To see the ecosystem of the computer as a hub of your digital life. They have executed on that vision with the iPod, then the iTunes store, the iPhone and the App store, now the iPad and the iBookStore. Are we following a pattern, is there a cookbook? The leader has a vision, shares the vision with the followers, the followers buy into the vision and together make it a reality.
The new product adoptions phases are progressing quite nicely. Apple is a master at this process, described by David Pogue in:
Wildly Successful New Product Launch Phases
Phase 1 feverish speculation and hype (preannouncment)
Phase 2 disappointment and bashing (prerelease)
Phase 3 attainment anticipation and adoration (post release)
So we are clearly in Phase 2 (bashing). With rational reasons, but when Phase 3 (attainment) arrives - will you rationalize these arguments and purchase an iPad? I've got $5 on Yes, you buy. Actually a bit more than $5 as I purchased Apple shares just under $200 after the bounce and drop on the iPad news.
My reasons for the confidence in Apple: They have executed on Jobs vision, they are in iteration 3 of new products that connect to the computer hub. I have Pogue's model of phases of product adoption for an explanation of the media. I refer you to the long list of "desired" feature missing in the iPhone, and the large number of iPhone sells.
Apple has the magic balancing act of the perfect engineer - they are at the top of the game in the compromise to optimize simplicity thereby maximizing enjoyment of the product. They are not as concerned about shareholder value as they are customer satisfaction. They have a very good measure of customer satisfaction. I think they are getting the customer satisfaction equation optimized.
See comments section for continuing updates to this story line.