Why John Battelle Is Wrong About The iPad
John Battelle (of the “database of intentions” fame ) recently wrote a post with an interesting title – I Don’t Like The iPad Because… - he made some important points. We thought it would be a good idea to try and respond to that post.
1. “it’s driven by the same old media love affair with distribution lock in.” – Well, let us look at it this way: Forget the lock-in, today, given what Amazon has done with the Kindle, publishers dont have the freedom to price their own eBooks (Read: Why Apple treats Books and Music differently). Thats the state of affairs. If anything, iPad provides a genuine choice for publishers. They are locked in, no doubt, but atleast they have the freedom to price their stuff. In the new world, this is HUGE.
2. “But will media you find through that browser be able to interact with the iPad platform so as to bring full value to you, the consumer? Nope. Not unless that same media is approved by Apple and makes it into the iPad app store.” – We dont quite understand the logic behind this statement. Censoring of apps is a bigger issue – but as far as we know, apps can be designed to utilise ALL features on the device, including the new gestures for the iPad. This point is probably just wrong. If the main concern here is that you need to write an App and get it approved by Apple – one can make a (weak) argument that it makes the ecosystem more safe, with zero probability of malicious software and stuff. Like we said, censorship is a bigger issue though.
3. “Don’t tell me, as a media maker, what I can make and how I can leverage the technology in my audience’s hands.” - Well, if the device is so good, Apple will not tell you anything, the market will DEMAND that you are “iPadded”
4. “And don’t tell me, as a media consumer, what’s OK for me to interact with, and how.” – Well, this is how it works. Its upto you – live with the stone age netbooks or be part of whats happening. Atleast, Apple has priced it right?
5. “Nice to have. Not a game changer. Certainly not revolutionary.” – Well, we’ll have to wait and watch on that one. Remember what people said about the iPod?