Before I left for China a couple of weeks ago I had intentions of purchasing an Apple iPad possibly ahead of the April 3rd release date here in the United States. The Chinese government had different ideas and delayed the launch in Asia (it still has not launched) where often tech items are released there in advance of the U.S. Since the Apple iPad’s launch last weekend much has been written about the experience. Based upon what I’ve been reading (a lot) I’m less in a hurry to have one than I was before.
One of the early comments I really liked was that the iPad was a ‘lean back not a lean forward device”. New York Times columnist David Pogue http://nyti.ms/bziIpy had several interesting perspectives on the iPad. The Apple iPad has no flash, no USB port, no camera, and touch screen typing that rally needs to be lay-flat to use. Maybe that’s the lean-forward thing but if it is that’s far from ideal. Walter Mossberg in the Wall Street Journal and “All things Digital” http://walt.allthingsd.com was more positive but managed to suppress some of the less attractive features.
Another noted pundit/blogger Jeff Jarvis http://www.buzzmachine.com is not impressed at all. And while he demonstrated much more passion in his dislike he makes some very good points.
Full disclosure I’ve not held an iPad in my hands. But the display is supposedly brilliant although in broad daylight I imagine there will be some difficulties. You won’t be taking you iPad to the beach. Also as a replacement for your laptop it is more portable but far from a content creator. So if you want to read on the road and rid yourself of all the newspaper subscriptions and receive them on the iPad – that may indeed be greener but it won’t be any less expensive once you factor in the cost of the iPad as well as the monthly service ($60 or more depending on if you want both wireless 3G as well as cellular coverage). And then you still have to pay the publisher for the electronically delivered content. Carrying the iPad around may not be a joy however. And there’s no phone so you still need a phone since the iPad is an overgrown iTouch. And what will you carry it in? I see a sub-market for iPad carrying sleeves, cases etc. There will be even more outlay for you buyers way beyond the apps you will buy for the iPad.
I can see that an iPad (or like device since HP has one in development to be released by Christmas 2010) will ultimately be used as your own personal television receiver. And it promises to be a terrific viewer experience with vibrant color and dynamic image reproduction. Complete with the ability to truly be interactive with the viewer (watch an ad – touch the screen and engage with the brand), the ipadTV (and HPTV) will very likely change the way people consume content. I like that idea.
I was a first adopter of the Amazon Kindle and as those of you that follow this blog I have had my issues with it but by and large have enjoyed the experience and am happy with the way Amazon has handled interactions (I still have an original Kindle but am on my 4th Kindle never having paid for anything other than the first one).
But being a first has its benefits and detriments. Being an early adopter of tablet computing appears to be the way I am headed. I am going to stand on the sidelines a little longer. After all this is the tip of the iceberg and tablets will get better and get better quickly. Steve Jobs is a really smart guy. And being first here seems to me to be the primary motivation. Remember all the nasty things that were said about the iPod and how did that work out?
How about you – who’s got an iPad,? What do you think? And if you don’t but are thinking about it why are you waiting?