Intimacy. That is the word that is put to the personal computing experience the iPad has brought to mobile computing and entertainment. And while the iPad cannot get more intimate than the iPhone since it doesn't fit in the pocket of our jeans, the fact that it can do much more while it sits on your laps.
It's on the moment you need it and it can easily take you through a work day or on a flight.
I'm not sure that people, even iPad owners realize what's going on. Their relationship with their iPads is vastly more different than with their laptop or smartphone.
I thought of this while I was looking at the original MacIntosh. The very first one. The boxy thing with the smallish screen in black and white. Yeah, that one. It was computing on a vastly different even than the Apple II or the IBM PCs around that time.
The new UI with the mouse as the controller gave users a level of control that was not achievable. And through the decades after, the experience has largely been the same with Windows or Mac OS.
That all changed with the iPad. Apple took that intimacy shared between user and computer onto a whole new level. And the iPad is a little more than a year old. We are only scratching the surface of what the iPad can allow us to achieve.
If anyone wants to compete more effectively with Apple, they need to realize this first.