iPhone Naysayers

It’s interesting to sit back watch tech pundits and some bloggers trip over themselves to write negative articles after an Apple launch. It’s nothing new, it’s been going on for years with the same result — they’re wrong.

iPhone 5 photoThe launch of the iPhone 5 was no different. The interesting thing to note about these naysayers is that its usually the same group of people predicting the demise of the iPhone or Apple, or maybe both.

What usually happens is that Apple sells a gazillion iPhones while these same people yap their gums about how bad it is.

Here is the cold hard truth about the iPhone — if people thought the device was lacking in any way, they wouldn’t buy it. Apple has proven over and over again that people do want the iPhone with the features they put in it.

I’ve heard people talk about the design of the iPhone 5 and that it didn’t change much. My immediate question is, “why did it need to change?” The only answer seems to be that they expected, or wanted, something different.

Change for change sake is not a good design decision. Taking the design you have and making it better is a good decision — that’s exactly what Apple did with the iPhone 5. While the outside of the iPhone did receive some tweaks, Apple spent a lot of time on the innards of the device, changing almost all of the components.

The iPhone has the ability to connect to a variety of networks, including LTE. It’s built with anodized aluminum and glass inlays, and lighter and thinner than its predecessor. The iPhone also comes with the A6 processor, sporting twice the processing and graphics performance. There’s more, but you get the idea.

These are actually things you will notice when you use the iPhone 5. The extra power will allow developers to build better apps, making our lives as consumers that much easier.

The bottom line is this: will people buy the iPhone. Judging from today’s news about the iPhone pre-orders, the answer is a resounding yes.

A 7-inch iPad Presents Challenges to Apple’s Competition

A 7-inch iPad will put Apple in some very unfamiliar territory in the tablet market — it’s an area currently dominated by Android-based devices. However, Apple’s entry into that segment will also present some seemingly insurmountable challenges to those same companies.

iPad screen imageWhen Apple first released the iPad, it was the only player in that market, so it stands to reason that it completely dominated the tablet scene. Some companies tried to compete with Apple, but quickly realized their foothold was just too strong.

What the competition did to combat that was move to a smaller form factor, a place where Apple didn’t make a product. That made a lot of sense, and it worked. The other tablet-makers quickly gained their own foothold in the market.

With a 7-inch iPad, Apple will, for the first time, take on its competition on their turf. This will be a real test for Apple and the iPad brand, but one I’m convinced they will easily win.

This isn’t the first time Apple has taken on its competitors using this strategy. I’ve mentioned before that in the MP3 player market, Apple released an iPod and then came back later to release new iPods of varying sizes. Essentially what they did was keep squeezing its competitors out of the markets it entered.

I see the exact same thing happening to the tablet market. Apple released the iPad and dominated that market. Once its dominance was complete and its competitors had moved on, it will release a product in that segment as well.

Apple is not entering the 7-inch tablet market to take a few market share points away from the incumbents, it wants to totally control that space with the iPad.

Let’s face it, the iPad is a huge brand, so consumers recognize and identify with it. But there’s more to the story than that. Apple also has the infrastructure of iTunes and iCloud on its side.

The ability for Apple to offer its customers music, television shows, movies and educational content, synced across all devices and computers is unique and powerful.

Here’s how I see the tablet market playing out after a 7-inch iPad release:

  • Apple will continue to dominate the 10-inch market that it does now.
  • Apple will take a massive chunk of the 7-inch market
  • Amazon will continue on as it has been. Not much change
  • The rest of the market will see diminished share of the tablet market

The problem for Apple’s competitors is that there is no where else to go. If they go down much more in size, the tablet becomes a smartphone. If they go up beyond the size of the current iPad, it becomes too big to be useful.

Apple is in a position to decimate its competitors. All it needs to do is release the 7-inch iPad.

Copying Apple or as Samsung Calls it, Benchmarking Your Peers

The Apple vs Samsung trial is a week old and the evidence Apple presented is quite compelling. Nothing has been more captivating than a 132-page internal Samsung document that recommends copying the iPhone.

The document lauded the importance of Apple functions like double-tap on a Web page to zoom in/out and recommended the functionality needed to be supplemented. Apple even showed how Samsung purposely copied the icons used on the iPhone screen to represent things like making a phone call, contacts, settings and photos.

Samsung on Wednesday issued a statement defending itself and downplaying the importance of the document.

