How Steve Jobs made iPad succeed when all other tablets failed

“Steve Jobs’s solution to Google’s Android-everywhere strategy was simple and audacious: he unveiled the iPad,” Fred Vogelstein reports for Wired. “Many knew Jobs was going to unveil a tablet despite what he had told Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal seven years before. ‘It turns out people want keyboards… We look at the tablet and we think it is going to fail,’ Jobs had said.”

“But he’d clearly reconsidered this. If Google was going to try to win the mobile-platform war on breadth, Jobs was going to win it on depth,” Vogelstein reports. “Maybe more people in the world would own Android phones than iPhones. But the people who owned iPhones would also own iPads, iPod Touches, and a slew of other Apple products that all ran the same software, that all connected to the same online store, and that all generated much bigger profits for everyone involved. Only someone with the self-confidence of Jobs would have the guts to set such a high bar.”

Vogelstein reports, “The Android team at Google scrambled to keep up with the relentless pace of Apple’s innovations. But in 2011 they were being outflanked on almost every front. Yes, there were more Android devices in use than iPhones or iPads combined. But platform size was turning out to be just one, not the only, measurement of dominance in the Apple/Google fight. With the iPhone and the iPad, Apple still had the coolest, most cutting-edge devices. It had the best content for those devices. It had the easiest-to-use software. And it had the best platform for making content owners and software developers money. On top of all that, the iPad was also upending the personal computer business.”

Tons more in the full article – highly recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: We see those on Android – disconnected, incompatible, nothing much in sync, a growing malware problem, tremendous fragmentation, second-rate (and worse) apps, blown up phone apps on their tablets – and we pity them.

But, it doesn’t really matter for Apple, these aren’t the customers they’re looking for.

More than enough customers of quality, ease and richness of development, and ecosystem strength trumps platform size every time.

Related articles:
Newsflash: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers – October 23, 2012
Why I’ll be buying an Apple iPad – along with millions of others – January 27, 2010

18 Comments

    1. Vogelstein neglects to point out as a result of iPad’s superiority they have something like 83% of all mobile device web share. People are actually USING their Apple devices more too than the Android lost are using theirs, by far.

      1. Years ago, you could buy a pretend car cell phone antenna and fake cell phones so that you could appear like you had the real thing. Now it is playing out with Android for people who can’t or won’t afford the real thing but don’t actually use the device for high end tasks like data based apps.

  1. We look at the tablet and we think it is going to fail,’ Jobs had said.”

    Personally think that was Jobs being the shrewd business guy leading competitors to think 1 way whilst having the iPad well in development. The rest is history…..

    1. …Maybe. On the other hand, he of all people knew how wrong he could be. Stubborn as he was in the short term, he was constantly kicking himself out-of-the-box to see other perspectives and learn. He did that quite a lot in his life and his experiences reinforced its importance.

        1. Well, as I insultingly say:

          When the going gets tough, the lame get conservative.

          It’s actually a natural behavior, like the response of putting your hand in a fire. Except, we subjectify our experiences, do the KISS process on everything, pay no attention to the vast complexities involved in the world around us, and latch on to single issue items as plain old scapegoats. IOW: We go into Desperation Behavior, aka we get stupid. We all do it.

          It’s work to think outside the box. But I find it’s great out here and I like to get outside the box whenever possible. 😉

  2. One word is not mentioned when speaking of “the market”. It is people.

    Steve Jobs’ creations gave people one thing, opportunity. Opportunity to create and work and play however they want with whatever device is at hand.

  3. Here is why the iPad is so suucessful:

    Me and a friend from 7am until 1pm today watched streaming videos (music videos and interviews of The Who) and right now the battery indicator is on 66%. My iPad 1 is 3 years and 7 months old. It didn’t skip or blink out once.

    It is called attention to detail, people.

  4. There is absolutely no reason to pity Android owners. They think they’re getting away with something by buying cheap junk instead of paying Apple’s “premium” price. They get exactly what they deserve.

  5. I finally relented and traded in my iPad 3 at Best Buy last night and got my new 16-GIG iPad Air. They have a special where they are giving $200 store credit for either the iPad 2 or 3. I was somewhat miffed, because I thought I should’ve been offerred more for my iPad HD, but what the heck.

    First impressions:

    1. This thing is light as a feather and you can easily hold it in one hand, if you have larger hands like I do.

    Don’t get me wrong, i loved my iPad HD because it offset the myopia in my pair of 40-year-old eyes, but it was as heavy as a brick and ran hotter than a Tijuana bar girl.

    2. I’m not a huge fan of ios7 and there was noticeable lag when running it on my iPad 3. Having said that, the slight speed increase going from the A5X to the 64-bit A7 helps a lot and does make a small difference.

    Yet and still, in my opinion the screen on my iPad 3 was much clearer and I sure I won’t be the only person to mention that.

    3. I had a problem installing ios7 on my iPad 3, thus I had to clear up disk space to get it to finally lay down. This left me wondering whether a 16-GIG iPad Air would provide enough space.

    To my surprise, after backing up my iPad 3 to iCloud and restoring that back-up on my iPad Air, it shows I have only 2.64 GB used and 10.21 GB free.

    I only had a little over 4 GB showing to be free on my iPad 3. Being a tech guy, I think I know what happened.

    My iPad 3 came with ios5. I have since installed ios6 and 7 on it. I believe the hard drive falied to free up some locked disk space from those OS installations. Also, even though I’m not a movie collector or a gamer, at one time I did have a lot of apps installed on my iPad 3. I was forced to delete a lot of apps I never used, in order to free up space for ios7. I believe that just like with my OS installs, for whatever reason, the disk space that was taken up by my apps that were deleted was never properly reallocated.

    So for those who are in my situation you should be okay with the 16-GIG version, because the Air comes with ios7 preinstalled and the memory blocks are new and can properly allocate the disk space for your apps. After all, there are no disk utilities for the iPad like there are for the PC.

    Conclusion:

    Aside from the noticeable difference in sharpness of the screen coming from the iPad 3, the iPad Air’s lighter weight alone is worth the upgrade, in my opinion.

    Also, it does not run hot so you can use it in your hands without the cover folded, because there is no need to absorb heat coming from the back of the device, like on the iPad 3.

    Hope this helps someone… Let me know.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.