Apple iPad is middle ground between laptop and iPhone: Steve Jobs

Apple CEO Steve Jobs confirmed yesterday at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco that the iPad, the company?s new tablet, is the middle ground between a laptop and an iPhone.

This means that the hundreds of thousands of applications for the iPhone are now available to iPad users, changing the mobile marketing and application development landscape forever.

?If nothing else, Apple is a master at creating hype that reaches well beyond the techies and all the way to the masses,? said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer at HipCricket, Kirkland, WA. ?Everywhere you went the last week ? and everywhere you turned ? there was a story on the cool technology about to be unveiled.

?Price of the iPad will limit adoption at the start just like we saw with the iPhone,? he said. ?But the imagination of the masses has been tapped ? this will only be positive for mobile, mobile device manufacturers and consumers.?

The iPhone really stirred up the mobile industry and brought about rich media ad units and a target audience of savvy mobile users ready and fiending for content to download to their mobile devices.

With a 10-inch screen, the iPad likely will open the doors to a better mobile experience and more advertising and marketing opportunities for brands and marketers trying to reach consumers on the go.

Here is a video by AP of Steve Jobs announcing the iPad:

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According to The New York Times, iPad works in both landscape and portrait mode, just like the iPhone. It has a virtual keyboard, access to photo collections and direct access to iTunes content.

The iPad weighs about 1.5 lbs and is only half an inch thick. Its battery life promises to be approximately 10 hours. 

Pricing for the tablet starts at $499.

Reportedly iPad uses Apple's 1GHz A4 chip and has the iTunes Store and YouTube in high-definition preloaded on it.

Saying that the iPad will have a tremendous impact on the mobile marketing and advertising industry is an understatement.

Here is a video that Apple released about the iPad:

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"Clearly the iPhone has changed not only the landscape of mobile devices, but has also changed expectations about what can be done with the mobile device," said Louis Gump, vice president of CNN Mobile, Atlanta. "IPad is an extension of that and consumers may have an iPad in addition to their mobile phone.

"The iPad will provide a nice canvas for media companies to deliver content and advertising in a rich way," he said.

The iPad will likely cause a greater demand from brands and marketers for advertising within applications.

Already there is a big demand for advertising within iPhone applications from marketers because they see better response rates, and they can do a lot more with iPhone advertising: rich-media and pull-down banners, expandable units and video.

With a bigger and better screen, the iPad will certainly change the minds of old school marketers that have not yet been convinced that mobile marketing is going to become big.

Marketers are going to take advantage of the iPad's functionality to engage customers on a bigger mobile screen. Expect more creative campaigns and not just the usual "click here to go to a mobile site."

Fundamentally, mobile Internet usage has become a cultural phenomenon similar to broadband or WiFi as a must-have for consumers and the iPhone is the key driver of this transformation, but the iPad will further drive it.

"The Apple iPad looks like a big iPhone," said Dave Edwards, group director of mobile at R/GA, New York. "I don?t know if they?ve announced the price yet, but that could determine the impact.

"Everything Apple has released over the past several years has been successful."

The iPad will provide consumers another way to engage with brands, make decisions and transact purchases ? forever reshaping the entire advertising landscape.

The new tablet will bridge brand and performance advertising, building not just recall but loyalty and will enable a powerful relationship between consumers and advertisers.

?The Tablet will continue expanding the mobile ecosystem of publishers, application developers, and advertisers, and it will contribute to industry predictions that mobile Web access will exceed PC-online Web access in the next three years,? said Paran Johar, chief marketing officer of Jumptap, New York.

When writing this story, Mobile Marketer was bombarded with emails from industry folks wanting to comment on the iPad. Here is what people had to say:

Michael Becker, MMA global board vice chair and North America board vice chair
Apple?s iPad tablet opens up yet another access point into an ever-broadening ecosystem of consumer engagement, creating fresh business opportunities, new conversations and interactive value exchange. 

From rich media and branded apps to Internet-enabled delivery services and other platforms tailored to this device, the high-end nature of the Apple iPad creates even greater choice in how, when and where consumers choose to engage. 

As the iPad enters the marketplace and sets new standards for tablet devices, so will the mobile marketers who leverage this evolving medium.

Julie Ask, vice presdent and principal analyst at Forrester Research, Cambridge, Cambridge, MA
For marketers, the iPad further evolves contextual advertising. Consumers will be in an environment where they can act on an impulse to buy. If this product can change and grow media consumption, advertisers will be happy.

James McQuivey, analyst at Forrester Research  
The iPad is a grown up iPod Touch. Apple has taken the safe route of offering its existing customers an option that goes beyond today?s iPod Touch in size and capability, but it has not offered a new category of devices that tackles the 5-6 hours of media we each consume every day.

With no integrated social media for sharing photos, recommending books, and sharing home video, the iPad misses a big piece of what makes media so powerful.

As it stands, by relying on the App Store as the single most important draw of the device besides its attractiveness, the iPod Touch is a significant step toward making tablets respectable. But making tablets respectable should have been the least of Apple?s ambitions.

It had (and still has) the opportunity to create a new media experience in consumers? lives. As it stands, a quick, well-structured response from Amazon in the next version of Kindle could easily be a contender here.

That?s why I say that the iPad is priced lower than expected because it is less revolutionary than expected.

Charles Golvin, analyst at Forrester Research 
Apple might still be right that there is meaningful demand for a device that resides between the phone and the laptop, but if they are, the iPad ? despite its beauty and impressiveness as a feat of hardware and software engineering ? isn?t it.

The significant discount on 3G connectivity versus netbooks won?t be enough to sway the majority of pending netbook buyers, especially considering the price premium for a well-equipped and always-on version of the iPad.

Carl Howe, director of Yankee Group, Boston
?Based on a few minutes of hands-on playing with one, it will absolutely catch on. The iPad bears the same relationship to a netbook that the original Mac did to DOS PCs: it?s a complete rethinking of the reading and media consuming experience.?