The biggest reason the iPad can't sell like hotcakes

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
No, It's not the lack of a camera.



Apple could sell a billion iPads if they had approached it as a standalone product instead of an expensive luxury accessory to your full-featured desktop computer/laptop. The iPad already does 90% of what 90% of consumers use their home computers for, and does most of it better. But can a poor college kid or grandparent not wanting to spend a grand on a computer opt for a $499 iPad instead? Nope. But if Apple filled that remaining 10% of required computer tasks, it sure could.



1. It has to function solo, without the requirement that you sync it with a real computer. Since there is no optical drive for loading media, at the very least it should allow the user to input their iTunes account info and the iPad would automatically re-download all of their purchased items from the store directly. And since space is limited, it'd have to let you delete purchased media to free up space and re-download them at any time. The xBox 360 does this, so there's no reason the iPad couldn't too. Users should be able to plug their iPod into their iPad, and have the two sync directly to one another. Eliminate the expensive middle man, and the number of potential customers is endless.



2. It has to be able to print. If it can't send a document to a printer, it's a non-starter for the education market and college students. But if it could print, that opens a huge market. Apple's already offering a physical keyboard accessory; in three years when iPad's sell for $299, if point 1 and 2 were met there could be an iPad on every student desk in the world.



3. It needs basic photo-manipulation capabilities. They'll sell you an adapter to load your digital photos directly into the iPad, but all you can do then is look at them and share them electronically as-is. If they added basic photo-manipulation (cropping, levels, white balance, retouching), as well as the ability to print, the iPad would be a killer start-to-finish photography toolkit. Since they created fantastic versions of the entire iWork suite for iPad, I don't think photo-manipulation is asking too much.



4. Multi-tasking and Flash support. These things being missing from an expensive add-on to your real computer is tolerable, but if the iPad were to be a standalone product you'd have to let people run a chat application and word processor at the same time. And Flash is a requirement to experience all of the web; I don't know how Steve Jobs can surf the web with giant gaping holes in the middle of pages and claim he's getting the full experience.



If the iPad had these things, it could do 100% of what 90% of consumers do with their home computers. And as a standalone device, it really would be a netbook killer. Apple has made the mistake of assuming netbooks are dominantly purchased as a secondary computer; more likely, a huge segment of the netbook market are consumers attracted to the entry-level pricepoint. And since Apple has no interest in selling complete Macs (as in with a monitor) in the sub $999 price range, a full-featured iPad would be tapping a new market. A market of consumers that can't or don't want to spend $1,000 just to do basic tasks.



As the iPad functions now, the only potential customers are those who already own a full-fledged computer; and since 2 out of 3 computer sales are laptops, only 1 out of 3 computer owners can't already comfortably surf the web from their couch. The rest of us have to decide if we want to pay extra for a device that does 90% of what we do at home already, while that Mac we spent thousands on collects dust in the corner until we need to perform that other 10% of tasks.
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Comments

  • kingofsomewherehotkingofsomewherehot Posts: 3,988member
    I'm gonna disagree with you (in a way.)



    I think Apple probably considered something like the points you've made.



    But...



    1. If a person needs those few things, then Apple wants them to pass on the iPad and buy an iBook. In the case you outlined, an iBook fits the bill.



    2. Printing (to a networked printer) is a software feature... it MAY be there... they've not said one way or the other yet.



    3. Apple can sell the budding photo-manipulator a different product instead of an iPad that does that job quite well... an iBook.



    4. The screen is still a bit small for TRUE multitasking... but if apps can "save state" and launch fast... well... that's pretty close. As for Flash, I've got THAT disabled on my iMac and PowerBook and don't miss it... why the heck would I want it crashing my iPad?





    Now, I agree that those features would make the iPad even better, I just don't think they are NEEDED for it to be a bigger hit than the iPhone was/is (hotcakes). In short, the iPad just isn't meant to be a stand-alone product. Apple expects it to be bought as a supplement to an iBook/iMac. For those that can't afford TWO products, Apple will be happy to sell them JUST the iBook



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    ...only 1 out of 3 computer owners can't already comfortably surf the web from their couch...



    A "Laptop" computer only allows you to surf from the couch... it doesn't allow you to COMFORTABLY surf from the couch.
  • cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    I'm gonna disagree with you (in a way.)



    I think Apple probably considered something like the points you've made.



    But...



    1. If a person needs those few things, then Apple wants them to pass on the iPad and buy an iBook. In the case you outlined, an iBook fits the bill.



    2. Printing (to a networked printer) is a software feature... it MAY be there... they've not said one way or the other yet.



    3. Apple can sell the budding photo-manipulator a different product instead of an iPad that does that job quite well... an iBook.



