Will iPad be a Bigger Deal than iPhone?

iphone_ipad_ipod_touch

Last night on Twitter noted Apple raconteur John Gruber of Daring Fireball posited that "iPad is going to be a bigger deal than iPhone."

Steve Jobs supposedly said the iPad would be the most important thing he's ever done, and he's done plenty.

The iPhone has been a big deal because it successfully mainstreamed the existing smartphone category. The iPod touch accounts for roughly 30% of current iPhone OS devices and is the heir to the iPod which successfully mainstreamed the also already existing MP3 player category.

To be a bigger deal, the iPad will have to not only mainstream the computing appliance, but create the category.

Can Apple succeed at that?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 36 comments. Add yours.

Dave01568 says:

The next iPhone will be bigger than ipad if it has multitasking or video chat. Plus it's more portable

Degsy says:

The iPad will be a big apple failure.
It will have large sales at first because of the hype, but people are fickle. As soon as they live with it for a week and reaslise they can't download stuff or do other basic tasks they are going to kick it to the kerb in a similar way to apple tv.

psay101 says:

I think apple is well positioned the ipad to take on google and microsoft in the mobile computing space. Google provided some insight into there google chrome os system but just like we saw with the nexus one they don't have the capabilities to bring a product out to market like apple can. The way I see it the ipad will have the cloud behind it to support document management and other services that google chrome os was demoed with.

csullivan1980 says:

I agree with Dave F.
The appeal of having everything in your pocket is the main reason why I want an iPhone. E-Mail, Calendars, iPod are the three things I want in my next phone. I've waiting years to get an iPhone and plan to buy my first this summer.
As great as the iPad is I can't seeing it being a huge hit. Great idea but not as alluring as the iPhone.

usmc says:

The ipad will be huge, but the fact that the iPhone is as capable of doing everything the ipad can and fit in your pocket will be a big plus for the iPhone. I think that this is part of Apple's plan, it will drive iPhone sales.

psay101 says:

Apple has just laid the foundation to a platform that has many capabilities the iPhone has today. In addition the os has unlimited growth for additional functionality. I see the ipad replacing a lot of things you can do on a laptop but probably not in the 1st generation. I plan to use my ipad to do some work and play. If they expand the iDisk app to download files and upload files we have some cloud computing. Can't wait!!!

Macboy74 says:

@Degsy The ipad will not fail at all. And after hundreds of thousands preordered I think it's past the will not fail point. Your looking at another big thing from apple. As big as the iPhone? Doubt it. But maybe. Depends on what they do with it within the next couple months after it's release and down the road there after. You can load plenty into it. And what basic tasks can you not do with it? And please don't say flash. Flash is not a basic task.

The Reptile says:

If you're expecting a revolution with iPad 1.0 then the answer is no. iPhone 1.0 blew away the idea of what a smart phone could and should be but it was not a commercial revolution because it was truly a beta. By the time they released the 3G, they added a number of missing features and more importantly launched the App Store which has become the runaway hit in the market that in turn drove sales and profits for Apple and the developer community alike.
My sense is that the iPad 1.0 leaves a lot to be desired and still must offer more for both the consumer and the publishers whom Apple wants to rescue. I don't see the visionary content management tools for the consumer, library is nice but where's the cloud component and interoperability with all of your devices? Also, and more importantly, where are the publisher tools that allow them to gain greater insights to their customers which allow them to keep consumer content prices to a minimum while charging ad rates that allow them to drive revenue and profits that are currently being lost in the print world.
In true Apple form, the next generation iPad will shine. Not only because it will likely receive more developer attention and 2.0 level platform additions from Apple. Perhaps the most important ingredient for the iPad will be the next generation networks that it will run on. By this time next year, Sprint will have gone live with WiMax in markets beyond the NFL cities. Verizon will be live with LTE in a number of locations, AT&T will have a faster 3G network in place in more places and will be moving quickly towards LTE. With faster data networks will come the demand for more on the iPad whether it be movies, TV, video chat, video conferencing, better VOIP and things still in the labs.
In short, yes, it will be a success but just not this year.

cardfan says:

Will iPad be a bigger deal than iphone? No way. And not even close.
Simply for this reason. Most everyone needs (or thinks they need) a phone. The iphone is internet, camera, video, ipod, and apps in your pocket...most everywhere you go.

GinoDotCom says:

To be bigger than the iPhone is asking for a lot. Everyone needs a cellphone, not everybody needs a new platform that's a hybrid between a laptop and a iPod touch.
With that said, the iPad is still going to be huge. Since it's affordable, I can see This Device selling just on impulse buying. Someone walks into the apple store, falls in love with how his/her facebook app looks on a bigger screen, pulls out his credit card and feeds the Apple piggy bank. That simple.

