Back in the day when I first started working on computers (note: the term working “on” verses “with“), it was essential to understand how to use both a soldering iron and oscilloscope as in the day machines where repaired at the chip level. Now we fast forward to today, where computer hardware technology is throw away, no longer are these arcane tools required to repair a system failure. At most, if thumb screws don’t exist then it’s a simple matter of employing a basic screw driver and a replacement board to correct most ills.
The same is now coming true for hardware’s brethren, “software” as “in the day“, like with hardware it was a major production to install, run and maintain. However on my iPad I buy software now anywhere from 99 cents to 10 bucks on a whim and if I don’t like it or find it doesn’t perform as I expect. Than into the trash can it goes (along with my lottery tickets).
Updates are just as easy, as I click the App Store icon and it’s off to the races with my updates. It’s also not just the iPad (however I believe iPad format will be the catalyst to popularize the concept), as we also have Windows Update and similar on Android OS. This is all changing not only the usability landscape, however also the economics as this purchasing model which is driving a shift from “high price low volume” to “low price higher volume”. As if I buy a 99 cent application and toss it out, to me that is “disposable income” as with the lottery tickets, however to the app seller this is new sales volume which helps offset the general cost of his development and defray the cost of those who do find it of value.
However there is a cause and effect to all transactions as “money isn’t infinite” and the Tongue-in-cheek reason for poking at lottery tickets. As yes there will be impacts to other impulse purchases (like lottery tickets) as a result of the buying shifts in consumer dollars which will further shock the brick and mortar world. As “yes” from a personal aspect (which can be translated to the market as a whole), I will buy impulse goods because of the iPad and as more devices of a similar nature begin to emerge in the market, the viral sequence will gain momentum.