home buyers are already beginning their real estate searches online. As the process of finding and researching potential homes become easier and more fun with better websites and interfaces such as the iPad, the more inclined individuals are to do their own research. They therefore become less dependent on their agent. This is not to say that there will not still be a role for agents, it’ll just be less of a role.
5. The iPad will make non-computer users computer users: Although many of our parents and grand parents are already using the internet and computers, some are not. The iPad will break down the final barriers that have made computers scary. The iPad is simpler, more robust and more intuitive than any former computer. Everyone, computer illiterate grandparents included, can surf the net with an iPad.
So, the iPad hits store shelves in Canada in about 50 days. It costs $499 (U.S) and I’ll be getting one.