So with the Apple iPad having finally been confirmed, anyone and everyone has been having their say on various tech blogs and sites around the web. So what sort of reception has the supposed blockbuster device had over the past couple of hours? Have Apple blown our minds again? Or have they finally dropped the ball?
Well… I think it’s fair to say that the general consensus is that it’s not a lot more than a giant iPhone (or perhaps I should say an iPod Touch). The guys over at Engadget have been lucky enough to get a hands-on with the iPad and they describe it as ‘not light’ and ‘pretty weighty in your hand’. An extraordinary amount of readers left comments expanding on this, going on to say “The thing is really an oversized iPhone, Apple finally fails”. It certainly makes interesting reading. Such a device coming from a company that is usually so reliable when it comes to wowing us with revolutionary devices.
Other complaints follow a consistent theme too. For example, one enraged reader says “No multitasking, no flash, no buy. That simple”. Another, “no flash, no multitasking, no integrated webcam, no integrated physical keyboard, Seriously?”. It comes as a surprise to many that this device hasn’t taken the world by storm already. I believe that a lot of people feel extremely let down by this release.
Steve Jobs opened the keynote by describing it a “netbook killer”. It has also been labelled “the Kindle killer” and in terms of being an eBook reader, this thing will be held in the highest regard – would you want to go back to an Amazon Kindle 2 or Kindle DX after using one of these? I think it’s clear to everybody that the implementation of the “iBooks” is nothing short of incredible. However, for this price tag, I think people wanted a lot more.
Perhaps they got it? Being able to run the iPhone apps out of the box means it is an extremely capable touch gaming machine, although how the current games upscaled up to the iPad size will be interesting to see, however I’m sure we’ll see iPad versions of games soon. How will this affect sales of PSP’s, Nintendo DS’s, especially when you consider the price of these iPhone/iPad games compared to the £30 titles for the other handheld consoles?
When coupled with a physical keyboard, or even with the on screen keyboard being fairly good, how will this affect the sales of netbooks and laptops? Even Apple’s very own MacBook Pro? You’ve got to think that the Apple MacBook Air is dead in the water? Clearly they are designed for extremely different purposes, however with the introduction of iWork applications and such which has been regarded as a good move from Apple, could this mean people will be more reluctant to spend so much on a laptop with no 3G, no eBook reader, shorter battery life etc.
Perhaps this would be the perfect device for those people out there who don’t use computers yet? Surely, this could be a great user-friendly touch-based device for all those parents out there who haven’t wanted to learn how to use a full computer system?
Some other points that I have taken from the hands-on at Engadget are their particular references to a ‘stunning’ screen. They certainly don’t hold back their praise for this device, however they are slightly critical in some departments. Although, they call the processor ‘something to be marvelled at’, the machine is apparently extremely fast which is of course, an added benefit. But then, why no multitasking?
I think there are several aspects to the device which are missing. It has certainly got a lot of people’s backs up. I think most of it revolves around the fact that it is being perceived as too similar to the iPhone/iPod Touch? Is it just a giant version? Although, I’m sure some people will want that, for example if you travel a lot, having a device that can play 10hrs of videos on a flight or train journey, that would be quite an upgrade from an iPhone screen!
It’s most definitely going to be another closed Apple eco-system created for you to continually spend money on content. Also, no multi-tasking, no flash, no camera for video conferencing.
On the other hand, Steve Jobs described the pricing of the Apple iPad as a ‘miracle’. I believe this view is pretty much echoed throughout the web at the moment. The basic model being just $499, is somewhat cheap for an Apple product. Or is this just Apple conceding that anything higher just won’t sell? After all, once people have got them, they will be raking in the profits from applications and software etc.
Overall I believe that Apple have got a lot of marketing to do. A lot of promotion and publicity. The public generally, are left unconvinced and underwhelmed. I doubt it will be a flop though, I mean come on, it’s gorgeous! Plenty of people will buy a tablet device like the Apple iPad and they always will.
But what do you think? Do you *need* to get one? Or do you just *want* to get one? If you want one, do you just want the wifi version or do you need the 3G mobile internet (contract) version of the iPad?