The makers of the iPhone, story Apple, today announced a “revolutionary” device: a tablet computer they call iPad. Now, normally I’m a big fan of things Apple. I have an iPod touch (don’t want the service contract or wireless provider of the iPhone), and I love it. So you might be expecting me to be geeking out over this new device. But, not so much.
Here is what we know: the new device will run the iPhone OS (albeit an updated version). The iPad will have an option for unlimited wireless 3G connectivity (again from AT&T) for $30 bucks a month (or a limited plan for around $15 per month). If you don’t want 3G connectivity, you can purchase the non-3G version and just connect over wireless networks.
Steve Jobs, Apple CEO and presenter at today’s announcement, says that the iPad is thin and lighter than any netbook. In the $500 to $1000 price space, they are competing against similarly priced netbooks or low-end laptop computers. The iPad also comes with iBook – essentially an e-book reader, which puts iPad in direct competition with devices like Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader.
Essentially, it seems, iBook is a Kindle with the iPhone interface. Apps written for iPhone/iPod touch will run on the iPad, and Apple will roll out new apps (and released a developer’s SDK today so app writers can begin creating apps specifically for the iPad) so you can do word processing, spreadsheet data entry, and more on iPad.
But the question I keep asking myself is, “why?” I mean, Apple has been telling us for years now that smaller was better. Each version of the iMac seemed to get smaller. Each version of the Mac Book Pro got thinner. Apple even rolled out the Mac Book Air, and amazed us with a laptop that can fit in an manila envelope. Then Apple sold us on the iPhone and iPod touch, showing us that we can take the Internet, a bunch of very useful apps, and tons of our data everywhere we go.
Now Apple wants us to believe that bigger is better. Isn’t the iPad essentially an up-sized iPod touch (with optional 3G connectivity)? But are you going to carry the thing around with you wherever you go? That is what I love about my iPod touch–it goes with me everywhere. It is my PDA, it’s my music player, its my e-book reader, my e-mail client, and my portable gaming device all in one. Now Apple wants me to buy an iPad that does all of that, but is just bigger?
It will be interesting to see if iPad takes off like the iPhone did. I’m certainly not going to be standing in line to get one. I’m just not convinced that it will make my life that much better than my iPod already does.
What do you think? Are you geeking out over the iPad? If so, why? If not, are your reasons similar to mine?