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Pulling a Steve Jobs on the Apple iPad.

I just did something that should make Steve Jobs proud. I did not order an iPad.

Instead I decided to wait for the third generation. What?! You say, as a certified Apple fanboy, I should have already ran and got mine a month ago!

Fools. Just look at the decisions Jobs made in the last 10 years: Apple was never first to enter any product category. Contrary to the blabla of PR-breastfed media like Spiegel Online, Apple is not the early adopter’s company, it is rather the smartest follower company on the planet. Apple makes technology ready for the mainstream after early adopters have given feedback on it.

Whether you look at the smartphone, the touchscreen, iTunes, online video rentals… Apple was never first! Nor second, nor third. Apple always waited. Until everything was in place to assemble success. And everything means cheap parts as well as learned behavior.

This strategy has not come overnight. At various points in its history, Apple tried being a true innovator. But while you might remember the 1993 Newton that introduced the world’s first handwriting interface, you surely never owned one. It just wasn’t ready. And neither was the world.

I, too, have made that mistake. For example, by importing an GSL XPLORE G18 in 2003, the world’s first cellphone sized phone with Palm OS. Impressive, could do almost everything the iphone does – only slower. And after 4 months, it started to electrocute my ear.

But this time, I have decided to go Apple on Apple and wait. For an iPad and software that improves with the criticism of the early mainstream adopters. It will have a bigger screen, it will have a camera in the front. And it will use the design language of the 4th gen iPhone (Edgier! Love that!). Maybe it will even drop Apple’s DRM from the bookstore, like they did with iTunes.

So go on early mainstreamers. Complain, blog, send letters. Now’s your chance to make a laggard happy.

Comments
3 Responses to “Pulling a Steve Jobs on the Apple iPad.”
  1. Emily says:

    Good strategy! Though I feel like no matter how long in the product cycle you wait to get involved, you always feel slightly screwed over when the new model comes out. I followed this plan and did not ‘go iPhone’ until the 3GS, and now the 4G has been spec’ed, I feel like the screwed early adopter.

    I guess its just a by-product of technology moving so fast. Great for my thirst for innovation, sucks for my wallet.

  2. mario.gamper says:

    Of course we feel stupid. The question is just how stupid! iPhone 3GS is a pretty good choice. The OMG! frontcam on the 4G is useless. It’s an early adapter geekpleaser for a mainstream phone. I had two phones with a front-facing cam. Never used it. Who wants to stand in the middle of the mall, screaming at the iPhone, left arm streched out and up for your myspace angle?

  3. mrmat says:

    Good strategy! Though I feel like no matter how long in the product cycle you wait to get involved, you always feel slightly screwed over when the new model comes out. I followed this plan and did not ‘go iPhone’ until the 3GS, and now the 4G has been spec’ed, I feel like the screwed early adopter.

    I guess its just a by-product of technology moving so fast. Great for my thirst for innovation, sucks for my wallet.

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