OoTheNigerian

sometimes, I make a lot of sense.

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Great Expectations: My iPad Disappointment and Why it Won’t be a Runaway Success!

31 January 2010 by Oo

The iPad is the latest device introduced by Steve Jobs of Apple computers and it is billed to change the computing world forever! This post is about why I am disappointed in the product and why it will not be as successful as the iPod and iPhone were for Apple.

ipad

MY DISAPPOINTMENT

The hype around Apple’s Tablet (as it was called then)  was unimaginable and the coverage was deafening! All bloggers turned detective, they investigated the Who Is (record of the owner) of every i whateveryouputhere domain. Someone even suggested Apple owned the trademark of iSlam. Every acquisition Apple made since 1990 was related to the new technology that would be in the Tablet. It was also  said to have been work on for years (Avatar movie kind of talk).  ‘Apple’s Tablet’ was billed as the most important tablet since Moses brought the commandments from mount Sinai! There were almost as many posts complaining about the coverage of Apples Tablet as the the ones doing the covering. I did not bulge, i was not carried away! All that changed was when I read the quote attributed to Steve Jobs

This will be the most important thing I have ever done in my life

A statement like this coming from the man that delivered the iPod and the iPhone, I was determined to be a part of history! I ensured Ii would follow it live. The Twitterverse was feverish, less important things like Obama’s state of the Union address was put aside. Even the Haiti crisis was demoted as the number one Trending topic (a position it held since the earthquake on the 12th).

Then the moment came, first, the name iPad was revealed (with quite muted cheers), then the product! It was obvious people were not ecstatic. When the first feature Steve Jobs talks about in a product is you can change the wallpaper then you know we have a problem. As inferred from Eric Schmidt’s comment when asked about the tablet, the iPad is nothing more than a big iPhone iPod touch at least the iPhone can make calls, has 3G, a camera and much more. The product Steve Jobs revealed though a very cool and useful product, is not groundbreaking or innovative. It is not worth the hype. It is almost in the same magnitude of the leap made from the iPod to the iPod touch. at least the iPod touch can be used for gaming!

I am really disappointed! and I am not the only one

REASONS THE iPAD WILL NOT BE AS SUCCESSFUL AS THE IPOD OR iPHONE.

A summary of my theory is  that this time around, Apple did not catch the competition unawares like it did with the iPod and does not have the first mover advantage it had with the iPhone. I’ll explain below.

1. Lack of ‘basic’ features

My fist reason to why it won’t sell well is there are too many things that the iPad does not have! A camera, USB port, Memory card reader (there are are are expensive propriety adaptors), it does not run flash and much more. I think that is a problem. People keep mentioning that the iPhone had several defects when it was released, but this is way different! The with the iPhone, the competition caught off guard! But right now, there are so many tablets in the market! there is  even one called Juju. and there are more coming. The first mover advantage the iPhone had is non existent. What the iPad has only done is to validate the market for other manufacturers to take it serious. a second point to this first reason is a lot of people who just love Apple will wait for version iPad2 when Apple will make the sought after additions.

2. The closed nature of the iPad.

Apple determines what you can do with your device. For example, Apple has decreed you cannot use flash with your tablet therefore forget about playing Mafia Wars and Farmville on it. Yeah, those videos you see online are run by flash too. You can only watch YouTube only because “there is an app for that”. I guarantee that other slates/tablets in the market will allow you do what ever you want with your device.

3. The Android platform as the iPad ‘killer’.

The awe of the iPhone is/was its usability and interface, i.e the operating system. It made people use phones in ways they never thought possible. It is for this reason people ignored that the first iPhone did not have copy and paste and could not do MMS (and it was a smart phone). People had no other choice so if you wanted a good Smartphone, it had to be the iPhone…until the Android OS came. The Android OS can essentially do what the iPhone OS can do and this is main problem for the iPad. Any good manufacturer can now focus on creating beautiful hardware then go ahead and install the FREE Android OS. Consumers will then be FREE to choose any device in what ever shape while enjoying the. Watch out for HTC entering the tablet/slate market having delivered on the Nexus One remember the iPad is just a bigger iPod touch/IPhone.

A major defence that Apple proponents bring up is the 140,000 apps in the iPhone appstore which can automatically work on the iPad: Apple having this number of Apps is no advantage. If my Pareto analysis is is accurate like it should be, then it is 20% of those apps that account for 80% of the downloads. Those ‘important’ 20% are available in the Android market.

Conclusion

Will the iPad be another Apple TV? No. But it will be no where as successful as the iPhone but more popular than Macbooks. Just as jobs positioned the iPad (a product between the phone and the Computer)

Where will that leave Netbooks? I think they are dead! Steve Jobs says Netbooks are not better at anything and he is right!

Notes:

  1. The computer state e.g Apple’s iPad will be a VERY successful product line. But this time around, apple will not dominate the market like it did with the iPod/iPhone
  2. I am expecting the iPad to be ‘upgraded’ before it ships.
  3. I do not have any idea where the Chrome OS comes in. Netbooks are dead!
  4. I am hoping Palm can do something here. The WebOS looks too beautiful and perfect of a slate.

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