    4. The screen is still a bit small for TRUE multitasking... but if apps can "save state" and launch fast... well... that's pretty close. As for Flash, I've got THAT disabled on my iMac and PowerBook and don't miss it... why the heck would I want it crashing my iPad?





    Now, I agree that those features would make the iPad even better, I just don't think they are NEEDED for it to be a bigger hit than the iPhone was/is.



    For the market that Apple is missing, spending $1,000 instead of $500 is not an option. And because the iPad is so close to being able to achieve everything most people need in a home computer, it's a damn shame there's just a short-list of dealbreakers. These are just flat-out lost sales, because the consumers I'm talking about were never going to be Mac owners anyway.
  • hill60hill60 Posts: 6,959member
    You know for most of the things you mentioned, there are Apps for that.
  • kingofsomewherehotkingofsomewherehot Posts: 3,988member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    For the market that Apple is missing, spending $1,000 instead of $500 is not an option. And because the iPad is so close to being able to achieve everything most people need in a home computer, it's a damn shame there's just a short-list of dealbreakers. These are just flat-out lost sales, because the consumers I'm talking about were never going to be Mac owners anyway.



    By that argument, Apple is missing out on SO MANY SALES by not making a $499 laptop... or a $29 mp3 player... or a $299 desktop...
  • cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    By that argument, Apple is missing out on SO MANY SALES by not making a $499 laptop... or a $29 mp3 player... or a $299 desktop...



    Completely different arguments. All of the limitations I've outlined are software based. I'm not suggesting that they sell $600 of hardware for $300, or strip hardware away to reach a lower pricepoint.
  • drjedidrjedi Posts: 61member
    No, it's an OS issue. The iPhone OS doesn't support printing. The Newton OS did from any application that took advantage of that core service. Print, fax, email, beam, all from the same drop down menu in every app, in every document. 15 years ago. It was easy to take notes, record sounds, draw, etc. It did email, web surf, etc, and the iPhone should do everything the Newton could but it can't. The iPad is a tablet computer running a fscking mobile phone operating system. The iPhone OS may be the best mobile phone OS yet, but it's not enough for this device. I have a MacBook Pro, an iPhone, and I don't need an iPad. That's too much overlap. It doesn't do enough. There are many phones that do as much and more. Yes, Phones.



    I think that despite the low price, the iPad is a luxury product. It's an electronic photo viewer, a video viewer, a document viewer, a web surfer and an email machine, and an iPod / MP3 player. It's not even that great at communication do to no forward facing or multi-postional camera ala Sony Vaio laptops, but it can't multitask so you can't receive a Skype call or email or iChat call if you are photo viewing or video watching or document reading. It can only do most, but not all, of what a smartphone can do, even at it's great size.
  • ajpriceajprice Posts: 320member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    You know for most of the things you mentioned, there are Apps for that.



    Yep there is.



    1. I have an iPhone, a few times, I've deleted an app and then re downloaded it from the phone, yes, you go back to the store and press 'Buy', but it realises you have already paid for it and doesn't charge you. (Disclaimer: I don't know if the same applies for other media from the store, but for apps, you redownload for free).



    2. Printing support has been talked about for OS 3.2 or 4.0. Wait and see. Meanwhile, there are apps for that.



    3. Apps for that, at least iPhone apps that will work, I'd imagine a lot of them will get iPad specific updates, on a par with the Brushes app shown at the keynote, which was impressive for a few weeks work transferring the iPhone Brushes app.



    4. Multitasking may still be brought in with OS 4.0. But as its a version of iPhone OS, the jailbreak community will be all over it anyway.



    5. HTML5, H264, CSS, jQuery etc. will do most, if not all, of what flash can do. Flash will hopefully die a horrible death soon.
  • pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    No, It's not the lack of a camera.



    Apple could sell a billion iPads if they had approached it as a standalone product instead of an expensive luxury accessory to your full-featured desktop computer/laptop. The iPad already does 90% of what 90% of consumers use their home computers for, and does most of it better. But can a poor college kid or grandparent not wanting to spend a grand on a computer opt for a $499 iPad instead? Nope. But if Apple filled that remaining 10% of required computer tasks, it sure could.



    I stopped reading right here because you're entirely 100% wrong.
  • pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    I'm gonna disagree with you (in a way.)



    I think Apple probably considered something like the points you've made.



    But...



    1. If a person needs those few things, then Apple wants them to pass on the iPad and buy an iBook. In the case you outlined, an iBook fits the bill.



    2. Printing (to a networked printer) is a software feature... it MAY be there... they've not said one way or the other yet.



    3. Apple can sell the budding photo-manipulator a different product instead of an iPad that does that job quite well... an iBook.



    4. The screen is still a bit small for TRUE multitasking... but if apps can "save state" and launch fast... well... that's pretty close. As for Flash, I've got THAT disabled on my iMac and PowerBook and don't miss it... why the heck would I want it crashing my iPad?





