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iDunno

Apropos the iPad, complete the following sentence…

"iDunno…"

Here are my first thoughts…

  • iDunno that I'd carry this AND my laptop
    The iPad just seems "in between" – it's too big to be a convenience device like the iPhone but too limiting to dump the laptop. It doesn't run half of the applications I use (real email client, Word, Excel…) that aren't more convenient on my iPhone (like Skype, Twitterific etc.). So the laptop remains when I'm travelling.
  • iDunno what I'd do with the iPad
    I haven't yet succumbed to an electronic book reader like the Kindle so my media consumption is via the iPhone (music, videos, pictures) or laptop (movies, work). If I was in the mood for a Kindle and prepared to carry yet-another device when I'm on the move, maybe I'd think about the iPad. That choice would be driven by available publications, battery life and weight… in that order.
  • iDunno how I'd fit all of this in my bag
    After dealing with neck and shoulder pains from bad position on my road bike (bicycle, NOT Harley…) plus having to schlep my way through Frankfurt airport too many times, I resorted to roll-along computer bag (it looks nerdy, but it's the ticket for walking/running to make connections at FRA!). Despite the roll-along, I'm still conscious about what I put into the bag. On the electronics front, the list is limited to laptop, universal power supply for laptop, iPhone, Canon Powershot camera and its charger, USB Flash drive – that's it. The iPad doesn't combine any new functionality. That was the brilliance of the iPhone. Eliminated the separation of phone, iPod and Blackberry in one go.

Steve Jobs and the team at Apple are great marketers so I'm sure I'm missing something. Hopefully I'll be enlightened and get an "Ah-ha! – brilliant!" moment.

In the meantime, I'm left wondering…

iDunno who's the target market for the iPad.

 

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Comments

Kenton A Hoover

Am a kindle user; started with the Sony Reader when I was flying to-and-from LA every week for a year and needed to get out of the "leave with three heavy books to read for the week and return with two unread and two new books" pattern.

Battery life is the biggest lose on the iPad that I see -- sure, you can "fly from San Francisco to Tokyo without recharging", but you can't fly from San Francisco to Hong Kong and I also don't want to be forced to recharge anything every time I change planes. The price point seems crazy. And as Megan McArdle pointed out in her post on this today, what exactly in my EDC* bag does the iPad replace? iPhone saved me iPod + smart phone + a DVD player for the kids on plane flights+ having to carry a camera everywhere.

Not shorting Apple stock, but expecting a major revision to the product about a year out -- perhaps just allowing a BT keyboard to link up to it as well as multitasking. And what is the excuse about the lack of multitasking on this unit -- it doesn't need to keep the baseband processor fed and tended for voice calls.

(*Every Day Carry)

--Marc

• iAgree ... iPad would not replace my laptop.

• iAgree ... iPad would not replace my iPhone.

• iAgree ... iDon't have or feel the need for a Kindle.

hmm..

• iThink ... maybe for the kitchen. The iPhone was too small for recipes or to watch news. The laptop was too vulnerable to spills. And, it's a right-sized information appliance for the kitchen counter, under-cabinet, or on-fridge mounting. And, price-wise its mid-price range relative to various other kitchen appliances.

(For what its worth, the Kitchen Commander & Chefs at our home are already planning for one in the kitchen. The iPad would double as entertainment for kids while traveling... so, a good value.)

How long before some fridges are iPad ready like cars are iPod ready?

• iThink ... maybe for Mom/Grandma. We ruled out both a digital photo frame and a Kindle for her last Christmas. Neither one seemed quite right. The iPad appears approachable for this particular Grandma for pictures sharing, books (reading & text-to-speach), movies, certain games etc. Share the cost with siblings and this a yes.

... iAgree, the Kindle-ish market is still small at 2.5M units..., yet maybe the real limit is that Kindle is, as Amazon states, just a "reading device".

With more out-of-the-box, er.. out-of-the-briefcase thinking i find that...

• iThink ... maybe a home intercom/picture frame/automation panel is not so far fetched... I'd rather have 3 wall mounted iPads than, for example, 4-station $1500 Nutone Home Intercom System:
--> http://www.home-technology-store.com/intercom/NT-IM4406WH-KT.aspx

• iThink ... perhaps, perhaps as a web kiosk. The iPad MTBF must be on par or better than similarly sized Web Kiosks I've seen. Yeah, I know, retail is not Apple's focus; so, third parties would need to step in for enclosures, retail chain level deployment, etc.

Anyway, ...

• iDunno ... to what extent the iPad will expand into the above markets. However, in some sense, IMHO the Apple pitch which compares the iPad to phone/laptop is like a "red herring"...

... the iPad form factor with a multi-touch paradigm is more likely to have other uses than to replace any of our iPhones/Rims or Laptops. ;-)

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STU PHILLIPS
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA

Intense Brit, lived in Silicon Valley since 1984. Avid pilot, like digital photography, ham radio and a bunch of other stuff. Official Geek.

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