“Samsung benchmarks many peer companies,” she said. “In fact, these are typical competitive analyses routinely undertaken by many companies in many industries – including Apple. Samsung stands by its culture of continuous improvement and innovation. We are very proud of the product innovations driven by our more than 50,000 designers and engineers around the world who have made Samsung’s products the products of choice.”

Here’s the problem. Samsung didn’t take Apple’s features and make them better. In fact, looking at the evidence, Samsung did everything it could to make its devices and icons look exactly like the iPhone’s.

No matter how you look at it or which side of this trial you’re on, that’s wrong, plain and simple.

Samsung contends that Apple doesn’t own the right to putting a receiver on an icon to indicate that it’s used for making a phone call. Samsung fans also argue that Apple can’t patent a rectangle. These arguments don’t get to the heart of the matter, which is the blatant copying of everything Apple is doing.

Samsung didn’t take an Apple idea, improve on it and release it in its Galaxy products. Instead, they took Apple’s ideas, copied them down to the color of the icons and released them as their own.

It’s not about rectangles, but rather stealing a unique way of interacting with a device and its software. There can be no doubt that Apple perfected a new way for consumers to interact with a device when it released the iPhone. Until it was released, people used a stylus or directional arrows on a built-in keyboard.

I wrote earlier this week that Apple’s motives for suing Samsung had nothing to do with the $2.5 billion in damages Apple is seeking from the court for past products from Samsung, but rather to protect future products.

Samsung has made it clear that it will shamelessly copy everything Apple does, so Apple needs to stop that now. Apple can’t risk having Samsung copy its future innovations. By suing them now, Samsung will have to rethink its strategy and innovate on its own.

There is nothing wrong with a competitive analysis, they are done all the time in every industry. However, it’s not right to take that analysis and steal from your competition.

Microsoft’s confusing tablet message

When Microsoft first announced its Surface tablet, the company seemed to be focused on taking back some of the ground it lost to longtime rival Apple since the release of the iPad. However, I find the company’s inconsistent message since the unveiling to be a tad confusing.

While I may disagree with Microsoft’s overall strategy for the Surface, I do give them credit for not blindly following Apple’s lead in the tablet market. I also agree that if its partners aren’t portraying the vision of Windows correctly, then Microsoft should step up and make sure their vision reaches the public. That vision should be consistent though.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates went so far as to call the Surface introduction “a seminal event,” and even speculated that there was “a strong possibility” that Apple may have to create a Surface-like device in the future.

Strong words from a company that took on Apple’s iPod with the Zune and suffered a crushing defeat.

And then there’s this comment from Gates:

“You don’t have to make a compromise. You can have everything you like about a tablet and everything you like about a PC all in one device. And so that should change the way people look at things.”

That actually sounds like a good thing. Here is the confusing part.

When Microsoft announced Office 2013 it’s not optimized for touch-enabled devices. Microsoft is telling its customers that the Surface tablet is important to them, but yet it’s most important application won’t work properly with the device.

That either screams poor planning between the hardware and software teams or Microsoft jumped on the idea of making the Surface rather quickly and couldn’t change the path of Office development.

In fact, Office is so bad for touch-enabled devices that Ars Techinca’s Peter Bright wrote an article titled “Why bother? The sad state of Office 2013 touch support.”

In that article he said:

These are not touch applications, and you will not want to use them on touch systems. They’re designed for mice and they’re designed for keyboards, and making the buttons on the ribbon larger does nothing to change that fundamental fact.

Those are damning comments, but they’re also true. You can’t expect your customers to purchase a touch-enabled device and then to use desktop software. That is not a winning strategy.

It’s easy to say that Microsoft can fix it in a future release, but new versions of Office aren’t released every year. To make matters worse, they are taking on a strong player in Apple — one that everyone else has tried to take on and failed so far.

Microsoft should do what Apple did before it with iWork. Create touch enabled Office apps that share data with its desktop equivalent in the cloud. Let’s face it, Microsoft is already three years behind Apple in tablets, so it’s not like the need to create touch-enabled apps should come as a huge surprise for them. If it does, Microsoft has bigger problems than touch-enabled apps.

Of course, the Surface comes with a stylus, but I agree with Steve Jobs on this one. If your product has a stylus, you’ve done something wrong. The Surface is supposed to be touch-enabled, not stylus-enabled.

In order for Microsoft to take any significant share of the tablet market, it needs to come out of the gate strong. Sending mixed, confusing messages to its customers about what’s important is not the way to do that.

