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Summary:

The iPad has launched, but who’s planning to purchase it? With over 2,000 poll respondents in less than 24 hours, there are some surprising results from our audience. For some, this is the perfect device, while others clearly expected something more from Apple.

ipad-poll-results

After the Apple iPad introduction, we asked if you were planning to purchase the latest mobile device from Cupertino. As of this morning, just over 2,000 readers responded to the poll. 42% of the respondents voted in the “Not a chance” category and 31% are still undecided. That leaves just 27% of those that took the poll plan to grab an iPad when it becomes available around the end of March.

I voted in in the undecided category for a few reasons, most of which we’ll be talking about in this morning’s podcast, so tune in later for more thoughts. What’s most interesting to me is that the device is generally what was expected and yet it seems that expectations weren’t met. At least, that’s the feeling I get from both the poll results and the numerous reader comments. Has Apple lost some of it’s magical ability to exceed expectations? And even though Apple essentially trashed the concept of netbooks, I still believe that they’ve introduced a smartbook in a slate form factor.

  1. Well, unfortunately I think it is a cup full of FAIL.

    Which is sad, since I’m actually looking for a slate device at the moment.

    No multitasking.
    No flash support.
    No SD card slot or USB connectivity.

    After watching the presentation yesterday, now more than ever I am looking forward to the Lenovo Ideapad U1, which is basically an iPad, but married to a detachable keyboard base which houses an Intel Core Solo and Windows 7, runs Linux OS with UI when detached.

    Or I could just go back and reaquire an HP TC1100 from 2003.

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    1. GoodThings2Life Thursday, January 28, 2010

      100% agree with you Dan.

      Between Lenovo and HP and Windows 7, I’m happier by the minute that I’ve stuck with Windows and haven’t bought into the hype of the forbidden fruit.

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      1. I run XP machines, OS X, Linux and now Windows 7 actively so I consider myself as having a 10,000 foot view of the truth. Although it’s more “user friendly” than the predecessors by copying some OS X behavior, Windows 7 still abstracts too many things. When you dig in to 7, it’s still vague, rigid, arbitrary, inconsistent and fairly ugly. It also misses the point of many UI nuances used by OS X. There are a few nice tricks in 7 but it doesn’t make up for the shortfalls.

        Microsoft puts eye candy into a UI because they’re selling the sizzle off the steak. They think people want to see flash and glitz when they touch something. They’ve missed the point. Little items which seem to be superfluous flashy things in OS X are actually useful feedback devices – well thought out and far better than 7. If Microsoft really understood that, Windows 7 would scroll lists of folders smoothly instead of popping from line to line. The visual cues are poorly thought out.

        Windows 7 does a lot of things right but there are some old paradigms they need to get rid of to actually make it better to use. The same is true for Apple but they do more things right than wrong. I’ve seen probably 100 first time Mac users at my job over the last five years, mostly combative about using a Mac. It takes about 6-8 weeks to actually “get” all the thought Apple puts into things. I say that because that’s about when the new users start asking me what kind of Mac they should get for home because they can’t stand their Windows machine anymore. Probably 95% of them are pure Mac users now.

        You mention “hype” which is interesting. Apple certainly uses glowing terms for their existing products and most of their users agree. However, most of the “hype” surrounding Apple products is generated by users or the press, not by Apple. They ship products, not prototypes or concepts. When they do ship a product, increasingly it comes with an ecosystem of killer applications, not just another piece of empty hardware. Tablet style computers have been around for a while, but they’ve largely been laptops you can bend in half. Ho hum. This iPad thing is very different. It’s not for everyone, though – that much is clear.

        Microsoft spews more “hype” than most companies. It can be found in the long list of pronouncements which never shipped or in their obvious efforts to make sure their competitors fail. They should be smart enough to make competitors fail by shipping compelling products instead of erecting barriers to competition. I can’t recall the last time they had an original idea. Microsoft should stick to their core competency – enterprise server systems. It’s the last remaining thing they’re good at.

        Between Lenovo and HP, they’re largely junkyard class equipment compared to what else is out there.

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  2. I think a big part of the problem was CES. When ipod and the iphone came out it they seemed unique and companies had to scramble to try and match it. This time though in the same year you will have lots of tablets to choose from and you arent stuck with an Apple product if you want a slate. You can choose a multitude of operating systems, input devices, form factors and cellphone providers. Thus creating a much more level playing field than Apple had with the ipod and the iphone.

