iPad 3G – Not the Ideal Mobile Internet Device

Posted on 02 May 2010 by



3G and GPS are technologies that can turn an Internet device into a mobile internet device. While tethering and MiFi are great ways to mobilise your PCs, having a built-in 3G module makes a huge difference and of course, GPS enables navigation, local search, location-based social networking and other mobile-focused applications.

But you can’t just throw these two components into a device and expect to have the same on-the-go usage as a device specifically designed for mobility. You need to have the right form factor, the right input mechanisms and the right OS and software.

Take my Touchnote Netbook for example. It has 3G and a convertible touchscreen but I don’t use it when on-the-go. It’s portable, yes, and works extremely well in conferences and expos but it’s not something that you can USE WHEN MOBILE. It’s not designed for it.

With its size, weight and lack of mobility-focused applications I’m wondering just how the iPad will take off in mobile scenarios. Gizmodo has me worried too. They appear to be experiencing this for the first time…

…nothing quite beats the feeling of ubiquitous internet on a device like this. [Ref]

Nothing, that is, except a device that’s designed for mobility. Like a smartphone perhaps? Or, if you want to GTD while on-the-go, a clamshell/slider UMPC. I’d argue that the Wibrain i1 was way better suited to mobility than the iPad. It looked ugly and the OS wasn’t touch or GPS-friendly but it was designed with two-handed mobility in mind and nothing I’ve tried since has beaten it for use in that scenario.

The point is, adding 3G and GPS doesn’t magically turn a device into a mobile device.

Once again, form has won over function. From our perspective here at UMPCPortal, it’s a real shame. It’s sad to think that hundreds of thousands of customers will learn about ‘mobile computing’ for the first time through the iPad 3G.

If you can afford it, 3G and GPS are nice to have and I’m glad Apple give the customers the option. We’ll have to wait to see if any mobility-focused applications rise to the surface but based on the design and user feedback in the last 24hrs, I don’t think it’s going to be a focus for developers.

Update: Warner Crocker has a similar view that the iPad isn’t a mobile device.

Related: 30 iPad productivity problems.

Categorized | News

Tags : ,

34 Comments For This Post

  1. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    RT @umpcportal: iPad 3G – Not the Ideal Mobile Internet Device http://bit.ly/ayyYC1

  2. Gadgets Informatory says:

    iPad 3G – Not the Ideal Mobile Internet Device http://goo.gl/fb/S4bhF http://j.mp/GADGETS

  3. Guy Adams says:

    RT @chippy RT @umpcportal: iPad 3G – Not the Ideal Mobile Internet Device http://bit.ly/ayyYC1

  4. Nicole Scott says:

    RT @chippy: RT @umpcportal: iPad 3G – Not the Ideal Mobile Internet Device http://bit.ly/ayyYC1

  5. Syed Mazhar Ali says:

    RT @chippy: RT @umpcportal: iPad 3G – Not the Ideal Mobile Internet Device http://bit.ly/ayyYC1

  6. Don Davis says:

    iPad 3G – Not the Ideal Mobile Internet Device http://bit.ly/cmJQXV

  7. george says:

    “hundreds of thousands of customers will learn about ‘mobile computing’ for the first time through the iPad 3G.”

    Why so conservative? How about: tens of millions (in the next 5 years)?

    Cheers,

    g.

  8. wildpig says:

    so what’s the prognosis for things like Viliv X70?

    I just love the versatility of this thing. W/ social network Software or not.

    Where do I even start on what the X70 can do that iPAD can’t?

    animatio Reply:

    truth is …. most consumers do not even want to know nor do it. there is a reason why mcdonalds and co are so successful (and it is not that they are the better restaurants !!! )

    Cliff Reply:

    Well, I would say just by having the option of Windows XP on the x70 makes the iPad a totally different device. The iPad is for content consumption. Surf the web, watch videos, listen to music, read books and emails. And it’s great for this. Expensive yes, but it’s ease of use and smooth interface and software makes it one of the best (except for the 3G video streaming sucking..). X70 tries to do more, which is seen by stuffing Windows XP into the device, and by doing so, makes it slower, and not as sleek. As an overall device, the x70 can do more than the iPad, but for the things the iPad can do, or are meant to do, the iPad is much better.

