It’s the long awaited tablet from Apple, the iPad. I figured it would be called the ‘iSlate’ or the ‘iTablet’ but I guess that’s why I don’t get paid to predict such things. So, this being a tech blog I figured I should say a few things about it. Why not, other people do on their blogs.
First, I doubt that iPad will be merged with the Mac laptop line. I can see them eliminating the low end laptop but only if sales started to fall for those units. Maybe the Air will be retired because of the iPad, not sure. I’d have to see the sales numbers on the laptops to make any further observations on that.
Adding a USB port (yes, it has an adapter but my question is still will it work with only cameras or can I plug in a USB memory stick or a USB… See More hard drive to it? That’s an OS issue.) would vastly improve the design IMHO. As would a camera and the ability to play Flash files. Have to remember that Apple would like you to view all your content through iTunes so by not playing Flash will keep you away from sites like Hulu. A built in SD reader should have been part of the deal but who is to say that along with a camera and SD slot won’t be part of the 3G model. We won’t know until the end of April ’10.
I see this as Apples way of taking a swipe at netbooks (not too much of a concern to them to begin with) and hitting the e-reader market. They know that the iTunes store works well, it makes them buckets of money every quarter and the concept is proving to scale rather well. Being able to sell devices to let people buy books to read on them is a great idea. It’s working well for Amazon (thank you Amazon for blazing this trail) but Amazon is primarily a book seller and not so much a maker of hardware. Look at what has happened to Microsoft and it’s trips into the physical world. Mice, hey make good mice. Not much software in a mouse either…
The Amazon Kindle does have an e-ink display but I think if the 10 hour battery gets at least six hours no one will care. With the keyboard dock/charger it’s going to have a second home as a desktop computer, fist home being the couch for evening TV surfing. I use my iTouch for that all the time. I also don’t see this as an iTouch killer either because of it’s size, not yet at least. There is a place for a portable Internet device in people’s lives. In a year or so as the price of the iPad drops (it’s Apple-low now, better when it become reality low) Apple may say that you should use an iPad if you want a PDA but not a phone. I will admit that it’s safe to put the iTouch on the soon to be endangered species list but so far this it’s something that has it’s own place in their product line and they know that.
The iPad is a book reader and a new thing called a ‘tablet’, much like the smart phones were when someone crammed a PDA into a cell phone and threw it at the world (thank you Microsoft for making this popular). Other corporations will come out with tablet computers and I’m very sure that they will kick ass and email names but they won’t have the tight OS/hardware integration that Apple has with it’s products. I’ve had many computers in the past, Fujitsu Stylistic 1200 tablet, Nokia n800 touch screen Internet device, laptops, a netbook, countless desktop PCs, old Macs, new Macs, too many PDAs running WinCE, GEOS, and Palm (Palm is the second best portable OS I’ve ever used), and an iTouch. I can say that the iTouch is the most trouble free device of the lot. I can connect to most places I want to, it loads software without weird syncing ceremonies, when it crashes (yes, it crashes) it does without killing itself, the OS is intuitive but doesn’t make me feel like a two year old, hell it feels good in my hand when I use it. If the iPad is at all like this, and it will be, it is a winner.
So with all that I’d gladly accept any donations that would be put towards the purchase of the iPad.