The Apple iPad – worth the wait?

After what seems one of the most eagerly awaited consumer product launches in recent times the apple iPad is finally here. So was it worth the wait? Well so far it looks like reaction is split; many see its potential and can’t wait to get their hands on it. Whilst the other camp state it doesn’t have the credentials they were expecting or the edge that we expect from Apple to make it a ground breaking consumer product, suggesting that in actual fact it’s just an oversized iTouch. My girlfriend thinks it looks childlike, just like an etch-a-sketch!

Personally, I have a mixed reaction to the product too. It doesn’t have some of the functionality that we have come to expect from netbooks/laptops, for example it’s got no camera, no microphone, no USB port, and no SD (secure digital) card slot. The 3G version is strictly limited to carrying data. It would be a positive move by Apple to include these but Apple does have a penchant to release the additional ‘benefits’ in later generations of it’s product set.. I would not be surprised if Apple has the next three generations mapped out in their roadmap already! Just look at each generation of the iPOD, iTouch and the iPhone!

I would have been really pleased to see a cut down version of OS X as it would have really opened up the platform to the Windows/Linux dominated netbook/laptop market. I am a big fan of MacBook and OS X! Instead iPad has an iPhone interface, which although limits functionality in some ways ensures that Apples series of products continue to provide accessibility, simplicity and excitement to an audience with a varying degree of technical ability.

The massive success of the App Store will no doubt have a massive part to play in making the iPad a great success – you can’t doubt the app stores popularity (see my previous blog on smartphones with Apple vs. Android). It’s this ‘cool’ apps factor married with iPad’s simplicity that other tablet devices have been missing in the past.

But is it really a ground breaking concept? What do you think? Have a look at the picture below (courtesy of IPS Network World Inc 1986!) and see what you think! Yes I did say 1986!!!!

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