In the beginning of the iProducts, there was the iMac. A revolutionary, all-in-one machine available in many colors of the rainbow and quickly adopted by many. The iPod came along and showed the world what Apple thought an MP3 player should look like. It was quickly adopted and became the king of the hill. The iPhone did a similar number on the wireless industry and the world now embraces Apple products in several different categories. Despite their shortcomings, their are innovative and well designed and the consumers love them.
Enter the iPad. For weeks and months, rumors were swirling around the Internet about what the iPad would actually be. The expectation with Apple’s track record was clearly something revolutionary.
Now, about a week later, I’ve had the time to digest what I’ve read about the iPad and it’s functionality. The press conference was used to show off a variety of different applications, from reading to email and gaming. It seemed to me that the device did much of this very well.
The question that keeps intruding in my mind is this: what would I use it for?
I have a laptop that I use for my writing, web design, email and other web related activities. I have a Kindle that I use for reading and finding new books. I have a Blackberry that I use for calling, text messaging, e-mail, surfing and such. I have a PSP for portable gaming when I decide I want high quality gaming. I have a PS3 at home for even higher quality gaming.
The answer to my own question is simple: nothing much.
The problem for me is that I already have dedicated devices that do what I need. Take reading for example: the Kindle is made with reading-friendly e-ink. This means that you can literally read for hours and there’s no more eye strain than there would be reading a regular book. Looking at the iPad, I see a screen that’s very different. Will a user have the same experience there? I can’t tell.
Bottom line for me, being the tech geek that I am, I’d love to get my hands on one and see what it can do but at the end of the day, it’s just another device that I don’t need. At this point, the one thing I would find real useful would be to use it to watch movies on trips and such but do I really want to spend $500 for a movie player?
I do have to say that although I don’t see a need for the iPad for me personally at this point, I do see potential with the iPad. It’s a powerful device and I think there are many possible applications for it. Schools, the health industry etc. So, although the iPad was disappointing to me as a launch device, I do see potential and with a couple of months left to go before launch, there is still time to perfect it and make it even better.