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    1. GoodThings2Life Thursday, January 28, 2010

      I think people were expecting something with full-blown MacOSX and inking capability… something unique and interesting, and it just didn’t happen. It’s a big iPod with books in a half-hearted attempt to take down Kindle.

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  3. When my five year old PowerBook G4 gets too long in the tooth (it’s almost there), the iPad will be my laptop replacement. I’ve taken to doing many things with my iPhone instead of the laptop and this becomes natural progression.

    Flash? meh. I don’t miss the banner ads that much. Very little good comes through Flash on the average web page and whatever is good is getting the HTML5 treatment these days. It would be nice to have a few I/O ports on it, but I’ll give the aftermarket people some time. They’ll have a billion accessories for this thing in six months.

    I may even start reading books again.

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  4. I agree with you that this device in general met what people expected it to do and surpassed expectations in terms of price.

    If you had polled readers before the announcement based on the hints and guesses of what this could do, I expect the numbers would have been around the same.

    And that is the rub. Given that your core reader demographic are like me, (moderate to super geek), I think that we are suffering from a bit of disappointment that our expectations were not blown out of the waters.

    However if I was Apple and creating a ‘new’ space like this, I would be extremely pleased to think that I could get 1/3 of the computer savvy population to consider buying into this.

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  5. The poll is interesting, but I think many of the readers here are a different demographic from the vast consumer market that Apple is really targeting. For example, I’m pretty sure that most consumers are much more interested in the ease of shopping (iTunes, iBookstore, App Store) than in the screen technology. And looking at battery life, 10 hours is at least double what they currently get from their notebook computer, and comparable to their iPod, so battery life is good for them.

    With that said, it’s interesting that 27% of respondents are ready to send Apple their money today. If Apple can win over almost a third of this bunch right out of the gate, I’m sure another third will find the device appealing after a software update – the processor certainly looks fast enough to support multitasking and Flash. If the connector on the bottom supports it there will quickly be third-party add ons for USB drives, cameras and all sorts of other things.

    My guess is that the entry level iPad will be the #1 holiday gift next December.

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    1. I totally get your point about the audience, but I think our readership is actually a good indicator on this one. Why? Because they’re familiar with the smartbook and companion device concept, which is how I’m viewing this device. I think the negative numbers in the poll are more a reflection on how people expected Apple to exceed expectations — in this case, I’d say they mainly met them based on what we knew and predicted. Just my $0.02. ;)

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  6. I like the iPad and can it being usful to me as a companion device both at home and at work. The only reason I am on the fence is that I want to put my hands on one before I decide. I will probaly wait until the second generation is intruduced. I still remember what happend to the folks that bought the First Generation of the iPhone.

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    1. I like the iPad too, like Mr Jobs said, is a kinda a link between the smartphone and laptop, its by no means a laptop/netbook replacement, but for hearing music, watching videos, even in HD, or doing emails/messaging or surfing the web is an excellent device, you dont even have to wait to boot up like laptops do. So it doesnt multitask, or doesnt do flash, that wont stop me for using one of those iPads, as i have been using my iPod Touch alot from surfing the web to emails/messaging, and the bigger screen could really be helpful. If i want more power or have a lot of work to do, I will use my laptop. But for little stuff, the iPad is a good choice so far. The WiFi/3G model even though it will be expensive, it can be very usefull to my needs, sometimes we lose power due to weather, and if i had one of those, i could leave my smartphone for emergencies only, with the iPad, i could be in contact with relatives through messaging/emails, and still surf the web on a big and comfortable screen. It doesnt have a webcam, so what? i can still communicate with friends or relatives which is better than nothing, I do hope it lasts 10 hours of normal use as they have said. I wont belive it until i see it.

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  7. borax99 (AlainC.) Thursday, January 28, 2010

    Put them down if you like, but Atom netbooks have proven that you can get good battery life, decent web performance and a *full* desktop OS in a nice, portable package (hey, I’m using the S5!). iPad is a great big nyet for me. I am hoping that the upcoming HP slate will have capacitive touch and decent battery life in addition to Win 7 – that would be a WIN for me – and I would likely pull the trigger.

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  8. The most disappointing omissions from this device for me, where the primary 5+MP camera, and GPS. I was discussed by the bezel at first, then it dawned on me how it was necessitating since the device is so thin…you need something to hold onto. Still I would have liked to see some of the bezel used as a touch enabled surface for game controls, or so me other gesture use like the palm pre does.

