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On its third birthday, Apple's iPad looks back at years of comical criticism

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
Apple's iPad is three years old today, providing a good opportunity to look back in hindsight on one of the most successful technology products to ever debut, and also one of the more poorly received by industry critics.

iPad reaction


As noted by Asymco blogger Horace Dediu, a history of incessant iPad naysaying has been chronicled by Terry Gregory's iPad Death Watch.

The list starts with critical comments by Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and Google's Eric Schmidt ("You might want to tell me the difference between a large phone and a tablet" he said in January 2010).

Their predictable negativity about Apple's then new iPad was joined by columnists of all stripes, who compiled lists like the one by About.com titled "5 Reasons Why Apple's iPad Tablet Will Fail."

Dan Lyons wrote at its launch, "The press weren?t cheering and whooping. I didn?t see anybody pee their pants. Not one! [?] I wanted to see more. It?s a big iPod. What is there to do there? Play a video game on a bigger screen? I thought it was ?paving the cow path?. I really thought it was underwhelming."

Lyons was essentially right about one thing: the entire tech media at the iPad's unveiling simply didn't get it. As an attendee to the event, AppleInsider couldn't find one journalist there who found the new device promising.

Hours after the iPad's unveiling, the phrase "iPad a disappointment" became a "spicy" trending topic as ranked by Google.

Flawgic ad absurdum



One of the most vocal critics of the iPad was, unsurprisingly, Windows Enthusiast Paul Thurrott. After initially stating at its launch, "It seems like a high priced, unnecessary trinket to me," his tone turned a bit more hostile a few months later when he wrote, "Anyone who believes this thing is a game changer is a tool."

The next month his tune changed to, "flaws and all, the iPad is indeed in a class all by itself. It?s a new kind of computing device."

At the launch of iPad 2, Thurrott stated, "In reality, Apple sold tens of millions of iPads last year and is on track to sell tens of millions more next year. In reality, people are buying iPads. In reality, they?re not buying Windows 7-based tablets. And in reality, they never will. Furthermore, businesses are buying iPads, too, and piloting them in ever faster numbers."

Like many other columnists in the tech industry, Thurrott quickly changed from a defensive doubter of the entire idea of the iPad to begrudging accepting its success, followed by a quick assumption that the rest of the industry could immediately duplicate Apple's work and take its market share.

Two years ago, in April 2011, he wrote, "Although the expected iPad competition never really heated up last year, 2011 is going to be a different story, with a slate (ahem) full of Android-based tablets, the HP TouchPad, the Research in Motion (RIM) PlayBook, and others."

One year later, all of those experiments had flopped. Thurrott was much more impressed with Microsoft's own new Surface in 2012, which has since collapsed in failure.



The iPad Death Watch provides three years of caustic, bitter criticism that Apple must find a bit delicious today, having sold more than 100 million since it went on sale in early 2010.

The predictions and criticisms reflect those captured in the parallel iPhone Death Watch, which offers an equally entertaining look at the lack of imagination and foresight of Apple's fiercest critics.
post #2 of 61

Happy Birthday 1biggrin.gif
 

post #3 of 61
I seem to recall such discussion around these forums as well.... How the iPad was a terrible name and a crap device and that after the Apple fans had bought theirs it would die a sad death. Just like the iPhone before it. And the iPod before that. And OSX before that.

Amazing how often the experts couldn't find their backside with a pickaxe a compass and night goggles.
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post #4 of 61
There are some real gems on the iPad Death Watch. Basically, the whole tech media world were unbelievably and utterly wrong. Tech media is about as accurate at predicting the future as you can imagine.
post #5 of 61
Funny how all the perception of the iPad changed once people got to use it. I actually was waiting on something like the iPad after the iPhone was released 3 years before. Now that we have it I just can't think of a device I'd really want, and I can't dream up with a device that will be successful. Fortunately I have Apple to think for me because I'm too narrow minded myself. Well, sort of.
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post #6 of 61
And yet these a$$hats that were proved wrong on such an epic level are "conveniently" turning the other direction in the hopes people don't call them out on such stupidity.

Years later, the tech community still has their heads deep up their backsides and thinking their inferior ways are better for the joe-consumer.

