Friday, January 29, 2010

A Rose By Any Other Name .... [updated]

I-pad, huh?  Well, the jokes are pretty easy to make.

[Thanks to Wendy W for the link]

As the NYT piece also suggests, this is not a laughing matter for those firms using iPad for their existing products, but this is not the first time Apple has done this.  The cool technology will almost certainly overwhelm those companies that use the name, although perhaps not in Europe since American companies tend to lose patent/copyright battles there.

Of course, the real question is what products will the iPad kill in the marketplace?  The iTouch, perhaps. Netbooks--cheap, limited laptops used mostly for email and internet--certainly.  Kindle and other e-book readers, probably.  It depends on whether the equivalent for iTunes for books has enough books.  That really is one of the big battles over the next few years--who gets enough books into the proprietary format to win the book reader wars.  Given the shortage of bookshelves in my house, this may not be trivial for me.

Apps!!!  Oh but the joy of apps will mean that the iPad will do quite well for those needing tech for tech's sake.  If I had some extra cash, I would certainly get an iPad so that I can app away.  Thus far, I have resisted the iPhone and the iTouch but not the iPods.  I think it might be ironic that I started using iPods as backup hard drives, but the limited memory of the iTouch and iPad deter me just a bit since I want my computer to have heaps of room.

Ah, and there is the challenge--are people willing to buy the iPad to be their computer and not just as a bigger iTouch/iPhone type device?  Touch typing on screens is not going to work for most people for any lengthy documents, so there is going to be a keyboard/dock to be added on, but my guess is that those add-ons will be difficult to drag onto planes, into cafes and the like. The iPad is likely to make a dent on the low end of the laptop market, but I think laptops are going to do fine in this competition.  I use a thinkpad precisely because I want to be able to type comfortably.  I do use base stations/docking stations at home and at school though to ease my usage (keyboards, bigger monitor, trackballs) so I can imagine someone getting an iPad and buying the additional stuff.  The difference again is that the iPad is not going to be easy to type on, whereas I can and do take my laptop on the road and still be productive as a researcher (typing in interview notes, for instance).

So, I want an iPad but will not get one unless a bucket of money drops in my direction.  I need a DVR, a second HDTV, blue ray, remote car starter, a new CD/radio/i-Pod player in my car, a new car, and other stuff more.  Of course, this raises an additional question--perhaps raised in a book I have not read yet (the Progress Paradox by Gregg Easterbrook)--that we feel as if we do not have enough stuff (and we end up spending far more of our income on things that used to be free--television and now radio, etc) and are falling behind when we are clearly way ahead of the generation before us in terms of luxury.  And the technologies do change our spending.  I buy far more music now than I did a few years ago but in much smaller increments--one song at a $1 or so a shot via iTunes.  I could see the iPad working to increase spending--on apps (will the NYT app be a monthly fee or a one-timer?).

But that is for a rant on another day.


1 comment:

Spew Jr. said...

Go on Huffington Post and u will find the 9 worst things about the iPad, and you will abandon the idea of owning one entirely.