Thursday, May 6, 2010

iPad the Cannibal

Turning an iPad over in his hands, my teenage son said disparagingly, "I don't get why Apple made this thing."

Evan was about to open my eyes to another point of view on the iPad -- that of the existing Apple fans.  He continued, "I carry my MacBook with me everywhere.  Why would I want an iPad?"

That is probably a very good point: existing MacBook owners will stick to their Apple notebook computers.  They probably would not consider switching to an iPad or having an extra device.

As an Apple iPhone user, however, I easily convinced myself to purchase the iPad.  The iPhone is great as a phone and a small 3G-enabled mobile computer when necessary.  The iPad, on the other hand, was a big step beyond the iPhone and would serve different purposes. 

What about iTouch users?  Without a phone, they really just own a tiny version of the iPad.  I see existing iTouch owners moving to the iPad; people who might have purchased the iTouch in the future will strongly consider buying an iPad instead.

Today in a Fortune article, Philip Elmer-DeWitt wrote that the iPad not only cannabilizes Apple's iTouch product, but the entire netbook market as well.  Philip got his insight from a Morgan Stanley study released on Thursday by Katy Hubert.

In their March 2010 survey, Morgan Stanley found that 44% of American consumers interested in buying an iPad would make that purchase instead of a netbook or notebook computer. The survey also shows that the iPad cuts into the sale of the Apple iTouch, eReaders, desktop computers, and handheld videogames.

I don't think that Apple will mind cannibalizing its iTouch business when there is so much more to gain with the iPad market.

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I am a project-based consultant, helping data-intensive firms use agile methods and automation tools to replace legacy reporting and bring in modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics. For several world-class vendors, I led services teams specializing in providing software implementation and custom application development. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven methodologies and automated software tools.

During twenty years of technical consulting, I have been blessed to work with smart people from some of the world's most respected organizations, including: FedEx, Procter & Gamble, Nationwide, The Wendy's Company, The Kroger Co., JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Siemens, American Express, and others.

I was educated at Valparaiso University and the University of Cincinnati, graduating summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders, the vendor of WebFOCUS BI and iWay enterprise integration products, and for over a dozen years served in branch leadership roles. For several years, I also led technical teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the custom software services arm of Xerox.

Since 2007, I have provided enterprise BI services such as: strategic advice; architecture, design, and software application development of intelligence systems (interactive dashboards and mobile); data warehousing; and automated modernization of legacy reporting.