After a long wait, Steve Jobs has finally unveiled the iPad, Apple’s spin on the slate PC.
The device is being billed by its makers as “the best way to experience the web, email, and photos” and will be available worldwide within 60 days.
But what effect will it have on website marketing?
Apple’s website promotion for the iPad went live yesterday (January 27th), featuring a seven-minute video offering super-slick demonstrations of the product in action.
The video sees Apple chief marketing officer Phil Schiller talk about how the device is meant to take the iPhone’s breakthroughs and apply them to “a whole new device category”.
“The iPad is the best web surfing experience, the best email experience, the best photo and movie-watching experience,” he says.
“It’s going to change the way we do the things we do every day.”
Mr Schiller could be right. The response to the iPad has so far been overwhelmingly positive, with publishers branding it an “important step” in the transition towards digital books.
As Bookseller.com reports, Penguin chief executive John Makinson said the product represented “an important step in the development of a digital audience for books”.
In addition, the New York Times has already announced a dedicated iPad app to bring the “essence” of a newspaper to the new device.
And while Mark Walsh of Online Media Daily says that the device is unlikely to be a “game-changer” in the world of mobile advertising, he notes that is likely to throw up some interesting new opportunities for brands and marketers.
Domenic Venuto of Razorfish tells the website that the iPad’s screen size – 9.7 inches – means that advertisers can be more creative about how they engage consumers.
“Whether it’s an advertising or publishing client we’re building new experiences for, this breathes new life into the category,” he said.
In addition, the iPad’s ability to run apps designed for the iPod and iPhone – as well as specialised ones developed just for the touchscreen device – offers further opportunities.
“We expect the Apple tablet to be a catalyst for a new generation of innovative applications,” remarks Paran Johar of Jumptap.