We all have iPads, and once you get them into your hands, it seems as if you cannot be away from them for long. They do not exactly replace computers, as the raw power in such applications as Microsoft Office are not available. However, they are excellent for browsing the Internet, and we suspect that they will be a primary driving force with any business who relies upon the web as a core revenue generation component.
How fast will the iPad (and its tablet variations) grow? Our feeling is “explosive,” in particular within the mobile/upscale population segment: those very same people who drive the leisure segment of the hotel and resort industry. Watch out this Xmas: the iPad will be hard to find as it is literally pulled off the shelf as THE gift for 2010. Surprisingly, this product is not just for the early-adapter-twenty-something-male-have-to-get-it demographic. Those fifty-plus will appreciate the large screen and easy to see and touch keypad.
Recognizing this, it is time for all marketers to look at their web site on an iPad (if you don't have one yet, shame on you!). This is a wake up call. Even within our own developed sites, we identified at least a dozen that need remedial action to make them iPad compatible. In some instances, it is merely a replacement of Adobe Flash coding with Java scripts. However, on some sites, even more serious compatibility issues will require site rebuilds. None of this is a fault of anyone, not your web supplier, or the customer (if anyone is to blame, consider an email to Mr. Jobs at Apple, but I doubt that it will do any good). It is just technological advancement.
Our recommendation: continue to monitor, but be prepared and set aside budget in 2011 for this technological adjustment. And, whatever you do, in any new web site development, make sure that your specifications include the words “iPad compatible.”