Bill Gates is wrong

In an interview with Charlie Rose earlier this week, Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates said it is “a strong possibility” that Apple may have to create a Surface-like device. Gates also said the introduction of Microsoft’s Surface tablet “is a seminal event.” I completely disagree on both counts.

By trying to combine what people do on their PC with what they want to do on a tablet, Microsoft feels it is offering the best of both worlds.The problem with that, as I’ve said before, is that people interact differently with a tablet than they do a computer. So, in reality, you don’t get the best of both worlds, but rather a mishmash of each.

The interaction people have with a touch device is something Apple understood early on and they embraced it. In doing so, they created a new way to interact with apps that includes using multi-finger gestures, as well as utilizing hardware components like accelerometers to enhance gaming.

Perhaps this isn’t what Microsoft had in mind for the Surface. It could be that Gates is referring to working on spreadsheets and word processing documents. This is why one model of the surface will allow you to use current desktop apps, like Office.

You can work with spreadsheets on the iPad too, using Apple’s iWork suite of apps. The major difference between the two is that with iWork on the iPad, you use your finger to interact with the app. You swipe, tap, touch and type all on the screen — exactly the way you would expect a touch app to work.

I’m not sure how Microsoft expects people to work with apps on the Surface. Desktop apps don’t work like touch apps, so the experience will undoubtedly be confusing. Some apps you swipe, others you using a stylus and still others you… do something else?

I still give Microsoft credit for not blindly following Apple into the tablet space, but I’m not convinced that this hybrid PC/Tablet model is the way to go.

I can see why Gates would consider the Surface such an important release. He’s betting the company on its success, and let’s face it, Microsoft hasn’t exactly been releasing successful products over the last 10 years.

The Surface and the iPad

I have ridiculed companies like Samsung for simply copying Apple’s tablet strategy and for not showing any vision, so I’ll give Microsoft credit for at least coming out with some new ideas with the Microsoft Surface. However, I’m not sure it will work for them.

Microsoft has been in the tablet business for a long time with its partners and it has failed miserably. The company has tried to convince consumers that a tablet needed to be like a PC, but consumers didn’t buy it.

Apple on the other hand drew a line between the traditional laptop and tablet. The iPad is a touch device and apps are made so you can interact with it using your fingers and gestures. Apple contends that there is no need for a mouse with a tablet because your finger is the pointing instrument.

Just because Apple says this is the way it should, doesn’t mean it’s the law. However, consumers have clearly spoken by purchasing millions of iPads. The iPad is the type of device that people see fitting into their lifestyle.

From what I’ve seen, it seems to me that Microsoft is trying to do a similar type of dance with the Surface that it did with previous tablets. The company is trying to convince consumers that this device can be a computer and a tablet at the same time. Based on the sales of the iPad, I’m not sure that’s what consumers really want.

I’ve seen people argue that Windows now has the largest app library by default because you can use all of your Windows apps on the Surface. I don’t see that as a good thing.

Apps made for a desktop or laptop are not designed to work on a touch-enabled device. That just makes sense. Interacting with those apps on a tablet will be cumbersome and frustrating for users. I think that’s a given.

Of course, you always have the Surface’s stylus, but then you seem to be getting away from a touch-enabled device and going back to devices that were around years ago. That’s not a step forward in the industry, although it still may be for Microsoft.

It’s well known that Steve Jobs hated the stylus. He told Walter Isaacson about a Microsoft engineer who kept talking about a tablet years ago.

“But he was doing the device all wrong. It had a stylus. As soon as you have a stylus, you’re dead,” said Jobs.

I’m certainly not saying that Microsoft’s tablet offering is dead in the water — it’s much too early for that. But unlike some in the mainstream media, I’m definitely not ready to proclaim the Surface will overtake the iPad either.

There is still a lot we don’t know about the Surface because Microsoft wasn’t exactly forthcoming with details, so for now we play the waiting game.

Apple’s Television

People have been talking about an Apple television for the last couple of years, but nobody knows for sure if the company will actually make one or not. I wouldn’t count Apple out of that market.

I’ve long held that Apple will enter markets that it feels it can make a significant impact. Those don’t have to be brand new markets, but areas that Apple feels it can improve on the current products and make a profit. The last decade of Apple product releases illustrates this point.

The iPod music player certainly wasn’t a new product category, but Apple took a poorly designed product that had limited storage space and changed the market forever. The iPod is iconic and it helped turn Apple around, as well as paving the way for the future.

Everyone had to have an iPod. For years it was one of the most sought after products in the consumer space. Apple changed it, innovated it with a variety of technologies and rode the wave.

