Friday, September 17, 2010

China meets the iPad

China isn't just another market, much as the iPad isn't just another gadget.

China is the most populous country on Earth and has one of the fastest growing economies. So much for the obvious.

While China's economy is rocketing upwards at an annual rate of eight percent, the spending power of most individual citizens is still modest, which makes the affordable iPad a good match.

What makes it an even better match is the touchscreen input, which doesn't discriminate against character-based input, providing the iPad an even greater advantage over keyboard-based netbooks in China than elsewhere.

The advantage the iPad has over other touchscreen tablets, running other operating systems, is more subtle but still substantial, deriving from factors such as attention to detail in both hardware and software, a fast-maturing application software market, and the goodwill Apple has gained through its efforts to improve conditions for the hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers involved in manufacturing its products (even though it turns out those conditions weren't so bad in the first place, aside from the economic incentives for workers to put in exorbitant amounts of overtime, or to end their lives for the compensation their families would receive as a result).

The iPad is destined to be a particularly huge hit in China, but the whole world will benefit from this.

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