iPad. What will you do with yours?

So, Apple has launched their new device… the iPad… and what a fanfare it was. In typical Apple style, Steve Jobs hosted a dramatic launch in his old jeans and trainers and the same old black polo-neck shirt. Come on Steve, you have a few dollars in the bank. No need to wear a suit, but perhaps a new T-shirt might not go amiss?

Anyway, what’s the iPad for? Apple says it works better than a smartphone, and better than a laptop, so they are trying to carve out an entirely new area of the market – something that is more media-friendly than a laptop, but with a far bigger screen than a phone.

Apple fans are cheering at this approach. The critics might be arguing that it’s just a big phone, and ‘there is this port or that port missing’, but nobody can deny that Apple is trying something entirely new. And they have form. There were hard disks storing digitised music files long before Apple created the iPod, but the creation of the iTunes community married to the device created a winning product.

So, by aiming to create a new type of device and to marry this with their new iBooks service… providing access to books, newspapers, and magazines, will Apple change the future of publishing in the way that iTunes precipitated the end of the Compact Disc?

And why should it only be Apple that drives this kind of innovation? Every time I pick up a new Apple product I can’t help noticing the sticker ‘Designed by Apple in California’ prominently displayed as I open the box, with a smaller one saying ‘Made in China’ hidden on the bottom.

Whatever you think of the iPad, you can’t deny it’s innovative. But why don’t we see that innovation coming from India, where millions of people work in IT? What has Steve Jobs got that the NASSCOM community has not?

Apart from slightly worn running shoes.

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