They did the exact same thing with the iPhone years later. An industry that hadn’t changed in years was ripe for the taking. While pundits and entrenched manufacturers scoffed at Apple’s attempt to change the industry, they did it and haven’t looked back.

Walk into any wireless carrier or look at any manufacturer’s Web site and Apple’s influence can be seen in almost every smartphone on the market today. Copying Apple’s success has almost become a sport for some companies.

Of course, the latest product to achieve market-changing levels is the iPad. The tablet market has been around for a decade or more with little success, but Apple changed all of that. With a new design, new software and a focus on the customer, Apple redefined what can be done with a tablet.

The iPad fits into our lifestyle. It changes with us, but it doesn’t require that we make changes in order to use it.

That’s the type of challenge Apple faces in the television market or any other market it enters. Apple will try to solve the current problems, while advancing what consumers can do. The home entertainment market needs to be shaken up and it will take a company that isn’t afraid to change the status quo to do it.

Some people think Apple will release a television with new menus or Siri integration. I don’t believe they are thinking big enough. If Apple enters that market they will disrupt it and change it forever.

Apple’s iPad will be dominant until…

Watching the professional industry watchers speculate on how long Apple’s iPad will dominate its market segment is kind of funny. Will it be 2012, 2013, no it’s going to be 2015 and then they will fall, right?

iPad screen imageThe funny part is that nobody knows for sure what’s going to happen, but the pronouncements of Apple’s pending demise are delivered with the confidence of someone that has seen into the future. That is of course, until the sales numbers prove them wrong — then another date of demise is announced a couple of years further into the future, and the cycle seems to endlessly repeat itself.

At some point you have to be correct, right?

Just like when the iPhone was first released, many people didn’t think the iPad would be successful. When it was, everyone started to look at when the competitors would topple Apple’s seemingly unsurmountable market lead.

Maybe the RIM PlayBook (Yes, that’s a joke), or one of the many Android tablets that hit the market every other week. So far, nothing has even come close.

There are two things that prognosticators seem to neglect when forecasting Apple’s demise.

First, In order for Apple to fail so badly in the tablet market, they would need to stop innovating completely. If Apple released the same iPad, with no new hardware or software features for two years, they could be overtaken in the market.

However, that’s not what Apple does. They innovate yearly on either hardware, software or both. Innovation is not just about changing the look and feel of a product, it’s about continuing to offer customers solutions to problems. Complex lifestyle problems that continue to evolve require a company that is able to predict what we will need.

Apple has a proven track record in doing this. Macs, iPhones, iPods, iPads and even its many software apps are glimpses into how Apple thinks, not just with design, but also functionality.

The second thing that people count on is that Apple’s competitors will stop trying to copy Apple’s success and make a move to surpass the iPad. Recent history suggests that none of Apple’s competitors are willing to do this.

The industry right now is fighting for second place and they seem content to do that for the foreseeable future. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for them — selling millions of tablets still makes them and the shareholders are happy.

However, settling for second place doesn’t make you innovative. It doesn’t make you a company that consumers want to support. It makes you a company that understands that you don’t have the innovations and design to do it on your own.

Apple’s competitors are afraid to step too far away from the iPad because they want consumers to think of them as a competitor. If their tablet doesn’t look and feel like an iPad, they risk losing sales. That goes against their main goal of making money.

Apple’s design and functionality goals are to make the best products to help its users solve a problem. If they succeed at doing that, the money will follow. Don’t get me wrong, Apple expects its products to be big hits, as every company does, but they go about it in the right way.

The next time you see a forecast of Apple losing its dominance in a market, ask yourself what the competitors are doing to differentiate themselves from Apple. That answer is all you need to know.

RIM Needs to Stop Embarrassing Itself

I haven’t seen a company embarrass itself as much as RIM has in the last year or so. From failed products to sad attempts at marketing, it seems that RIM doesn’t know when it’s time to take a step back.

There’s a lot to be said for the bravery of a fighter that repeatedly gets back up after being knocked down. However, RIM has been knocked out. The company needs to take a step back, regroup and do something substantial.

In its latest debacle, RIM hired a busload of protesters in Australia to hold up signs outside the Apple store that read “WAKE UP.” Really? Apple needs to wake up?

While nobody knew it was RIM that organized the protest, sleuths on the Internet quickly tracked it back to them. A couple of weeks later RIM followed this up with its “Wake Up. Be Bold.” Web site. The site contains the most confusing message directed at Apple.

