Is the iPad just a load of hype?

Thursday, May 27, 2010


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As Apple finally starts selling the iPad here in the UK, we'd like to ask the question, is the iPad really going to be such a huge success? Will it really be the next 'must have' of 2010? Or is it just mass PR hype?

 

Although there are plenty of people out there who would buy a toilet brush from apple as long as it was in white, I don't think it's going to be the life changing experience we all had hoped for.

 

Now don't get me wrong, I already own an iPhone and have no qualms with Apple, and on inspection the iPad appears to be a well-crafted piece of kit. However, by having an iPhone and a laptop, I'm internet-enabled 24 hours a day and always-on. My iPhone takes care of short emails, facebook updates, and should I need to type out a letter or two, my laptop is there to handle tasks which would take a day to complete on a touch screen tablet. Another downside are the restrictions imposed due to their operating system; you won't be able to drag and drop or share files with other computers, download music or programs off the net other than those from the iTunes store. Don't even get me started on the inability to view Flash-enabled websites. Whatever their reasons, there will still be an abundance of Flash-enabled websites for years to come; as web developers know, we still produce sites that support Internet Explorer 5, a browser that was released in 1999!!

 

The smart consumer will wait for a touchscreen tablet that offers the features you would now get on almost any laptop on the high street. For example, a forward-facing camera for Skype calls. Why Apple couldn't have included something so basic is beyond comprehension. It's true to say nothing comes close to the iPad just yet, but I suspect it won't take long for a competitively and well-designed tablet to come onto the market. Of course the price will inevitably come down and processor and disk speeds will increase in the future. However, one crucial thing going for Apple is their ability to produce constant reliable updates and a stable operating systems, probably to the envy of Microsoft.

 

So do I think there's a future for the iPad? Well, I suspect my father would benefit from an iPad. As he's unable to carry out the simplest of tasks on a computer, the iPad would make his life a doddle. With a simple-to-use interface, and little chance of deleting the operating system to 'make some space', I could see an iPad being a godsend to any son or daughter who gets bombarded with technical questions from computer illiterate parents.

 

What do you think? Have I got it all wrong - is there a need for an iPad for existing iPhone owners? Should I throw away my laptop and just have an iPad and a pack of anti-static wipes, to clean away my smudgy finger prints after a day's use?

 

Thoughts on a postcard please.