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Here is what is revolutionary about the iPad

by Amrinder Arora
January 30th, 2010

Somewhere below the rare rave reviews and above the contemptuous putdowns is a fine point that is truly revolutionary about the iPad: Here is a computer that brings its own 3G connection, and you pay a monthly fee on it. WLANs and Hotspots welcome but not required! This is truly the merging point of computer and phone.

While I will most certainly not buy the iPad due to 3 reasons, but I would like to put this on record that by 2012 most of the computers will be sold with inbuilt 3G/4G connections and monthly connection cost, the way cellphones are sold today.

Here are the 3 reasons iPad doesn’t do it for me (despite the very attractive inbuilt 3G modem)

  1. You can’t install your own applications on it – can only install something from Apple Store. It is shocking to me that this even passes the FTC’s tie-in test. In effect this makes the iPad secure, partially because nothing really runs on it.
  2. No physical keyboard (or alternatively if I do get the iPad, will buy it with a flexible roll-up keyboard). I have yet to buy into the touchscreen – can the user type as fast as on the physical keyboard? The question remains why would someone buy the iPad and the roll on mat when a netbook has an inbuilt keyboard?
  3. Is this a computer for me to create something, or is it for me to consume something? Apple has long been the darling of the young generation, but old guards like me wonder – what problem do I solve with this thing? Can I create a document using my favorite flowchart designer? Can I create a software by running my IDE and its bells and whistles? io9.com is spot-on when it says: “Apple is marketing the iPad as a computer, when really it’s nothing more than a media-consumption device“. Did I just say that it is one thing for users to create something worthwhile and entirely another thing for the iPod/iPad/iPhone using masses to consume it? Perhaps not, but if I did say that, there is nothing inherently true in that, except that is the pervasive use and the perception of these devices.

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3 Comments to “Here is what is revolutionary about the iPad”

  1. It's a great kiosk device for computer illiterate who still needs to buy plane tickets online and check emails.

    Meaning, great for Moms and Dads. :)

  2. Absolutely. It is a great device for moms and dads. Document and Spreadsheet support will likely be inbuilt in some versions of iPad too. What browsers and media players do you think it comes with by default? The official iPad spec site only mentions iTunes.

  3. LoL – this YouTube video really gives this iPad thing a thumbs down:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQnT0zp8Ya4&sns=em

    Compared to the video, my post really seems like big thumbs up, though I meant it as neutral.