It reads:

It’s time to mean business.

Now, before you go looking for your suit and briefcase, we’re not talking about that kind of business.

Business is no longer just a suit-wearing, cubicle-sitting, card-carrying kind of pursuit.

These days being ‘in business’ means you’re the kind of person who takes action and makes things happen.

You don’t just think different… you do different.

It’s a simple choice:

You’re either here to leave your mark and eat the opportunity for breakfast


You’re satisfied to just float through life like a cork in the stream.

Now, we know some people will choose to float on by and that’s fine.

Being in business is not for everyone, but unfortunately… there is no middle ground. You’re either in business or you’re not.

For those of us with our eyes wide open, we need to realize there’s only one device for people who mean business… the brand that’s been in business from the very beginning.

The only word I could come up with to adequately describe this campaign is pathetic.

RIM is talking to Apple, the company that changed the smartphone and tablet markets forever. Apple is defining every market they enter, forcing all of its competition to rummage for the second place scraps.

These days, RIM isn’t even on anyone’s radar as a competitor. Remember this is the company that made it’s name with secure email and then released a tablet that couldn’t do email.

What RIM needs to do is keep quiet for a while so it can work on products that will appeal to consumers and businesses. It is the quality products, not silly marketing campaigns that will win people over.

RIM is right about one thing. “Being in business is not for everyone.”

iCloud: The Center of the Universe

Over the past year Apple has given us a glimpse of what iCloud can do, but it’s the service’s potential that has me excited. Even with the small changes we’ve seen, there can be little doubt that the service will be at the center of future Apple products.

iCloud took over from MobileMe, doing the mundane but important task of syncing our calendars, contacts, bookmarks and other personal data between devices. This means that all changes will be synced between our Macs, iPhones and iPads, instantly and seamlessly.

It was with a release of a new version of iOS that we first saw how useful iCloud could be outside of a syncing service. The ability to see all of the apps that we already purchased and downloaded in one place and re-download them. I’ve used this quite often as I’ve switched devices, deleted apps and wanted to re-install. Easy and convenient — it’s what Apple is all about.

With the addition of iTunes in the Cloud allowing users to access songs in the cloud from any device, and an Apple TV update that stored purchased movies and TV shows in the cloud, we started to see how iCloud could be used in the home.

The home entertainment system is an area that companies have tried, and failed, to control for years. Like most things these days, it’s about the content. We fully expect devices like TVs to have a sleek, modern design, and look good in our entertainment center, but without the content they are just TVs.

Some TVs come with services like Netflix built-in, giving us easy access to that content. I love the Netflix service and use it all the time, however, it’s limited in a lot of ways. The most important being that it’s not the place where I get most of my digital content — that is iTunes.

In the future, if I’m going to pay for a device or television, I want to know that I have access to all of my content. That means movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, and anything else I’ve purchased. I also want the ability to seamlessly purchase new content and have that available on any other device that I want to consume it.

Apple is the only company in the industry that could provide this at the moment. Clearly we don’t have a television from them yet, but they do have the infrastructure to deliver the content. In that respect, Apple is a decade ahead of its competition.

With iCloud’s ability to deliver content to connected devices, it’s not unreasonable to envision a time when Apple could deliver all of your purchased content, as well as subscription-based content from television networks and other specialty media companies, to any or all of your devices.

iCloud is not just a syncing service — it’s a content delivery mechanism that will play an increasingly important role in future products.

An iPad Firestorm About Nothing

Apple’s newest iPad hit the market three weeks ago and already their have been a number of controversies surrounding the device. As expected, all of the issues fizzled out because there was really nothing there in the first place.

iPad screen imageThe first issue brought up by Consumer Reports was that the iPad was much hotter than its predecessor. This, coupled with the organization’s appearance on CNBC saying the iPad is “hot enough to be uncomfortable at least,” sent the media scrambling for their computer keyboards to write a story.

The interesting thing about Consumer Reports that very few people picked up is that they contradicted themselves. In a blog post on its own Web site they said the iPad “felt very warm but not especially uncomfortable.”

So, which is it? Is it hot and uncomfortable or just warm?

From a news cycle standpoint, it doesn’t really matter. Consumer Reports got it’s moment of glory and every blog and news story written for the next 24 hours quoted them.

In what turned out to be a reality check for many, heat tests conducted by a number of media organizations revealed that the iPad heat problem could not be replicated.

