Tablet Thoughts: Why iPad Will Succeed

74 Comments

My trip to San Francisco that just ended was a short one, and a very successful one. It is always good to see the great team of GigaOM get together, easily the brightest bunch in the tech world (myself excluded). Now that I have time to reflect on this trip, I have come to realize that a tablet would have made the trip much easier. In the world of mobile tech, easier translates into more fun, and I believe that tablets like the iPad (s aapl) have a big role to play in our lives going forward. They are more fun to use than other computers.

I have a long history of using tablets, so I don’t need to be convinced about the utility they provide in a mobile setting. I was able to make a decent living for years as a consultant with a tablet in my hands for note-taking and other tasks. The iPad challenges that history, however, as it is a pure slate with no keyboard other than an onscreen keyboard. This becomes the biggest factor to consider when trying to decide if a tablet like the iPad can meet the user’s needs. My reflections of this recent trip convince me the keyboard would not have been a that big a factor.

This trip to SF I decided to leave the tablet at home and brought the MacBook. I have traveled with the MacBook many times so I knew it would meet my needs on this short trip. It certainly worked OK, but I must admit I was constantly wishing I had the tablet with me. I have traveled with a tablet many times in the past, and reflecting back on this trip I realize the tablet would have made things easier. A tablet would have been more fun, too, and it is important to not overlook that fact.

I can remember a at least dozen times over the course of this short business trip that I wished I had the tablet with me. I wanted to jump online and check some things, as I had a few minutes free and wanted a bigger screen than that on my phone. I could do those things on a notebook, but I repeatedly found myself considering if a quick session was worth the effort. Without the tablet I had to find a place to sit down, pull out the notebook, turn on the 3G modem, do my quick online work and then put it all back in the bag. Many times I felt it was not worth the effort and blew it off. A tablet would have changed all that, as I could have simply pulled it out of the bag, jumped online, and then put it back when done.

I didn’t even pull out the notebook at the airport on the return trip as it was too crowded at the gate, and there was not enough free room to even balance the notebook on my lap. I saw the same “notebook balancing” act in the airport performed by several travelers. I saw one guy drop his notebook off his lap as he struggled to use it. It hit me that a tablet would have been the perfect tool for this situation, and it drove home how many times over the course of this trip a tablet would have made a positive difference.

I should point out that I didn’t have to do a lot of writing during the trip, which would have been a factor had I only brought a slate without a keyboard. That’s certainly something to consider, but many times the lack of a keyboard is not that big an issue. That’s when a slate like the iPad will make a big impression on those not familiar with using a tablet. An onscreen keyboard is sufficient for a lot of things, whether we like them or not.

I had an amusing situation during the trip which points out the power of Apple with mainstream consumers. I was eating a sandwich in the hotel restaurant, reading an e-book on my Kindle. My waiter seemed to be watching me the entire time, and he finally approached me with a question. He asked me if the Kindle was “the iPad, and do you like it.” This was impressive since the iPad is not even available yet, but this non-techie guy was already looking for them. I explained that it was a Kindle, and he kindly informed me that the iPad could also read e-books but do “so much more.” Yes, Apple is going to sell a lot of iPads.

Image courtesy Apple

Related research: Web Tablet Survey: Apple’s iPad Hits Right Notes (sub req’d)

74 Comments

Starrigavan

I love the meme that Apple customers are somehow all blind fanatics. Apple usually produces solid, reliable, and innovative devices that are also elegant and easy to use. Yes the iPad doesn’t run Flash and doesn’t multitask except you can play music while using other apps. I don’t miss Flash on my iPhone and I probably won’t miss it on an iPad. As for multitasking, WTF? Each app uses the whole screen. Other than multitaskable music apps, what good would multitasking do? Would I have to download an app that would keep track of open apps, as on the Android platform? On my iPhone I can use the iPod and the Phone apps while using other apps. Other than audio apps, why do I need multitasking?

theikjones

Agree – same as with Palm OS, I could listen to music and access another app on the 3″ screen – what more multitasking would I want?

Lack of Flash on iPad is more serious IMO, as a lot of casual web browsing needs it [Facebook games, for example]. Not important to me personally, but I would imagine it will disappoint many.

