One of the comments:
I still can’t believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! … I want something new! I want them to think differently! Why oh why would they do this?! It’s so wrong! It’s so stupid!”
Well, that wasn’t a reaction to Apple iPad launch, that was a commenter in 2001 reacting to the launch of the iPod. Yes the same iPod: The world’s most popular and addictive music player, faced a similar response at it’s launch.
It took long for iPod to catch up. Until 3 years after the launch, sales were not notable. In fact, there was no iTunes for Windows until two years after the iPod came out. Compare this to the iPad which already has a bountiful App Store with more apps coming with iPad SDK. History is repeating itself, though with a new approach.
Even though iPad has rumoured to be wildly pre-ordered (50, 000 in first 2 hours), there are some serious concerns. The primary concerns that revolve around iPad are DRM, lack of Camera, Adobe flash, Multitasking, 4:3 aspect ratio etc. which are beaten by Open source Touch book.
“The history of the iPod is a reminder of just how much has to go right for even a revolutionary Apple product to really explode”. Few predict that it could make alot more sense to wait for iPad 2.0 but there’s an equal chance that first iPad succeeds like no one has predicted it could.
Let’s go through all the Facts about iPad:
1. Multitasking via OS 4.0
iPhone OS 4.0 is already planned for sometime around june with Multitasking and more. The current version of the tablet runs iPhone OS 3.2, but not, as hoped, a newer version of that same OS, version 4.0. According to sources, iPhone OS 4.0 could offer a new way to run applications in the background via multitasking. This feature, notably left out of the current operating system due to fears of battery drain, says Apple, “is a key selling point for the company’s latest competitor”, Android from Google.
Apple’s A4 processor is much more power efficient than other 1Ghz processor in it’s class (Qualcomm snapdragon) and Apple won’t mind adding multitasking to give add some battery drain. And they can compensate it by giving other firmware improvements (they have already improved battery life for iPhone several times).
2. Camera – It is coming OR is already there
Update: iPhone OS 3.2 Confirmed to have Video Conference support.
On the day of launch, CrunchGear noted that the device thinks it has a camera:
Obviously, Apple developers ain’t fools. Either it’s already in-there (remember 60 day gap means something) or being worked upon already. Didn’t you miss “One More Thing”?
3. Voice Calls are coming
With 3G service already there, it won’t be hard to hack the way to get voice calls. Apple may already be planning to get it to iPad, the proof comes from : return to call as seen in iPad SDK
4. Flash – It’s a Niche already
How many of the websites you visit daily have something featured with flash?
Over the last 5 years, I’ve seen more and more flash based widgets, animations being replaced by AJAX and JQuery based widgets or even HTML5. Except for few Fashion/Fancy-Product-pages, 95% of the webs don’t use flash (ignoring youtube, hulu).
As far as Youtube goes, they are already migrating to HTML 5. If you are geek enough to still have flash, you already know how jailbreaking can make it possible to have Youtube, hulu video via Safari itself.
You love iPhone already without flash, why won’t you love iPad too. Of course it’s a limitation Apple is binding us to, but I guess fans will make grapes taste sour.
5. iPad will find several Niches,m making it a success
Large no. of small Niches would make it BIG. The voting already shows 47% are interested in buying one of the iPad models. Let’s discuss some of these niches
- Blind Fanboys: Let’s not talk about blind Apple followers who will buy it anyway.
- News/Media/journalists: It already serves their purpose very well.
- eBook Users: Who will buy a kindle when you can get a tablet for near-about same price
- Portable Gaming: Most gamers would like to have the Most capable large gaming device.
- Business users: Marketing people can run ppt and draw charts and analytics on the device while visiting customers.
Do you still see chances of it not getting good sales? Wait, there’s more. Hear it from the people who have used it:
There’s no question that much of what the iPhone and iPod touch do translates nicely here, and there’s no question that some of the tweaks made to native iPad apps are impressive, but nothing I saw made me sit up and think, “Wow, I need this.” It’s telling that the most intriguing user experiences shown off today were the iPad versions of the iWork suite. iWork? If Steve Jobs hoped to answer the question about why we need this third device, or how it’s better than a netbook, he didn’t make a compelling case. Where is video chat? Where is multitasking (honestly, only one app at a time for a device of this size and speed)? Why is the lock screen so embarrassingly empty? Why are there no active widgets to fill that huge homescreen space? Where is the expansion of the multitouch user experience? And seriously, where are the media partnerships?
British actor and tech enthusiast Steven Fry also spent time with the iPad and came away positively giddy because of its simplicity and Apple’s perfectionist tendencies towards product development.
There are many issues you could have with the iPad. No multitasking, still no Flash. No camera, no GPS. They all fall away the minute you use it. I cannot emphasise enough this point: “Hold your judgment until you’ve spent five minutes with it”. No YouTube film, no promotional video, no keynote address, no list of features can even hint at the extraordinary feeling you get from actually using and interacting with one of these magical objects. You know how everyone who has ever done Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? always says, “It’s not the same when you’re actually here. So different from when you’re sitting at home watching.”? You know how often you’ve heard that? Well, you’ll hear the same from anyone who’s handled an iPad. The moment you experience it in your hands you know this is class. This is a different order of experience. The speed, the responsiveness, the smooth glide of it, the richness and detail of the display, the heft in your hand, the rightness of the actions and gestures that you employ, untutored and instinctively, it’s not just a scaled up iPhone or a scaled-down multitouch enhanced laptop – it is a whole new kind of device. And it will change so much. Newspapers, magazines, literature, academic text books, brochures, fliers and pamphlets are going to be transformed (poor Kindle). Specific dedicated apps and enhancements will amaze us.
Michael Gartenberg, writing for SlashGear, thinks the iPad is neither an iPod touch nor a MacBook:
The form factor is excellent. It’s not too light to feel fragile and, at 1.5 lbs, it’s also not something that’s going to tire you holding it long term. The screen is amazing with a full XGA resolution. I could easily imagine reading for hours on end on this screen and far prefer this idea to e-ink. For one, there’s no annoying refresh that happens with every page turn and, as a backlit display, it’s perfect for reading in dark places, like airplane seats or in bed without disturbing anyone else. The performance of Apple’s silicon is wicked fast. I was pretty skeptical about running existing apps in a pixel-doubled full screen mode. Action games, I figured, would be pretty much out of the question and Apple came fully prepared to answer that question. Existing games ran ridiculously fast and titles optimized for the device make this the ultimate mobile game device. Personally, I’d buy it just for gaming alone.
There are more who have shared their experience, but all are more or less, same.
Sounds Familiar? Same points as we saw at the launch of iPod and even iPhone. It lacks few desirable features but the interface, the feel will tempt you to the limits.
Start understanding Apple‘s strategy: They will tease your senses and will ultimately make you buy it.