The device is sweet, no doubt, but there are some things that are missing. The first thing that really stands out is that there is no camera on the device. Many people use notebooks for Skype and with the iPad this would be great, but with no camera this is not possible.
How many websites do you visit that require flash? Probably 60-70% of them. The iPad currently does not support Flash, which could be a deal breaker for most people. If I’m surfing the web and want to watch an embedded video I can’t do it on the iPad.
As I said the iPad runs the iPhone OS so that means NO multitasking. Anyone who uses a computer multitasks. So I can’t have my Twitter client open and surf the web at the same time; things that you are used to doing on a daily basis with your laptop.
Who’s Going to Buy it?
Obviously you are going to have the Apple fan boys that purchase the device. Those are going to be the early adopters for sure. The thing about this device is that it is in its own category. It is not an e-book reader, not a netbook and definitely not a laptop. So where does this device really fit? As a current iPhone user I really don’t see a need for an iPad. To me it is basically a device that does everything that my iPhone can do, except it has a larger display and can do some things a little differently. Nothing to the extent that it will make me purchase the device.
One thing I found really interesting was the announcement of the book store. Think about this device as your new text book for college. You spend more money on text books in one semester than the total cost of this device. Imagine if you got a discount on the books with the purchase of the iPad, or have the iPad be part of your tuition cost. I can really see this device being used in school, maybe not right away, but eventually.
No doubt this device is going to be compared to the Kindle from Amazon. The larger 9-inch Kindle sells for $489. The iPad is a far better e-book reader and has a lot more functionality than the Kindle. If someone is going to pay $489 for the Kindle I’m sure they would spend a little extra to get the iPad.
Is it Revolutionary?
The iPhone was definitely revolutionary for sure, it took Smartphone’s to a whole new level and really introduced the word to the touch interface. Will the iPad have the same effect? You definitely have to say this is one slick piece of hardware for sure! The awesome design teamed with the iPhone OS GUI is really going to make this device a pleasure to use.
This is not your ordinary tablet. When people think of a tablet PC they think of a laptop where you are able to rotate the screen and write on it with a stylus. The iPad is really different, I’m not sure if I would event call it a PC, like I said there is no multitasking and it is completely touch. Many people have referred to it as an “appliance”, something that is used for specific tasks and is not hard to use so anyone can use it. If you sort of put it in that category it does make sense, but the question is how many people need something like it?
If anyone was going to make a product like this you know it had to be Apple. They are the only ones that could really do it successfully I think. I mean look at what they did with MP3 players and even digital music distribution. Will this device really help digital book distribution? With the iPhone Apple has the user base already so the learning curve on this device is going to be low for this millions of users already. This device is also not that intimidating to non-iPhone users because doing things with touch is very natural.
It will be interesting to see how the device changes over time and how many units Apple actually sells. You can watch the entire keynote here or watch a very cool product video here.