And this is why I am not interested in the iPad… version 1.0

And this is why I am not interested in the iPad… version 1.0

Jan 29

I just read a fascinating article by Stephen Fry on the iPad that I think it put things into perspective for me. One of the main points reminded me about the criticism for the original iPhone (the 2G version). A lot of people were disappointed and underwhelmed at the iPhone 2G, myself included. I was not interested in owning one at the time, especially considering the price. The issues were just too many and the benefits too few (no copy and paste? No MMS? Come on.).

There are some disturbing parallels between the version 1 iPad and the version 1 iPhone. Both at the outset were, to be fair, unspectacular in most aspects except for looks. Sure, the touch screen (on the iPhone) was excellent and I’m sure the touch screen on the iPad is excellent. You have to admit though that just a simple thing like no multi-tasking is (for me at least) a deal breaker. No Flash is plain stupid and no camera just means they are either holding back for v2 or plan on making a pile of money on peripherals, or both.

The bit that disturbs me though is now that I know how Apple operated with the iPhone, I think I can see where this is going. Apple releases a ‘somewhat revolutionary’ product now to get the ball rolling. The Apple Koolaid Club go mad for it and buy enough of the product to make it successful. In a year from now, having learnt from version 1, Apple release version 2, which will probably be the spectacular world-changing product we expected in the first place. The Apple Koolaid Club dump their v1’s and all buy v2’s with the rest of the world following suite, making it wildly successful. Six months later and a few software upgrades down the line and Apple pwns us all because now we can’t actually live without that tablet (that now has multitasking, full telephone functionality, a better battery life, two million apps and a more open software development kit because a bunch of hackers unlocked the device and you can now run Linux on it).

I agree whole heartedly with this passage from Stephen’s article:

I know there will be many who have already taken one look and pronounced it to be nothing but a large iPhone and something of a disappointment. I have heard these voices before. In June 2007 when the iPhone was launched I collected a long list of “not impressed”, “meh”, “big deal”, “style over substance”, “it’s all hype”, “my HTC TyTN can do more”, “what a disappointment”, “majorly underwhelmed” and similar reactions. They can hug to themselves the excuse that the first release of iPhone was 2G, closed to developers and without GPS, and that cut-and-paste and many other features that have since been incorporated. Neither they, nor I, nor anyone, predicted the game-changing effect the phone would so rapidly have as it evolved into a 3G, third-party app rich, compass- and GPS-enabled market leader. Even if it had proved a commercial and business disaster instead of an astounding success, iPhone would remain the most significant release of its generation because of its effect on the smartphone habitat. Does anybody seriously believe that Google, Nokia, Samsung, Palm, BlackBerry and a dozen others would since have produced the product line they have without the 100,000-volt Taser shot up the jacksie that the iPhone delivered to the entire market?

What I don’t agree with so much is this:

1. It is so simple. It is basically a highly responsive capacitative piece of glass with solid-state memory and an IPS display. Just as a book is basically paper bound together in a portable form factor. The simplicity is what allows everyone, us, software developers, content providers and accessory manufacturers to pour themselves into it, to remake it according to the limits of their imagination. I’ll stop before I get too Disney.

Simple is good yes, but lets face it, they made it a little too simple. Listening to music and surfing the net at the same time, whilst on Twitter and taking notes, those are the things I must have for me to spend that kind of money on that kind of device.

The point is really, the iPad idea is great but the product is not yet great; I have every expectation that it will be, soon, and you are going to cry about the money you spent on v1 because v2 will be so much better.

You can read the full article by Stephen Fry here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/jan/29/stephen-fry-apple-ipad

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Edit:
Also check out this link for the real price of the iPad: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704194504575031151858008436.html


Another Edit:
Read this page for a very excellent article on the iPad: http://stevenf.tumblr.com/post/359224392/i-need-to-talk-to-you-about-computers-ive-been


Yet Another Edit:
Also have a look at this page about the iPad browsing experience, it’s a classic: http://theflashblog.com/?p=1703

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