I didn’t get the chance to play with the iPad for a few minutes yet. So I can’t tell anything about the look and feel, the design or the UI. Nevertheless the videos are impressive. Have a look at Engadget iPad guide or Telcoms.com article.
What I really find impressive is Apple business model. As far as I know this is the only integrated manufacturer. Apple controls all the key items of its value chain:
- the CPU with its new A4
- the OS: iPhone OS, MacOS X
- the software: iWorks
- the hardware: iPhone, iPad, iPod and Macs
- the content aggregation: iBooks, iTunes
- the service: MobileMe
It looks like the IBM good old days, but in a much more competitive environment.
By controlling the whole value chain, Apple is in position to extract all the value from it, leaving to its competitors or partners only small bits of it. And by controlling every bolt Apple is in position to provide an outstanding experience that reinforce the consumer value proposition.
Apple has just created a virtuous circle which generates more and more value, unless a part breaks down or the ship misses direction. Then the card house may fall, but not for the moment.