Editor’s blog: The iPad – a sanitary lesson in marketing

The iPad is another gorgeous and intensely desirable Apple product. And could it save the publishing industry?

I’m the only PC in our house. Between the pair of them my wife and oldest son have two desktop Macs, a Macbook, an iPhone and an iPod Touch. And for his 15th birthday. the boy will be pushing to convert his Sony Erickson to an iPhone. Dream on, kid – you’ll only get mugged.

Me? I’ve got an old Acer, a Nokia and I’m writing this on a fairly disgusting geriatric Dell with more bacteria and skin bits in the keyboard than the cold drawer in an undertakers. Our designers here in the office, beautiful people both, use Macs (don’t ask). I may be a PC person – they do the job and rarely let me down – but there’s no passion in it. It really is pathetic that the best that Dell can come up with in an effort to make their laptops look desirable is to knock a few out in lurid pink. Acer bought out a ‘Ferrari’ model a while back featuring some carbon fibre. Purleez.

The point, of course, is that Apple is a sublimely brilliant brand. It’s a design-led company that makes beautifully crafted, thoroughly gorgeous and intensely desirable objects. And the fact that the iPhone is almost as ubiquitous as a BMW 3 series hasn’t seemed to lessen its appeal. Apple doesn’t have customers: it has disciples. They believe. So I watched Jobs last night in the ritual announcement. (Why can’t they get him a decent pair of jeans? If you only weigh seven stone you need to take great care how you dress.) My first reaction was that his super duper new iPad looked like an iPhone on steroids. It doesn’t take pictures or video, can’t run Flash and has that wretched internal battery but I bet he shifts them by the containership load. And Amazon won’t like the look of iBooks, which will sell bestsellers for as little as $4.99.

Those citizens who are getting especially excited about the iPad are the beleaguered members of the newspaper and magazine industry. Take a look at this from Time Inc who own Sports Illustrated. The live action swimsuit issue may belong back in the days of Mad Men, but there are plenty of saddo guys who will be thrilled to see those babes in bikinis actually move. Whether this offers one possible route to salvation for the inky world of print is questionable. Michael Wolff doesn’t think so. But I certainly wouldn’t mind letting you read MT like this. If you’ll pay for it.

  • http://

    The Sports Illustrated demo was an eye-opener. There isn’t a young male in Britain who won’t buy either Nuts or Zoo in this format.

  • http://

    Sanitary? Surely you mean salutary? Or perhaps it’s a Freudian slip because Apple are going to clean up with this product? Looked at the Sports Illustrated demo – be still my beating heart! I am a disciple.

  • http://

    @JD – it was more of a deliberate mistake – a reference to the ‘female hygiene’ associations some think this name has… http://tiny.cc/EEaSl

  • http://

    How did you become editor, ed, – “an iphone on steroids”, OK, you win,
    ‘ never laughed so much for ages, congrats.

  • http://

    It seems like Apple have done just about everything right over the last few years, brilliant.