Wednesday, January 27

It's here! The Apple iPad.

Please see and the related links on that page for full details.


Mandula said...

Nice one!

billybytedoc said...

I'm an Apple FanBoy, but I love it! A lot of stupid commentators are listing all the things it is missing, but I like the things it HAS.

It will sell 1 Million in 3 months!

Hans said...

I'll wait a few years and see if I HAVE to have one.

Metamatician said...

Me too. I like it, but I was a bit underwhelmed after all the rumors that had been going around about what all it was going to include.

The price is right, for sure, but to get that low of a price they seemed to sacrifice a lot - more RAM, multitasking (not really a bad thing for battery power), the ability to play Flash (the biggie), and bigger/better screen, the webcam that's obviously supposed to be there for videochat (the brackets are apparently in place inside the bezel), and so on.

It's like they were behind schedule and released an unfinished product - albeit a cool one at a good price, which can play games, movies, music, apps of all sort, and it still rather neat at a price range from $499 to $829 or whatever it is - just to meet Steve's absolute date.

I'll definitely wait for version 2.0 to see the "amazing," "spectacular," and "magical" improvements they'll make to it while keeping the price the same. Lesson one: don't ever buy the first generation of a major new type of product. Let someone else iron out the flaws for you.

I think if it can get through the criticisms and sell enough that Apple doesn't turn sour on it (pun intended), then it could be really neat in a version or two, with a screen that covers almost the entire surface without that big black bezel, and all the other things I mentioned.

And while their attempt to force HTML native video on the world is noble (I'm all for it), just ditching Flash support is a bit drastic. Almost everything I do on the web uses Flash or Ajax - Gmail, Facebook, games, everything basically that looks like video or animation and not a text HTML page. Browing with this crippled version of Safari will not be fun.

I'll bet they reverse that decision pretty quick with a firmware update. Just a guess, but it seems to be the most complained about missing feature.

All in all, I was expecting more, which I suppose was inevitable after all the hype. But when you look at all the things it CAN do, it's still a pretty cool device. They just should have downplayed expectations a lot more.

Oh, and the screen resolution is barely adequate for eyestrain-free eBook reading. I'll have to go see one for myself, but the pixel density doesn't seem nearly as high as I'd hoped.

Well, like I said, they're bound to refresh it in six months to a year. I'll pinch my pennies and think about getting a low-end version at that time rather than a PC upgrade or a new video game console. It's only about the price of a new high-end video card anyway, for an entire, functional device!

Mixed feelings.

Metamatician said...

Another thought. Amazon's Kindle is an eBook reader only, is black and white (although the text resolution is very high) and is $260 after the latest round of price-chopping. Add in the leather slipcase for it and basically it's $300. Just for a book reader.

The iPad is very nearly a full-fledged computer for a couple hundred dollars more. That's pretty amazing.

I think I was expecting a higher-end device for more money; instead we got a good device missing some fancy things, but for a very low price, relative to say a laptop. It's still a very good deal - I just wish versions with some of those "wow" features we'd heard about had made it onto a higher-end model for a higher price, giving the product more of a range. In fact, I'll bet this is what happens in the future. I just don't think Apple could get some of its new tech ready and squeezed in and supported with software in time for the Event, so they went safe and showed us a basic model and got rid of any whispers that it was just vaporware, which would have gotten louder if they'd postponed till June, say, or later.

The last thought I have at the moment is, this iPad, especially if you get the true keyboard dock for it, is pretty darned close to a laptop. It's less powerful and cannot multitask, uses the iPhone OS rather than OS X, and obviously isn't suitable for really hefty apps like Photoshop or "real" games, but then again, it can do all the iWork apps, and the App Store is chock full of games and everything else - yes, even fart noise makers - that could essentially make up for the desktop software than won't run on iPhone OS (and I assume it will be OS 4.0 by the time the iPad comes out).

So...why really buy a laptop if you're an average user (not an architect or game designer) just going on a business trip? These things are under a grand and can't entertain you AND do lots of work, and have better battery life than a full notebook. Arguably they're better than a netbook too for about the same price.

I think Apple may have shot it's own non-Pro line of notebook computers in the foot, but that's ok, because they've shot everyone else's too. I'd rather take an iPad to New York with be than a bulky laptop with lame battery life, and with the Music Store, App Store, and now Book Store, plus iWork and surely more re-tooled software to come, I'd have no shortage of things to do on that flight or in my hotel. With the 3G model I could even send emails back home to let people know I'm safe; basically, everything you bring a laptop on a business trip for in the first place.

