Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Apple's Fixing Things

Apple is trying to clean up its act a little bit, apparently. First off, they've fixed the way they screwed up the App Store for iPads. Now you can actually find all the games for the iPad. Though the fundamental difficulties with the App Store still remain. There are too many products for the interface; unless you already know what you're looking for, you won't find it unless you get lucky. And let's not even talk about the categories and how the games in them don't belong there...

Meanwhile, having come under fire for blocking third-party development tools from being used on items for the App Store, Apple is quietly looking into altering their developer agreements. But this may be too late to stave off an anti-trust investigation. Oh, and questions are being asked about iAds and whether that may be an anti-trust violation because of its restrictions on data sharing.

All of this in the shadow of Apple's announcement that they've already sold 1 million iPads in less than half the time it took them to sell 1 million iPhones.

It's a tough market, but a growing one. Having now played with an iPad for a while (my wife got one for work), I do believe it has a bright future. I guess HP and Microsoft agree, since they've canned their slates that were originally looked at for this year. Back to the drawing board... Apple's changed the battlefield.


  1. Good insights Steve. I guess I am behind the times, because I am not getting the logic behind the iPad craze. I love my iPhone; a basic survival tool for Japan living; unique language and travel apps that simply do not exist elsewhere. However, I have seen five people go to buy iPads, but come back with a mini laptop. Comparing the iPad to the mini laptops, I can see why; it seems to nothing but a big iPhone designed to force me into buying Apple products. In comparison, mini laptops from HP, Sony, and Toshiba are smaller, cheaper, significantly more capable, open, integrated, expandable, compatible, and not designed specifically to channel me into buying stuff from Apple.

  2. Brent, I think there's a couple of factors as to why people would buy an iPad instead of a netbook. One is sheer performance; with an iPad it starts instantly, and web pages load in a snap (it's faster than any computer I've used). Speed is a compelling virtue when you're trying to do things. The iPad is far better than a netbook when it comes to speed. Second, the ease of use is tremendously better on an iPad. This is hugely important if you're not very computer-savvy, and even if you are, the ease of accessing things (and, again, the speed) makes using an iPad much nicer than a netbook. Netbooks have lots of ports, and you can use lots of applications you may already be familiar with. But I hate using trackpads or the little pointer thing in the middle of the keyboard, and plugging in a mouse negates much of the virtues of a small portable computer. Also, while you have to get Apps to handle what you need, many of them are free or the cost is very low. While there's some free PC software, most of the productivity stuff is pricy... for the cost of one Adobe or Microsoft application I can buy all the Apps I'd ever need or want on the iPad, and have money left over.

    My wife's usage of the iPad is for calling up documents and emails at meetings to be able to refer to them, and to take notes. The iPad does this far more swiftly than a netbook; it's easy to use lying flat, held in the hand or propped up; and there's no need for a mouse or other external device.

    I actually think we have only just begun to see what the iPad market will be like. If Apple could strike the right deals for textbooks, this device could sell millions into high schools and universities. If students could easily download all of their textbooks for their course list, and get them for less than the printed books, and be able to carry all of them around all the time (and mark them up), every student would do it. And that's just one potential market... doctors and nurses, technicians who need access to reference documents and the internet... oh, yeah, and games.