iPad not so popular on campus; iPhone more practical?

Nearly 6 months since the iPad was released, and the academic community seems to have on the most part not particularly cared for it.

Today I have been utterly inundated with a letter. It reads:

"Hello Zack. I know your busy with the "new" school semester but I was curious if you have any anecdotal observations about iPad usage at your University."

Good question.

If I'm completely honest, I wasn't too hot about the iPad when it first came out, but some universities were. It seemed more of a ploy than anything to gain publicity for the institutions themselves, perhaps tied in with trying to get some Apple brownie-points or a vague effort to bribe new students with a flash new gadget (excuse the pun).

It failed, miserably. I mean, most universities who wanted to bring on the iPad to their upcoming academic flocks couldn't because their networks couldn't handle the flaws of the device.

If I have to be completely honest, since the device was released in April this year, I have seen more iPad devices in Apple stores and computer retailers than I have out on the street. And don't forget, I spent time in New York, Warsaw, and London this summer so I can't be accused of living in my student shell for the last few months.

Even though the university has been rather quiet in the last quarter with the academic year ending, taking into account of course the timing of which the iPad was released in the UK, I've seen a total of nine iPad's and only one was on my university campus. I do, however, know of a dear friend of mine who owns one, but I haven't seen it in person.

I suspect the theory of the device; the hype and the excitement of the long awaited Apple tablet was taken over by the iPhone 4 launch, with students seeing a newly released, highly developed handheld smartphone being more practical and efficient. The Antennagate story appeared to have little effect on those upgrading to the new device, with the benefit of hindsight of course.

The iPad is not an academic device, and I'm thankful frankly that students have not parted with their money on the most part for a tablet which would not benefit them. It isn't a slight against Apple; I just believe that if students want to buy a practical Apple product, they'll jump on the MacBook bandwagon.

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