The iPad Does(n’t) Make Sense

Apple iPadUpdate: I started writing this post and realized I’m finding so much about the iPad on a daily basis, I’ll never finish this. I’m going make this sticky and continue to expand on it as I uncover new notions of what this thing is.

There seem to be two warring factions over the iPad, those that think it makes sense and those that don’t. I’m firmly in the “think it makes sense” group.

I hate Flash. I hate the AIR runtime. I don’t even have the browser plugin installed (my hatred extends beyond ClickToFlash). But most of the people that will buy this device will have some sort of affinity for it. I can just see my sister, buying this for use on the couch, firing it up and Farmville being a blue square. The lack of Flash matters most to those who don’t even know what it is.

This is the New Apple OS
Some fear that iPhone OS X, which will most likely be re-branded Mobile OS X, will creep upwards to laptops and desktops. Apple is not stupid, this will never happen. Do you think they haven’t noticed the huge developer community that lives and loves OS X? This is the community that create the applications and apps that make iP and Macs such a pleasure to use. Apple is not going to do anything to interfere with the love.

The iPad is for my Mom
Recently, my parents hashed it out over my mom’s desire for an Apple laptop. My dad was against it as he didn’t want to learn a new OS. She ended up with a Dell. The iPad would be perfect for her, no learning required. What we’re seeing here is the wii-ification of the game console. Bringing a somewhat arcane device to the masses. But my mom is going to be awfully pissed her genealogy software doesn’t work on it.

It’s Just a Big iPod Touch
And my iPhone is just a smaller, less powerful, less capable iPad. The only things that matter about the physical aspects are a) the size of the screen and b) it’s running Apple’s A4 chip (which I’ll get to later). Watching the Jobs announcement was boring, truly boring. I wasn’t there so I checked out the live blogs without the benefit of motion. It was the 7 minute iPad intro video that blew my mind. And the word on the street is that you “have to use it to understand it”. Watching the video was enough for me. It is the interface that allows this device to excel where everyone else has failed.

It Doesn’t have X, Y, or Z
I firmly believe that Apple has introduced what the market will bear, not what Apple is capable of. You can see evidence of this tactic with the camera in the iPod Nano and a lack of one in the iPod Touch. The iPod Touch can survive with its current specs, the Nano, not so much. I bet Apple is currently working on the 3rd or even 4th generation of the iPad right now. I also believe this product line will be pushed more aggressively, no once per year updates.

This is Not a “Hobby” Product
When we got the iPod Touch, it wasn’t called the iTouch. Same with Nano, Shuffle, and now Classic. The branding remains consistent – iP. The iPad fits into this branding mold, whereas a “Hobby” product does not – tv.

The Apple A4 CPU/GPU
I don’t have any knowledge that isn’t already out there, but I’m damn curious how many cores this thing has. Apple, with its PA Semi purchase, has brought us a screaming, power-sipping monster. We all know the next iPhone will be called the iPhone A4. I bet this is what has postponed the launch of the tablet for so long, Jobs just was not comfortable releasing an underpowered device that did not hold up well in battery life.

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