The news is out, Apple's iPad will compete with e-Readers, portable game devices, and it will create a whole new category of portable video players.
The good news for content creators is the fact that it'll sell for $499.
While $199 is the price where gadgets like VHS players, DVD players and even CD players and iPods have been adopted by the mainstream, the iPad's price tag is still shockingly low, considering that it's effectively computer.
The fact that the iPad is affordable means it'll be adopted fast, which bodes well for the media companies whose content it will sell. Apple announced a propriety book store, iBooks, which can be purchased for the device, as well as five major book partners — HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, Penguin, Macmillan and Simon & Shuster.
The iPad is also teaming up with game companies — the fact that the first iPad demo was a video game speaks to how important the iPad will be as a new platform. Electronic Arts, which already offers a number of games through iPhone, will look to expand its presence on the iPad. This new model is good for game makers, but tough for the likes of Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo that make gaming consoles. The more elaborate the gaming options on the iPad, the less game makers like EA and Activision/Blizzard will have to rely on the console makers to drive sales.
And then there's the fact that the iPad is a gorgeous new device for watching video. Disney CEO Bob Iger put it best, telling my colleague Jim Goldmanthat people are going to want to watch video on this device, which means more people will consume Disney content — whether it's ESPN sporting events, Disney Digital Books, or movies and TV shows through iTunes.
This could be a key device to get consumers accustomed to *paying* for digital access to content. As media giants look for new digital revenues to compensate for declines in traditional businesses, digital revenues will be key. People are used to getting content for free online. Maybe they'll pay for subscriptions on the new iPad. And the cheaper the device gets, the more people will buy it, and the more content companies like Disney will be able to sell.
Here's Iger's full quote:
"We’re always excited about new technologies that offer an intuitive consumer experience with greater accessibility to the content people want. The iPad is a great new device that opens up tremendous growth opportunities for us and other content providers. When people have a great experience, they consume more of the content they like, whether it be sports, books, games, TV or movies, and they are willing to pay to do so."
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