Thursday, January 28

More Thoughts on the Ipad

I could live with the lack of 'ports' on this device, just as I do with the other Apple products I own. I've no complaint about buying their proprietary cables. I've got them for my Itouch. I've got them for video out on my Imac. It would be nice if I didn't have to buy them in the first place, but at least there is a workaround.

What kills this tablet is the lack of a proper BROWSER. No Flash support is insane (even if I'm way more of a Mac fanboy than a Flash enthusiast). It's out there in abundance on the web. You can't just 'ignore' it on a full sized device that people will be using to surf with.

Above and beyond the incomprehensible omission of Flash, the iPad practically screams anti-convergence at a time when the public is literally BEGGING for it.

All other complaints aside, would it have killed them to put a PHONE in it?! It wouldn't cannibalize Iphone sales, it would supplement them.

The lack of multitasking is often cited as a 'haters' complaint, but not so much if all you're trying to do is keep Skype running in the background while surfing or watching a movie.

All that said, I was prepared for a $1000 iProduct. Totally primed. You might even say iPrimed. Plenty of pre-release publicity generated in that direction had already softened a lot of us up, and I'll bet we'd all be forking over our thousand bucks today (instead of rehashing the latest corporate example of New Coke) IF Apple had done the following:

1. Put a real O/S on it.
2. Given us the camera WE ALL BEGGED FOR.
3. Made it a quarter inch thicker for even more battery. I'm not knocking ten hours, but 15-20 hours would have been TRULY groundbreaking (and it's not like you can swap batteries on Apple portables). I know it adds weight, but anything under the weight of my Asus eee701 netbook (2.2 lbs) wouldn't be a strain IMHO. Also see groundbreaking again.
4. Integrated pico LED projector.
5. A mobile phone

How much do these enhancements add to construction costs?

1. Apple already owns the greatest O/S on the planet, so that's a freebie.
2. Web cams can't add more than a few bucks to production.
3. The beefier battery at their wholesale price? Is fifty bucks a fair guess?
4. The pico LED projector? Nikon has already embedded one in a 12mp digital camera (Nikon's S1000pj) at a RETAIL price of $360. Is half that amount a generous amount to project onto the iPad production costs?
5. Mobile phone. Nada. Assuming you buy a cell equipped version then the phone part is software Apple has already developed.

All that extra hardware adds about $250 to the cost of construction. Apple can then add another $250 profit......and voila, we have the makings of a truly innovative $1000 product that Apple can still get rich off of.

The fantasy 'recap':

Apple releases Ipad (stupid name that I guessed the day before they announced*--but I digress) at the $1000 price point. Haters and Microsofties (redundant?) come out of the woodwork screeching about the high price. BTW, the aforementioned scenario requires no stretch of the imagination and is a fairly defacto complaint on any Apple release. Such tripe could be easily ignored by pointing out the truly GROUNDBREAKING convergence of a laptop, cell phone, e-reader and projector for under a $1000 that might be able to claim an honest 15 hour run-time between charges.

Instead, we're offered a totally stripped down bit of kit that won't even surf the web properly, and we're' supposed to be excited that it starts at under $500!?!? Meanwhile back on planet Earth, Microsoft Courier Youtube views are skyrocketing and every exec at HP is sprouting wood over the imminent release of the HP Slate.

This iProduct is much like the iObama presidency. What could have been versus the overwhelming disappointment of what actually is.



Matthew said...

Have to disagree. First of all, a recent poll showed that consumers were resistant to a price over $700. $1000 may work for a full laptop, but this was always meant as a consumer mobile device. Two, I guess I just don't get why a projector is a must have built-in? What on earth do I need it for, and won't I be better off attaching it with a cable to the 30-pin, so I can set the projector somewhere stable, while keeping the iPad in my hand? Three, a phone that does not fit in a pocket makes very little sense. Sure, it seems silly to have to carry an iPad and iPhone at the same time, but I'll leave the iPad in my car while I go shopping, whereas my iPhone is never not on my person. Four, I can't argue that we always want more battery life, but if it had 15 hrs, there would be those who said why not 25? I'm going on a plane to New Zealand and I want to watch the extended cuts of all the Lord of the Rings movies twice! 10 hours is a full day of use, and I like it staying thin.

I'll give you the camera, but I think that a webcam on a mobile device is premature until the cellular providers get their 3G in order. Better to not have it at all than to spend more and get terrible performance.

And of course I can't argue with you about Flash. That needs to happen ASAP.

But I still intend to get one. I look forward to having it on my lap for surfing instead of this giant, heavy, hot laptop I am using now. And thank goodness it won't set me back so much that I won't be able to upgrade the laptop I NEED for work.

The Tim Channel said...

The projector suggestion is obviously not a 'must have' on this device unlike flash e.g. I should have made that a bit clearer. I threw that in to justify the $1000 price tag we were expecting as a way that Apple could truly set itself apart from the crowd while justifying the higher price.

The camera wouldn't necessarily be clogging a mobile network if you were using it over wifi to Skype on.

As to the pricepoint? This is Apple for crying out loud. They can price it at whatever they want and people would buy it....if it wasn't as mangled as it is now and offered true convergence allowing us to ditch (or not purchase in the first place) the other devices it could encompass.

That extra weight for more battery is just a suggestion since anything under two pounds is fine by most standards. Since you're going to have to carry your camera, laptop AND cellphone with this tablet to complete your travel bag you're going to end up with more weight anyway (and more stuff to juggle/charge).