Richard L.

One thing that seem to be missing about the discussion of the iPad, every one mentions what is missing (especially compared to a PC tablet) but not the advantages. The iPad will have instant on (if it is like a iPod touch/iPhone). My P1610 is a bit old, but even waking up from sleep/standby is slower that my iPod touch. Also, the 0.49″ thickness. How many times I which the P1610 was a lot thinner. The are the first 2 in the Pro column that will make me consider the iPad.

TimJdav

I came upon a situation today where the Ipad would have been very useful for me at work.

I had a lady who needed directions to the nearest 24 hour Walgreen’s, it was about 5 miles away, and the directions where pretty simple. She did not know the area well, so I pulled out my IPhone and fired up google maps. I was able to show her the roads easily enough and even go into street view to show her exactly what the building looks like. This all happened very quickly and smoothly…because you know glitches are the worst when you show your device to someone else…

How much nicer would that situation had been if the screen was much larger? It will not be a issue for me to take the Ipad to work and keep it in the desk draw…I can just open the draw and tap my fingers across the screen…then close the draw when I see what I am looking for ;-)

This is the reason Apple went with the IPS Screen technology, the Ipad is going to be about SHARING Media with the person next to you…here look at this…and that is a big way that apple is going to sell this device, because they are banking of people’s WOW experience.

I happen to have had my HP tablet with me too, but it was in a laptop bag, in hibernate…and I did not have a wifi signal nor a 3g modem….

Charlie

I have used a fujitsu tablet for years for onsite jobs. I literally speak my reports into the machine using the speech recognition software the came with xp tablet. It works fantastic and is great for this task. I do not however use it at home for surfing or email. I have tried and just can’t position it right on my lap and use the KB. It just doesnt feel right. I bought a net book for this and promptly sold it as it was too under powered. I finally bought a refurb Fujitsu convertable on ebay the day the ipad was announced. It had nothing to do with the ipads specs, it just happened to work out that way. Funny thing is that it was $480 shipped which is the same price as the ipad. I now have a work tablet and laptop. It is 5 times the weight of the ipad but it can do both tasks for me. I read my ebooks on my touch pro 2 it handles my mobile needs. Even if the ipad is only 1 lb it just seems like it would be an unwieldy cross device that wouldn’t fill any of my needs very well. too big for an ereader, to uncomfortable for surfing and emails and too under-powered for any real computing. I am very happy with my convertible. I should have thought to look on ebay for a good deal long ago.

Allen

I use a Pre and a Blackberry Tour with Sprint I also have an n900, iPod Touch and a kindle 2. I use a Sony Vaio X to travel with. I agree with you that size is important as it relates to the fun aspect of gathering and disseminating information. The n900 and the iPod Touch’s screens are too small, just like my phones. It doesn’t matter that the information is readily available, to be fun for me it has to be a book size screen. I think the iPad is too big, it should be half way between the touch and the iPad that would be ideal, since it would fit in coat or jacket pocket. The bottom line is that Steve Jobs is on the correct track, the software (Apps) is the key to making information gathering fun. and with the correct size of the hardware convergence (losing the n900, Kindle and the touch)will occur.

gman

These apple debates bug me. Why don’t people start their posts by saying whether they own multiple Apple products. People buy Apple just because it’s Apple. Apple users are better than everyone else. Just ask them or tell them that you prefer MS OS. That is why you simply can’t get a straight commentary on Apple devices. It’s so skewed, it’s unreadable. I’m out, permanently on these iPad discussions. It’s the best thing ever!! Well, actually that’s only because apple didn’t come out with a netbook which is actually the more appropriate device to fill the void in their product line. Ah yes, but those aren’t profitable enough. So now all the sheep are telling everyone who will listen that the iPad can do it all! It’s the best all use device…EVER! EOM permantly.

Mark

With handwriting recognition in the o/s and some multitasking, the iPad would be unbeatable. It eventually will be an outstanding product as the o/s fully matures to add these and other features. My bet is that the iPhone 4.0 o/s will put Apple back on top.

People don’t really need a pc to do 92% of their daily computing and the iPad can do all 92% of that in a great way. The masses just need to see that the iPad will be all the need.

