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Summary:

At the time of its launch, iPad there was no shortage of skeptics. One of the them is Dan Lyons, author of The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs blog. And now it seems he has finally changed his mind about the iPad, according to the Newsweek.

From the minute I saw the iPad, its transformative qualities were pretty obvious to me, though it has drawn its share of skeptics. One of them is Dan Lyons, a good pal of mine who pens a blog called The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs. Fake Steve’s day job is writing about technology for Newsweek. And now it seems he has finally changed his tune about the iPad, at least according to this article in the most recent issue of the newsweekly.

I got a chance to use an iPad, and it hit me: I want one. Right away I could see how I would use it. I’d keep it in the living room to check e-mail and browse the Web. I’d take it to the kitchen and read The New York Times while I eat breakfast. I’d bring it with me on a plane to watch movies and read books. That may not be life-changing, but is it worth 500 bucks? Yup. Done. Sold.

These comments are very different from those he made in this video interview about two months ago, at the iPad launch ceremony. I am betting that many iPad skeptics are going to have a similar positive reaction to the device.

  1. So put a capacitive touchscreen on a laptop. Ipad is again obsolete. This is a battery powered pet rock. It’s not that the ipad is utterly useless. It’s that I can purchase SO much more functionality in the respective pricepoints. People will eventually figure that out.

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    1. Two problems with that solution:

      -The OS probably isn’t programmed to support multitouch well. The applications definitely aren’t.

      -You’d be constantly breaking your workflow by having to reach up from the keyboard/trackpad to touch the screen, and the ergonomics of that position are not good. Touchscreens on laptop/desktop systems (as opposed to tablet/slate systems) are a dead end – multitouch is an INPUT technology, not a display technology. Multitouch trackpads and mice make much better sense.

      Personally, I hate the laptop form factor, so I’m getting an iPad. Your mileage may vary.

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    2. Functionality is not the major argument for the majority of people. More likely most people look on what they can achieve with a solution.

      Apple typically is doing well there.

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  2. The iPad is not a netbook killer, iPad does less and cost more compared to a netbook. ’nuff said.

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    1. Sure, Netbooks won’t go away because of the iPad — but a customer base far broader and deeper will buy the iPad. A few die hard geeks will stay with their Netboks, the rest of the world will embrace the iPad. My parents don’t know what a Netbook is — but they are well within the iPad’s target audience.

      So far as Flash, the move away from it is already heavily in progress and the iPad hasn’t even been released yet. Just in the last couple of days CBS.com the NY Times and Time Magazine have rolled out or announced HTML5 support. A year from now, Flash will be totally irrelevant.

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      1. Apple does not cater to the far broader and deeper customer base. Apple computers are aimed at affluent consumers, mainly in rich countries, with extra disposable income to afford Apple’s high prices, and this quite apparent in the iPad. The iPad doesn’t fit in the far broader and deeper customers’ daily lives: for content consumption, there’s TV; for consumption and creation, there are the far more versatile, capable and affordable desktops, or laptops or netbooks; and on the go, mobile phones are much more convenient. Only Apple’s usual loyal affluent customer base buys iPads as additional devices to browse Apple’s walled garden in their leisure time.

        Just with netbooks, the iPad cannot match the 30 million and growing, already embraced globally. Many parents go to Walmart or Target and buy $300 netbooks, just as there are people in developing countries that tap away on their netbooks in favelas- no Apples to be found.

        HTML5 is irrelevant and wide adoption is far far away. Contrary to Steve Job’s overhype that the iPad is the best browsing experience, iPad buyers will constantly encounter missing Flash content, and go back, frustated, into Apple walled garden, which is far limited, compared to the web.

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  3. Never question Dear Leader! Never!

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  4. [...] Malik also weighs in here. In the Newsweek story, Lyons says “I got a chance to use an iPad, and it hit me: I want one. [...]

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  5. Ironically, I’m seeing the exact opposite of what Microsoft dealt with in the UMPC tablets based on the early screenshots of iPad apps. With UMPCs, Windows devs were severely constrained by the 800 x 480 display that only later moved to 1024 x 600.

    With the iPad, I expect devs will be liberated by moving from a 480 x 320 environment to one sized at 1024 x 768. They’ve already worked hard at cramming as much functionality into a small, mobile interface as possible and I think they’ll surprise many when they have the bigger canvas to work with. I’m wondering if Dan Lyons realized the same thing recently and has changed his opinion as a result.

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    1. An excellent point, Kevin. I’m not a developer, but I’m guessing that most devs have a list of features that they reluctantly omitted from their iPhone apps for screen size or performance issues, which they’re now gleefully adding to the iPad versions.

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  6. he is milking that touchscreen for all its worth isnt he?
    it still doesnt do flash though does it? THE protocol for web media? its a piece of flash crap- reminds me of cheap chinese knockoff netbooks! with the via c7 chips everthing looks ok and appears to work till you read the specs, its clever -but the clever part is the touchscreen- im getting one so i can rip its face off and put it on some proper hardware. and the bit about trying to patent the human finger lol. it would be so very funny if it werent so very true. they cant let steve jobs out in public anymore-he keeps claiming he invented the pavement and the trees!
    allthecomputersintheworldmustfollowtheappleprotocolnousbnousb DRM DRM DRM wibble.

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  7. So it will do everything a netbook can do, only for $200 more? Fantastic. Sounds like something that will sell really well – in Brooklyn.

    Perhaps moving to a country with a per capita half of that in the US is beginning to skew my perceptions, but Steve Job’s talk about the iPad replacing the netbook truly strikes me as a caricature of out-of-touch bourgeois consumerism. Over here everyone uses netbooks because they’re cheap and you can do a lot with them. These people aren’t just interested in consuming content in a walled garden (and wouldn’t have the disposable income to do so if they were), instead there’s a real hunger to produce. Netbooks are the most cost-effective way to unleash these entrepreneurial energies. I know 10 people running businesses out of their netbooks (I suspect 3 of them are borderline scams, but hey, it’s a small and growing economy). That’s the new mainstream – the global underprivileged harnessing cheap, widely available computing power to bootstrap themselves into the information economy.

    The iPad will probably be a successful product, and will serve its intended audience well, but Jobs would really have avoided a lot of the digerati-hate if he had positioned it as a slick way for rich people to read the NYT and not a replacement for the netbook. One is an expensive consumption device that keeps its full computing potential out of the hands of its users (to be fair – in order to deliver a smoother experience), and the other is a cheap computing device that can also be used to (perhaps more awkwardly) consume.

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  8. [...] Fake Steve Jobs on iPad: See It, Touch It, Buy It. [...]

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  9. [...] Fake Steve Jobs on iPad: See It, Touch It, Buy It. [...]

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  10. Tab Cocovillea Wednesday, March 31, 2010

    Dan Lyons is a crank. Despite his personal misgivings, I guarantee there is a built-in rabid Apple following ready with their credit cards this Saturday, and once the general public sees these early adopters using one, they’ll want one too.

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