  9. CubedGod says:

    I got my iPad 3G Friday and went straight out the door to attend a geek convention all weekend. I’ve bee extremely happy with the iPad’s form factor this weekend. The problem with smaller devices is the screen often limits their usefullness. I’ve used several one hand type solutions, while perfect for small tasks (check for important email, todo list, looking something up on the web), the small form factor became a real problem when I needed to really be productive. I think the iPad is a very nice compromise between a device that is small enough to be protable and big enough to be productive. For example, checking through my RSS feeds is something I dislike doing on smaller screens, because it requires lots of scrolling, scaling, and zooming, but feels natural on my iPad.

    Portable Reply:

    “a device that is small enough to be protable and big enough to be productive.”

    You’re talking about a netbook, ultra portable or notebook, right?

    Cubedgod Reply:

    No. Netbooks are too large and heavy to be carried around without noticing. The battery for my eeePc weighs almost as much as my iPad and doesn’t come close to the battery life of my iPad. The umpcs I’ve used don’t have a large enough screen to be really productive. And notebooks are great for productivity, but I found are pointless to bring around unless I’m going to be sitting for a long time at a table (not very mobile). Not saying the iPad is perfect, or right for everyone (wouldn’t say that about any device), but i

    Cubedgod Reply:

    No. Netbooks are too large and heavy to be carried around without noticing. The battery for my eeePc weighs almost as much as my iPad and doesn’t come close to the battery life of my iPad. The umpcs I’ve used don’t have a large enough screen to be really productive. And notebooks are great for productivity, but I found are pointless to bring around unless I’m going to be sitting for a long time at a table (not very mobile). Not saying the iPad is perfect, or right for everyone (wouldn’t say that about any device), but it fils a whole in my productivity work flow.

  10. Jeremiah Williamson says:

    iPad 3G – Not the Ideal Mobile Internet Device http://bit.ly/cJVvJ7

  11. Andrea says:

    I love how everyone cannot stand the iPad (many comments are against it) yet no one can stop talking about it.

    Apple as always made a home run with this device it’s in everyone’s mouth it’s a HIT!!! soon itll become like the ipod …a “crippled device” that only does mp3 (no radio …as everyone always points out) yet the device you cannot live without.

    Apple 1 everyone else 0 ;)

  12. umpcaddict says:

    THAT’S WHAT I SAID!

  13. Aaron says:

    I love the people who are sticking up for the iPad and saying that it is so much easier to use than a Windows based UMPC. Yeah your right, but it also does far, far, far less. So you want a more friendly OS for the form factor and you are prepared to lose some functionality, well then Android is there for you. Android is just as easy to use, is an open platform, will have full flash in the coming months (yes that means full Youtube, Hulu, ect.). The only thing the Apple OS has over Android is the app market, which is restricted for large devices right now, but when we get more Android tablets you should expect to see the marketplace open right up. Even on the Archos 5 IT, the market is now coming along, albeit with some simple hacking.

    The iPad is the easiest to use UMPC ever created, but it is also one of the most limited ever created. People ooh and ah over 10 hour battery life figures and the sleekness of the device, but are quick to ignore the lack of flash (which kills a lot of internet browsing), multitasking, the closed OS, high price, lack of creation software, lack of a replaceable battery, the dependability on iTunes, and much more.

    The iPad has some great marketing behind it, but besides its battery life it has very little to no real merit over some similar devices.

  14. Mike Cane says:

    >>>I’d argue that the Wibrain i1 was way better suited to mobility than the iPad.

    Jaysus, Chippy! So, the only things that held that thing back is what, that it wasn’t pretteh enough and didn’t have a cool ad to pimp it? If it had had those, what, we’d all be WiBraining right now? Srsly? You need help, son!

    James Reply:

    You’re missing his point!

    In terms of what you can do while being mobile then Chippy is absolutely correct. Content consumption is not the same as content creation and the iPad is only optimized for consumption and not creation. A truly mobile device needs to be able to do both equally well and do so without being tied down in any way or otherwise hinder your ability to move about.

    So for truly mobile use the Wibrain i1 is better designed than the iPad. It may not be the perfect example but it does highlight what the iPad isn’t designed to do. Since many of the things you can do with the iPad requires you to either sit or otherwise remain stationary and thus not mobile while using it. And that’s before you add the weight and space usage of the accessories.