"Who wants a large iPod Touch named after a feminine product?" - I remember that one well, right on this very forum from a rabid, multi-username and banned troll that would not go away.
post #7 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by shen View Post

I seem to recall such discussion around these forums as well.... How the iPad was a terrible name ...

 

I find all that stuff about the name very funny now.  

 

Mot of the (ahem) "leading members" of this forum (or those that think they are) believed the name to be a complete fail.  1smile.gif

 

The tech writers and pundits getting it wrong is understandable IMO, what I find more shocking is some of the so-called "visionaries" like Bill Gates not getting it at all. I have never understood why anyone thinks Bill Gates knows shit about technology or science.  He so clearly doesn't at all.  

post #8 of 61

The best of the best advertising campaigns is still... "Amateur Hour is Over. The BlackBerry PlayBook is Here!".

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post #9 of 61

I've not understood the "told ya so!" responses by a lot of the Apple bloggers over Apple's success with the iPad versus what the general tech media thought in early 2010. When the original iPad was released it came with iOS 3.2, which wasn't spectacular (I guess it was solid, but just OK compared to what we have now). If the shackles of iOS 3.2 hadn't been loosened, I doubt we would have seen the sales that we've seen. I've read those quotes looking at them through the lense of what we knew then (limitations of iOS 3.2), not what we know now (iOS 4,5,6).


Edited by runner7775 - 4/3/13 at 2:18pm

iPad 16 GB(1st gen), iPod touch 8 GB (4th gen), iPod shuffle (2nd gen), iPod shuffle (4th gen)

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iPad 16 GB(1st gen), iPod touch 8 GB (4th gen), iPod shuffle (2nd gen), iPod shuffle (4th gen)

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post #10 of 61

It will be fun to do a similar one for AAPL stock price on April 3, 2016. (Actually, we probably won't have to wait that long.....).

post #11 of 61
Reading these comments back then made me upset... Now it makes me laught.
post #12 of 61
I remember I saw the live blog and was not very impressed. Nevertheless I was curious enough to check one out at the Apple store. Once I had it in my hand, I "got it". It was smaller, thinner than I expected. It was a tablet that I've always wanted, and I had many Windows tablet and laptop convertibles before the iPad and they were all crap.
post #13 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

Mot of the (ahem) "leading members" of this forum (or those that think they are) believed the name to be a complete fail.  1smile.gif

(I am not arrogating myself in any way to claim 'leading member' status.....) I was one of those who felt a bit queasy about the name. 1embarassed.gif At that time, I thought that iSlate was a far better name because of its association with education, writing, etc. 

 

Five iPads and one Mini later, I think I am finally OK with it. lol.gif

post #14 of 61

Happy Birthday iPad! Still waiting to add one of you to my life, maybe when you're a bit older.

 

EDIT: I started reading the iPad Death Watch site and could only take a short bit of it 1bugeye.gif


Edited by TheUnfetteredMind - 4/3/13 at 2:37pm
post #15 of 61
Well the IPad took the PC market, and instead of those comments we have the IPad beating all other tablets combined + the current desktop OS computer market.
post #16 of 61

I watched the iPad launch and Steve Jobs seemed to be the only guy in the room excited about it. It didn't wow me at all and it seemed to be a big iPod Touch. It seemed that the techies (like me) were bored but mom & pop were thrilled. When sales went through the roof I was surprised and very excited for Apple. I held out for the iPad 2 (with FaceTime) as my first one and love it. As Steve said, you really needed to hold one and use one to see that it was a better way to experience the Internet. I am glad he lived long enough to see that his vision was right and that he had (yet again) changed computing forever.


Edited by jd_in_sb - 4/3/13 at 2:30pm

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post #17 of 61

“Google plans ‘to market a tablet of the highest quality’ in the next six months”
Eric Schmidt, Chairman, Google, 19 Dec 2011

 
That's OK Eric, the world need followers as well as leaders.
post #18 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by shen View Post

I seem to recall such discussion around these forums as well.... How the iPad was a terrible name and a crap device and that after the Apple fans had bought theirs it would die a sad death. Just like the iPhone before it. And the iPod before that. And OSX before that.

Amazing how often the experts couldn't find their backside with a pickaxe a compass and night goggles.

