Wow! What a 24-hour period. The iPad has been all over the news, and not just the tech outlets – the mainstream press has been all over it, too. In fact I’m wondering who got more attention yesterday – Steve Jobs or President Obama. Even I almost forgot about the State of the Union address after all the iPad hype.
Now that I’ve had some time to digest the news and commentary around it, I figured I should follow up on my tablet post from my last week. What’s one more iPad analysis article….
The event: First class as usual. Apple should hire themselves out for product launches, because I don’t know of any company who does it better, especially the hype leading up to the event.
The name: I understand that they went for a name close to the iPod, but I’m not crazy about it. Apple is about elegance, and pads don’t represent that. iSlate has a richer feel to it and would have been better. Then again, I’m not in charge of $50B in revenue, so what do I know.
Overall design and UI: As I figured last week, Apple nailed it. Sure there are some items people are whining about (like the size of the bezel), but c’mon. Most people will want it based on look alone, and compared to carrying around a Kindle, well, there is no comparison.
Multi-tasking: Apple blew it here. If this is meant to kill netbooks, it absolutely, and I mean absolutely, needs multi-tasking. I understand Apple wants to protect us from ourselves and from draining the battery, but at some point we need to be treated like adults.
Flash support: Another huge miss. How can you tell me the device provides the best internet experience when I can’t view the content on every major multimedia site on the web today? If Apple has any magic left in the hat, they need to pull it out and fix this glaring omission.
Battery life: 10 hours is awesome, but they glossed over the caveats. Your own experience from using the iPhone with Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth turned on should tell you that 10 hours is stretching it. Maybe it’s not a deal breaker, but with a battery that cannot be replaced,you’ll be one unhappy camper when the battery dies one hour into your cross country flight.
3G locked to AT&T: No need to comment here, although I wish the rumors of a Verizon version were true. There’s 60 days to availability – one can still hope, can’t we?
Endless possibilities: While yesterday’s demonstrations were impressive, they were expected. I am more excited about the possibilities that exist with this form factor. I can immediately think of some killer applications in education and retail for this device that would make it an absolute must-have as opposed to a nice-to-have, which I think it is now.
It’s not about computing: Anyone who is expected to do work on this thing will be disappointed. The iPad is about content consumption and gaming – nothing more, nothing less.
Beware the first generation: Remember the iPhone? I suspect the second and third generation will be huge improvements over what was demonstrated yesterday. My advice – hide your credit card until 2011.
Battle lines are drawn: The tablet space is about content. Apple will bring it, Amazon has it. These two companies will stage the first tablet war. I’m not sure Amazon has the design chutzpah to compete with Apple, but I wouldn’t count Amazon and Jeff Bezos out too quickly.
Will I buy it? No, and for one simple reason: the tablet form factor doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t need another thing to manage and carry around. I need things to replace gadgets I have or reduce my monthly spend. The iPad does neither. It gives me another device to manage, and I need a buy a 3G data plan to make it portable and truly useful. Finally, as Stan Shroeder at Mashable points out, who has the time to use it?
For me, the iPad is a work in progress. Apple, and more spcifically, Steve Jobs, is committed to the form factor. Get used to seeing and hearing about it, because it won’t be disappearing anytime soon.