Apple iPad: why you should/shouldn’t buy one

The long awaited Apple iPad finally debuts, but we’ll be waiting for the next-generation model

After speaking with a lot of people, I find there is still much ambiguity over the features of Apple’s latest creation, the iPad, and what the device is and is not capable of doing.

The iPad is also missing a camera, multi-tasking support, Flash support in Safari, and unfortunately, it’s limitations don’t stop there.

People that have used the iPad to demo a movies (with the 4:3 viewing ratio) argue the iPad would have been better in widescreen, making watching movies more enjoyable. But Apple wants you to use the device in any orientation as you choose, so making it widescreen might have been prohibitive in that regard.

The iPad also won’t be working on T-Mobile 3G in the U.S., and because it uses micro-SIM cards, service availability will be more limited as fewer telecom carriers to date have adopted that standard.

Another annoyance for users will be having to use adaptors to connect common peripherals, including USB devices, such as cameras to load photos onto the iPad. Since the iPad is so slim, Apple decided, for many possible reasons such as cost, to not include direct connectivity support, even micro-USB isn’t supported directly from the iPad. People will surely not enjoy having to find and connect bulky peripherals just to load photos, or even more importantly, having to travel with adaptors.

Apple is essentially claiming there is room for another intermediary device between smartphones and computers, but what you should really ask yourself is what you would be getting with the iPad: what is the iPad’s value proposition?

According to Apple, you would be able to browse the web better than any other device, but what about the fact that the iPad does not even support Flash? How about not being able to play your favorite song via YouTube and to continue browsing the web without multi-tasking support?

Despite all of these limitations, the iPad will serve more as a strategic product for Apple.

With the release of the iBooks application, the iPad will be competing directly with Amazon’s highly successful Kindle eBook reader.

Apple to date has confirmed partnerships with five major publishers that include: McGraw-Hill, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Group, Hachette Book Group.

It is expected that Apple will further develop iBooks, eventually rolling out enhanced eBooks with video and audio. The idea is for companies to develop media directly for the iPad, assuming mass adoption as seen with the iPhone.

Like the iPhone, the iPad is also being marketed as a gaming platform. Recently, popular game titles such as “GTA: China Wars”, and other popular games from traditional gaming platform publishers such as Electronic Arts Inc. and Gameloft Inc. have released iPhone versions of their popular games that will also work on the iPad.

With the release of the latest SDK, Apple hopes publishers will design games directly for the iPad.

When asked to comment, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata recently told The AP he thought Apple really only announced a larger iPod touch and found the iPad unimpressive.

Google executive Eric Schmidt told reports today at a Swiss technology conference, “You might want to tell me the difference between a large phone and a tablet,”

However, it is clear that the iPhone (yes, and the iPad), really do pose a threat to even Sony and Nintendo’s mobile gaming consoles simply because games on the iPhone are simple to use, of high quality, and available effortlessly by simply downloading them from the app store at reasonable prices.

The iPad is clearly geared towards being a media-centric device, but not being able to accomplish even common tasks, really begs the question of whether the iPad warrants even $499 for the entry level model, when in fact, consumers can opt for ultra-portable computers that are far more capable.

This is a good start for Apple. The iPad will continue to evolve, and will only get better. The next-generation iPad will likely include many of the key features missing right now, and would likely have a better design with a smaller bezel, something many users are negatively pointing out now.

In my opinion, the iPad, for now, isn’t a necessary device to buy. I’ll be waiting for the next-generation model.


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Hercules holds a B.Comm Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 3 candidate. He was previously a contributor at FiLife, a finance website owned by Dow Jones and IAC. Write to hercules@business2press.com
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  • proficnc

    iPad does include GPS as standard, why the apple bashing?

  • http://business2press.com Hercules K

    It does not, the iPad does not have GPS included.

  • proficnc

    Read the specs, Assisted GPS on both the Wi-Fi + 3G model

    http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/

  • Mike

    owned

  • Damon

    Not owned, it isn't available on both models, it is available on one model. Apple classifies the two major models as WiFi and WiFi + 3G. Only the latter has assisted GPS.

    THe APple bashing might have something to do with the fact that the product serves little functionality for those who already own an iPhone, is rather pointless to use as an eReader, and is generally not a huge step forward when compared to the Archos 5G which uses Android or the Archos 9 provides the power of a full computer platform (albeit with a Windows 7 OS).

    Apple is depending on name brand recognition to be competitive, a name brand that comes with an inflated price tag more often than not. The reviewer is correct. Wait until the next generation. Hopefully they'll include the one thing that would have made this a leader… Snow Leopard.

  • Johnny

    why does anyone even care if it has GPS, its a bad product. your right, if it was powered by Snow Leopard, i'd buy one for sure, but come on now…iPhone OS????? no thanks.

  • Mike

    frappe tonight?

  • joe

    “According to Apple, you would be able to browse the web better than any other device, but what about the fact that the iPad does not even support Flash? How about not being able to play your favorite song via YouTube and to continue browsing the web without multi-tasking support?”
    1. flash is resource hogging and sucks. soon to be outdated by HTML5
    2. multi tasking and having multiple third party apps open ARE DIFFERENT,
    calling someone and browsing the web on iphone,
    tweeting while listening to music on your ipod touch,
    listening to a podcast while reading an ibook on an ipad – they're all multitasking!

  • joe

    (but it still sucks)

  • joe

    “According to Apple, you would be able to browse the web better than any other device, but what about the fact that the iPad does not even support Flash? How about not being able to play your favorite song via YouTube and to continue browsing the web without multi-tasking support?”n1. flash is resource hogging and sucks. soon to be outdated by HTML5n2. multi tasking and having multiple third party apps open ARE DIFFERENT,ncalling someone and browsing the web on iphone,ntweeting while listening to music on your ipod touch,nlistening to a podcast while reading an ibook on an ipad – they’re all multitasking!

  • joe

    (but it still sucks)

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