 

Because it's all about hatred for Apple. I've never seen this situation with any other company. The pundits described in this article cannot fathom how a company like Apple came into existence or remains in business. They hate everything about the company and everything the company makes and they're not shy about telling you so. They wish nothing but evil and pestilence on the company and would dance on its grave if it came to pass. Every product introduced by someone else is immediately labelled an Apple 'killer." When that product fails to kill anything they simply move on to the next, and the next, and the next. This has been going on for over thirty years now and shows no signs of stopping. The fact that so many critics of the company choose to join and post vociferously on sites like AI just supports the theory. You would think if you didn't like a company or its products you would just ignore them a go about buying what you like. But not the Apple critics. Not only do they not like the company they become activists in seeking its destruction. You don't see this kind of behavior in any other market segments.

post #19 of 61
It's all too easy to look at today's iPad and ridicule the complaints. However, I think a lot of the criticisms of the original iPad are valid - it was thick, heavy, underpowered and Apple's case for it was terrible.

Thankfully, the iPad 2 fixed almost everything and the reviews around the Internet reflected that.
post #20 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post
You would think if you didn't like a company or its products you would just ignore them a go about buying what you like. But not the Apple critics. Not only do they not like the company they become activists in seeking its destruction. You don't see this kind of behavior in any other market segments.

Couldn't agree more. In order for some pet (often POS) product of theirs to win, Apple has to lose.

 

Yet, I find it oddly satisfying that these maroons are so strong in their anti-Apple sentiments that they are relentlessly, shamelessly, self-esteemlessley willing to make fools of themselves (the iPad simply being another case in point).

post #21 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

It's all too easy to look at today's iPad and ridicule the complaints. 

 

No it's not. I ridiculed the morons back then and I will continue to ridicule the morons today.

 

We live in the present, and back then when the first iPad was released, anybody who didn't see the amazing potential of it was totally clueless, ignorant and 100% wrong.

post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

It's all too easy to look at today's iPad and ridicule the complaints. However, I think a lot of the criticisms of the original iPad are valid - it was thick, heavy, underpowered and Apple's case for it was terrible.

Thankfully, the iPad 2 fixed almost everything and the reviews around the Internet reflected that.

I still think that the iPad 1 was a thing of beauty. (Millions of people agreed with me to the point that it was Apple's most successful new product introduction as of early 2011. Almost 15M iPads were sold in the first three quarters, compared to <4M iPhones and less than 200,000 iPods during a similar time period.)

 

And, as to positive reviews for the iPad 2, most of the nay-sayers were simply covering their a**es.

post #23 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Because it's all about hatred for Apple. I've never seen this situation with any other company. The pundits described in this article cannot fathom how a company like Apple came into existence or remains in business. They hate everything about the company and everything the company makes and they're not shy about telling you so. They wish nothing but evil and pestilence on the company and would dance on its grave if it came to pass. Every product introduced by someone else is immediately labelled an Apple 'killer." When that product fails to kill anything they simply move on to the next, and the next, and the next. This has been going on for over thirty years now and shows no signs of stopping. The fact that so many critics of the company choose to join and post vociferously on sites like AI just supports the theory. You would think if you didn't like a company or its products you would just ignore them a go about buying what you like. But not the Apple critics. Not only do they not like the company they become activists in seeking its destruction. You don't see this kind of behavior in any other market segments.

I'm convinced it's a type of mental illness.

It makes sense to want to talk about a product you like. There are fan clubs for BMW, Harley Davidson, Haeger pottery, Basset Hounds, and almost anything else you can imagine. People who enjoy something just naturally want to talk with others who enjoy the same thing.

It's even understandable that people who enjoy something would go to a site like this to pick up rumors about what future products might look like. It gives them the chance to imagine next generation products and even compare ideas for future products.

But for someone who doesn't use a product, insists that they will never buy a product, and (based on the ridiculousness of many of their posts) don't know anything about a product to come to a fan site like this and spend countless hours berating the product that they don't use with FUD and outright lies just isn't normal. I believe it's a variety of Narcissistic Personality Disorder - where they can not accept that anyone's opinion might vary from theirs. They have such an enormous belief in the idea that the world revolves around them that anyone who likes something different must be wrong - by definition.

