Yesterday, Apple announced the iPad, which is projected to ship in the US in March (WiFi version) and April (WiFi + 3G version). My status as an iPhone developer doesn’t get me any super-secret inside information. Apple didn’t rush a review copy to me. I don’t know if the three Laridian iPhone apps are among the “most” of the 140,000 apps that will “just work” on the iPad. (However, I expect them to work just fine.)
So, just like most of you, my faithful readers, I’ve only seen the information at the Apple Web site, watched the video, and read some reviews and opinions from other Web sites, such as:
Some of these articles and article commenters seem to get it, such as the author of How Will the Apple
Tablet iPad Change Our Kids’ Lives?. However, I’ve been surprised how many are not getting what seems so clear to me.
This quote from Wired’s Would You Buy an iPad? Wired Readers Weigh In article reveals the confusion.
Though Apple’s Steve Jobs introduced the iPad as a device that would occupy the world between smartphones and laptops, potential customers aren’t convinced. A full 71 percent of 934 readers polled said they won’t buy an iPad, because they are happy with their smartphone and notebook.
To understand the iPad, you have to first understand what it isn’t. Steve Jobs makes that clear in the above quote. The iPad isn’t a phone. The iPad isn’t a laptop. That is, the iPad isn’t expected to do all of the things that you might do with your phone or your laptop. Yet, 71% of the poll respondents “won’t buy an iPad, because they are happy with their smartphone and notebook.” These 71% don’t understand what the iPad isn’t.
So, if the iPad is not a phone or laptop, what is it? From the Apple video, it’s pretty clear: the iPad is a mobile media machine.
- Surf the Web.
- Read a book.
- Listen to music.
- Watch a movie.
Sure, you can install the iPad version of Pages and write a term paper on it, but that’s not the primary purpose. So, comparing it to a laptop isn’t reasonable.
But comparing it to my iPod and Kindle is. And, based on what I’ve seen and read so far, the iPad is looking pretty good. Yes, it costs twice as much (or more), but look at all of the extra stuff that it can do!
Here are some of the common complaints or concerns that I’ve seen.
- The iPad name suggests that Apple has a serious lack of women in it IT department.
Seriously? I never made that connection. iPad is just a derivative of iPod. And beside, the IT department has nothing to do with a product’s name. That would come largely from the marketing department.
- “Ink” technology (i.e. Kindle) is better on the eyes than the backlit LED that the iPad uses.
I really like reading my Kindle, so I’m a fan of Ink technology. Still, I can’t read it in the dark without a pretty bright light shining on it. And, I usually spend most of my day in front of a computer screen, and my eyes don’t feel fatigued at the end of the day. So I’m not yet convinced that this is an issue.
- The iPad doesn’t allow multitasking, so I can’t listen to Pandora streamed from the Web whilte I read.
OK, you have a point. On the other hand, the iPad is an iPod. My iPhone doesn’t multitask either, but I can listen to music from the iPhone’s “iPod” feature while doing anything else. Plus, I don’t listen to Pandora. Now, if you were to tell me that something important was missing, like that MLB won’t have an app for listening to live baseball games, I might agree with you.
- The Web browser doesn’t support Flash.
OK. This might be annoying every now and then. However, my Kindle not only doesn’t support Flash, it doesn’t support ANY Web browsing.
- Once again, Apple comes out with an overpriced toy.
I admit, when I saw Apple introduce the iPad as a magical and revolutionary device at an “unbelievable” price, I was skeptical. I wouldn’t classify the $499 price for the least expensive model as “unbelievable”. While it is expensive, it’s not necessarily outrageous.
The iPad has been “announced” for a full day now. I haven’t seen one in person. But, based upon what I have seen and read, I think it looks very promising as an upgrade to my Kindle.