So tonight the iPad was launched and for me it is a compelling product but not an amazing one. It is on a basic level an enlarged iPhone without the phone bit. It is based on the iPhone OS and has all the same features. Safari, mail, calendar, contacts etc etc. It also has an iBook application and an iBook store which will allow you to download and read books on the device.
In terms of hardware it has the following specs
It is 0.5-inches thick, weighs 1.5 pounds, and features a 9.7-inch IPS capacitive multitouch display. It is powered by a proprietary 1GHz processor, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, and is available in 16, 32, or 64GB flash storage capacities. Additional specs include an accelerometer, compass, speaker, mic, 30-pin Apple dock connector, and 10-hour built-in battery.
The device is beautiful I cannot dispute that and the iPhone OS is a proven winner, however Steve Jobs put this as the thing to fill the gap in the market between a netbook he said
“So all of us use laptops and smartphones… the question has arisen; is there room for something in the middle. We’ve wondered for years as well — in order to create that category, they have to be far better at doing some key tasks… better than the laptop, better than the smartphone.”
“What kind of tasks? Browsing the web. Doing email. Enjoying and sharing pics. Watching videos. Enjoying music. Playing games. Reading ebooks. If there’s gonna be a third category, it has to be better at these tasks — otherwise it has no reason for being. Now some people thought that was a netbook — the problem is that netbooks aren’t better than anything!”
I beg to differ on that point, they fill a gap of portability and flexibility, they can do the majority of things a full laptop can do (barring some high powered things and gaming). Now the iPad can do gaming yes but your not going to see COD on there or if you do it will be a mobile port of the game. As it is based on the iPhone OS it is limited to things that are also going to work in the iPhone (at least initially until developers make specific apps for it). Having iWork on it is a good selling point, it opens it up to people who want to work on the move. However for me it seems that this device is designed to be used primarily in the home or office where there is a WiFi connection (though there is a 3G enabled option who in their right mind would pay an extra $160 for that and then a monthly fee for the data). The item that is a killer for me is the Newspaper and magazine subscriptions and possibly the book reader. Imagine subscribing to the New York Times or the Daily Telegraph and it just appearing on the device each morning and being able to read it like a normal paper right there and then. That certainly has it’s appeal, but for me a $499 price tag to do that and everything an iPhone does is not particularly appealing. It really needs something else, something more, something totally killer to make it a “must have” device.
That’s my initial thoughts, I am going to sleep on this now and it revisit this in the morning.