    Now, I agree that those features would make the iPad even better, I just don't think they are NEEDED for it to be a bigger hit than the iPhone was/is (hotcakes). In short, the iPad just isn't meant to be a stand-alone product. Apple expects it to be bought as a supplement to an iBook/iMac. For those that can't afford TWO products, Apple will be happy to sell them JUST the iBook







    A "Laptop" computer only allows you to surf from the couch... it doesn't allow you to COMFORTABLY surf from the couch.





    none of those things were EVER needed to make this a hit success. iWork wasn't even needed, but its there, and makes it 10X better than without it.
  • kingofsomewherehotkingofsomewherehot Posts: 3,988member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    Completely different arguments. All of the limitations I've outlined are software based. I'm not suggesting that they sell $600 of hardware for $300, or strip hardware away to reach a lower pricepoint.



    But software costs $$ to develop ... how is that different from spending $$ to buy parts?
  • cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    But software costs $$ to develop ... how is that different from spending $$ to buy parts?



    Internal software development can be written off since employee salaries are factored into annual operating costs regardless of what project they are working on. When a company releases a product they don't tally up the number of man hours internal employees spent on the project and factor it into their profit margins on the device. If they did, the iPad would cost four times what it does now, considering the project was rumored to have gone back to the drawing board several times and has been in development for at least three years.



    Hardware components are an actual external, additional cost. Not an operating expense. When they buy hardware to build devices and have them assembled, they owe other companies money. When they ask their already-getting-paid employees to write printer drivers for the iPad, there's no added cost to build an iPad.
  • stevegmustevegmu Posts: 539member
    This is just another variation of the If only Apple sold a headless Mac threads... Throw in BluRay, make it 'upgradable' and only charge $250...
  • cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevegmu View Post


    This is just another variation of the If only Apple sold a headless Mac threads... Throw in BluRay, make it 'upgradable' and only charge $250...



    See here and here.
  • mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,090member
    I generally agree with the OP, except with regard to Flash. Flash is crap and will soon be gone from the web. HTML5 is killing Flash and that's a good thing. I would be less likely to buy an iPad if it supported Flash.
  • cu10cu10 Posts: 294member
    Hotcakes = $2

    iPad = $499







    Lack of OS X, otherwise, it's an overpriced but bigger iPod Touch.
  • chrisclementchrisclement Posts: 5member
    Photo-manipulation? I'm not sure the OP understands what 90% of computer users actually do with computers.
  • stevegmustevegmu Posts: 539member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    See here and here.



    Why would anyone want to use an iPad as a desktop or laptop replacement? It is neither. You seem to want it to do both, and for cheap. Apple products are not for you.
  • chrisclementchrisclement Posts: 5member
    Right. The iPad is not a replacement device. It is a complimentary device. Look at the Kindle. You can read Kindle books on your iPhone or on your laptop. So what it is it that makes the Kindle appeal to consumers? It is a light, easy to hold device that you can carry around just like you would a book. The iPad obviously takes this idea MUCH further. Would you rather sit in your chair or in a coffee shot with a laptop to simply read, watch movies, or browse the web or with an iPad. Easy answer, imo.



    And the iPad will also appeal to folks who don't even own computers (yes, they do exist). Like the Wii expanded gaming to non-gamers, I think the iPad has the potential to do the same for non-computer users.

    For me, I can easily see myself sticking my iPad into my bag next to my Macbook and pulling it out when I want to do simple consuming of games,internet, books, and movies/music. That is what it is designed to do. So why do people keep listing things that laptops/netbooks can do that the iPad can't? I just don't think those folks get the concept at all.
  • cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChrisClement View Post


    Photo-manipulation? I'm not sure the OP understands what 90% of computer users actually do with computers.



    Even grandma wants to remove red-eye and crop her digital photos.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevegmu View Post


    Why would anyone want to use an iPad as a desktop or laptop replacement?



    Because a lot of people don't spend more than iPad pricing on their home computer.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevegmu View Post


    It is neither.



    And yet as I outlined, it's very, very close.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChrisClement View Post


    You seem to want it to do both, and for cheap. Apple products are not for you.



    I'm not talking about for me. I'm talking about for all the people who are going to buy netbooks instead, the market Apple is supposedly going after with the iPad. The only people this Apple product is for are people who already own Apple products and have money burning a hole in their pockets.
  • macroninmacronin Posts: 1,123member
    I think Apple needs to do something with MobileMe, a Time Capsule & the Keyboard Dock to position the iPad as a 'stand-alone' device…



    Add in a stereo BlueTooth headset (with microphone) & a Skype account, telephone calls in and out just got a whole lot cheaper…
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