Leaving the name aside. We’ll get used to it eventually. I can even read it now without grimacing/smirking/thinking of my next joke.
Before we get to iPad, let’s go back in time to Summer 2007. I was about to start work at Apple in DC. But, believe it or not, I’m not your “typical” Apple fanboy. When I first learned iPhone was going to be launched that January, I actually didn’t care. I didn’t watch the Keynote. I’m not sure I even had seen Steve Jobs speak at that point. Hell, I didn’t even know what an iPhone looked like until I began interviewing. (I officially started in Apple Retail exactly two weeks after iPhone launch. And, yes, I was a Mac owner.)
As soon as I began at Apple, one question hit me again and again: “Have an iPhone yet?”. I held my ground: “Nah it’s great, but I’m going to wait until the 2nd Gen iPhone.”
I am pretty level-headed when it comes to technology and buying things. “The 2nd version of iPhone will be better,” I said.
Impulse buys are few and far between. “They’ll have worked out any kinks next year.”
I was still getting a sweet family-plan deal from my parents. “The price will drop in a year.”
Within months, I bought my first iPhone. It was just too amazing. All that it could do!! Before buying one, I kept track of all the things I’d use it for. It’d be simple to check the weather, I could browse the full internet, I could easily find that email, I could watch movies while commuting and so on.
Now, in 2010, those features doesn’t sound too impressive — tons of phones do all that nowadays. But keep in mind that this was three years ago. The first iPhone was basically a 2010 Smartphone in 2007. Seriously.
All that said, last month Apple unveiled the iPad. Damn it looks great.
But, is that really a 2013 computer in 2010? I don’t know. Here’s what I don’t get: What am I going to use it for? (Yes, I know what I could use it for.) But what is it going to accomplish for me that my MacBook Pro or my iPhone won’t?
Browse the internet? Computer. Browse the internet while on the go? iPhone. Check email? Computer. Check email while on the go? iPhone. You get the idea.
Maybe, just maybe, interacting with just a 9.7 inch multi-touch screen will be enough. Maybe my mind will change when I wander down to an Apple store to play with one. Maybe developers will come out with mind-blowing apps that make it worth it. (A touch-stylus with a sophisticated note app would catch my eye.) But I think Apple has an uphill battle with this one.
With the iPhone, everyone had an iPod and a cell phone. It was natural to combine the two and add the “breakthrough internet device”. But, with the iPad, Apple is dabbling in a new category all together.
Will it fail? I doubt it. Will it succeed as quickly as iPhone? I also doubt it. Will it undeniably impact consumer tech? I don’t doubt it for a sec.
It’s cool. It’s sexy. But this time, I have a strong feeling I really will wait for Version 2.