Apple today announced both pre-order and availability dates for its iPad. Many see it as an oversized iPod Touch, but perhaps the form factor is part of the purchase equation. You might need to hold and use the device before making a decision. Are you buying?

iPad thumb

If you believe in magic and live in the U.S., you can pre-order it on March 12 in the form an Apple iPad. It is, after all, “magical and revolutionary,” says Apple. Either the Wi-Fi or the Wi-Fi 3G models can be pre-ordered, but only the Wi-Fi model will be appearing on April 3. Late April is the target for the 3G devices and for delivery of either model in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

So while there’s no specific updates to the iPad features, specs or functionality, the availability and pre-order dates beg the question of who’s buying. Over at GigaOm, we’re running a poll on that topic, but I’ve added it here for our readers. As much as I agree with the “it’s just a big iPod Touch” sentiment, I think there’s still an unknown and that’s the experience brought by the form factor. This might be a device that you have to hold and use before making a purchase decision. I expect to do just that on April 3 before I decide. The iPad is already under consideration for my retooled mobile toolkit, especially now that I’ve dumped my iPhone. If I can get my daily work done in the the browser, it just might work for me and would let me use the iPhone apps I’ve already invested in. Since I now have a MiFi in my gadget bag, I’d be opting for a Wi-Fi model and simply use my existing Verizon plan for web connectivity as needed.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Web Tablet Survey: Apple’s iPad Hits All Right Notes

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  1. I would possibly buy one if it was 7″, but 10″ is just too big to carry around, might as well have a small laptop or netbook.

  2. I really think the iPad is a letdown, it could be so much more. However, I do use Safari Books Online a lot and an iPad might be the right tool for that, and if both Logmein and Air Video works with it, and if it’s also able to jailbreak I might still buy it.

  3. My own feeling is that when people get their hands on the iPad, they’ll realize that most of the complaints about how the device is inadequate or unnecessary missed the point, and sales of the iPad will rise rapidly.

    1. Spot on prediction. As Tim Cook has said, once you see the iPad, you will buy it because of the magic, but not the capabilities. Seems, black magic is also patented now.


      UK market is already waiting in anticipation and here the advertisement from one of the major broadcasters (E4) regarding the device:


      1. Well, magic (patented or not) has its limits. Remember the Macbook Air? Nobody seems to think as I do that this is a much more similar device to iPad than the iphone/ipod touch devices. Both target netbook buyers offering the “Apple magic” to them.

        Considering how it is to be used, most scenarios are like those advertised for the Air. Of course the OS comes from the iphone but that is not what matters IMHO. What matters is that it is more locked down but far cheaper than the Air (for those that need a keyboard/mouse I suspect third parties will fix that soon). But you don’t need them if you are just consuming content.

        I am surpised noone sees the similarities in the target market between the Air and the iPad. Maybe if it flops they will…

    2. Kevin C. Tofel Rich Friday, March 5, 2010

      I’m thinking the same and that’s why I want to hold / use it before deciding. Instead of whining about what it can’t do, it’s more a question of what CAN it do. And without the small screen limitation, it’s only limited by the apps that aren’t yet created for it. ;)

  4. “it’s just a big iPod Touch”

    yeah, but that’s exactly what I’ve been wishing for since the iPhone/iPTouch came out.

    1. Yep, exactly.

  5. Why not forget about doing all of your work in the browser or with iPhone apps – just buy one of the RDP clients and leave all of your stuff at home? This already works well on the iPhone with screen size being the only drawback.

    1. Kevin C. Tofel Geoff Friday, March 5, 2010

      That’s a great solution for many, one that we’ve touched up on with Citrix and LogMeIn in the past: http://jkontherun.com/2010/02/10/iphone-informer-touching-the-iphone-this-week-15/

      But it’s not a solution for me. All of my work is done in the browser, so tunneling back to a desktop browser doesn’t offer much benefit for the way I work. I also try to be very aware of my energy usage at home and would rather keep devices powered down when I’m not there to use them. Approaches like that as well as equipping my home office with smart power strips has reduced our househould electricity demand by roughly 30% from the prior year.

  6. Neil Thompson Friday, March 5, 2010


    You are a genius! I had been wondering whether to get an iPad and if so whether to get the wifi only or the wifi+3g version, wanting to always have connectivity. I had completely forgotten about the mifi tucked away in my bag.

    You could have just saved me a couple of hundred quid (depending on when and if Apple ever set the prices for the UK).



  7. I guess the word is out!! iPad is an EPIC FAIL!
    …..meanwhile, Apple stock up 7 points so far today…..

    1. How is it a fail????

      1. He’s being facetious.

  8. I heard that once you pickup and stare at the iPad screen that the Black Magic will make you buy it whether you need it or not. ;)So Kevin I would be careful if I was you. :) Now I am about 50/50 on the iPad. After seeing all those slate tablets announced at CeBIT 2010.

  9. I am eagerly waiting for the iPad 3G because as a frequent traveler I consider it an ideal computer to take with me. The 3G connectivity is simply awesome considering how expensive it is to use the international rate for Verizon MIFI or AT&T iPhone data service.

  10. I’m holding out for awhile longer and waiting for the first blush of awesomeness and Black Magic to pass by. I don’t really need one – as my netbook does all I want and more – and suspect the iPad will mostly just be a device for wasting time playing apps and such.

    1. James Kendrick Pam T. Friday, March 5, 2010

      wasting time? You call playing around wasting time? :)

      1. Depends if you get paid for it! ;)

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