Sadly, NPD is very difficult to treat, so even sending the trolls for professional help is unlikely to accomplish anything.
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post #24 of 61
The reason these people got it wrong is simple. It has always been about what they wanted and not what the consumer wanted. They were so busy looking for that single tree that they failed to see they were in the middle of a vast forest.

" There are none so blind as they who will not see". :-)
post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I'm convinced it's a type of mental illness.

 

I think so too.

 

If I were to take something that I really dislike, let's say Android. It would never even enter my mind to sign up for an Android forum and spend my days there trashing Android. What a huge waste of time that would be. I'm on this forum because I like Apple products a lot obviously, and have been using them for a long time. 

 

I would have to be insane and totally messed up in my head if I were to spend my days on an Android forum, and yes, I do believe that the Apple haters, the ones who go out of their way, as if they were a bunch of paid political activists, have real serious issues, as in mental issues. They are lunatics.

post #26 of 61
....and, nothing has changed. Looking back should give you an indication of how much stock to put into the criticisms of analysts and the media today. Anyone who thinks they've smartened up is a fool. They're as clueless as ever, and as usual, their shrieking, ignorant, attention-whoring ravings should be ignored, no matter how much they affect the stock price, and how much they proclaim they know what Apple 'must do'. Apple bashers have a track record of being almost 100% wrong all the time, yet that fact does not allow them to be any less sure of themselves that THIS time, they're right. They aren't, and they never will be.

Every fucking major decision Apple has made in the past decade, which has granted them greater and greater success, has been near universally panned, including things like non-removal batteries, lack of card slots, ports, removal of optical drives, harddrives, the push for digital downloads, not supporting flash, etc etc. And every single one of these things has contributed to better products, more streamlined design, and the advancement of the technology industry as a whole.

Nevertheless, sites like this will continue feverishly linking to the clueless, critical ramblings of analysts and the media, because it gets the clicks.
post #27 of 61

And yet it continues: http://aaplinvestors.net/stats/ipad/ipaddeathwatch/

 

“After a whirlwind decade, Apple’s sales growth is slowing down. Is the faithful Apple customer getting bored with the company’s technology or possibly, just more desirous of its rivals’ products? It’s three years today that the iPad came onto the scene, but since then, the company hasn’t turned in a truly revolutionary new product.
Searches on Yahoo! for Apple products reinforce the idea that customers are losing interest. For instance, searches for the iPad fell 84 percent since last March. Searches for the iPad mini are also down 50 percent since its fall release.”
Christina Scolaro, Yahoo Big Data Download, 3 April 2013

 

[not sure why this did not post the first time I tried] 

post #28 of 61

Weather Men and Apple Haters all have something in common. They get to keep their job no matter how often they are wrong! 1mad.gif

post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


I'm convinced it's a type of mental illness.

But for someone who doesn't use a product, insists that they will never buy a product, and (based on the ridiculousness of many of their posts) don't know anything about a product to come to a fan site like this and spend countless hours berating the product that they don't use with FUD and outright lies just isn't normal. I believe it's a variety of Narcissistic Personality Disorder - where they can not accept that anyone's opinion might vary from theirs. They have such an enormous belief in the idea that the world revolves around them that anyone who likes something different must be wrong - by definition.

Sadly, NPD is very difficult to treat, so even sending the trolls for professional help is unlikely to accomplish anything.

 

 

Are you talking about the people here, or at Microsoft? :P 


Edited by Richard Getz - 4/3/13 at 4:57pm
post #30 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by runner7775 View Post

I've not understood the "told ya so!" responses by a lot of the Apple bloggers over Apple's success with the iPad versus what the general tech media thought in early 2010. When the original iPad was released it came with iOS 3.2, which wasn't spectacular (I guess it was solid, but just OK compared to what we have now). If the shackles of iOS 3.2 hadn't been loosened, I doubt we would have seen the sales that we've seen. I've read those quotes looking at them through the lense of what we knew then (limitations of iOS 3.2), not what we know now (iOS 4,5,6).

