Ten Things To Think About Before Being Sucked Into iPad Fever
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.
6- Content can also be pricey.
While Apple is introducing its own bookstore called the 'iBookstore' (of course), some publishers are pushing to raise the $10 standard price of books on Amazon's Kindle to as high as $12. An assortment of newspapers and magazines will also be available at launch, but will most likely sell above online subscription prices. The Wall Street Journal, for instance will sell its iPad edition for $18 a month, or nearly $10 more than its online subscription.
7- Games are more costly.
Games costing $1 for the iPhone were listed at $2 and $4 more for the iPad. According to US News, the titles disappeared from the App Store after this negative publicity. No current word if this pricing will remain. Apple's justification for such a move is based on the size of the screen. Much more viewing space to play a game on your iPad than your iPod Touch or iPhone. Whether or not the public will agree is to be seen.
8- Lacks the cool factor.
According to Huffington News report, negative reviews have been coming in from the digerati naysayers ranging from "It's a giant iPod Touch. Who care's" - to "They couldn't even put an SD card slotting the thing. Seriously?" However, on the other side of the spectrum, Moms and millions of average consumers may enjoy it for the opportunity to surf the Web, read emails, share photos and generally have access to everything they had on their smartphone, but with a larger screen.
9- No GPS.
There is no built-in GPS, a feature that allows iPhone users to obtain data on everything in a local vicinity in which they are walking, from home prices, to restaurant reviews, to sales, to navigational functions. Lacking this feature also disallows the use of augmented reality which is partnering with many of the other tablets to offer points of interest (POI) overlays and data markers for the location-based user set.
10- No multi-tasking.
In a world where multi-tasking comes second-nature, its surprising that the number one toy on the market doesn't allow you to juggle several projects at one time. With no USBs, no headphones, no weather, clock or stock apps, the iPad is in some respects less robust than your iPhone. Additionally the email app lacks the ability to create folders and doesn't include rules for auto-sorting addresses.
While I did not include weight as a negative, your new iPad-baby at 1.5 pounds might get a wee bit heavy in your hands after a certain period of time. In comparison, the Kindle is only 10 ounces.
So, now you are little more well-informed, and can decide whether or not to join in the bragging rights of 'first adopter.' Its important to remember that the iPad is just one of many touchscreen tablet devices being released this year. The JooJoo is already out, and the HP Slate (based on Windows 7), and the Microsoft Courier (dual-screen), are all but confirmed to be on their way. Dell, Notion Ink Adam and Archos models are also scheduling releases at different price points. Check out my previous blog, titled "Tablet Wars: iPad vs HP Slate vs JooJoo vs Dell Mini 5 vs Archos7 vs Notion Ink Adam," for more up to date consumer reports on the various options available to you.
Also, please post your comments below for all those that are about to shell out 500+ denaros, and please stop back after your purchase to provide us with some first-hand feedback, whether its positive or negative. President Obama seems to think it's a deal-breaker!