Aftter yesterday’s Apple Keynote, the news is out, and it’s official. The rumoured Apple Tablet, the iPad will stand in the gap of the iPhone and the Macbooks markets. Acting as Apple’s version of the netbook, but because they’re Apple, they turned it into something closer to a Kindle. On steroids. I’m excited, it’s got a 9″ form factor, retails from USD$499, 3G connectivity options and will ship worldwide by June 2010.
I will admit, when I was watching the Keynote and they revealed the iPad, I was rather underwhelmed. I mean, it looked like a glorified iPod Touch, twice the size of one in fact. That’s it? New way to surf the net, experience your media content, applications will be bigger and better, pay for more crap on the iTunes store.. bla bla bla.. What’s so special about it?
Then, they unveiled three things that sealed the deal for me.
1. The iBook application. It’s basically Kindle + Amazon. ’nuff said. iMerlion has noticed that Singaporeans may not get an iBook store in Singapore, and that would be a bummer if they don’t sort it out by the time it ships. But if it does happen, it changes the face of publishing. I still like books, but I wouldn’t mind a magazine subscription through the iPad.
2. iWork for the iPad. This is big, this is HUGE. At first, I was shocked that the iPad was going to try to battle the netbook market without OS X. Then this, an iWork application. It runs like a light version, it’s more than enough for presentations, it’s beautiful. And then it hit me, who needs fraken OS X when you’re not running heavy duty programmes, and little flecks of genius from the application community? In fact, bigger software companies will have to sit up and take notice, of developing some really great apps that will run on this entirely new device (but with the infrastructure of the iPhone.)
This is big big news. To me, iWorks represents what kind of computing power (courtesy of their signature A4 processor. If the chipmakers can’t deliver, you made your own damn hardware!) is in the iPad. It’s no longer a glorified iTouch, or a Kindle wannabe. It is an App MONSTER. So get ready, Apps will be wayyyyy bigger than you can ever imagine. As a musician, I want to see companies like Reason and Ableton acknowledge that the iPad has the potential to be a musical instrument / controller and actually create music sequencing applications, live video controllers.. the possibilities are really that endless! Things like the Lemur Sequencer or the Korg Kaoss Pad!
3. 3G Connectivity. I know that constant connectivity to the net will make the iPad a truly ubiquitous mobile device. Apple knows that too, and they know people hate the sole distribution of Apple products bundled with a telco service. So they’ve gone one step further. For all iPad 3Gs, the data plan is pre-paid and not locked into contract. This is mindblowing, and could change the way services are sold to the masses.
Steve is right, I cannot wait to get my hands on one of these! The cheapest iPad is USD$499 w/o 3G + 16GB Flash Memory and the most expensive is USD$829 w/ 3G + 64GB Flash Memory.
I’m hoping to get the latter because I know the applications are gonna be bigger and better, and being able to have a content delivery system that’s constantly updated from the source. That’s priceless.
To all the nay-sayers, that it’s not a netbook, or it’s just a Kindle, or it’s a glorified iTouch, in my humble opinion, you’re missing the point. Simply, the iPad is a mobile device that stays connected to the web. It is an electronic magazine (Would love to read Flyp Media on it, or create an app.), a netbook (that runs on apps created by the community), a presentation device (imagine doing a budgets presentation to your CTO in a coffeeshop and not a stuffy boardroom), a musical instrument (Drum sequencer.. etc) or a media controller (Video DJs anyone?). In fact, it can be whatever you want it to be, because you define what the iPad does for you.
I say this is a revolution, because there is no other product like it out there. Your netbooks are not touch based, so the very way you interact with it is defined by the keyboard and mouse. It’s a Kindle that does everything else, and with the iBooks and App Store, it redefines the way content is bought, delivered, subscribed, published. There has been no retail / media channel of its kind since.. ever! The new A4 chip sets the standard in making a mobile device. I think, this is the first true mobile device. It brings form -> functionality -> connectivity -> community altogether!
And lastly, to everyone who’s making maxipad jokes about the iPad, I’m calling mine Tabi. (like a tablet? geddit? Plus, the friend I’m naming this after probably likes the idea. So I have one more fan instead and ignoring all the haters.) So give yours a name, and save yourself from calling it by its horrible product namesake!