While watching all that iPad announcement hoopla, I kept thinking about this parody video that makes fun of Microsoft Paint:


Now, go to http://www.apple.com/ipad/ and click on the “watch the iPad video” link. See any similarities?

I kept waiting for Jobs to say something like, “haha just kidding, did you really think this is why we gathered all of you here today?” … except he didn’t. They’re completely serious about it. The apple.com home page says it is a “magical device”. Magical? Really? Unicorns and wizards are magical. They’re fun, but also fictional and nobody* actually takes them seriously.


That image is not edited with Paint.NET or Photoshop — they really had that slide up!

I’ll skip all of the obvious feminine hygiene references and jokes.

It’s a really big iPod Touch, and it has some wickedly good looking, and probably even well-written, UI.

But it can’t multitask. It doesn’t have a webcam for video calls. You still need a full PC/Mac to sync with. Apple, while publicly dissing them, has completely missed the point of netbooks: they are very cheap, and you can use all your existing stuff (apps, data, and devices) with them. If you drop it or lose it or break it, it’s not a big problem for the most part. Netbooks aren’t new or revolutionary devices: they’re simply a new price point.

I don’t believe that people want a third device. It isn’t something I would want to use everyday … why would I pay $500+ for it? Why would I buy a $30/month 3G data plan for it? Why should I have an iPhone in my pocket, and both an iPad and MacBook (or whatever) in my backpack? If I have a laptop and an iPhone, then I don’t need an iPad.

Any plausible reason that myself or my coworkers could come up with for actually buying an iPad was something that we could already do — and do better — on our iPhones, laptops, or desktops, or was just not possible with the iPad:

  • eBook reader? It’ll honestly be really good at that. But at a minimum of $500, I’d rather get the Amazon Kindle (it’s what, $200?). Or, and this is my personal preference, I’ll just buy the paperback for $10. I guess I’m old fashioned. Then again, my book shelf has been filling itself with books on physics and cosmology lately.
  • Taking notes in class? Except you still need a PC/Mac to sync with, and college kids don’t have oodles of money to throw at these things. So, I think they’ll skip it and just get a laptop. And there’s no stylus for free form note drawing, which I personally would need for any type of mathematics.
  • Can I plug it into my Mac/PC to use as a drawing tablet? Nope.
  • How about a Remote Desktop terminal so you can hook up to your main desktop/workstation while at the coffee shop or wherever? Sweet. A native iPad Remote Desktop app is very plausible. Except you have to buy a keyboard dock at that point, and you still won’t have a mouse. Why not just use your existing laptop? Or buy a $250 netbook?
  • A really big remote control for my home theater PC? Too expensive. Could be cool though.
  • How about docking it to my PC to use as an additional monitor? Nope.
  • Gaming! That must be it! Except I already have an iPhone. And an XBOX and a PS3. I really don’t need to play geoDefense on a larger screen, or Mass Effect 2 on a smaller one.
  • Install Windows 7. Nope, I don’t think you can do that 🙂

The list goes on and on. There’s nothing I can do on my iPhone or PC (laptop or desktop) that I can do better on the iPad. Nor is there anything the iPad can do that my other devices can’t. It’s too expensive, and there’s really no killer app. It does, however, have beautiful software, so I would like to give kudos to the software engineers who’ve worked on it.

I just don’t see the point. I’m still hoping for the “just kidding!” slide. I think they should’ve just extended Mac OS X to work better with a touch-only interface, and to scale down to even lower-end hardware. Add an iPhone emulator and extend the AppStore to Mac apps. Tada … I think that would sell.

Maybe they’ll prove me wrong. Maybe their stock price will hit $500. Or we could appeal to Occam’s Razor and observe that the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field has, apparently, been fully upgraded. Just like the Enterprise in-between every Star Trek movie …

* ok some people do … maybe they are the target market for the iPad?