    Mike Cane Reply:

    >>>Since many of the things you can do with the iPad requires you to either sit or otherwise remain stationary and thus not mobile

    Wait, you’re seriously going to try to sell me on the “You can walk with a WiBrain” nonsense?

    There are other things in that essay that I could criticize too, but picked out just those points. It’s overall ridiculous.

    Chippy has an out by saying the iPad is not the “ideal” device — but, damn, to say the WiBrain was closer to that ideal is just … I’ll stop now.

    James Reply:

    Sorry if you can’t see the difference, but it is there whether you believe it or not. There is a reason why tablets haven’t worked out very well to date over the last decade!

  15. stosh says:

    Chippy – your comments and articles might have a little more value (and not seem so much like Apple bashing) if you had actually spent some time with an iPad. While I also hope to see some great competitive products come to market, there’s clearly nothing on the near horizon. When you consider the capabilities, price, battery life, and build quality, it’s going to take a very long time for other vendors to get something that’s competitive to market. Quite a few products that had been announced in this arena have already been killed or put on hold.
    Most of the complaints you have about the iPad have already been addressed and will be resolved in the fall with version 4.0. And unlike many of the other announced products in your database, we don’t have to wonder if this update will actually happen. I’m not sure we can say that about the Viliv N5, HP slate, and others.
    Before you write another opinion piece on the iPad, I suggest you get one of your own. I have a Wifi model I’m selling – let me know if you are interested.

    James Reply:

    Nothing Chippy has stated has been Apple bashing. Just an honest assessment of what the iPad can and can’t do backed by his years of experience on the matter of mobile computing. Chippy is hardly a noob on the matter and if anything Chippy’s other site Carrypad.com, which did purchase a iPad, has done some excellent reviews of the iPad.

    And though you are correct that there is no real competitive product coming out any time soon. This doesn’t change the facts that the iPad really isn’t designed to be a completely all around usage mobile device.

    Every device in the world has limitations, there is nothing wrong with pointing out those limitations when people insist such limitations don’t exist.

    It doesn’t mean the device is wrong for you, just that there are realities to be faced with every device and depending on what you plan on using the device for means you may have to face those realities at some point.

  16. lanlanb says:

    Nice Chippy! Agreed.

    Yesterday had some friends over, I had a Samsung Q1U on the table and they were surprised to see “another tablet like the IPAD”.

    Also, they are surprised to find out that a lot of “netbooks” have Sim card slots (say on Sony Vaio P, or HP mini, or Samsung NC10). I guess what I’m saying is… could agree more with your comment:

    “It’s sad to think that hundreds of thousands of customers will learn about ‘mobile computing’ for the first time through the iPad 3G.”

  17. Stu says:

    Not quite the same sentiment as gottabemobiles article. They are stating it’s not mobile (as in pocketable), where as i get the feeling you dislike it because it doesn’t do desktop OS things. But I am still wondering what content creation you actually want to do on your ‘umpc’? I think I have to agree with steve jobs in what he said about netbooks not really doing anything particularly well, same in my experience with umpcs, quicker we get away from x86 windows running mobile devices the better.

    Aaron Reply:

    How about making quick, well formatted notes? How about writing short emails? How about instant messaging? How about posting comments on websites?

    That tends to be much easier with a real keyboard, a real browser, and/or a real word program.

    Do you know what the app store cannot compete with? The full blown applications and programs that can be had with Windows.

    CubedGod Reply:

    Not sure if you’ve used the iPad much, but I actually have been doing all these things very easily with mine lately. It find it is much nicer to take notes on my iPad, because of it’s instant boot and quick program loads. There are several powerful note-taking and/or word processing applications that can do formatting. And short email, instant messages, and web comments (like this one written on my iPad) are very easy. But if you really want a physical keyboard, you can connect a bluetooth one (carrying both still takes less space/weight than my netbook). And Safari is a real web browser.

    As to the app store, I really think comparing full blow windows apps to iPad apps is comparing grapes to oranges. Full blown windows apps, require full blown windows, full blown input devices, a full blown screen, and a full blown battery. This is not about doing everything a desktop computer can, it is about doing what you need to do on the go.

    Aaron Reply:

    Yes I have used an iPad, albeit not for long.

    Taking notes on the iPad is fine, yes, but how well does it store and organize them? How well does it use Google calender events or similar utilities?

