Will the iPad Change Anything?
Just before I was giving my presentation at Sales Kick Off yesterday, Apple began unveiling their new iPad. A few people in the audience were looking at the emerging details on their iPhones. I took a quick scan of my Twitter stream later on. It was a topic of discussion throughout the day. I eventually read a small amount of the coverage.
The general complaints I saw on Twitter were related to the lack of a camera or the fact that it had data service only through AT&T. What I see is the biggest failing of the device, quite honestly, is the same downside as for the iPhone: the fact that the device is tied to iTunes.
The iTunes app itself is a bloated, monolithic application that does far too many things. Aside from that, it means you cannot manage content on the device from more than one Mac or PC. I suspect this “limitation” has something to do with how Apple implements DRM, but even Apple has to realize that people own (or use) more than one computer these days and should figure out a way to handle this more gracefully–at least with non-DRMed content.
With this in mind, Apple has clearly created a device that is not a replacement for your primary computer. It’s a big iPod Touch. That’s great for consuming certain kinds of content, but given the limitations of iPhone OS, it won’t be replacing my laptop in my bag anytime soon.
Perhaps the next iPhone OS will remove some of them. Maybe it will add Bluetooth keyboard support, multitasking, and the ability to manage content from more than one computer. Maybe it will do a better job managing battery life or remove the stupid limitations about downloading larger than 10mb files over 3G.
Will the iPad change the world? We don’t have the whole story yet. The rest of it will come when they announce the next iPhone OS, presumably before the iPad actually ships. Then we’ll know the true capabilities of the iPad and just how game changing things will be.
Meanwhile, Apple has ramped up the hype machine by announcing the iPad prior to shipping. The fanboys will continue to drool over the hardware. The rumors will continue to spread until the iPad ships.
Me? I’m happy with my iPhone. It’s already changed my world. Will the iPad change my world? Maybe, but I’m happy to wait and let the true story unfold.
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