GinoDotCom says:

A lot of people have $500 bucks to burn once on a device that we all can agree that is very attracting with no additional montly fees (unless you're paying for data). While Not everyone can dedicate themselves to At&t for a two year contract for various different reasons.

murphythadog says:

It will be big, it will get bigger. Right now I have a disconnect from my Living Room to the Internet. I don't want a HTPC in my living room. I just want something a little bit bigger than an iPod touch/iPhone and something that I can take around the house. It doesn't have to have 3g coverage. Once all things are ported over such as controlling my home theater it will be the next best thing to sliced melba toast.

thekevinmonster says:

Will it be big? It already is big. The question is, will it stay big or will it be a flash in the pan. Sources unclear.
I'm almost tempted to buy my parents one (or buy myself one and loan it to them) for them to use on vacation. The family cottage is on a tiny island with no electricity but within line of sight to a cell tower. Long battery life, easy to use, built-in wifi and 3G that you can buy only as much 3G as you need and not have to have a plan? That beats the pants off their current laptop. The only problem would be that my mom likes to go on message boards and type quite a bit... well, there's that keyboard and stuff.

Igotajetpack says:

There could be a new market for the ipad, it's true, but that market is unreachable since they are old people (who consistantly reject technology) and little kids with no money. I have a lot of faith in apple but I have my very serious doubts about the need for a tablet that has such limited functionality. Grf. This thing is for people with gobs of money who need every device. It's not practical and it's def. not a practical price.

Tito says:

I think i pad its the start for apple to introduce it later as a full mac os. Otherwise= FAIL

Don says:

I think the biggest reason iPad will fail is Apple.
People might handle the arbitrary restrictions and limitations that Apple imposes on users "just because they can" on a phone, but with similar Android-based devices in the wings their NO NO NO attitude will ultimately destroy them.

TEHKI says:

apple is going to flash like they did the floppy disk

Lady Kaede says:

Well, the iPad will be a different deal than the iPhone. It's pretty much (ahem) apples and oranges. But it will be a huge new product/service line for Apple, a "success" - unlike the iPhone, though, the iPad will compete with Apple's existing laptop line. I said "yes," but the revolution will take longer this time.
@Don- most Apple users today (especially taking into consideration iPod/iPhone) are not even aware of the restrictions we're discussing here.

GrandmaBetty says:

I think that the iPad will be a huge hit, eventually. There are a lot of folks like me who have a laptop that gets used for just a few reasons: Internet, email, and photos. If that's all one really uses a laptop for, then an iPad seems like a much more logical choice. It's lighter, more portable, and a heck of a lot cheaper. Add the app store, bookstore, iWork, iTunes, and who-knows-what-else-is-to-come, and you've found yourself a market.

frog says:

The iPhone is going to be a minor sideshow compared to what the iPad is going to acheive. It'll be the biggest shakeup to the computer industry, since original Macintosh. Geeks can't see it yet, but this thing appeals to everyone who isn't a geek - ie... Almost everyone!

GinoDotCom says:

There's so many remote apps for the iPhone as we speak.. Whether it's controlling your home alarm system, sling box, Home Audio system like Sonos, Tivo Box, Itunes remote, etc.
The experience that you can have using these apps through a beautiful 9.7 inch screen is worth the 500dollar purchase alone. $500 is very affordable if you're already an owner of an Apple product.
Pretty soon, flat screen companies are going to regularly have wifi remote handling capabilities where you can expect an app for in the app store. This means you're going to interacting, flippng channels, etc etc with your tv and cable box all from guess where... your ipad. One universal device for the entire house, to control your music, what channel your watching, on top of what your favorite app can already do for you. All this on top of what an ipad is can do right out the box.
The future is the iPad, wake up and smell the coffee, people :-)

iOS Concept says:

iPad will be much much bigger than iPhone. People without iPhone will buy iPads. People with iPhone will eventually has an iPad.

Virtuous says:

In its first few year Apple will sell more iPads than all of the Tablet PCs sold to date. The iPad won't outsell the iPhone. Few devices are capable of outselling the iPhone.

Tis says:

The iPhone and ipad have the same hardware it's just screen size and slightly different features. I see this question being a no brainer, no it won't be bigger than the biggest communication tool of the 20th century.

Orangensaft says:

Title of this article poses a very interesting question. I find it equally interesting that the mass majority (64%, n=2226 at time of this post) of responders felt that the iPhone will still be a bigger deal than the iPad.

GinoDotCom says:

The ipad won't have to outsell what the iPhone has done do far in order for the ipad to be a considered a huge hit.
Mark my words naysayers... Whether you're buyinging one or not, it's still going to be a HUGE hit around the world.
If you're putting the ipad down now, just make sure you remember to pop in here in a few months to admit you couldn't have been more wrong :-)

Yarrah says:

Hmm the poll results are interesting...
I dont need an iPad, I already have an iPhone.

TK says:

IT'S
A
GIANT
I
POD
TOUCH!

Cristi Mowry says:

Thanks for the post. I want more!

Al Cegielski says:

Hey great post! I enjoyed that.

simon says:

excellent post. to be honest i am not sure i got it completely. but, wanted to chip in and leave a note anyway. are you a journalist by trade?, because your blog is really good.

Darius Halaas says:

I really like my ipad so much, its a little awkward to type on however it doesnt matter, the other features more then make up for it.

Kareem Maupin says:

This postis not actually showing up for me, I tried to message you. Could you get back to me about this.