The iPad and the Rush to Early Conclusions

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 |  Includes: AAPL, AMZN, MSFT
by: Troy Jensen

I wanted to wait a few days as the feverish articles, comments, Twitter exchanges and all the general hype over the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) tablet had calmed a bit from the screaming pitch.

So, what do we have here? The iPad... is it the revolutionary product I have actually staked both my reputation and a significant fiscal exposure on?

But I want to focus on the evolutionary stages that the iPad is sure to go through, just as in three - yes, only three - short years we have all seen how far the iPhone has come. Apple haters can argue with me until they are blue in the face... I just hand them the quarterly reports and buy them a beer.

Let's go back in time...to the introduction of the iPhone:

Remember... there was no App store when the iPhone was introduced... simply little icons that linked to a web page optimized for the iPhone. The App store is the driver of innovation on the iPhone OS platform, in a safe, contained, stable environment, with Apple oversight. Many may disagree, but frankly, my mother has no want and no need to dive into the back-end of this device. Go to iTunes, download, click the pretty little icon, and it just works.
Mark my words... pay close attention here... there are giant markets for both open and closed operating environments. Any argument to the contrary is simply personal opinion and passion, not factual, market-related analysis. My mom sure doesn't know what a registry is, or even wants to know anything other than she presses a finger on an icon - and it works, in dazzling fashion.

Remember... there was no MMS capability when the iPhone was launched. I text images and receive multimedia MMSes every day on my 3GS.

Remember... no 3G on initial launch. Oh, the outcry (me included!). Yikes... edge.

Remember... there was no GPS in the initial iPhone... a huge piece of the developing geo-marketing solutions. GPS is a huge factor in both application development and monetization.

Remember... Steve Ballmer (NASDAQ:MSFT) laughing that "the iPhone is the most expensive phone in the world." (Journey is appropriate here... "Wonder who's crying now...")

Remember... iPhone 1G had no cut and paste capability, a real source of consternation for all users, including myself.

Remember... gaming wasn't even a thought on initial launch. How do you think the potential of the iPad looks to a giant and one of the fastest growing demographics in the world, gamers?

I can go on and on... my point? Give the iPad a year... then two years... and then Steve Ballmer will be crying again, only this time, the tears will be much larger. Apple is on to something here, folks... but these knee-jerk, initial reactions to a first-generation product that hasn't yet even launched officially to the public are silly and ignorant.

Wait until the application developers start their work... wait until the innovation truly gets traction... wait until applications and executions we haven't even thought of yet revolutionize the iPad.

Let's go back in time and look at a few of the reviews about the iPhone when it was launched:

The iPhone: Apple's First Flop

Initial review of iPhone

iPhone Already Getting Some Negative Reviews - Yep, It's the Touchscreen

iPhone 1.0: Looks 10, Utility 3? Wait for Version 2 in October

iPhone: Good News and Bad

Apple iPhone Review Roundup

I could post on and on, but you are hopefully getting my drift... this is essentially a beta launch of something that will evolve exponentially and geometrically, with both Apple's upgrades and the innovation brought to the product by application developers.
Mark my words: Apple has revolutionized mobile computing for the second time in three years. I would double-down and bet it all on that. It's so obvious to me... but so was the iPod and iPhone, despite the negative criticism.
I would love to see your comments... that's why we're here at Seeking Alpha: to poke at me, praise me, tear my logic down... It's all about learning!


Disclosure: Long AAPL