Just wait . . . .

Hoot69

Disclaimer: I have used Apple computers since 1981, Macs since 1987. I own an Ipod Touch, a MacBook and a Mac Mini.

I also own a Fujitsu U810, Samsung Q1, MSI Netbook, and an Archos 5 Internet Tablet (non-android). I’ve also owned a Fujitsu slate, as well as a p1510d.

These devices are tools. My most current “quick device” of choice is the Ipod Touch, as I can check email, Twitter, Facebook, listen to music or watch a video. The fact that it is “instant” on, and has access to thousands of apps doesn’t hurt.

I began following UMPC/Slates/MID’s about 2.5 years ago. The biggest failing? Not the OS…the fact that there was NO PLACE TO TOUCH AND SEE what they could do. You had to read reviews, forums, and eventually bite the bullet and purchase “blind”.

I would have preferred that the Ipad be a 5″ device. The current screen is getting tough on the eyes. However, I will seriously consider an Ipad to “replace” my touch for home use and the occasional trip. And the fact that I can walk into any Apple Store to try it out will help that decision.

“Superiority” aside, if you can’t touch it, see it, and try it out, no competing device will outsell the Ipad.

Ken

I can hardly wait to see the comments and comparisons if, or when, Lenovo releases its IdeaPad U1.

–Ken

John

I appreciate your argument but I disagree with your conclusion. The very things which made the iPhone a success will make the iPad a failure (IMO).

There were a number of reasons for the success of the iPhone but mostly that it was a near perfect design for its form factor. When people looked at buying a phone and saw the brilliant UI, great features and usability there was no competition. Just look at the plethora of iPhone wanna-bes since the iPhone was released.

The problem with your argument though is that once people have invested their money in an iPhone and a desktop or lappy there will be a very high reluctance to buy yet another device for those occasions when the iPhone is too small and the lappy is too big. As a certified geek you and many of your readership may very well be willing to spend the money but your average Joe will not be able to justify the added expense. Add to this a 3G plan and it starts to look quite expensive. (Treue, you don’t need 3G but really, this is only a toy without it.) The only people that I have see say that they will definitely buy it are card carrying geeks. Everbody else seem underwhelmed.

I am afraid this may be one of those niche products like the Tablet PC and never really capture the user’s imagination.

Scott

I don’t know if I’m a card-carrying geek (I am a librarian, after all), but I’m guessing that since I don’t own either a laptop or a smartphone, I’d probably fall into your “everybody else” category. I’m definitely buying an iPad. So there: one. =)

I’m curious why you say that without 3G, the iPad is “a toy.” A smartphone needs 3G access, since you’re likely to pull it out while you’re walking down the street, but do you think the same usage is likely for the iPad? Given the wide availability of WiFi, I’m guessing that most of the places you’d use an iPad have a WiFi signal you can tap. (Even McDonald’s and Burger King have free WiFi these days, fer crissakes!) I live in a college town, though, so maybe my experience is atypical. Regardless, I’m getting a WiFi-only version.

theikjones

Scott – here in the UK, outside of big cities, free WiFi is a rarity. Even in big cities, unless you are in McDonalds or Starbucks, a WiFi hotspot generally requires a subscription. For this reason, I’d want an iPad with 3G, or use a MiFi with it [which is another form of accessing 3G, granted] For browsing at home… I have a netbook and my wife has a laptop – instant on is nice but not worth $499+ on top of what tech we already have.

I’ve got a netbook and iPod Touch already so this device isn’t for me, but will be interested to see if my nephew buys one rather than the Touch he currently wants. I’ll certainly enjoy trying one out, as any self-respecting geek will! I wonder how an iPad+keyboard compares to my netbook – currently I can use it happily on a train or plane and can easily lift the thing using the keyboard – having used PDA+keyboard in the past, I found it annoying how they slid relative to each other, even when “docked” it was a fragile bond. Netbooks may be cheap but they pretty sturdy. Watching DVDs on a plane on an iPad will be great but I’ve done that on my Touch recently and it was “good enough”; certainly good enough that I wouldn’t want to bring an iPad along as well as the Touch.

