An OLD article! From 2010.
Let me make it clear right from the start: I am a Windows fan, and Bill Gates is one of my heroes. I would never use anything other than Windows (and there are a lot of sound technical reasons for that). I deliberately avoid buying Apple products: my MP3 player is a Creative Zen, and my smartphone is an HTC Touch HD running Windows Mobile.
However, whenever Apple releases a new product I have to admit that on the surface it looks highly desirable. I think this is how the iPhone took off – it costs a bloody fortune and has (or had) several technical limitations when it was released (i.e. ringtone customisation/cannot use mp3 files for ringtones, no video recording, limited Flash support when browsing, etc.)… but it still took off because it looks great and was hyped on that strength.
The same is true of the MacBook Air. It looks gorgeous, and if its performance were in any way related to its looks it would currently be running for office, and be a dead cert for next US President. But it has upgrade limitations, restricted connectivity, bloody expensive with a tiny hard drive, and you can’t replace the battery.
And as far as the iPod goes, Apple’s bad record with non-user replaceable batteries and DRM-protected (originally, anyway) files is well known. But it looks great.
The keyword in all that is ‘looks’. Apple has appearance down to a fine art.
Yesterday, the iPad was announced. It is a tablet computer and… yes, it looks absolutely beautiful!
But based on previous Apple performance issues, does it really achieve anything new?
This story in the Daily Mail highlights some of the drawbacks which are actually rather serious:
- It cannot run more than one application at a time – so you can’t fire up a wordprocessor, then switch to a browser. One has to be shut down and the other started, and vice versa
- It has no camera (of any kind)
- It can’t handle Flash – so browsing is extremely limited
- It uses a touchscreen keyboard – but Apple will sell a proper keyboard for $70!
- It has no card slots or USB ports – but surprise, surprise! It has an iPod port. So you can pay out more money for an adapter if you want to connect non-Apple peripherals to it via the iPod port
- iPad owners will only be able to download apps from the Apple Store – yet it is being touted as “the most innovative product in the world of netbooks”
- The display is not HD-ready and the 4:3 format means widescreen will have a bar at the top and bottom
- It will cost $499 (or £308) in the US – but no British price has been announced. I’ll lay odds it will be around £500 or even more over here.
Critics are labelling it as an oversized iPhone, and the web is already awash with virals poking fun at its limitations.
I’ve included a couple of YouTube movies below – I warn you, they’re parodies involving Hitler’s Response to the iPad, so don’t watch them if that is likely to offend you. Oh, and there’s a lot of bad language.
But I agree that the iPad is likely to be successful – even though it probably shouldn’t be.