When Ya’ Getting An Ipad, They Ask?

If anything keeps the iPad from being a success it will be because Apple forgot we are their customers, not apple itself.

ipad-touch.jpgFriends and colleagues know I’m a technogeek, so it didn’t take long after Steve Jobs’ iPad announcement for the queries to begin. To summarize the two top questions are:

  • “Are you getting one?”
  • “Why would anyone want one?”

I probably wont be getting an iPad. It has less to do with what it can do or what it costs than the restrictions placed on it.

Imagine a world where your Chevy could only use gas approved by Chevy (and where Chevy siphoned off a cut of the profits)! In essence that’s what the iPad is all about. You may be buying the iPad, but you don’t fully own it because you are limited by license (and I suppose law) from using it freely as you wish.

Apple has already used this business model in the iPhone. I have one. I am often frustrated by improvements which should, but don’t, exist.

steve jobs with ipad.jpgBelieve me, there are lots of things the iPhone can and should do, things which developers would certainly write software but that Apple restricts. Google’s “Google Voice” app is a perfect example. It exists. People would like it. Apple hasn’t approved it and isn’t all that forthcoming in explaining why not.

IPhones&#185 can be ‘jailbroken’ to allow some of these improvements, but it’s tough to embrace a technology where you have to violate a license or law (or both) to use the equipment. Beyond that Apple has shown a propensity to patching jailbroken phones, sometimes ‘bricking’ them–leaving them with the capability of a brick!

Beyond that the iPad seems crippled by design failures. There’s no camera–and this would be the perfect product for video calling. There’s no ability to multitask–run two apps at once. Though it has a 3G modem there’s no cellphone functionality, even through a Bluetooth device.

To me the iPad seems more proof-of-concept than mature platform.

That brings me to the second question. Why would anyone want one?

A relatively small and light computer seems the logical step beyond a laptop, especially if it’s a laptop, telephone, TV, movie and music, book newspaper and magazine playing device. The screen is small for sharing, but for arm’s length viewing it can and will provide a big screen experience.

A device with the form factor of an iPad can be a unifying device that brings all media to a single place, especially with the ability to connect through both cellular and WiFi data networks. It’s exciting in the abstract.

A few years ago Qwest ran an ad (attached at the bottom of this entry) which left most people scratching their heads. Devices like (but not) the iPad are what is needed to make the commercial finally make sense.

Alas, Apple isn’t as interested in providing this total experience as they are in maintaining a toll road. Make no mistake about it, they want every penny you spend to pass through their outstretched sticky fingers.

If anything keeps the iPad from being a success it will be because Apple forgot we are their customers, not Apple itself.

&#185 – when a proper noun begins with a lower case letter, like iPhone, does it get capitalized if it’s the first word of a sentence? By naming something with a lower case letter you’ve already violated the rules of English so the next step gets iffy at best.

6 thoughts on “When Ya’ Getting An Ipad, They Ask?”

  1. I can sympathize with people assuming youre a Macphile simply because you own (and love) one of their products. I have an iMac desktop computer and an iPhone but would not buy the iPad for many of the reasons you listed.

    Some other reasons would be–

    ~ It’s running the same operating system as my phone – so unless a program you want is on the app store it cannot be installed on the iPAd

    ~ No flash thus no flash applications or videos

    ~ No multitasking – so no viewing of WTNH weather while listening to NPR radio.

    ~ No USB port? – so likely no peripheral accessory support.

    ~ 64 gb harddrive without expansion possibility – so everytime I want to put media on the iPad that cant be downloaded from itunes it needs to be SYNCED to an existed computer by USB only?

    ~ AT&T network only for the 3G model

    ~ 4:3 Aspect resolution with output support of 480p?

    The reason they didnt include flash was its the #1 cause for crashes on the MacOS. Im sure the people at Cupertino extensively tested flash but found it would lead to bugs – Apple’s obsession with quality and user experience is not compatible with Adobe Flash.

    Another interesting reason I came across was ADVERTISING. Many ads are flash based. By eliminating flash – webpage ads wont show leading to faster loading. Apple also recently acquired a mobile ad company and might be aiming to deliver their own advertising built especially for the iPhones and the iPads of the world (World domination –> but what about Google – thats another long story)

    The announcement that AT&T will be the official carrier actually elicited boos from the usually Steve Job’s loving tech journalists at the premiere event. Their network is already bogged down by the iPhone & Crackberry explosion. Now a possible million users connecting to 3G with a device that will want people to stream more video?

    It would seem logical that those who pay for an “unlimited mobile data” plan for $30 a month for the iPhones should be able to “tether” to an iPad for free. But nooo. Hopefully the lawsuits against AT&T for promising tethering but not delivering will resolve this soon.

    So its not an alternative for a notebook computer. It could be a lightweight “reader” for basic browsing for those who want to view the New York Times or their emails in a bigger screen. As it is, often when Im sitting at my desk in front of my Mac desktop, I find myself viewing articles/email on the phone or going through the TwitterSphere while watching a video on the iMac. Apple will prob be successful with the iPad because it has most of the essential items most people will ever need.

    If someone gave this to me for free…yeah, I would gladly accept! 🙂

    BTW, Sorry Geoff – I know this is your blog and comments should prob not be a post of their own. Maybe I should start my own permanent record somewhere…

  2. I always make the producers write it “iPx” (where x = ad, od, or hone) on fonts. (Except on Fox 47, because they’re in all-caps.)

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