Some new thoughts on the iPad

It seems like it was seven years ago that I wrote about the new Apple iPad. Since then, I’ve had a partial change of heart.  I’ve also had a severe shortage of Rusharound updates.  This post addresses both. 

My interest in the iPad has risen, possibly I have started to succumb to Apple’s legendary marketing.  Let’s just say that I’ve been in a number scenarios in the last two months where the iPad would have been handy.  And my credit card company could tell you that when it comes to Apple products, I’m a very soft target.

Apparently, I’m not alone.  Pre-orders for the iPad opened last week and some say Apple got more than 40,000 iPad orders in their first several hours.  That’s 2.5 times the average number of orders Apple gets for their entire product line each day — just in the first two or three hours.  So there’s little question whether the “Gotta-Have-It-People” will have this device.

Some pundits have suggested that the iPad is nothing more than a large format iPod Touch and therefore shouldn’t be taken seriously.  That seems to be half true – it is a big iPod Touch, but does it have to be more than that to be useful in new ways?  When the first underwater camera came out, did consumers say, “oh, it’s still a camera inside that waterproof box?  Boooring.”  No  – they said, “Now I can take pictures at the beach, the pool, while snorkling.  This opens up new places to take photos!”   The same is true for the iPad – just because it’s not a technological revolution doesn’t mean it won’t be groundbreaking for some users.

But the beefs I expressed about the iPad aren’t about the utility of the overall product, but instead whether its worth buying a Gen1 unit sight unseen.  My jury is still out – though  I will say, if I do take the plunge, it’ll be for the small capacity, wi-fi only unit because I expect it to be due for replacement soon based on other shortcomings (i.e. no front camera)  and I want to minimize the capital expense on it my ‘first’ iPad.

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