So, it’s the iPad is it? Lots of potential. My predictions were at best average, but considering so many people are saying the device is “nothing more than everyone predicted”, I can’t find a commentator who accurately described it beforehand.
I think there are a few problems. Note they show people watching video on it in a strange curled-up seating position with the iPad on their knees, putting it at the right angle for viewing (which a laptop screen does automatically). That’s not great, although the opportunity of dumping it in a stand and having it as a video player or digital photo frame is very cool.
And it’s not e-ink. If you’ve used a Kindle, you’ll know what I mean. That’s comfortable to read and demonstrates perfectly why ink-on-paper is more restful than illuminated screens.
But Apple have got the distribution model cracked, and that’s the key. Newspapers will flock to it, and as the user base increases, magazines will follow in time. Not sure about advertising-funded magazines for a long while though. Against the trend, I predicted the name iBook, which turned out to be half-right (the app is called iBooks and the store the iBookstore), and I took the opportunity to register www.iBookUser.com which I’m going to launch as a book review site.
The iPad will easily take off (especially as, crucially, it’s not at Macbook prices) and it will establish the market for future versions to solve any problems with this one. Compare the iPod Touch to the old clickwheel monochrome text-only screened Mk.I iPod still playing away all day in my kitchen.
Pricing will be interesting too. Nobody’s mentioned contract pricing for the 3G ones, but they could easily be free on £35/month contracts, as the basic unit cost is no different to the iPhone.
Finally, as Mashable says, the iPad is about consuming content, not creating it, which is why there’s no camera, and (although there are two types of text-entry device) why it’s only adequate – not elegant – for entering text. Wait until a newspaper offers you one for free if you buy a two-year subscription to its electronic version. And why wouldn’t you? I pay £312 a year to get The Times every day.