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Is Apple’s iPad a game changer?
The buzz ahead of Apple’s launch of its new tablet computer, called iPad, reminded me of the poor Segway.
The glorified scooter was supposed to change everything, practically launching the world into The Jetsons era. The device, codenamed Ginger, was so hyped in advance of its unveiling that disappointment was inevitable. Nothing, really, could possibly live up to that kind of buzz. Remember Snakes on a Plane?
Apple, however, has an uncanny way of actually keeping the “wow” after the buzz has died away. Its iPad device is no Ginger, nor is it a snake.
At $499, it is definitely affordable.
But is it the game changer that everyone had been expecting?
Sure, it’s sleek and ultra cool, as you would expect, and supports Web browsing. Reading the liveblogs out there, the common refrain is that it looks like an oversized iPhone or iPod Touch. It does have 10 hours of battery life, and that alone may be worth it. And it does have some killer apps and features, and may challenge the Kindle for e-readership.
But it’s not like the world has never seen a tablet before; they’ve been around for awhile now — they just haven’t caught on. As Reuters points out, appetite for a gadget that sits somewhere between a smartphone and a laptop has yet to be proven, though plenty of devices such as Amazon.com’s Kindle are vying for that market.
In a Reuters Instant View of the product, analyst Stephen Baker at NPD commented that “maybe it’s a bigger gaming platform, but I’m not sure what the killer app is yet and what the reason is for buying this product.”
On the other hand, Ned May, a director and lead analyst at Outsell Inc, said: “Yes, I think they have done it again, not because they are doing one thing so uniquely well, but because they are doing a lot of things much better than they were done before.”
What do you think? Is it a game changer? And will you buy one?
(Photo: Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils the iPad on Wednesday)