Ben

@James
Do you play golf? Granted, I don’t know too much about golf myself, but, from the way you describe how you carefully weigh the pros and cons of each of your computing tools before a trip, it seems to me that you would also enjoy carefully selecting the appropriate club for your shot. =)

gman

I guess people will write something in hope of stirring the pot. You should start betting on sports because you apparently are good at predicting the future.

The reason tablets are going to happen as you say? Operating system. Is Windows in 90% of the computers on the planet? People who look at a mobile computing device most likely want a familiar OS. Something where they can either connect remotely or work on files with their OS or office program. Mobile OS is a crutch that people accept. It isn’t because that is their first choice.

I hope this nonsense ends soon. Give these devices another 6 months. You so called prophets can eat crow at that time. You should be looking at what this tablet does better than a smartphone or netbook/laptop.

Scott

“People who look at a mobile computing device most likely want a familiar OS.”

Two points to make here. First, the iPad’s OS is a familiar OS – it’s largely the same OS as the iPhone/iPod Touch OS, which have together sold 70+ million devices. Second, if a “familiar OS” was the biggest draw for tablet devices, why haven’t the Windows tablets that have been available for years been huge sellers? Is it possibly because it’s frustrating to use a keyboard-and-mouse OS on a touch-input device? A mobile device OS, which is already optimized for touch input, is simply a smarter place to start for a tablet interface. Look for Apple and Android slates to out-review and outsell Windows slates this year as proof of this hypothesis.

What does the iPad do better than a smartphone or netbook? It meets my needs for a mobile device better than they do. Is there a better reason to buy one?

gman

Windows aren’t with tablets because battery life. Why buy a tablet for reading ebooks if you like your ereader to last a week on a charge? You don’t need. You want to surf? Use your smartphone or netbook. Ah, Apple doesn’t have a netbook so that clique will say how great a flat device is with a virtual keyboard is. They have no choice if they want to stay with Apple.

People don’t want their iPhone OS on their computer. I got back to 90% of people using windows. It’s called productivity. A windows OS mobile device (netbook) meets peoples needs. A mobile OS is only because window OS isn’t practical. If people want another device, be my guest. Saying it’s going to take over the marketplace is just wishful thinking. Remember. Keyboards + same OS as your home PC = productivity. That means a device is worth justifying buying. Unless of course you love Apple.

Scott

You mean you don’t want the iPhone OS on your computer. You don’t know how many other people might because it’s never been tested. I personally am totally in favor of the iPhone OS on a slate device. I’ve thoroughly detested my (admittedly limited) experience with Windows on tablets; if I didn’t buy the iPad, I’d be getting an Android slate. I don’t want to surf on a netbook or a smartphone: smartphones screens are too small, and I don’t really like the netbook form factor.

I think the equation you’re actually looking for is “productivity == getting stuff done.” If I can get my stuff done on an iPad, that’s all that matters for me, and I think that’s all that will matter to the average consumer.

Patrick

The fact is that with iPad that product had not even been properly reviewed by the masses and it is already glorified. I read the “positive impressions” in all kinds of for profit magazines and they all stink of paid placement (Engadget the most after their recent “we can’t support iPad trolling” censorship) . The fact is that Apple is using dodgy advertising techniques – period. What’s good about it is that it will open market for other producers that although wont have as integrated product will have at least a full featured product (Archos is in the market, Dell is entering MID/tablet market, Asus is entering market..). But what we need in the finale is the light, thin, convertible smartbook tablet. Using internet without a real keyboard is really not viable in the long term, you just need to have both options in one package and that is the point where the paradigm shift will come in portable PC market (yes we need a light convertible slate for information consumption). Slates were and will be just a niche (700 grams of weight for a 10″ monitor only machine is just ludicrous).

Constable Odo

Tech-nerds are idiots when it comes to deciding what the non-tech consumer is going to like. Tech-heads are all into processors and OSes and multi-tasking and most of my friends don’t even understand that stuff or actually care to. They just want a device that helps them in their daily tasks and is simple to use. They also want good customer support. Tech-heads look at the iPad and say it’s nothing. An under-featured pile of junk. Amazing how a device like the iPad can be considered a useless piece of junk without ever reaching the hands of users. It’s a useless pile of junk merely because it lacks certain features. Then I have to ask why did every recent Windows tablet fail miserably for consumer use when they came with all of the iPad’s missing features?

