Financially Speaking Podcast

The iPad

Published on October 26, 2012

Sometimes an innovation comes along that is a real game-changer.  But change is difficult.  Because change is difficult, we fail to see the impact that real game-changing innovations has on our lives.  I think the Apple technology is a good example of this.  Listen, I am not trying to convince you to buy Apple stock and I don’t own Apple stock.  This is not about investments; it’s about how you receive and use information which affects your life.

I remember when I got my first cell phone over 20 years ago.  It was about the size of a quart bottle of milk and weighed about as much!  It had a black antenna and came with a bag for the car.  When I made calls with it, I looked like a Navy Seal on a covert mission.  I also remember that owning a cell phone was a status symbol because they were so expensive. Not everyone owned one.  Now even 6th graders have cell phones.

I had cell phone déjà vu when my daughter started clamoring for an iPod while in high school.  I got her one for Christmas and I anxiously downloaded the first song (“Hotel California” by The Eagles).  My reaction:  “Wow, now I understand what all the iPod excitement is about.” It changed the way we listen to music.

Then I had cell phone and iPod déjà vu again when I bought a first generation iPad.  At the time, it was about the iPad because I could read books, watch videos and listen to music anywhere I could connect to WIFI.  But after some hardware improvements and amazing developments in software apps, the current iPad is something very different.  It has become a very effective personal information management tool.  My 88-year old mother-in-law checks her email and texts; enjoys family pictures; pays bills from her bank account with her iPad.  

This technology has changed the way we read newspapers, books and magazines.  Reading National Geographic articles are an interactive experience that paper is incapable of matching.  The trend is so definite that Newsweek announced that it will no longer print magazines after this year and will be available in digital format only. 

I can’t begin to explain all the ways that this technology helps manage your personal information.   Simply by touching icons on a screen, you can get all the financial information you need.  More than you want, probably.

Whether it is an iPad or competing product, I am confident that everyone will have a tablet computer.  It has transitioned from “want” technology to “need” technology.   It is technology that even 6th graders have now. 

Tags: financial information technology

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