As an addendum to my thoughts on the iPad

In my many years as an analyst, I’ve learned to listen to those faint, intuitive thoughts that pop into my head about new technologies. They may not be rational, and they may not be entirely analytical, but they are often right. You might call it “gut” — and in my dual jobs of CEO and analyst, it’s been quite useful…

Yes, the iPad signals the future of software, but one simple question is nagging at me:

Where’s it going to live?

  • It can’t go in your pocket, although some may try.
  • It won’t go in your media room at home — you’ve already got a big screen in that room.
  • It’s not going to go on your desktop at work — you’ve got a company computer there.
  • It’s not going to live in your office at home — that’s where your home computer lives.
  • Will it go in your backpack? I carry my Kindle and my laptop in mine. So will I pull out the Kindle (10 ounces) and replace it with an iPad (24 ounces)? No — I’m not adding another pound for my aching back to carry around…

Kitchen? Not a place where you’d watch a movie. Bedroom? Yes, you’d read a book there, but you’d rarely check stock quotes or search for coffee shops.

So where will the iPad reside? That question will fundamentally restrict the new Apple device from becoming a runaway hit like the iPod (250 million units sold) and iPhone (35 million). Forrester has forecasted that Apple will sell 3 million iPads this year. My gut agrees with that conservative number.

What do you think? If you’ve bought an iPad, where are you using it? If you work for a large corporation, do you have a vision for where it could be deployed in your business? Do you think that iPad could become a laptop replacement? I’d love to get your comments…