I don’t think consumers will go down some feature checklist like tech-nerds do. Hopefully consumers will take the iPad and see what it can do for them instead of focusing on what it can’t do. I’m anxious to see if when mainstream consumers use an iPad if they’ll say is just a useless piece of junk. I doubt it. It may have some weaknesses, but I don’t believe most consumers will find those weaknesses a deal-breaker.

It’s too early to tell whether the iPad will be a success or failure since not one has been sold yet. If Apple manages to sell between four and five million units, I think it could be considered a success since it would certainly exceed any past sales of a fully featured Windows tablet.

My hope is that the iPad will excite the consumer with its speed and ease of use. Consumers will be presented with plenty of ready listenable and watchable downloadable content including games and apps. We’ll see if the tech-nerd or consumer decides the iPads success or failure. My bet is on the consumer going nuts over the iPad.

Forget the geeks at Engadget. If it was up to them the Palm Pre would be one of the best selling smart phones of all time and the N900 would represent the ultimate mobile smart phone experiences. Engadget commenters likely represent about 1% of the real world. Supposedly they were all going to go out and buy the Nexus One but I guess most of them forget and Nexus One sales tanked because mainstream consumers never heard about it’s amazing features. Lucky consumers, because the Nexus One hardly had a lick of customer support.

It takes very precise coordination from top to bottom to sell a product successfully and Apple has the best shot of succeeding to sell a tablet device of any company out there.

Gavin Miller

Absolutely. How many of us have non tech friends or family with iPhones who would never have had a ‘smartphone’ on their radar.

A photographer friend of mine was hugely excited at the prospect of being able to show off his portfolio to clients on this device. Sure, he could have done this for years with a Windows Tablet, but it’s taken the iPad to get him excited about it.

A colleague of mine wants one to store all his research and client documents on. Same as above!

So yes, it will be the general consumer who makes or breaks this device.

Now those of us suggesting this might actually be a success, do NOT dislike everything else on the market! We love technology, and it is possible to like a device without hating everything else! Although you’d never think it judging by a typical iPad comment thread!

Al

The iPad will be a fantastic device for the average consumer. There is an excellent blog on this subject which articulates why they will succeed very well http://stevenf.tumblr.com/post/359224392/i-need-to-talk-to-you-about-computers-ive-been

I’d probably class myself as a geek and I’m much more excited about the Adam from Notion Ink, which seems a much “better” device (for me). However, I suspect it will struggle with the mainstream consumer audience. It’s the simplicity and restraint of the iPad that will make it a success.

Scott

Ironically, I think that the Adam (and the other slates that are, um, slated for release this year) will do much better following the announcement of the iPad than they might have done otherwise, simply because Apple has now defined the keyboard-free computer as a legitimate class of device. Notion Ink and others can now leverage a media narrative of “the Android answer to the iPad” to build buzz for their own products, without having to work quite as hard to convince mainstream consumers why they might need such a device in the first place.

Having obsessively followed the tablet news from CES and the iPad release and subsequent fallout, I feel that on a purely hardware level, the Notion Ink Adam is probably the most innovative slate announced so far. Whether it will feature software to match, and can overcome the relative disadvantages of the Android platform (some inherent, some tied to Google’s control of the best apps), remains to be seen.

DanielD

You geeks still don’t get it, do you? Can any of you tell me who the hell wants to deal with a crappy XP like computer experience on a slate like device? Please tell me how the average user wants a full blown computer on a slate? No, they don’t want a device that needs configuring, maintaining, and protecting against malware. No No No. They don’t want that. They want utility, connectivity and a super easy to use OS. They know the headaches of using a PC as a home computer and they want something anyone can easily use. Instant on and easy to use. Get it? You geeks probably never will though.. Good grief, you idiots said the same thing about the original iPod and the first gen iPhone.

Gavin Miller

You know, it’s possible to put across your points without trying to insult or flame others.

Your points are valid and you’ve hit the nail on the head as to why the iPad will be attractive to consumers who mainly consume content or interact with Facebook, games and Twitter. Those who need more versatility will stick with Windows tablets as an all round solution.

