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Is Apple’s iPad a game changer?

January 27, 2010

ipadjobsThe 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)

28 comments so far

Not a game changer but a great piece of kit to read books , newpapers on the train and to watch streaming tv etc in bed. At the price its good value to add to my i-phone and Macbook Pro. Worth it for the envy factor.

- Posted by Andrew Abbotsford

Definitely not what i expected. I am a mac-user, i-phone owner, etc…i wish they had pushed a little harder for something with some real utility. I would have gladly paid more for something with real functionality…i.e. a true hybrid between my macbook and iphone. Hopefully the device will evolve into something i will want. Cool looks only get you so far…

- Posted by Sean Simms

As a hardcore apple user I am totally unimpressed, its nether small enough or complete enough to be anything useful.

- Posted by john Legg

Will there be a data plan for existing iPwn users or do we have to pay an EXTRA $30/mo. to have the same connectivity on this too?

- Posted by captain

[...] marketing and Web junkies got their latest jones sated, compliments of Apple’s new tablet computer,  the [...]

- Posted by First bite out of Apple’s ‘iPad’ « Follow The Lead

If the bookshelf has high school and university text books I will buy one for each of my kids immediately…most teenagers lug around 40 lbs of textbooks every day. Jobs should wheel and deal with high schools, universities & testing agencies to get better pricing for groups of students.

As a high tech working mother, I want one immediately to put in my purse…my iphone is too small to read much on and I cannot take notes at meetings with it. I would happily travel with an ipad somewhere between the iphone and a laptop.

- Posted by Kathryn Woods

It will be a hit. For a casual user, compared to the kindle, a 300$ e-reader, you get so much more for a couple hundred more dollars. And, like the iPhone, for all industries its functionality will be driven by the apps—this is already proven a success with the iPhone (word processor apps, drawing apps, autocad readers). It has the power to be a drawing tool. Apps written for the medical industry would make this the perfect-sized, perfect-priced tool with a feature set for nurses. For a student going to college, the right docking station in a dorm room doubles this device as a laptop/desktop machine while replacing physical text books and note books.

I’m in advertising, and i already own an iphone and a laptop. For me, this device doesn’t do anything extra for me. I’m established. But this could replace laptops for many people who favor the size of the device and interface over carrying a laptop around. For a home user with a desktop computer—mac or PC—this is affordable enough to choose instead of a new laptop. And it’s only going to get more powerful and cheaper in coming years.

What about home interfacing? its affordable ‘just to have’ for any tech enthusiast.

- Posted by mike verzella

Another note… compared to the net-books, this is a much more attractive device, for the same price, with the potential to be even more functional. Netbooks are just catching on as a major fad.

- Posted by mike verzella

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- Posted by Is Apple’s iPad a game changer? – Reuters Blogs | Bargain Ebook Readers

The Newton still kicks the butts of the newer devices. The calendar and address book linked – so anniversaries, birthdays and such got flagged automatically. You could make and use outlining or to-do lists – which require a new app on the new devices (and still aren’t as useful or good as the Newton) and even plug the Newton into a printer. The Newton had card slots for memory storage or other functions ( I have one with a wi-fi card).

- Posted by mutt

I am an avid MAC user and have a tblet PC. Nothing new here. Boring.

- Posted by DEREK

Bottom line, to have a phone with data and the I pad you will be paying $60./month just for the internet, besides your monthly phone plan. That’s a lot of money to spend for more internet access, don’t you think?

- Posted by putertalk

1. No Connectivity to Windows Shares or Network to read/save/print documents or videos or photos from your PC.

2. No Stylus capability so as to jot down notes on it instead of paper. ( I don’t see using its built in keyboard and typing quicker than just hand jotting on paper)

3. No built in camera for web chatting

4. No slots for SD/CF cards so as to view Pics/Video from your camera.

5. No print capability.

6. This is just an expensive Internet Browser and nothing more. My Notebook does all that and much more.

- Posted by Joe K

I’m sure Google is salivating at the moment…I think I can wait for an Android based tablet.

- Posted by K Robinson

I have a tablet from Motion, and I love it. But it has a stylus, USB ports, and 60 gig of storage. Apple will have to do better to make me switch. Cool is ok, but as an artist, I now have it all.

- Posted by notronmansfield

Once I upgrade my desktop computer, I would buy an iPad to replace my aging MacBook Pro, but first it must run my MacBook apps. I already have an iPhone and don’t need a bigger one.

- Posted by HakalauTom

I guess this will be the next gen for students, sales and medical fields. No need to bring those heavy textbooks and waste a lot of paper. Schools should integrate all their textbooks in the Ipad bookshelf.

- Posted by JM

Steve Jobs says it’s awesome and it looks cool. On that alone is enough for me to be sold. Otherwise, why WOULDN’T you buy it?! It’s Apple, so I will buy it no matter what, like I always do when Apple releases a new product.

- Posted by BE

A product that could have been versatile and highly-integrated, reveals itself, sadly, as a giant iPhone. Though, I can’t blame Apple from a business angle: Apple learned from the iPhone that people will pay anything for a shiny toy.

