Technically speaking 1: Weighing in on the iPad

January 31, 2010, Posted by Matt Charleton at 6:36 pm

I’m a little late to the iPad opinion party, but while it’s a hot topic, I might as well chime in.  The unveiling of the tech has created a create divide within internet users. The prophetic Steve Jobs parted the online masses a click of his remote.  Even Mac ‘fanboys’ ultimately are divided on the subject, with many having hyped the release so much that there was no way it could have ever delivered.  As my former business professor advised when engaging with customers: “one must lower expectations so that you can exceed them.”

It’s a tall order for Apple. How can you create that kind of buzz and still supply the honey?  I guess sometimes hype is a double-edged sword.  Regardless, the iPad is the second most popular trend on twitter (link), matching the crisis in Haiti that has dominated the (micro)blogosphere for the past several weeks.  I still believe it’s premature to judge the product as essentially nobody has even used the product – with the exception of Pee Wee Herman (link).

I think polarizing reviews are only going to incite rage from one camp or the other.  What I have found beneficial were those articles that are purely statements of facts.  Mashable tracked the product’s missing components and yet still provided a fairly agnostic view– one of the few that I found valuable (link).

Many condemn Apple for releasing what they feel is a less-than-useful product or rather one that didn’t reach its potential.  Many abhor the iPad’s inability to multitask or lack of camera, peripheral ports or extended memory.  What needs to be understood that this is all good business. What I maintain when I discuss the subject with others is that if Apple rolled out a true tablet PC, they would cannibalize laptop sales.  Your dedicated Apple consumer will still buy the newest macbook and perhaps even the iPad as well, but if the iPad were the end-all be-all of tablet computing, it would mean one or the other.  It’s just good business.

It’s not that Apple couldn’t deliver; it’s simply that it doesn’t make sense for them to do so.  The iPad will fill a niche that isn’t quite mobile and isn’t quite personal computing, a niche that Apple will carve out for themselves.  The iPad complements other computing devices, it doesn’t replace them. Why cut a bigger piece of an hyper-competitive pie when you can just bake another all by yourself?

Note: this won’t be the case for long, with numerous competitive products coming out from several developers – (link)

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