January 27, 2010 by vongsundara · 3 Comments
Apple has a habit of crashing the internet. At 1:00 p.m. today, January 27, many servers were overloaded and crashed from the volume of traffic looking for news on Apple’s big tablet unveiling. Apple’s product announcements have become big-time events. Their last major announcement, the iPhone, basically blew away the entire world with concepts that nobody could have even dreamed about, so the hype surrounding their tablet announcement had reached fever pitch. Ultimately, the unveiling was good but didn’t blow anyone away outside of its ridiculously low price. I suppose it was too much to ask to live up to the hype, though the iPhone did just that and then some.
Prior to the announcement, most people had predicted that the iPad would be like a bigger iPhone. I was hopeful that Apple would be able to dream up something better than a bigger iPhone. Unfortunately, I was kind of wrong. Now, I’m not giving Apple enough credit, because there is much more to the iPad, but the perception and word on the street will be that it’s just a bigger iPhone, and Apple will have no one to blame but itself. They even included the exact same home button.
Enough of that though; let’s move on to the positives. The biggest feature to jump out at me is the price point: $499 US dollars. This is the SAME PRICE as the top model of the iPhone. That is absolutely ridiculously low and places the iPad into impulse-purchase territory. Let me repeat that again: the iPad is the same price as an iPhone. Keeping that in mind, the other faults seem to almost disappear.
Instead of comparing the iPad to laptops, this pricepoint lets us compare the iPad to digital photo frames and the Kindle. The cost of the 10-inch LED premium Sony S-Frame is also $499, and that’s just for a digital photo frame. The iPad is also backlit by LED, which makes it at the very east a good digital photo frame. The Kindle has the same dimensions roughly, and the iPad makes the Kindle basically obsolete as a book reader.
Now down to the bad points. Instead of using a modified Mac OS X Snow Leopard, the iPad instead runs on iPhone OS. I can see why Apple went this route, as this allows easy incorporation of iTunes and the App Store and 100 per cent compatibility with all 140,000 iPhone apps. I still disagree with this decision, however. The iPhone OS was not meant for such a large screen, and Apple should have taken some time to develop a hybrid Mac OS X and iPhone OS, which shouldn’t have been too out of the question as iPhone OS is already a modified Mac OS X. The Mac OS X dock would have made much more sense on a 10-inch screen than the spread out App icons of the iPhone OS.
Also, while it is indeed nice to have the ability to run 140,000 apps off the bat (with the option to zoom in 2X full-screen, blurry but still workable), Apple should have modified Mac OS X and added an App store. Heck, I’m surprised Apple hasn’t added an App store to Mac OS X already (they must be saving this for version 10.6).
Will I buy an iPad? The question isn’t if but when. I’ll probably wait until Apple updates the iPad to at least second generation. I would have bought first generation had the iPad been closer to what I wanted, but the price is just too undeniable.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot the second BIG feature that Apple announced: 10 hours of battery life. That’s amazing for a 10-inch screen device (1024×768 resolution) and blows away the battery life of any laptop I’ve heard of.