Thoughts On The iPad

I watched Steve Jobs’ keynote presentation of the iPad yesterday and the reaction to the most talked about tablet in the world was underwhelming. When the first iPhone was unveiled the audience went nuts. Yesterday, the audience seemed a little subdued.

Apple didn’t say a word (publicly) about the iPad, leading up to its announcement yesterday. The press created all of the hype surrounding the product launch and raised the expectation of what Apple’s newest product could actually do. Is the iPad a failure? Of course not. I think it is going to evolve over the next couple of years and have a huge impact on the mobile computing industry.

A lot of people are complaining about what the iPad lacks:

  • a camera
  • multitasking
  • HDMI output
  • a USB port
  • 16:9 ratio screen (it’s 4:3)
  • no Flash support

These are all valid concerns but I think people have to remember that the iPad is a first generation product.

The original iPod didn’t have video or an iTunes store. It evolved. The original iPhone didn’t have 3G support, or any Apps, or a replaceable battery. People complained bitterly but as points out, it went on to sell 40 million phones and it evolved into the best smartphone in the industry.

Nothing in the industry comes close to what the iPad can do or what it will probably do in the future. Most of the people complaining about the iPad haven’t used one yet. John Gruber spent 20 minutes using a demo model at yesterday’s event and he was most impressed with the speed of the iPad.

As I watched the keynote demo I was blown away by the gaming demonstration that EA did. Who would have thought that an iPhone would evolve into a major gaming platform 5 years ago? The iPad is incredibly fast and I’m guessing that a lot of kids are going to want one (and a lot of adults).

I have a friend who bought an iPod Touch for his daughter. On a recent visit to his house I noticed that his daughter didn’t spend very much time playing with her iPod. That was because my friend and his wife were playing games on it constantly.

So who is going to buy this thing and what are they going to use it for? It has wide appeal and I can see the entire family using this for surfing the web on the couch, playing games, email, listening to music, reading a book or watching a movie.

Do I need an iPad? Nope. Do I want one? Yup!

At $499 the price is right for a 16 GB model. If Apple added a camera, USB port, HDMI etc. you can bet that it would cost more and people would complain about how expensive it is.

I haven’t mentioned how the iPad will affect the publishing industry with its new iBookstore. At the very least, it will give the Kindle some real competition. Apple has inked deals with major book publishers to sell content.

Missing from yesterday’s presentation was any talk of newspapers and magazines for sale through the iTunes store. One news report mentioned that the New York Times app for iPad might not be necessary because the web browsing on the iPad is so good. I’m not sure if Apple has plans to sell magazines and newspapers but Rome wasn’t built in a day. And did I mention that iPad is version 1.0 product? Stay tuned.

Posted in Apple at 12:41 PM