Originally Posted by Carmissimo
The problem is that if you allow for the iPad to be operated independent of a full-function computer, at this time, it's inevitable that some fools will come along and whine about what a weak computer the iPad is. Not enough memory. Not enough computing power. Not enough connection options. Doesn't run OS X apps. Blah, blah, blah, on and on and on.
Heck, they do that now.
Tools will be tools
By making it right now a complimentary device, Apple is making it clear that the iPad, in its present form, is not intended to be a computer replacement. In time, this will probably change. Computing power will improve dramatically, memory will go up significantly, etc.
The iPad as is is perfectly powerful today for basic needs. Right now Apple has the iPad tethered to iTunes on a computer because that's the infrastructure they have today. As soon as their next step is ready (and I'm convinced this is more what the datacenter in NC is for) they will launch it.
Just like it's obvious to rational people that the SDK and app store was planned from day one, but not ready for the first iPhone. As soon as it was ready, it launched. Apple has a long history of steady releases of features as they are ready. The cynical try to ridiculously spin that as Apple "holding back" to spur upgrades.
Do you, for instance, have any idea how expensive it would be to offer the amount of memory most of us would need to store what we want to store?
/cough - massive datacenter in NC...
If you're storing tons of data on a desktop computer, that frees you to offer significantly less memory on a portable companion device. Even 64GB, these days, is horribly inadequate for the average consumer.
Not if you discount media files. Stream those from the iTunes cloud in the sky. For commercial products like songs and movies, one copy can serve millions. Things get more interesting for user-created content like pictures and home movies - again, there is a certain data center rumored to be under construction...
When people were storing mainly music and text files, there was no problem. But now, visual files are a very important part of the average consumer's collection. When Apple starts offering a 128GB iPad as the entry-level machine, then we can start to consider the iPad a viable desktop/laptop substitute for people who are not very demanding of their computers.
Irrelevant. Streaming is the obvious future for these kinds of devices, not huge caches of local storage. Just look at the path being laid out with the new AppleTV.
I'm not saying I'm willing to go down that path - I will always have a general purpose computer with lots of local storage for my media. But you and I are in the vast minority, and Apple knows this.
But the evidence is there that regular users are comfortable with this idea. I remember when some of the early photo sharing sites tanked post-dot com bubble and people lost their photos. That was unbelievable to me since I would never think of having my stuff in just one place - but 10's of thousands of people are already comfortable with these concepts. I find people today where the only place they have files are in google docs - simply mind boggling to me
Apple does an excellent job of managing expectations. The iPad is not, as it is today, meant to be one's sole computing device. If you let that line blur, it's inviting trouble.
Not really. And I think Apple has every intention of not only blurring but erasing that line.
Jobs has stated that the desktop war is over, that they want to skate where the puck will be. Mobile devices are that new frontier. Apple is just getting started, and they won't roll out features before they are ready so this may take a couple of years to fully develop - or the transformation could be well underway by this time next year
Who knows. Apple is really good at keeping their plans close and poo-pooing technologies and features until they area ready to enter a space.
Basically if you open the door to the iPad being a computing alternative, rather than a complimentary device, you'd better be prepared to deliver a device far more capable than today's technology allows in an affordable, hand-held, touch-screen device.
For you, maybe. But not for the vast majority of people. The iPad is all my dad and my best friend's mom needs. For web surfing, email, facebook, the occasional game - the current iPad is more than sufficient. Extra power and functionality would just be wasted. Remember, you, I and everyone else posting in threads like this are in the VAST minority when it comes to gauging what "average" requirements are.
For every three or four folks with modest computing requirements you'll get one fool who wants the iPad to do it all. That fool would be rather loud and damaging. Apple is wise to not give that segment ammunition.
Again, those fools exist today and will always exist. You can't do anything about them so it's not worth paying attention to them. And normal people like my father don't hear them today - and he's certainly not going to pay attention to them tomorrow. The internet echo chamber is big, but it's not nearly as big as we like to think it is. There are far more on the outside than there are in here commenting in places like this.
And while annoying, Apple rarely concerns themselves with addressing such fools. They don't have to. They understand the single most important thing they can do is focus on the customer, and the customer's experience with their products. Not on what people are saying about them, not about criticism about their stuff missing "must have feature X, Y and Z" - but simply producing the best product and experience they can. They know the rest will take care of itself - and it does!
Look at how even the massively overhyped "antenna gate", with all the false information, innuendo and weeping and wailing from the blogisphere end the end amounted to.... nothing!
That's not because of Apple mind control, marketing or their "hip image" (always my favorite). It's because they produce quality stuff that people can readily see. Their success and reputation is earned, and for good reason. If they pitch the iPad as good enough to be the sole computing device for people, it will be because they have delivered the rest of the required infrastructure to make good on it. And I have no doubt it's a matter of when, not if.