Yesterday, Steve Jobs and Apple finally unveiled their next rumored touch screen technical marvel: the iPad.
For quite a few weeks there was all kinds of speculation on just how much Apple’s next big thing would change everything. Some were expecting a new wave in personal computing, a true start to touch screen computers becoming mainstream. The expectations seemed to equate with the affect the iPhone had on technology. The iPhone quite literally changed everything, and while people can debate which smartphone is the best, the fact remains that the iPhone is the benchmark for every other smartphone out there.
However, we didn’t get that at all yesterday. What Apple delivered instead falls somewhere between the biggest nerd let down of all time and the best example of a corporation trying to cash in on their own name. The iPad is nothing more than an oversized iPod Touch. Oh sure, the iPad features the new A4 chip, but the fact still remains that Apple is trying to sell us something we already have.
Juff Dunham has a great line in one of his routines (ok, well it was his puppet Peanut, but I digress): “Polish a turd, but it’s still a turd!” Well, polish up the iPad all you want, but it’s still an iPod Touch. Save for a larger screen and a possibility to run apps in a slightly different manner, Apple isn’t breaking any new ground here.
What’s even worse is that Apple is still refusing to remove two of the biggest constraints that drive iPhone and iPod Touch owners insane: lack of multitasking and lack of Flash support. And if that all wasn’t enough, you then have to consider the amount of money you need to shell out for this thing.
When you look at the costs, you just have to wonder what the hell Apple is thinking here. My current iPhone cost me $99 via an upgrade from the first generation model. Had I splurged for a 3GS, the pricetag would’ve been $199. Even with a full cost of either phone, I am still well below the low end price of an iPad, and I would have a device that contains far more functionality that the iPad ever will because I have voice, voicemail, SMS, and MMS capabilities. The only difference is touch screen size and that is not worth a difference of around $200-300 for a low-end iPad.
Then you also have to consider that Apple is saying I should purchase their piece of mobile technology over that of say a netbook or laptop. Using the $499 price point, it took me literally less than a minute to find another device that will outperform the iPad. When comparing that laptop with the iPad, the iPad has the following advantages:
- Lighter weight
- Better looking design
- Touch Screen
- Better Battery Life
However, the laptop has the following advantages over the iPad:
- Larger screen
- Can multitask
- Flash can be supported
- Larger Storage (160 GB)
- Faster Processor
- Can play DVDs by popping in a disk
- Can play far more advanced and modern games than those in the app store
- Software capabilities are not limited to the app store
Now I could go on even further, but it really isn’t needed.
The main point is that Apple seems to have completely forgotten what made the iPhone and iPod Touch so widely successful. People, myself included, were willing to spend $200 on an iPhone or iPod Touch because they were offering functionality that was unheard of for a phone or a portable music device. Simply put, they outperformed the alternatives that were out at the time and they continue to stand in the top-tier of said devices.
The iPad does not do this. While Apple will surely argue that the iPad’s prices are far below that of any tablet PC, it would be like comparing apples and oranges as the functionality between the two are worlds apart. If the iPad is competing against anything, it would be the iPod Touch.
Apple seems to be doing nothing more than attempting to cash in our their own brand name and hype. The iPad has been dressed up as the next big thing and are hoping their smoke and mirrors routine will translate into sales. If the iPad translates into a success for Apple, it will be because of their marketing and not because of their product.
Make no mistake, all Apple did was deliver an overpriced iPod Touch that will also cause more strain on AT&T’s 3G network.
Yes, but the iPad will succeed where other tablets have failed: timing. The nature of computing has fundamentally changed. Computers aren’t what they were in the 1990s or early 2000s, when everybody bought beige Dell boxes. Now, computers are a means of communication, social interaction, work, play, and everything in between. The iPhone Era has ushered in the changes that were, for the most part, always expected.
Give the software a year to catch up. You’ve certainly heard the rumors that the next release of Mac OS X will be Cloud-based. And there are lots of little things you can’t see, but point to the future: OS X’s undocumented loader for portable executables; system-space execution for 64-bit apps; enormous resources being devoted to development of multi-touch drivers by Apple.
Buying a 1st Gen device is always a risk. But Apple is positioning themselves as the great middleman between you and the Cloud; they are the toll-booth collector. Recommendation: buy Apple stock.
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