Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad Madness

Apple Inc. announced their newest mobile device, the iPad on Wednesday in the midst of hype and hysteria that this would be Apple's best device to date.

One problem. This device should have came first in the line of the iPhone devices. The latest iPhone and the iPad share the same OS, with the iPad getting a few updgrades to it's iTunes, and an iBook, Apple's version of the Kindle store. The iPad does everything the iPhone does, just with a bit more exaggeration, such as running Apps developed for the iPhone in full screen, thanks to "double pixel", which sounds like an aspect-ratio preserving stretch. They haven't improved one single point from the iPhone's lacking, yet downgraded most of the iPhone's key features such as:

  • Making a phone call
  • Taking a picture
The iPhone's early marketing appeal was to only require people to carry one device for everything - phone calls, emails, media player, PDA, etc. With the iPad, you still have to have an iPhone, which was suppose to eliminate the need to carry another device. Granted, most civilized people do not carry a netbook around with them as often as a phone, but Mr. Jobs, I am sure, had the intention for this device to be more prevalent than netbooks and e-readers.

Here is my beef with the idea. I understand the need to "simplify" the device to make it more acceptable for the masses to consume, not just people like myself or Mr. Jobs - geeks. However, somewhere down the line of Apple's philosophy of mobile devices, it included siphoning the money of the non-geeks. iPhone's require two-year agreements, $30/month data plans, and now the iPad comes along, gives out options, but you know that there will be more demand for a WiFi/3G model than the 3G-less model. At $529 - $829 for the totally wireless version, plus a $30 a month data usage charge (would anyone really buy the $15/month package with 250MB of usage?), you are looking at spending $1000 - $1500 over the next two years (according to Engadget calculation) for the iPad and anywhere between $1800 and $3200 for the iPhone.

Again, what was the iPad missing again?

Oh yes, phone functionality. And a camera. Not to mention the shortfalls the iPhone had in the first place:
  • No Flash support (HTML5 to the rescue?)
  • No true multi-tasking (shame since AT&T lets you "talk and surf the web at the same time")
And what I find lacking in this "magical" device:
  • No peripheral ports - everything is "adapter"-ed, ranging from your trusty USB adapter, to the SD reader.
  • No HD video out
  • Not a true e-book reader - reflective touchscreen, back-lit LCD screen, you will be staying inside to read a book or newspaper.
  • Added 3G support is $120 - like I said, siphoning the masses.
Point is, iPhone users are again left with blank stares. What good would this do a current iPhone user, whose population is "expanding, faster than the universe". iPad, with ALL the iPhones capabilities to date would have not been a good enough product, in my opinion, to lure me into wanting one.

Revolutionary? Magical?


1 comment:

Reflections by the Hill said...

It lured me in all the way. Sure I was disappointed about the video cam and not completely using OS X desktop applications. But those applications were re-written: iPhoto, iWork, iCal, mail not using the iPhone SDK but a different SDK entirely.
However, I think they have a iphone beta sdk and I think they should rename entirely. Come on Apple, I want to use regular Apps like Aperture, Blogo, Seesmic, and list goes on. Being able to see in sun light, no problem. I already can do that with the iPhone. The screen isn't a glossy screen like a laptop. I don't want to make a call from it like a phone, but I would do a video call if it had isight built in. Being able to look at the whole calendar, being able turn pages like a book (yeah it is already iphone but now the pages are the right size), the on-board keyboard is very nice(not what we really wanted but I can live with some nice fat keys), being able to view pictures at what they were meant to be viewed(on the iphone the images are smaller than a 3.5x5 print). I agree that they shouldn't charge for 3g though I understand why they won't pick up the bill and Amazon does (the only time 3g is used on the Kindle is when you buy a book, ok maybe some browsing). So, why even get the 3g then. I see lots of folks with iPod Touchs and I could see a lot of people that use the iPod Touch upgrading to this. If I have my iPhone, no reason for me to get the 3g for the iPad. Anyways, I think it is a start to a great product. No other tablet can come close to weight or usability than what the iPad offers. So, if you had a choice between the iPad and PC tablet and you needed something to take notes, what would you choose? For me, it would be the iPad. I can take notes faster typing than using a stylist. It is light and comfortable using that slick cover. The PC tablet while it has the keyboard, I truly just lost the tablet form since I have to rotate the screen so that I can use it. Just buy a laptop. And man, I would hunting all over the place for that stylist. How about heat? PC tablet can get hot, the iphone never really gets hot. I wonder about the iPad. Just my take on it.