Shame you had to be such a ‘geeky idiot’ about it though.

cirrob

what cracks me up is if ms had released a dumbed down version of windows for the tablet environment (not a giant wm machine but a true windows, just limited and “optimized” for a slate device) years ago, you fanboys would have screamed your little apple filled heads off that no one wqnts to use a limited os on their tablets.

turn.self.off

heck, thats the argument used against running android or similar on a netbook or equivalent…

Steve

James,

I would be interested, if you have the time and/or inclination, if you were to review your post, substituting Viliv S5/X70 or Fujitsu P16XX for Apple iPad. These are devices that you own or have owned, that would have fulfilled all the roles you wrote about, and yet you turn to the as yet unreleased iPad as the tool to fill the void. Curious.

James Kendrick

This post was written regretting that I didn’t take the Thinkpad x200 tablet on the trip. The two devices you mentioned would have worked too, but they lack a capacitive touch screen which is optimized for hand usage.

Olukayode

Over the past few years I’ve closely followed Jk and Gottabemobile. For me, it’s really sad to see James become the defacto apologist for Apple (won’t be shocked if you’re on the payroll). Increasingly your skewed views relating to apple products is blatantly obvious though you may not realise it. One such example is a nonsense post you wrote about booting Windows 7 after non-use for 1 month and it applied updates endlessly wasting your time. I too have used and still use Macbook pro and windows pcs (+ tablets – tc1100), computers do crazy things sometimes. I have NEVER had to repair a windows computer in 8 years yet I’ve had to change my MBP motherboard, had and still having problems with wireless airport connectivity, my MBP snow leopard crashes repeatedly. That does not mean Apple is bad but all these adulation on apple is just ridiculous and a disservice to people who don’t know better. Tablet pcs are far from perfect but for a tech guy like you to be equating iPad to the second coming of Christ is embarrassing!
Disclosure: I’m just what you may call a computer (apple included) power user. I live in the Caribbean and work in the health industry.

Gavin Miller

Again, more drivel being posted. Jesuspad, on the Apple paylist etc. C’mon guys, we have great discussions here on JKotR, let’s not turn it into Engadget.

Patrick

I bet that Apple spent on marketing of MosesPad at least 100 million US$ just for the start.. and i also think that GigaOM crew is on the Apple pay list just like any other “main stream” tech blogs & personas, ehem.. Engadget, TechCrunch, Colbert. :P

Woadan

I think Microsoft went too far in what it included in the Tablet OS (XP) and/or tablet functions (Vista/7). A fully functioning OS is a good thing, but a tablet does not need what a desktop has. MS failed because it didn’t slim down the OS, and it also didn’t repurpose windows that will fit and function on the UMPC types.

I think Apple has failed here with the iPad because it is really just an oversized iPod touch. A more robust OS, something between the iPod touch/iPhone OS and the full-blown Mac OS is really what is called for.

In either case, the lack of a keyboard is going to be telling. I remember how many people bitched endlessly about this in regard to UMPCs, many of them Apple fanbois. I hope they are just as bitchy about the iPad.

Bah! Who am I fooling? The iPad is the Jesus computer, just like the iPhone is the Jesus phone.

Apple fanbois rejoice.

Me? Not interested in the least about the iPad. Never was interested in the iPhone, either.

Paul

I do not agree that “Microsoft went too far in what it included in the Tablet OS (XP) and/or tablet functions (Vista/7)”. I use my Fujitsu ST5112 as a slate while I’m on the road, then dock it and use a monitor, keyboard and mouse while in the office. The meld of full desktop OS and slate/tablet features enables such dual-mode operation. BTW, with Windows 7 and an SSD, the unit’s boot time is around 35 seconds – not instant on perhaps, but boot time is not an impediment to using the unit for brief periods of time.

Hos238

Paul Are you talking about putting a SSD in your St5112? and Windows 7? I’ve been thinking of doing this to mine. which version of 7 did you use and what SSD?

Mickey Segal

Of course you can find circumstances in which a slate tablet is better than a phone or a notebook. But some important questions are:
1. Is a locked-down tablet where you can only install approved programs better than a tablet with a more open environment?
2. Is a tablet with multitouch and no pen better than a tablet with a pen, or a tablet with a pen and multitouch?
3. Does a tablet that can’t be docked to a big screen and a mouse meet your needs?
4. Does a tablet without a camera meet your needs?