    That being said, I can also see that Apple may have wanted to include these devices in their product, but it may not have been possible if they wanted to meet their price point. Camera Integration may add $30, while a GPS chip could cost $20…that’s not much money, but considering they wanted to meet a very specific price goal, it may have been enough to decide to omit them until the next revision when prices come down.

    Just as the first Iphone was missing copy/paste, MMS, and a few other things, the IPad is a new product. Is it good enough to warrent $500 of your hard earned cash? you decide for yourself. It is for me, as I am a student that if going into Nursing Infomatics and my primary focus is use of mobile devices in the Medical Field. When the next version of the Ipad comes out, I’ll just sell the old one and buy the next. Fortunately, even the older Iphones hold value, and I’m willing to bet first gen Ipads will still fetch a reasonable return on ebay.(heck even netbooks have relatively good re-sale, which is surprising)

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  9. I am disappointing and will not buy. I am a big fan of handwriting recognition and handwriting storage. I loved the Newton and later the Tablet PC. I was looking forward for communication and conferencing tool, basically a Pad that could take notes and process them for recognition and storage, I also was hoping for a video camera to use for video meetings, skype etc. Then of course all the rest Wi-Fi, e-book, web browsing, virtual keyboard some e-mail, word and data processing. USB connectivity a must. Oh well I guess the competition will come out with similar or even better products.

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  10. I’m just glad there are still plenty of buyers for my TC1100 on eBay now that I’ll be iPading it.

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  11. i am rather in the middle, but there is no question that the overall impression from around the web is of major disappointment. this is the 1st Apple launch i have ever seen that has been a disaster (at least initially). go even read major blog commentaries, i think Engadget summed it up best.

    where i think Apple really messed up, was essentially in the UI. people seemed borderline devastated that it was a big “iPod”. so much so that embarrassed Apple apologists (like Marx up there) are coming out of the woodwork to remind us of all Apples “past” contributions to the tech world.

    people were expecting something totally revolutionary, and it just didnt happen. what about that on-screen keyboard, wheres the breakthrough input mechanism? people slammed UMPC’s years ago for using them. its almost as if Apple scrapped their previous tablet plans & slapped an iPhone UI in the last few months in an effort to leverage the platform with the already successful iPhone/iPod. this UI couldnt have been in the works for a decade since it is a direct clone of the iPhone.

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    1. @Tim: that doesn’t take into account the possibility that the interface elements were originally developed as part of the tablet R&D, and were adapted for use on the iPhone/iPod Touch as an offshoot. I haven’t seen any hard evidence to support this, but given how long Apple tablet rumors have been flying around, it seems a plausible scenario.

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    2. Apologist? Embarrassed? Past contributions? I was talking to the guy who was touting Windows 7 and was glad he “stuck with Windows”. Try not to skim so much.

      I’m not sure how or why everyone would register major disappointment in the iPad since the half the tech world has been goading Apple into developing a tablet style computer for years. Ok, they did that. Is everyone disappointed that it’s just not another “me too” device?

      Like I said up there after coming out of the woodwork [made me chuckle], the iPad isn’t for everyone. They’ll sell a bunch of them anyway. I’m going to wait for version 2 at least. The iPhone was disappointing to me at first, so I waited for version 3.

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  12. I’m still not sure about the “iPad” name, other than opening the door to a lot of comparisons to feminine hygiene products it creates the impression of a completely new product line when it is an extension of the iPod Touch. iPod Slate, or iPod tablet would have been more appropriate. I can’t tell you how many people (and “news” organizations) woke up today believing that this iPad was a full fledged computer and not the over sized iPod Touch that it is….

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    1. So the 17-inch screen will be the maxi pad?

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  13. I agree with Steve. Once people start dropping by the Apple retail stores and handling them they will fly off the shelves. The fact they’re shipping the consumer priced Wifi only model before the early adopter WiFi+3G model signals to me they’ve moved beyond catering to me and my early adopter bucks. If this trend continues where will I go next for my shiny new early adopter gee whiz bang toys???

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  14. I would buy one to use as a photo slideshow viewer. Waiting for a horizontal dock in which I can place it.

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  15. If I want to get one, I’ll wait for the subsidized version with GPS and Camera. Everything points to the inclusion of a camera.

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  16. This will be the greatest invention since the iPhone. I predict a million purchases on the first 2 hours. I will be standing in line for one.

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  17. Imagine waking up in the morning and having your cup of coffee. Instead of picking up the newspaper, you’ll be picking up your iPad to surf the latest news on the web instantly. How convenient is that? Very simple and smart!

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