So, maybe it's a laptop replacement except at the high-end, where the laptops themselves are desktop replacements. This could shuffle the lineup a bit... When Steve was talking about a third device in between a laptop and a smartphone, I kept thinking maybe it wasn't a third device at all, but a fancy low-end laptop with iPod entertainment features built in.

Confusing...but we'll see how the pubic receives it and most importantly how (and if) they use it. Without a hugely successful online store for content, it will be hard for other purely-hardware makers to copy. Acer has already said they won't try to copy it any time soon. It could leave Toshiba and HP and Dell in the same lurch if it really catches on.

An Apple monopoly! Lol.

billybytedoc said...

I agree with everything you said with one ( minor? ) exception. I don't think lack of multitasking is a big deal the way it quickly switched between tasks. I think battery life is more important for a gadget like this.

I agree lack of Flash is dumb. One commenter said Steve had a fight going on with Adobe. Dumb! It will come. An yes it could be done in an upgrade so nat a reason to wait. There are other reasons however.

I would bet a bundle there will be another model in a few months with all the goodies that everybody is wanting for $699+

And I think the App store and games are a really big deal. Can you imagine how much better games, videos, movies etc will be on this than on a Touch.

They surprised everyone with the price and people will gobble them up or am I out of Touch? hehe

Metamatician said...

Hehe, good one.

I agree with you too. Conversation over!

No seriously though, the way Apple (Steve) has woven together their hardware, software, and access to media content and apps/games is incredible and no one but him probably could have wrangled all those music company and movie studio moguls into doing what he did. And now books - except McMillan I guess, which is playing hardball. And I imagine he'll win this tiff with Verizon too. The beef he has with Adobe is stupid I agree; Adobe has always supported Apple from the beginning, and just because native HTML5 video is gonna be the preferred way to go in the future doesn't mean Flash isn't absolutely vital to have NOW for anyone to take it seriously as a browser. Way too many sites use it NOT to support it. Stubborn Steve.

But what I was gonna say is that the way he's bound all of this inextricably together so that none of the pieces work without the others is sheer genius, and will be very hard or impossible for any other single company to match. It's not just a matter of coming out with a Pad with the same specs. Microsoft did that with the Zune, after all. But nobody bought it. Why? No iTunes Music Store support! Same things with the iPad - other companies can build whatever hardware the want, but if Apple has brokered deals with all the major content providers - music, movies, video game devs, app devs, and now eBooks - it won't matter. Everyone will buy the iPad because they will get access to all that content only through them.

You know, if Microsoft has done the same thing, I would hate them for it (and they tried and tried and tried...), so I guess I'm a hypocrite. But companies like MS and Sony use DRM; they lock down their products with draconian EULAs and treat their customers like criminals from the outset. Something about an Apple-run system just "looks and feels" better, to use that old phrase. I know they just want to make a profit, but I think Steve Jobs and his top guys at least also want to leave a legacy of having made great products, and that's what makes them standout from everyone else. Like I said, they're the Porsche out there that everyone wants and is a work of art.

Quite a transformation from the Apple of 1996 which was so close to going out of business. Jobs should get a special prize as "best CEO of all time," forget the decade awards. Not since Rockefeller and Carnegie (who were more akin to Bill Gates, though, really) has someone understood so well how to run a company so well. Maybe Lee Iacoca (sp?) in the 80s, or Henry Ford, and a few others. But love him or hate him, Jobs has been one of the very best businessmen of all time. He just sees the future more clearly than anyone else.

Google will be Apple's main rival in the future, I think, and Microsoft's star will continue to fade as the desktop environment becomes more and more irrelevant. All of MS's mobile and we efforts have been lame. They just don't think in that sort of way.

Metamatician said...

And that $699 one in six months or whatever will be awfully hard to resist... I watch movies alone anyway on my monitor. Put that thing on it's little stand that they showed during the event and put it on the end table while I lie on the couch propped up with a bowl of popcorn - perfect!

Or have it play music while I drift off to sleep. Or lots of things. Slip it in it's leather sleeve and take it to class. You always see devices like that in SF movies. Guess we have the first real one. Now it just needs to be made of transparent but intelligent glass like in all the movies... :)

billybytedoc said...

I just had an interesting thought. Even on Star Trek TNG, they didn't have anything like this. Their Tricorders should have looked like this.

I remember Picard used some kind of a "pad" occasionally, but not like this.

I guess Steve wasn't consulting with those writers.

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