 

Actually, if you look at the list of shortcomings the "experts" were complaining about regarding the first iPad running iOS 3.2, only cut-and-paste has been checked off. The iPad still doesn't run Flash nor is it multitasking. (not that it needs to, but those last two were the features iPad competitors crowed about, not that it saved their butts)

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post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post

Actually, if you look at the list of shortcomings the "experts" were complaining about regarding the first iPad running iOS 3.2, only cut-and-paste has been checked off. The iPad still doesn't run Flash nor is it multitasking. (not that it needs to, but those last two were the features iPad competitors crowed about, not that it saved their butts)

Well, the iPad does have multi-tasking just not the absurd implementation that some people believe is ideal.
post #32 of 61
I find it interesting the the phenomena most like Apple hatred is political and religious affiliation.
post #33 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

More feral ravings.

 

Is that a promise from you?

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post #34 of 61

Gotta love c|net's front page article on this subject (I refuse to provide a link).  Here's the headline:

 

 

Apple's iPad, 3 years in: Magical? Some beg to differ
 
As you can see, the headline is just click bait from Brooks Crothers to get lots of replies from MS and Android fanboys.  Guaranteed the comments section will be filled up with all the ways iPad is just an overpriced toy and how Surface and Android tablets are so much better. 1rolleyes.gif
post #35 of 61

ok, Jay Yarrow over at Business Insider actually shows some real class by eating crow pie about his "It's A Big Yawn" article three years ago and then presenting a great pix/graphic summary of how the iPad really did change everything.

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-the-ipad-totally-changed-the-world-in-just-three-years-2013-4

 

check it out.

post #36 of 61
My favorite part was "it's just a big iPod Touch" meaning that a "phone OS" doesn't belong on a tablet device.

And then here comes all the Android tablets... a Blackberry tablet... and even a Palm tablet... all from phone manufacturers.

Sheesh...
post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

We live in the present, and back then when the first iPad was released, anybody who didn't see the amazing potential of it was totally clueless, ignorant and 100% wrong.

If you're a reviewer, you review what's in front of you, not what the next generation might bring. The iPad 1 is crippled by it's lack of RAM. Safari and third-party apps regularly run out of memory and crash.
post #38 of 61

Just another little pro-iPad anecdote. We had taken a few studio shots and were deciding on which ones were suitable for framing. My dad and mom were looking at them on a Dell PC and I was looking at the photos on my iPad Mini with my wife. My 70 year old dad just happen to glance at the photos on the iPad and was immediately shocked to see the difference in clarity from the Dell PC. He was all praises for the display of the iPad. And this was just the mini. Had I used my wife's iPad 3, I wonder what he would have said!

 

I had a short 2-week trip to London recently and carried my iPad mini with me. It was convenient, but I really missed my iPad 2. Having used both for extended periods of time, I feel the iPad is definitely is a better choice for most things. The iPad mini is convenient for book reading and browsing.  

 

All in all, a real shift from the times I had to carry a case full of DVDs and a real fat book for my entertainment away from home!

post #39 of 61

I remember in the months leading up to the unveiling of the original iPad, that I couldn't understand why anyone was interested in the rumored new tablet from Apple. What I really wanted was a MacBook Air. Then when the iPad was announced, I instantly "got it." I understood why my next tech purchase would be an iPad.  Although it was frustrating at first when I ran into those damn flash-based sites,  I now find myself doing most of my web browsing on my iPad and not on my 27" iMac. Go figure.  Sometimes you don't know what it that you want until somebody shows you. 

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post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

If you're a reviewer, you review what's in front of you, not what the next generation might bring. The iPad 1 is crippled by it's lack of RAM. Safari and third-party apps regularly run out of memory and crash.

Don't lie. Don't lie in this thread and make yourself to be one of the fools who didn't get it when it came out. And one of the greater fools who still don't get it.

As a user of the first iPad since day one and still a daily user, I can say that it did not crash at all back in those days, before the current bloat that afflicts sites like 9to5 and The Verge. Yes, now the iPad 1 will crash, but it didn't back then.

Back then it was revolutionary to anyone who could see and who had a shred of imagination, and who did not automatically wish to see anything from Apple fail. Don't take my word for it, here's Gruber's review at the time:

http://daringfireball.net/2010/04/the_ipad

It was perfectly adequate for its time. Jobs was as right as he ever was at that time. Don't try to rewrite history in front of me, I was there. The naysayers were fools then and they're probably still fools now.
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