Apple has moved the ball forward with the iPad by using their vertical control to make a thin slate. But for many people the choices they made on the questions above will not be the best ones, and Apple or others will do better after iPad 1.0.

turn.self.off

i am surprised anyone could confuse a kindle and a ipad.

tho i guess it shows the power of marketing. and maybe the amount of press apple gets when jobs farts, if the double page newspaper spread on the ipad that chippy found in a german newspaper is a good example.

gmazin

“Without the tablet I had to find a place to sit down, pull out the notebook, turn on the 3G modem, do my quick online work and then put it all back in the bag. Many times I felt it was not worth the effort and blew it off. A tablet would have changed all that, as I could have simply pulled it out of the bag, jumped online, and then put it back when done.”

You mean you would actually stand in public using one of these things?

Gavin Miller

I’m still staggered by the bile and rage that are evident in so many comments on this device. ‘Cirrob’ being a case in point. It’s only a gadget and yet to even suggest buying one immediately means to others that you are a Jobs worshiping cultist!

Anyway, you put it very well James. This is an ‘appliance’ that will cost as low as $499 that will be great for trips. If you need more utility then take your laptop or Windows tablet instead. However, for a fun, instant on device that will appeal to the masses, I think the iPad, for all its ‘faults’ will be a very popular, and as you said, fun device.

Joshua

It’s true that the blind power Apple has over many mainstream consumers will increase the sales of a product that they perhaps wouldn’t have even wanted to begin with. However, I am quite amazed with the overall lack of enthusiasm for the iPad with many who fall into this demograph. Yes, many, non-techy types have heard all about it already. But so many havve told me they think it’s worthless and they’d rather just use their iPhones. Yes, the iPad seems a good price point. Yes, it’s really good for what it’s good for. But the price point for simply hopping online, playing a few games, and running some limited applications is just too high. This is what I get from non-techy, mainstream types. Those who are either gaga over Apple or who fall easy victoms of advertisement want it, I found. But they seem blind to what it really is or isn’t for. One such person told me they wanted it for school – taking notes, research, etc. We all know it’s highly unequipped for such tasks, and the user will still want a full computer with them during classes.

This is unfortunate for Apple and the future of the iPad, as many consumers will buy it with high expectations but be quickly dissapointed. As I said before, Apple came out with a ‘new’ device class. They should have come out with a new OS platform tailored specifically for this class along with it. Bad move. As I said before as well, wait for the “second gen.” ;)

Paul

I’ve used true slate tablet PC’s – the Fujitsu ST5112 at the moment, but Motion Computing M1400, M1200, and the original PaceBlade units prior to the ST5112 – for years.

I’m on the road constantly and use Starbucks as my remote offices. Even in such public places, I’ve never been asked about my slate machines…until last week. Over the last week, I’ve been asked four times how I like the iPad. One man demanded that I let him “test-drive” the machine and became belligerent when I refused.

If market awareness is a key to product success, the iPad is going to be huge.

pThink

i’m predicting a very lukewarm success, somewhere between an AppleTV & Mac (nowhere close to an iPhone).

after the device has been out a few months we will finally stop hearing about it, just like AppleTV. the problem this device is going to have is alot of people who buy V1 wont buy a V2, because they use it so little it will be hard to justify.

timjones17

A slate may be justified in some situations but for mainstream consumers, it would be a limited use mobile gadget, when phones can do the job. Most online checking on the go don’t need a 9 inch screen. It’s also more convenient to pull a phone out of the pocket and use it with one hand, than a slate out of a large bag. For people considering a slate, there are other slates coming out- HP Slate, Androids, etc., more capable than the iPad. People expect less capability with a smaller-sized device, but the 9 inch iPad that can’t multitask, can’t run Flash when it’s touted as the best web browsing experience, is just pathetic. As for the power of Apple with mainstream consumers, aside from the iPod, Apple devices, especially its larger-sized offerings, are seen as overpriced and overhyped.

