Originally Posted by Shaun, UK
I suspect 90% of the people buying the iPad 3 will be using it as a great little toy rather than for any serious computing purpose. In that sense the specs are not important to them. Does it look nice? Is it the hot gadget right now? Yep - I'll have one. Simple as that. It's no different to the latest must have Nike shoes or something like that.
It seems a little unlikely, especially given the dismal economic situation, that tens of millions of people are buying a $500+ "little toy" as casually as shoes.
What seems to be happening is that more and more people are realizing that they can do the majority of what they like to do with computers on an iPad, and do it with a device that's easier to use, cheaper and vastly more portable.
I think what happened was that the relentless increase in computing horsepower had long since outstripped the average user's needs, and had become a kind of mindless spec inflation intended to drive new purchases. There you are, using your desktop or laptop to handle email, Office, web surfing and media playback, and your PC dies. Turns out it's cheaper to get the latest mega-giga whatever from Bestbuy or Walmart than get it fixed-- bingo, there's your PC market for the last few years.
Along comes the iPad, guess what? You can email, surf, watch videos and playback music just as well as with your PC. Now granted, Office is still a bit of a sticking point, by there are workarounds and its likely that MS will offer a version soon enough.
At which point it turns out these "toys" are perfectly capable of doing 99% of what 99% of people use computers for. If anything, the iPad reveals a certain vanity or hubris around computer use, in which it was possible to pretend that all those PC owners were doing really serious important adult "work" on their Very Impressive Machines, when in fact the situation was akin to most people owning huge muscle cars which they used to pick up groceries and drop off the kids at school.