Since the rumors first began circulating about Apple’s iPad, I was sure the entire concept of a tablet computer reeked of pointlessness. That changed after the unveiling of the iPad on Wednesday. Don’t worry, I’m not going to worship Apple; actually, I may do quite the opposite. Yes, Apple convinced me there was a use for such a device, but barely. I came to see that the iPad could act as a second computer, in lieu of a notebook computer. For example, if I had an iMac, but also wanted something mobile, the iPad could act as the perfect companion. It does most of the things a MacBook does, but is much cheaper and even more portable. But, for mainstream consumers who cannot afford a second computer, let alone one that has the same functionality as their MacBook, the iPad, frankly, is unbelievably pointless. In the case of mainstream consumers, I suppose this device might be purchased instead of an iPod Touch, but then sales drop in iTouches, and, therefore, the market balances itself out.
As far as the product itself goes, the iPad foreshadows a futuristic world in which mainstream computing is done on similar touchscreen devices. Its large, touchscreen display, thin and light-weight design, and 10-hour battery life give us an idea of what the future of computing may be like. But in the present world, the iPad is nothing special. Steve Jobs detailed at the special event Wednesday what he thought made it special: It has an interchangeable background, redone mail, a calendar, and contacts applications, and it runs all the apps currently available in the App Store.
First, the iPhone and iPod Touch do all these things already. Also, I only make a point of including the “personalizing the background” feature because it seemed that Steve Jobs made that a little too big of a deal at the presentation when it really wasn’t. I really like the redone mail, calendar, and contacts apps, but these are simply lip gloss, giving the product its own look, in order to separate it from the iPhone and iPod Touch. And, of course, it runs all the current App Store apps, yet another thing of which iPhone and iPod Touch are capable.
Next up, the marketing. “iPad” simply does not have the Apple ring to it like “iPod” and “Mac” do. This may have something to do with its similarity to the common name for the feminine product used to, well, you know. The New York Times cleverly made a pun on the name writing that the next commercial may say something like “Heavy flow? There’s an app for that!” In addition to the name, the slogan describing the iPad caused me to laugh out loud. I don’t mean to sound cruel, but who writes this?? They are calling it
“Our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price.”
Okay, so they are correct about the unbelievable price, which was perhaps the best part of the new product. But “magical”? Really? Not to mention that their slogan rhymes within it self: device…price, which adds on to its corniness. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything Apple, but on Wednesday, January 27, I lost a little respect for the company that usually brings the latest and greatest glamorous product that everyone must have. The iPad just doesn’t seem to be Apple. It doesn’t bring something new to the world of innovation like most of their other products did. While the touch screen isn’t going anywhere, could Apple be losing their special touch?
Although I am not completely sold, Apple does have a history of changing the way people use devices. We will have to see how this iPad plays out.
What do you think? Leave a comment!