My interest will peak in such a device when the network connectivity and bandwidth yields a great "thin" client so I don't miss all the trappings of my tablet/laptop. No voice service but will VOIP be blocked by ATT?
smoke and mirrors- most of the comments i've been reading excuse Apple's ipad for things that netbooks can do without excuse- isnt flash used throughout the net,at least for now, multitasking is a must in a the real world. The truth is all these functions are not present because the power drain would be that of netbooks. If folk want to believe that Apple's reasoning behind reduced functions is for the consumers benefit, well I have a bridge I want to sell you a lease to. The truth of the matter is, the emperor hasn't got any clothes on!
Even if I am a fan of Apple I am disppointed by what I read on the Ipad. On the other hand it is not so surprising as it becomes dificult to imagine new devices as there is already more than needed already available. I fully agree with Bilge the key concern is content as I am pretty sure that in 20years from now it will be a big issue to get access to old data. On top of this we have to start to be reasonable as the main problem and it is in less than 20years will be raw materials availability to manufacture such devices. THis type of new things, which are just there to push people to buy useless things, are a disaster for the planet. We have now to start thinking about real needed objects and not gizmo. There are enough bright brains in APPLE for them to think differently, and they shouldn't be the only ones. If we are not carefull now it is the overall hight tech industry which will be in very serious trouble and much before shortage of oil.
Old technology. Do you really imagine an iPad with five cables connected to it? An external hard drive via USB!?
WiFi. Network file server, network printer, etc. Look ma, no cables! It's the wave of the future.
Ok, so it's a bigger, badder iPod Touch. Tapping out emails on a touchscreen simulacrum of a keyboard will be a pain in the fingers. Ditto for typing in URLs. (Yes, some of us still do that.)
1. No SD slot, so zero storage expansion options. Yes, you can get the "digital camera adaptor" gizmo but why not build in an SD connector from the get-go?
2. No USB connector, so no peripheral expansion either. No external hard drives, no external keyboards, no printers, no multi-format flash card readers. Dumb.
3. (Apparent, not stated) No battery access. Want to run longer than the internal battery will provide? Sorry, unless you're home and docked or have the travel adaptor and access to an outlet, you're out of luck.
Would I buy one? Most likely not. I could see buying an iPod Touch as a replacement for my old PDA when it dies, but I'd still want a pocket-sized device. The iPad won't do the other things I want to do with a netbook or notebook, like conveniently type emails, let me do updates to my website while I'm traveling, back up my digital camera data to an external hard drive, etc.
I agree with the assessment that it's an iPod on steroids, not much else. I'm not fond of ebooks in general so this toy doesn't hold much attraction for me.
While there's a potential for publishers to increase profits from eReaders in general with the introduction of the iPad, I foresee competition from the classics that are available for free over the internet as public domain. Also, the audio books format is also strong with eDevices, competes well against books in print on eReaders, and provides publishers with higher margins than books in print. With the display dimmed, battery life for an iPad would be quite long while playing audio books. One can listen while driving or while the eyes are otherwise engaged.
My personal investment in audio books is over a thousand dollars yearly, which is a lot more than I ever considered spending on books in print or for eReaders in past years. But you don't need an iPad for audio books -- pretty nearly any cellular telephone will do, especially with a nice large SDHC chip inserted, and any iPod or other mp3 player is also up to it, and many will hold about a month worth of 24-hour-per-day listening. MP3 players are clearly more portable than iPads. So for these uses, the iPad will have little success making inroads.
Publishers need quality material to compete against the classics on eReaders and against the free audio books format materials. And these markets have been around for decades, so the iPad doesn't represent much real growth for publishers.
Someday a tablet may be a third must-have product for the affluent people who already own smart phones and notebook PCs. It may even be the future of newspapers, books and TV for many people. But today the iPad is only a must-have for a small slice of Apple's dedicated fan base.
And there are a few dozen more important problems in the world technology can address than defining new and fun ways to consume more media more often.
The limitations of the iPad must come as quite a relief to Apple's competitors. They have the opportunity to put in all the stuff Apple left out, and do it cheaper. I prefer the openness of the non-Apple world.
A lot of people say that, when you really get down to it, the iPad is basically a big iTouch - not much innovation there. All in all, I think that's true, but that doesn't mean that it won't be a really great product!
A lot of Apple's hit products have a carefully chosen combination of only one or two quasi-breakthrough features, with just plain super-slickly-executed software, giving them an unbeatable look and feel, and usability. Of course really well-done marketing doesn't hurt either!
So even if the iPad doesn't have many revolutionary features, if it's just really well-done, it could be a really big hit.