As ubiquitous as Apple is - it's still always wise for buyers to be aware. Like the iPod and iPhone that preceded it - sometimes it's best to wait for the first run's critiques before blindly jumping into the buying frenzy. To that end, here are ten things to know before following 'Pied Piper' Jobs off the proverbial 'first adopter' cliff.
1- Apple's Online Supply is exhausted.
If you didn't have the foresight to order months ago, web buyers who order an iPad today for Saturday's launch will be disappointed. All late-comers are being told that theirs won't ship until more than a week after the launch. The iPad models that use AT&T's high-speed, 3G wireless data network are due in late April So still time to hold back on purchasing until after you've read the other nine items here.
2- Not the reported $1000 but still pricey.
The 16 GB iPad with WiFi starts at $499, while the 16 GB with 3G coverage has a sticker price of $630, plus a data plan of $30 per month. Is this out of the price range for the average consumer? Particularly since many of us have already invested in iPods and iPhones already.
After your purchase, you are might need to dig a little deeper into your pockets before you're done. If you're going to invest $500 into a product, you might want to protect your equipment. Many will be buying the case that Apple is offering that comes with a built-in kickstand, while others might invest in a keyboard dock if they're not fully acclimated to a touch-screen. A few others accessories and peripherals will be available at launch, including a simple dock and external monitor adapter.
4- No camera. No Flash.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment. While other tablets like the HP and the Archos brands offer cameras and flash, the first-run iPads will not feature either. This may give you pause to consider waiting for the updated version which will probably launch late 2010 or early 2011. Apple didn't officially pre-announce a camera version, because pre-announcing features on the next launch of a product roll-out usually kills sales of the current model being offered, especially with tech products.
5- AT&T - the only provider.
In a move that could prove frustrating for many, Apple has only partnered with AT&T. If you are a customer that has had issues with this telecom's service in the past, you might want to wait for other deals to be struck. iPhone users in large urban areas like NYC have complained about AT&T's sketchy network coverage and less than stellar customer service.