You have to give Apple credit for one thing at least – they certainly know how to get press coverage when they want to announce something. I won’t get in to all of the specs since you can go read about them here, but I have been asked about the iPad enough that I thought I would just put together a quick post with some of my thoughts.
For all of you uber-geeks out there this may not be for you. You wanted power – lot’s of power – in a small package. You wanted something like a MacBook Pro screen without the rest of the computer. You probably wanted it to run OS X. You wanted full support for Flash. You wanted a camera in the front for video conferencing and a camera on the back so that you could take pictures. You wanted GPS. You wanted an OLED screen. You wanted multitasking. You probably expected all of this with 4+ hours of battery life. AT&T?! Are you kidding me? No wonder you are so upset about this thing. And what’s with the name? Even my wife thinks this thing is stupid.
But there is a different demographic that Apple is aware of and they don’t care about most of that stuff. They love what their iPod Touch can do and they just wish it had a larger screen. Maybe they would have liked to have the Touch but the screen was just too small (trust me, hit 40 and reading small screens starts to get interesting). They would be happy reading their “newspaper” online with this thing. eBooks? Sure, why not? It’s not open like Android. They don’t care. Truly they don’t. They don’t understand vendor lock-in and they really don’t care as long as it does the things that they want it to do.
I think of it kind of like the Nintendo Wii. The Wii is the least powerful game console out there. The XBox 360 and the PS3 just crush the Wii’s hardware specs. The XBox 360 and the PS3 are both capable of doing much more than just games, yet somehow the Wii just keeps chugging along and is one of the most popular game consoles around. I know a ton of people that have one. But the serious gamers I know have the XBox 360, PS3, or use a Windows PC. The Wii is accessible and easily used by the masses. The interface and controller require very little thought – you can just pick up the controller and play most games.
Personally, I fit more in to the geek category than the non-geek category but I am sure that I will buy one. I’ll buy it because I love technology and like to think that I occasionally understand where things are headed – and I don’t think this is such a bad product at all. Just like the iPhone and iTunes before it, the apps and the acceptance will come. I’m even dumb enough to think that we could still see some changes to it for the launch. Maybe that camera will show up as well as a new version of the OS that will allow multitasking. Remember, this is Apple’s chip in this thing so we really don’t know what it can, and cannot do yet.
I’m certainly not right all of the time, and many of the smartest people on the Internet (as well as my wife) seem to think that this one falls short, but I still believe that the iPad will do very well. I would be surprised if Apple sells less than 2-3 million of them by the end of this year. And maybe, just maybe, as technology continues to advance and costs come down, Apple will give us some of those MacBook components in a tablet form – including the OS. Until then, I can see no reason why they would be willing to cannibalize their laptop sales by giving us everything that we really wanted in a tablet.
The iPad is the iPod Touch for an entire generation that has a lot of disposable income and needs reading glasses. You already know them because they raised you as children and are now showing up on Facebook in droves.