- Posted by Bendy

@ Joe K

1. Who ares about about Windows…this is Apple OS

2. I don’t know about you but I type a whole lot faster and more legible than writing at fast speeds. Stylus would be nice if I was doing creative work on Adobe CS design products

3. Built in camera for web chatting I must agree there but how often do I use my built in camera on my Mac Book Pro….have yet to use it once.

4.This thing is to down via wifi/bluetooth…go buy yourself a wifi SD card and stop the belly aching. If you would have searched harder, there are also adapters to purchase to download images directly off your camera.

5.There are adapters for a printer.

6. Don’t hate because your nEtbook can’t do what this does…GPS and other functions as well. The web is going away from Flash via latest version of HTML.

Apple I do think you did a well thought out, long range planning/partnering with this product release but wish you would have invited those publishing partners to come out and show off their Ebooks/papers and other home applications ie….total home remote.

- Posted by Apple Head

@ JM

this is exactly for those fields…

and for all you people who think so micro…there are so much more applications that can be made cheaply and launched to do more for the consumer…you just need to think big.

- Posted by Apple Head

An SD reader will be available in the Camera Connectivity Kit.

- Posted by Traps

its definitely a game changer, i dont own an iphone, wasnt all that impressed with, i never owned a mac (and don”t care to) but this thing im buying the day it comes out, very impressed and intrigued and the price point is unbelievable!!

- Posted by bigjim

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This post was mentioned on Twitter by mariodisimine: Is the iPad a game changer? Have your say … http://bit.ly/b4KErP…

- Posted by uberVU - social comments

Not a game changer – a short changer, nowhere near where it should be to merit the cost of ownership and all the apps you need for basic operation. Not now, in 2010.

What’s this thing saying, really? “Here’s a big clunky way you can give spend even more money on apps and AT&T without even making phonecalls!”

The sort of people willing to be seen in public with the ennuiPad are going to be the same sort of people who spend all day tweeting. Birdbrains.

- Posted by The Bell

We are looking at them for a custom application for our traders working the floor.

- Posted by EGROUP

The ipad will be a complete hit for a medical bedside computer. Someone write some apps that call up x rays, pathology results etc and this thing will be used in hospitals across the world. You’d even be able to wipe it down with antiseptic solution!!!

- Posted by Dave

http://tenonedesign.com/sketch.php for your iphone/ipad stylus needs. drawing apps exist for the iphone already, with the added power and a bigger screen of the iPad, a ‘photoshop mobile’ is possible :P

- Posted by mike verzella

I got to get one for my 80-year old mother! An iPhone for geriatrics!

Kidding… I think the key for this will be, like the iPhone, in the apps. It may well carve out its own market, in ways already hinted at above.

- Posted by John

May compete with the Kindle? From $259 to $700 – 800 with wireless, that is apples and oranges, no pun intended. iPad is a whole separate category of device.

I have a Kindle, and have been sorely disappointed with the screen quality, which is like an old B&W Palm pda of ten years ago. Lots of room for improvement there. But eInk is easier on the eye than backlit. So, I would not be getting this device for a lot of eReading.

Indeed, slick though it looks, I was not at all convinced I need this device. I was disappointed to discover it lacks the Apple OS X, so What, exactly, would I want to buy it for?

Listening to music? I use my Zune for that, it works fine, thank you.

Or, I can listen on my laptop while I work. Speaking of work, would I want to use this device for any work? No, it can’t do that; like the iPhone, it is limited to one solitary program (app) at a time, as I understand it. Big drawback for any larger device.

What else? Bluetooth,ok, useful for the necessary keyboard accessory. Videos. Not really into those. If I were, I think I’d prefer a larger screen. Ditto games, except the MS FSX, which really needs a highest end gaming desktop and big screen. Movies? Sorry, I prefer my 40″ HD Sony. ANd I’m paying Comcast enough for TV, thank you.

Reading? This device is just another Netbook, screen-wise, as far as its book presentation goes. Too much eye strain for long reading sessions. Well yes I still believe the printed book offers the best reading experience.

If I were a road warrior or frequent flyer, I might view this device differently, but Im not into that. So, what is left? A larger iPhone? Sorry, I have an iPhone 3G, and I can tell you one thing fer sure, I sure aint paying more to AT&T for yet another Data Plan! They have messed up my bills enough already. Now, if this device had come with iPhone tethering ability, at litte extra charge, I might have perked up: numerous times, I wished I had a bigger screen while using my iPhone. But has AT&T kept their tethering promise of last summer? No. Not a word.

What else? Yes well it does look cool, I must admit, so teen hipsters will probably go for it, but I still think a 13″ MacBook Pro would be far better value for money, since with that you get the full Apple OS, ports, etc. Now there is something that would, and is, tempting me to consider Apple. I have had enough of Windows troubles. But that OS X, which is Apple’s biggest draw, is also missing from this iPad. Doesn’t leave much does it? (I did rather agree with the person who said, if they bought this device, they’d sell their iPHone and get a cheap-ish Verizon phone. That does make some sense.)

- Posted by David L

does anyone know if there are models with higher RAM? if not, i think it wouldn’t fully be able to ‘bridge the gap between smartphones and laptops’ 1gb isn’t what i really wanna see in this…

- Posted by clay