I’ve been following the iPad hype from the beginning and I’m very excited about it. I really believe that it’s going to be the “first” of a whole new category of devices that will change the PC landscape dramatically over the next few years. I know there are a lot of haters out there and people who would completely disagree with that statement. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the majority of Apple’s customers are not super-nerdy tech geeks. These customers don’t care if they can navigate the filesystem, use browsers other than Safari, or remove the battery. I think this is going to be exactly the reason why the iPad will be successful. Just like the iPhone, it’s able to extract out the useful and necessary tasks of the OS without burdening the user with the complicated details. The iPad makes is REALLY easy for users to accomplish the most common tasks out there. I believe that this is exactly what the “general public” is looking for.
But I Have No Use For It
This was (is?) my biggest dilemma with the iPad. Currently I have a capable MacBook and an iPhone 3G. I’m on the computer all day at work, and a lot of the time in the evenings as well. When I’m not on a computer, I always have my iPhone with me and have access to the web if I need it. I don’t really read books. (I read, but it’s almost exclusively online articles and blog posts.) I don’t really spend my free time playing games or using Apps on my iPhone. I use my phone almost exclusively for listening to music, text messaging, and occasionally tweeting. So why do I need the iPad? I don’t.
I couldn’t really think of a reason why I needed to have it. I’ll be heading to the store on Saturday because I’m fascinated by the concept. Using the touch interface on my iPhone still excites me. I’m still impressed by new apps that are being built and some of the things my 2 year old phone can do. That’s saying something. I’m expecting the iPad to take that to a whole new level. I’m expecting it to be fun to use. Enjoyable. I’m hoping that, by having it around the house, I will start to discover use cases for it that I never would have conceived before. I think there is so much potential in a device like this and once thousands of people get their hands on them, many of these creative uses will be discovered.
This topic has been discussed extensively since the iPad was first released. I agree that it could definitely be described as a “flaw” in the iPad. However, I’m not too worried about it. Apple has made it pretty clear that they do not plan to support Flash and are expecting content providers to offer their content using HTML5 and H.264 video. This is obviously not going to happen overnight, but there are already plenty of companies announcing support for HTML5 video. (YouTube, Vimeo, Brightcove, New York Times*, Time Magazine*) I’m expecting that many of the big players in the media space will begin to offer alternatives to Flash rather than lose the Apple audience. Only time will tell if it works out the way Apple hopes it will, but the early signs are good.
4 Days To Go
The pre-order numbers are rumored to be pretty good. Apple’s stock is on the rise and thousands of customers are purchasing a product that they’ve never even had the opportunity to see in person. That’s pretty impressive. I’m expecting Apple to have a really good launch and I think the iPad will be a big hit! I’m looking forward to posting some of my first impressions this weekend. Stay tuned.
* The New York Times and Time Magazine are both Brightcove clients and are said to be using this Brightcove experience to deliver HTML5 video for the iPad. (source)