Tukuro Taroto

I am tired of troll’s whining about multitasking, flash, blah blah

Cirrob

Just because a waiter asked if you had the ipad doesnt mean its going to be a success. And while I agree a tablet computer would be useful for such trips, you know what would be more useful? An actual computer in tablet form like say the hp slate that will function like a computer (multitasking anyone?). I am amazed at the lengths apple enthusiast go to just to defend their god’s bad decision making. For the price you get a giant ipod touch. Big whoop. You know what else you can get for less? A friggen ipod touch and it can fit in your pocket!

Yellowfever

I am tired if hearing this “GIANT IPOD TOUCH” as if that is some sort of bad thing. A Bigger screen is always a good thing. I have a Sony laptop. I have to run MS because that is how the world turns. But even when the computer was 5 days old it crashed. I am not a fanboy but I think the iPad is damn cool. Why pull out my laptop when I can do 80% of what I do on an iPad?

gmazin

Stupid logic. I can do 100% of what the iPad can do on an iPod touch. AND the iPod costs less and fits in my pocket! Remarkable!

It may (probably will) catch on with the general public due to its price point and advertising campaign, but it’s not going to win much points with the hardcore crowd (at least those of whom aren’t blind fanboys) unless Apple has some really impressive iPad exclusive software up their sleeve.

AskAboutGadgets

For me a giant iPod Touch/iPhone thing is a big plus. I loved my iPod Touch and carried with me everywhere to fill idle time while commuting, my only problem was that it is too small.. Now I get what I wanted :)

Tukuro Taroto

These troll’s talking points are always: “multitasking, flash, blah blah”

prethought

Remember when Apple switched to the 3 1/2 floppy when everyone else was using 5 1/4? Or when Apple dropped the floppy altogether everyone thought it was absurd a computer without a floppy drive? Yet the industry followed like lemmings. Whenever Apple launches something new or unorthodox the pundits always say it’s a piece of shit then a year later the recant that it is the greatest thing ever. Let’s wait a year and see if your right. Apple may not always bat 1000 but if you look over the long haul I wouldn’t bet against them.

hadoualex

Yep, geeks have for too long decided that a product would succeed or not based on the hardware specks and neglected to realize that it’s the combination fo software and hardware that makes an enjoyable experience. I been using my Samsung Q1P umpc for a while and find it great excpect for the fact that windows software isn’t the best for mobile usage. It was the geeks that ended the Palm Foleo with their short sightness, by this I’m including engadget and their “Letter for Palm”, that took away a device that was so ahead of the curve that the netbooks of today are trying to get to.
Sorry for the rant, but it’s like seeing people think that a car is better based on how much power it has. Typing this from my iPod touch in bed hoppingthat it was an Ipad tablet :)

turn.self.off

first of, i would not call engadget geeks by a long shot.

second, that letter would never have been sent if the foleo had a apple logo on it. Instead they would be cheering all the way.

at the time, the geeks where just waiting for the release of the foleo. And the reactions from those that got their hands on a development model where highly positive.

hadoualex

1) Who is a geek and who isn’t is too much of an open question. I own 4 laptops, 5 pdas, 2 UMPCS, 3 desktops, MIDS, etc I use windows, linux, mac os, iphone os, palm os, windows pocket pc, etc yet I have never programmed anything for any system so I consider myself a connoisseur of technology rather than a full pledge Geek.

2)If we examine all of the reactions of the time, by this I mean blogs, opinions, and editorials, of the Foleo announcement and there after, we can conclude that the technology inteligencia came to the conclusion that the Foleo wasn’t good enough for them and therefore not good enough for consumers. Now we should keep in mind that the voices on the matter where technology “experts” or self-proclaimed geeks rather than consumers. Much, if not all, of the opinion in the time came to the conclusion that it was a “FLOPEO” without ever using the device.

If we look at the history of mobile technology and the reasons and facts of why some products succeeded while others failed, we can come to a very high probability if a device will succeed in the consumer market. My estimation of probability is that the Ipad would succeed as it has the 5 fundamental factors behind the product: Satisfactory hardware and software integration (intuitive), accordingly priced for its segment (between laptops and phones), strong advertisement, consumer appeal (lust), and its not about the specks.

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