opinion There has been a lot of comments on Delimiter’s recent article, Five Reasons the iPad will fail in Australia. This is a good discussion, however, let’s take a different tack, five reasons we NEED the iPad to succeed!
(and a warning what Apple dominance may bring as well. Oh come on! Do you expect me to be all Apple fanboi-ish?)
1. eBooks: As I have written recently, the Aussie ebook market is shambolic. Apple with its clear vision on how to do things will be an enema to the industry. The changes to the ePub standard alone will be a blessing.
Gotcha #1: More than likely, Apple will add Fairplay digital rights management to iBookstore, although the iBook app will support DRM-free books as well.
2. Streaming video: Apart from Aunty ABC’s iView player, there is a noticeable lacking in streaming TV and movies in this nation. The iPad could be the platform that gets streaming apps like Hulu or a Netflix streaming clone to enter the market.
Gotcha #2: Apple already has a fatwa on Flash video, so either HTML5 or an app using MPEG4 h.264 codec will have to be standard. This prevents other devices from using these services unless they support HTML5 and h.264.
3. Bandwidth: A device like an iPad, with its strong focus on media consumption, will hopefully increase bandwidth caps in the 3G mobile space. 5GB is one iTunes movie and not much more.
Gotcha #3: Aussie telcos make the US telco industry look like angels (I AM looking at you, Telstra!). We may be looking at 5GB plans for $40 if we are lucky, and there is no way we will get unlimited plans like those to be offered by AT&T, based on previous behavour. And don’t even think of tethering your iPhone to the iPad.
4. Local development: We have already seen a lot of iPhone apps tailored to Australia (For example news apps, Yellow Pages, timetables yada yada). Having a platform that allows quick and easy development will allow a lot of Australia-centric software to develop on a well-defined platform, and provide a revenue stream for them.
Gotcha #4: Apple’s capricious approval process and restrictive development policy (using Objective C only) may alienate developers when we need them to develop apps.
5. More Wi-Fi: Compared to US, Wi-Fi penetration is a mess. More demand from users of Wi-Fi devices will finally allow ubiquitous wifi penetrtation to all major and minor cities and most major rural centres.
Gotcha #5: Umm, nope. Got nothing. Nope, this is all good!
So, let the flame war begin!
Darryl Adams is a government worker and internet tragic. A former IT worker, he still pines for the days of IBM keyboards that go CRUNCH and the glow of green screens. He can be found on on Twitter or on Facebook. The views expressed here do not reflect the views of his employer, the ATO.