Apple's latest device will solve at least one problem facing mobile advertising: the hassle and cost of optimizing for the still-too-tiny screen sizes of smartphones.
Sporting a screen close to 10 inches - specifically, a 9.7-inch, full capacitive multi-touch IPS display - the iPad is roughly the same size as a netbook, Greg Sterling, principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, tells MarketingVOX.
"It appears as though traditional display ads should render well on the iPad," he says. Mobile advertisers have access to optimization and mobile ad placement networks. The problem has been that such technologies are often proprietary and the ad networks for mobile still highly splintered.
Of course the iPad is not going to solve that particular issue, Sterling says. But if it is adopted in numbers anywhere close to the iPod, iTouch and iPhone, it could significantly ease this particular pain point for marketers. It offers the best of both worlds, Sterling concludes: a large enough screen for ads running on, say, the New York Times or a TV episode to render well, plus the personalization and geo-locational features of a smartphone.
Some Surprising Details
Unveiled promptly at 1 pm ET [video], the iPad lived up to most of the many rumors circulating it, as well as delivering a few surprises. It comes in many different versions, depending on size and internet access - which should speed adoption, Sterling says. The 16-, 32-, and 64-GB devices run $499, $599, $699 - with an additional $130 for 3G capability.
Pricing for the iPad starts at $499 - a price point far lower than the $1,000 expectations of many in the industry. The device will begin shipping in March. Apple CEO Steve Jobs also unveiled a new e-bookstore, called iBooks, along with partnerships with four major publishers.