I actually had a few emails and posts asking me about my thoughts on the new Apple iPad. After scouring tech information on the web tonight, here is my initial impression and thoughts:
The Apple iPad will be a new home appliance category that will be hammering out a new niche. It will be interesting to see if the iPad will stunt the growth of the recent explosion of Netbooks, Ebook readers, and Android devices starting to be released onto the public this year. In my home, I see an Apple iPad replacing my “casual laptop” – My older laptop who has a current “second life” of web browsing, email, and video watching while I am on the sofa with the feet up.
While reading the tech stories, here are my notes of interest:
- The iPad has the Apple elegance and style as we have come to expect.
- Apple’s Pricing is fairly Aggressive (by Apple Standards)
- Although sleek and slick, the device is still significantly heavy for its form factor.
- Screen looks great and smooth video at 1024 x 768. With the purchase of PA Semi last year, now Apple can hide more of it’s Magic in the hardware design. The new A4 chip is guessed to be of ARM architecture, and coupled closely with a nice graphics engine.
- Even with the A4’s horsepower, Apple decides still to not allow multitasking. My question is: Was that for iPhone Application compatibility, or an overall Apple forward thinking decision that removing multitasking in a handheld is not really a showstopper. (Similar to thier decision in removing CD/DVD drives in the Mac Air)
- E-book implementation is just as good as the competition that is out there. This had to be a category killer goal from the design stage.
- No Camera – My guess on this feature omission is two fold: (1)Putting a camera in the device opens up the entire iPad project to include more than the original conceptual design. (2) Adding a camera might have proven to be too much load on the A4 processor to keep what Apple wanted with the user experience. (Adding a camera adds many new processing demands: iChat video conferencing, Live streaming wants, High demands on video capture etc..)
- The On-Screen Keyboard is “good” but not has as responsive as people hoped. I have never been a fan of onscreen keyboards myself anyway.
- No built in Flash player confirmed. This could be a disappointment on some people’s web browsing habits. I still have not confirmed if the iPad is HTML5 ready. If the iPad is HTML5 ready, then this flash omission is a forward thinking step anyway. Sorry Adobe!
Besides the Living Room Table Tablet, I see new niches already being carved out for the education market and various medical markets. Students win with a lower cost and lighter weight textbook, combined with an electronic note taking device. Add IM, Video, and Youtube distractions, and it becomes even more appealing to own one. The medical field is already implementing tablet devices, and it can step up to the next level the iPad offers. Apple again is pushing the game market as it did with the iTouch. I see the game interest nominal as best.
The iPad creates a new niche. When you don’t need a laptop, but when you are looking to do more than a smartphone can easily handle. It’s your large screen, high performance iPhone / iTouch with some Netbook horsepower.