“Though the new iPad did run hotter than the iPad 2, the difference wasn’t great,” wrote PC World’s Melissa J. Perenson. “And in repeated lab tests of the new iPad, we could not replicate the disturbingly high temperatures that some sources have reported. More important, the new iPad was not dramatically warmer than either the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime or the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE.”

There goes one controversy.

The next iPad issue people latched onto was the battery. The battery supposedly showed a false reading when charging and it took significantly longer to charge than the iPad 2.

According to AllThingsD, who spoke with Apple about this issue, all iOS devices will show 100 percent when it’s completely charged. The device will then discharge a bit and charge itself back up until it is unplugged.

The issue of taking significantly longer to charge is simply because Apple put a larger battery in the iPad. The company needed to do that to ensure similar battery life to the iPad 2, while still adding new features like improved graphics to the new iPad.

Another controversy gone.

The last major firestorm for the iPad came when people noticed they were running out of data on their plans very quickly.

The Wall Street Journal noted a user that watched hours of video found he used up all of his data. USA Today’s Ed Baig wrote that he used up his entire 2GB data plan downloading apps on the iPad.

This is not an iPad problem, it’s a user problem. If you have a 2GB data plan and you download 2GB of data, whether that’s watching video or downloading apps, you will have no data left. Simple math.

Third controversy gone.

Each Apple product launch is similar in a number of ways. One of the most disturbing is that people look for ways to knock Apple and its product down. More often than not, the so-called problems turn out to be untrue, but in many ways the damage has already been done.

All the average consumer hears is the iPad has heat problems and the battery is messed up and you can’t use the data connection because it uses too much.

Luckily consumers are educating themselves more each day about the products they buy, and it shows in the numbers. Apple sold 3 million iPads in the first weekend alone, making it the most successful iPad launch yet.

As consumers and journalists, it’s important to make sure all companies produce the best products they can, but making up controversies is not the way to do it.

iPad: It’s more than just the hardware

It seems that every time a new tablet comes on the market, people compare the hardware to Apple’s market leading iPad and wonder if this is the one that will dethrone it. The problem with this thinking is that the iPad isn’t just about the hardware and specs, it’s the experience.

iPad screen imageCompanies like Samsung can put together a piece of hardware that is similar — although still not as good — as the iPad, but they still lack the infrastructure that makes the iPad appealing to consumers.

People generally don’t care as much about specs as they do about what they can do with the device. You can list off the specs for the new iPad and people will just nod politely and smile.

However, if you tell them that with iCloud all of their information will be across every Apple device they own, including computers, you can see a light go off.

Explain to people that with iTunes Match they can access their entire music library without taking up any space on the iPad, and they will get that.

These are the things, in combination with the hardware, that make the iPad what it is. These are also the things that continue to elude Apple’s competitors.

No other company in the tablet or smartphone space have the infrastructure that Apple does. In that respect, Apple is almost 10 years ahead of its competitors.

Apple started building the foundation for what we see today with the release of the first iPod. Then with the release of iTunes, to give users a hub for syncing music and the iTunes Store, the company was well on its way controlling online sales of media.

Of course, the iTunes Store has expanded greatly since those early days and now sells movies, music videos, TV shows, and now apps for its mobile devices. That really tipped the scales.

A consumer with an iPad can purchase everything they need directly from Apple. All of the music or other media they may want, and keep all of their information synced between multiple devices. The best part is, it’s all done by simply entering your Apple ID.

When I picked up my new iPad from Apple after the event in San Francisco last week, I had it set up in minutes. I entered my Apple ID and all of my contacts, calendars and email were there waiting for me.

Not only that, I had access to all of the apps I purchased — no searching through the store trying to remember what I bought. I tapped 20 or so apps and they installed. My Apple ID also synced my iTunes Match music so I was listening, syncing and productive within minutes of having the device in my hands. I didn’t even need a computer.

All of my purchases in one place, instantly.

That can’t be matched in the market today. And it’s not for lack of trying. Other companies have tried to duplicate what Apple does, but they always come up short.

Apple has a way of making difficult tasks seem very easy. It’s mind boggling to think of all of the things going on in the background on an iPad, but all the consumer sees is their data is synced and they can access their media. That’s the way it should be.

While companies like Samsung and other tablet makers boast about specs, Apple explains what you can do with the iPad. You can create music with apps like GarageBand, edit images with iPhoto, record 1080p video, write documents, make spreadsheets, play games, create presentations and many other things with the more than 200,000 native iPad apps.

The iPad is about the experience and Apple has that locked up.