So here’s Penny Arcade’s Tycho on the iPad:
As an eReader, the iPad doesn’t match a dedicated machine for comfort. The iBooks narrative is strong, “does what iTunes did for music,” but that’s purely aspirational and doesn’t recognize just how late they are to the table. They are like Pink suggesting that the party has not been a party prior to their arrival, they’re wrong, and for a company of their vision and scope it’s embarrassing.
First, and I hate to point this out, this is wrong. It’s just wrong. Here’s Jobs presenting the iPad. You can skip the early stuff where he talks about the whole place they see it occupying and get to 51:30, where he starts talking about the iBooks.
By talking about the Kindle.
And how Amazon’s done a great job, and where they see their ability to make something different.
How is this not acknowledging the party in progress? Or asserting that it doesn’t start until they do?
It’s Steve Jobs! At the announcement! Starting his discussion of the iBooks app by tipping his hat to the Kindle.
I don’t know.
And it’s weird — I’m kind of resigned at this point in life to seeing people do things like this, where there’s some stereotype about smug Apple, strutting about like they’re the first ones to the party, and it’s accepted without further examination. Even among Apple users, like Tycho.
But I would think that someone like Tycho, who knows as a gamer what it’s like to be lumped in with the neeeeeeeeeeeeerds, would be more cautious about this kind of stuff.
Beyond which — Apple’s claim here and with the iPhone’s never been that no one had done those particular things. They never said “we’re the first to do email on a phone” or “first to allow web browsing”. But those experiences were painful to the point of uselessness, and they entered the market when they thought they could do it right.
That’s the iPad. And they’re totally upfront about that. They’ll talk about what they think they can do and why they think it’s awesome. And sure that’s arrogant: it’s saying “we think everyone else did okay, but check this out. But I don’t see why they shouldn’t also get at least the credit for specifically calling out the other players who were there first and did well.