The iPad May Not Be For Me; But The iPhone Is

We have lived through the pre-iPad hype and it’s time to understand who will really buy it.  As many know I typically will buy anything ‘new and shiny’ from Apple.  However, the iPad really failed to capture me and actually reminded me of the parody the Onion produced a while back.  If you have not seen the piece check it out by clicking here.

The iPad was initially interesting to me because it met my desire for a device between the offerings of my iPhone and MacBook Pro.  A net book was something that seemed to fit.  On the other hand, it seemed like a PC mini-me that didn’t have  the power or the reliability.  So when the iPad was release I thought it may be a great alternative.  However, it seems to me that use the iPhone OS is not the best choice for a net book killer.

Here is a short list of my main complaints of the iPad:

  • The name really bugs me. iPad does not capture what Apple portrayed as the value of the product.  A more generic name such as iSlate would have been better.  It’s a device not a thing.  I doubt anyone will ever use it as a Pad.
  • It should be a computing device. Instead it is an iPod Touch, but bigger.   The iPhone OS is a hinderance to the iPad.  With the screen real estate, users will want to run multi-apps, Mac Apps, a real doc and other common requirements of a Mac.
  • It is missing a camera. It should have a high-quality camera with it.  In fact i would argue two cameras in order to capture different points of view.  This would have been a great device for video calling.

I think others must have similar concerns with the iPad.  Before posting this I took the survey that Mashable is hosting (check it out here) and found these results:

Over half said no to the iPad.  I bet if I had access to a similar survey around the time the iPhone launched (I am sure one exists), we would see much better numbers.   The iPhone addressed basic needs within a saturated, mature market.

I had high hopes for the Apple Tablet.  However, I knew expectations were not going to be met when one of the first features listed was changing the desktop picture.  In my opinion Apple users wanted a solution alternative to answer the fast growing PC-based netbooks.  The netbook is a legitimate 3rd device.  The iPad is just an overgrown iPod Touch which places it in the MID (Mobile Internet Device) product category.  MIDs are expected to takeoff this year and reach the low Billions according to IDC over the next few years.  However, that is the holistic MID category.  What will Apple’s share be with the iPad?  Philip Elmer-DeWitt over at Apple 2.0 posted the analysts predications he had.  You cant take a look at his post here.  I took the average of what Philip posted and reached an estimate of ~3 million for 2010.  Not really stellar numbers for a world-wide product and certainly for the iPhone company.

So, the net-net is my iPhone and my Mac Book Pro are all I need for now.  Although as Apple said, once you get one in your hand you will understand.  Either that is true or they knew Apple users would struggle to understand iPad’s fit.  Regardless I will find out in 60 days.

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