iPad First Impressions
It certainly has been a heady day for the tech world. After years of speculation and endless amounts of punditry the Apple Tablet, christened the iPad, finally emerged into the spotlight. Born into a world of largely single use devices and repurposed laptops, the iPad attempts to strike a balance between the limitations of the smartphone and the raw horsepower of the laptop. Did Apple succeed? The width of consumer adoption will answer that question. Until then, here are some of my personal iPad impressions.
My first impression was of the operating system. Ryan Block of GDGT noted during TWiT’s coverage of the iPad launch that during a hands-on session with the device he noticed it was running iPhone OS 3.2. Why is that particularly important? Apple had two basic choices of operating system; some flavor of iPhone OS or some flavor of OS X. By choosing iPhone OS Apple has chosen the operating system familiar to most users and the one that lends itself best to the mobile environment. One of the first blocks to user adoption is the user interface and if you present a UI someone is already familiar with you’ve removed a block to adoption.
My second impression was of the sheer utility of the device. Most competitors in the mobile space have veered towards creating purpose-built devices; Kindles, GPSs, and MP3 players. One of the geniuses of Apple devices is that they are platforms, not just devices. You can build anything on a platform. This iPad isn’t just an eReader. The iPad isn’t just a GPS device. The iPad just doesn’t play your media. It does all of these things and anything else someone might dream up for it. Hospital clipboard. Stenography machine. Musical keyboard. All you have to do is develop an application for it. It isn’t trying to cash in on just one vertical, its giving people the opportunity to cash in on every vertical.
My last impression was how Apple positioned the device. It’s long been a knock against Apple that they make great devices at premium prices. The ultimate tech expression of you get what you pay for. Most pundits claimed that Apple couldn’t make a Tablet for less than $1000. But what did Apple do? They brought in a base model for $499. That’s close enough to most netbooks in the marketplace to make consumers truly think twice. Kudos to Apple for making the price move that could finally break them through to approaching high adoption rate.
The iPad may not have had all the bells and whistles some had predicted. What it did deliver was a device with unlimited potential and immediate impact. What do you think? Did the iPad make an impression on you? Will you be in line in March to pick one up? Drop us a comment below and let us know.
By: Erin Peterson