David Wertheimer, CEO of USC’s Entertainment Technology Center, calls the iPad “a powerful opportunity for print media publishers to provide a new generation of readers a new kind of product that they may be willing to pay for. And if those publishers can figure out how to take advantage of the unique, interactive, multimedia capabilities of the device, the publications could take on a whole new relevance to young consumers.”Another surprise: much of the demo was devoted to showing off the iPad as a device for creating content, not just consuming it. Apple gave demos of iPad versions of its word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software, and priced the apps aggressively at just $9.99.
But David Wertheimer, CEO of USC’s Entertainment Technology Center, notes: “What it does for entertainment media is not quite as clear (yet).” He calls it “definitely the most impressive personal media platform out there,” with “loads of potential to be the must-have personal media environment,” but it doesn’t yet run Flash videos, which are a Web staple, and its future really depends on what app developers do with it.
If they embrace iPad as they have the iPhone, which already has 140,000 iPhone apps — all of which will work on the iPad — “You may just find this category of product becomes as important as a television,” Wertheimer says.