March 2010 Archives

Apple iPad Reviews Starting to Appear

Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal on the iPad:
    "My verdict is that, while it has compromises and drawbacks, the iPad can indeed replace a laptop for most data communication, content consumption and even limited content creation, a lot of the time. But it all depends on how you use your computer."

David Pogue of New York Times, who breaks it down into two reviews. One for techies, and one for non-techies, and both reviews start off like this: "The Apple iPad is basically a gigantic iPod Touch.". Pogue goes on to write that techies "can get a laptop for much less money -- with a full keyboard, DVD drive, U.S.B. jacks, camera-card slot, camera, the works. Besides: If you've already got a laptop and a smartphone, who's going to carry around a third machine? ". For the non techies, the review is 3 times as long, and finishes with "The bottom line is that the iPad has been designed and built by a bunch of perfectionists. If you like the concept, you'll love the machine. "

USA Today seems to have gotten their hands on one as well:

    "The first iPad is a winner. It stacks up as a formidable electronic-reader rival for Amazon's Kindle. It gives portable game machines from Nintendo and Sony a run for their money."
Even the Chicago Sun-Times got a preview iPad:
    "The Apple iPad is every bit as good as promised."

Not to be left out is PC Magazine, which normally hates Apple products:

    "I'm curious to see who actually buys the iPad, apart from Apple enthusiasts. But I can tell you that when my laptop eventually dies, I'll be getting one."
The biggest common gripe from all reviewers seems to be the lack of Adobe Flash on the device, mainly because so much web content exists on Flash.

iPad receives 150,000 orders first weekend

This past weekend, an estimated 150,000 orders were received on Apple's website for the iPad, with over 50,000 orders within the first two hours. The iPad, Apple's entry into the world of tablet computing, or e-reader devices, has only been seen by a small number of press. It is a success, and it hasn't even shipped yet. These are confirmed orders, not including in-store reservations (which may be even more numerous than pre-orders) for a $500 (minimum) device.

There are solid reasons I believe this device to be a general hit to the populace:

  1. It's Easy to Use
    Apple has always put a lot of effort into the usability design of the device. While Steve Jobs can sell any design choice as a feature, going with a multi-touch tablet certainly makes things more accessible.
  2. Numbers Don't Lie
    While one might be tempted to compare the sales of the iPad to say a cellphone, like iPhone (1 million in 74 days) or Nexus One (135,000 in 74 days), the Kindle is probably the best unit to compare against (estimated to be about 240,00 during the first year). Within the first month, Apple should best the Amazon Kindle in numbers (if it hasn't already). Keep in mind, that unlike the Kindle, the iPad is international ready from day one, utilizing the GSM/3G network. Also, keep in mind the numbers for Apple's first generation iPod, which only sold 378,000 after a full year.
  3. Apps and Content are King
    The Kindle and other e-readers do one thing -- they allow e-books to be read. With the color screen of the iPad, you can watch movies or play games. That will be a major selling point for some people, when games like crosswords and sudoku can't even be played on a Kindle yet. The iPhone has a very strong app store, while the Kindle does not.
  4. GPS and Location Services
    The 3G iPad contains GPS. That means your 3G iPad isn't just an e-reader/web browser/movie player, but it's a GPS map device too. Absolutely useful if you don't already carry an iPhone.
  5. It's Better Than the Alternatives
    If you've ever used a Kindle, there are several drawbacks to using it -- the first and foremost is the speed of the Kindle -- slow in everything it does. Screen refreshes are slow, web browsing is unusable, and even trying to do things within the user interface is slow. Barnes and Noble's nook is a little speedier, but lacks a full-screen color display. The Kindle also has several problems with regard to using networks -- it only connects to the mobile provider, and not to local Wi-Fi networks, which would mean that if I had an AT&T GSM Kindle, 99% of the time, my Kindle would not be using 3G (because AT&T coverage in my area is abysmally bad).
  6. With the addition of a keyboard (or dock and keyboard), the iPad is a computer
    While I happen to be one of the computer-using elite, there are a lot of unwashed souls out there who find using a computer difficult. The iPad pretty much eliminates the barrier of knowing how to use a keyboard or a mouse; the user need only point to what they want to run.

Given all these factors, I find it highly likely the iPad is going to be a solid hit, and I can't wait to play with one.

Monthly Archives