Apple iPad: I can't justify buying it

Apple iPad: I can't justify buying it

Summary: The Apple Tablet has finally been revealed and it's now officially known as the iPad. Readers, reporters, analysts and just about everyone else are now wondering if Apple can create a need where one didn't exist before.

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Special Report: Apple Tablet

The Apple Tablet has finally been revealed and it's now officially known as the iPad. Readers, reporters, analysts and just about everyone else are now wondering if Apple can create a need where one didn't exist before. Will consumers want something that sits in between the laptop and a mobile phone?

As you can see from the image above, it's being placed in between the MacBook and the iPhone. Since I own both I figured I'd go through the exercise of seeing if I could justify one.

I use my iPhone and MacBook daily and tend to use my iPhone for a lot more than making calls. It's a gaming device, an RSS feed reader, a web browser, an e-mail client, and a whole lot more. With the introduction of the iPad, I'm now offered a similar but enhanced experience in the form of a larger screen. At this point it's very enticing, since the demos that were shown clearly showed a very fluid and inviting experience for performing my iPhone-related tasks. However, for this privilege I either have to shell out $499 for the Wi-Fi model, or even more to be able to enjoy surfing and all of the wonders of the iPad from anywhere. As of this writing, it's looking like even though I'm already an AT&T subscriber who pays for an iPhone data plan, I won't be able to just drop in my SIM, since the iPad uses the new GSM micro SIM (a.k.a. 3FF SIM), unless there are SIM converters available.

The iPad was also shown off using a keyboard add-on. I haven't found a price for the keyboard add-on but since I already have a MacBook, there's really no need for one. The MacBook is portable enough--mine's the 13 inch one--and pretty much goes with my everywhere. I can't imagine the iPad making that much of a difference when I want to run around and show a presentation or do some quick spreadsheet work.

My decision gets even more complicated when you take a look at the other features the iPad provides, most notably the ebook reader (a.k.a. iBooks). As Matt Miller pointed out earlier, the iPad is double the weight of the nook. I already have a nook and it comes with a data plan already paid for, so there's no need for the ebook reader portion of the iPad for me. I also think that the iPad is going to have a hard time winning over customers who already have a nook or Kindle for this same reason.

In summary, I like what the iPad is all about but it still didn't hit the must-have that I was expecting. To me it's a fancier, larger iPod touch, with the ability to also connect to a 3G network. There's no way to make phone calls with it, so I can't really consider it a larger iPhone. At a starting price of $499, it's also not an impulse buy. In addition, since you have to think about why you really need it and what it's doing that other devices can't, it becomes a "wait and see", and something that needs some level of justification.

Initially I was sucked in by the keynote, but now that reality is setting in, I see this as what our future could be, but with a market that's already over-saturated with netbooks and iPhones, it's going to be hard for many people to justify adopting this new category of device.

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Smartphones

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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69 comments
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  • Unless it can run Linux

    then I agree that it's not worth the time to even think about it.

    What good is this tablet if you need to be controlled by Apple.

    They should have gone with Linux on it and it may have had a chance, but only the Appleotles
    will be running out to buy it now!
    Ron Bergundy
    • yeah, totally agreed

      If Apple had gone with Linux on the iPhone, maybe
      they would have actually sold a few of them, huh?
      Same with the MacBook and the iPod and the iPod
      Touch...

      I swear, you Linux idiots can't be happy with
      anything, can you? But then again, you're probably
      a Linux idiot that can't even code. Go figure.
      SystemVoid
      • Touche!

        Nice burn!
        GoPower
        • :) nt

          nt
          SystemVoid
          • Gotta agree with you on this one . . .

            I'm getting SO tired of the whole "My OS can kick Your OS's butt" Thing . . .

            They'll make fun of all the hype over this thing (*cough*) Jesus Tablet (*cough*), and then turn around and say the exact same things about their OS, be it Linux, 7, OS X, etc . . .
            JLHenry
      • Except...

        I hate to break it to you, you moron, but the iPhone/iPod Touch/Mac OS
        is technically linux.
        theSwordfish
        • No, it's not

          Mac OS X and iPhone OS is based on various bits of open source and free software, including BSD and the Mach microkernel, but it is not Linux.
          jgaskell
        • Oh Fsck...

          It's UNIX.... Capital letters. BSD at the core for OSX up to Snow Leopard which is a hybrid BSD/Mach kernel.

          Look I like Linux. I've used it for more than 10 years but if you're going to pipe up about things, you have to get this stuff right otherwise your posts are useless.
          awasson@...
    • @Linux All The Way

      Yeah, but most people want something new and fresh, something Linux will never give us.
      Axsimulate
    • I agree, it needs Linux, but I still like it...

      Linux all the way alright.

      It would be perfect if the same hardware (with a few extras) had
      an elegant touch screen Linux OS on there.

      For the most part (they always leave somethings out) Apple makes
      elegant hardware and software, but always seems to be crippled.
      It needs Linux to free it.
      root12
    • be careful

      that guy you noticed yesterday is spying on you for the Illuminata ... they
      are trying to gain control of you!
      john_gillespie@...
    • It wouldn't work with Linux

      This isn't a dig against Linux but it isn't the right OS for this tablet.

      It has low processor power, low ram and likely a small power supply. A full featured OS would make it work at a snails pace and battery power wouldn't be adequate. Linux would choke it.
      awasson@...
  • I thought the answer to this question was

    a resounding "yes" as proven by the success of netbooks.

    But I guess we get to ask the question all over again because it's
    an Apple product.
    frgough
  • RE: Apple iPad: I can't justify buying it

    Microsoft shills didn't get the IPhone either. Blew ol'MS out of the water.

    Perhaps Microsoft BoB can be brought out to counter this new Apple device?
    tburzio
  • RE: Apple iPad: I can't justify buying it

    Utterly ridiculous, boring and uninspiring. Proves once again why tablets never took off and why it's going to be that way for a foreseeable future.
    agc890
  • Amazing machine

    No complex OS, Simplicity of iPhone/iPod, excellent
    ebook/email/photo/movies/music machine you can leave on a coffee
    table and pick up to read newspaper or favourite magazine, plus all my
    tech books saved as PDF.

    It's definitely worth the money.
    IAmMarty
  • Newton 2.0

    This is the Newton 2.0 as far as I'm concerned. It's worthless. There is nothing that can't be done better on other devices and platforms.
    GoodThings2Life
  • $199 MAYBE, $99 YES ...

    $499 + NO!
    kd5auq
    • mmm, think for a second.

      The iPad is like a better version of the ipod
      touch. The iPod touch is 199 just for the 8gb. So
      that makes the 32 gb ipod touch 299. yes kinda
      agree that 600 for 32 gb is a little high but
      think of it like a net book. I'm sure sooner or
      later there will be an add on to add more memory
      too. it's never going to be that cheap, the itouch
      isn't even that much
      priest33
  • Gosh, you CAN make phone calls: Skype, etc

    the subject
    DDERSSS