Lots of pontification today on whether the iPad will become that third device that removes the claustrophobia of surfing the web on a mobile device, yet takes some of the clunk away from a regular laptop.
Om Malik on GigaOm has one of the best analysis on this, saying:
Despite their evolution, laptops and desktop computers as we know them are essentially work tools. They’re designed for content creation — be that of writing blog posts (or a book), editing photos or creating videos. On the iPhone, we create content of another kind — personal, communication-centric content.
The consumer web is slowing moving away from ‘Read and Write’ mode, back to ’Read More, Write Little’ status as I tweeted earlier today. But not as we saw in the pre-social days before blogs and wikis.
We’re going to be writing more than we ever did, just a lot less every time we do. Tweets are 140 characters, the Re-Tweet is the new gesture to simply express acknowledgement or endorsement, LinkedIn imposes character limits on some of the fields in Groups, Yelp Reviews are a paragraph or so. And auto posts from Tumblr and Posterous to Facebook are primarily visual media uploads with a few lines of description. Lots of limits on each gesture. But many many more of them.
That’s just touching on the writing elements of our web experience. Gaming, enjoying videos with your family at the dinner table, and other visual consumption models are overdue for some fresh blood as well.
And so the iPad will sell and will sell big. Save a few really ridiculous omissions (seriously? no webcam?) it’s the perfect device for the type of text based communication that’s becoming more and more prevalent. And sadly its the optimal device for the attention deficit online world we’re participating in, every day.