The iPad is the New VHS

Remember Betamax? Not many people do.

In the late ’70s and early ’80s, Betamax, commonly known as “Beta,” was a hot technology that allowed people to watch and distribute recorded video content at ease. Other similar formats, such as the more widely used VHS tape, were developed that held a similar role. In a few years, one format reigned and Betamax went into the history books as another piece of meaningless trivia.

This week, Apple announced the iPad, a tablet device that combines the best elements of a laptop and a smart phone. It’s today’s VHS – a piece of innovative technology that will turn its competitors, such as Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook, into the next Betamax.The death knell has begun for technology like the Kindle, even though it was widely publicized and purchased during last year’s holiday season, because Apple has created something that isn’t just a reader. iPad combines the technology in the iTunes and App stores with a book store.

New opportunities will be opening for marketers:

  • Apps will be created strictly for the iPad, allowing customers to experience your brand or product in a new way.
  • Online content isn’t constrained by a small phone or computer screen. The tablet has a 9.7-inch touchscreen with vibrant colors.
  • Web sites can be created to be “hands-on” because the end user can intuitively click, drag and zoom in on content. No mouse or keyboard is required.
  • With media being more accessible, people may be inclined to view more content throughout the day.

Both the Kindle and Nook’s capabilities barely scrape the depth of the iPad. Even getting one of those devices with a color display is a stretch.

Marketers should pay close attention to Apple and its new toy. Those who do will open doors for customers to experience their products, pages, and brands. Those who are slow to catch on might as well start calling themselves “Beta.”

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(Thanks to cogloglab for the photo)


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