    You know what else boots quickly? A laptop or real UMPC being woken up from standby.

    So, how does the iPad do with note taking and web surfing simultaneously? How about some music in the background?

    So you can comment here, so can I. This is all written on my Archos 5 so that I can make a point, it is plenty possible but it is also a pain.

    Yes Safari is a web browser, but it lacks flash, true tabs, and all of the plug ins in-between. Its not a full browser.

    I am not trying to make you feel bad about your purchase, you are obviously happy with your purchase and the iPad must do well enough for you. That said, this discussion should be more about the qualities of these products and not just our opinions. How is the iPad, or any other device for that matter, ever going to get better if they aren’t critiqued?

    My main point is that the article is a very good one. Yes, the iPad can SUFFICE for mobile use, but in Chippy’s points seem plenty valid. I’ll be honest, I think the iPad would have been much better as a 5″ or 7″ device.

    CubedGod Reply:

    Storing and organizing depends on which app, I think the biggest problem would actually be syncing and printing. Not sure what you’re getting at with the google calendar comment, are you asking about integration with note taking apps? If so I have no idea, it is not a feature I’ve ever needed. But there are apps for managing google calendar.

    True, but unless you have an SSD on your netbook, the iPad still wakes up considerably faster.

    Playing music in the background is absolutely possible (always have been, in any app that doesn’t force its own soundtrack, like say the pandora app). Currently multitasking isn’t supported, but will be in the next update (scheduled for fall I believe).

    Glad you can comment on a webpage with your Archos 5, not sure the point you’re trying to make.

    Well if you must have flash, it is unlikely Apple will every support it on the iPad / iPhone / iPod touch. I hardly find flash necessary for a “full browser” I use flashblock on Google chrome and almost never need to unblock anything (especially with the proliferation of HTML 5).

    My main point is that I disagree with chippy’s opinion. I think the OS, software, and input mechanisms are perfect for mobility. The form factor isn’t pocket friendly, but the larger size makes the device more usable and powerful. I think this is a great device to experience mobile computer for the first time. It is dead simple to use, but still very powerful.

    Mike Cane Reply:

    >>>That tends to be much easier with a real keyboard, a real browser, and/or a real word program.

    Yeah, but it apparently hasn’t stopped millions of people doing those things with a soft keyboard. Or, before the iPhone, Graffiti on Palm OS or the HWR on WinMob. Just stop it.

    James Reply:

    Millions of people don’t use soft keyboard for much more than texting or short hand emails. On screen keyboards is a compromise, not the ideal!

    Sarig Reply:

    The majority still uses Internet Explorer too, so I’m not sure why you think something is good enough just because a lot of people use it.

  18. Jeremiah Williamson says:

    iPad 3G – Not the Ideal Mobile Internet Device http://bit.ly/cJVvJ7

  19. Vit says:

    One very important detail, without it I wouldn’t consider device mobile is a front facing camera. But that’s just me. GPS, camera, 3G, light with 10 inch Touch screen and not too overpriced. Perfect!

    The Other Man Reply:

    I only know of one device that I believe has all of these. Its the Flybook V5. It has swivel camera and a 9inch convertible touch screen. And almost every form of non-wifi connection you can think of except for 4G. The only problem is that it costs….well over $2000.

  20. Vicente says:

    I don’t understand what “mobile computing” even means. ANY super-small device is hobbled compared to a desktop or large laptop. Unavoidable. I have a Samsung Q1UP tablet modded and running Windows 7, and while it’s a fine device the vast majority of my uses for it are CONSUMPTION not creation. The few times I’ve attempted to use it for serious work have been disappointing. Mostly I’m carrying around a lot of Windows baggage that I neither want nor need. I’m picking up an iPad 3G in the next week, and for purely tablet usage it seems a superior device, guess I’ll find out soon enough.

  21. chippy says:

    I thank you all for the detailed discussion.

    2 reasons why its good to talk about the iPad
    1) Because of the number of people that know about the iPad, it’s a good catalyst for discussion about mobile computing hardware and softyware.
    2)There are many people considering buying an iPad based on the opinions over-excited mainstream bloggers that never lifted their bums from their aeron chair. I feel strongly about giving a view based on my experience with mobile computing products.

    Once again, the point is that adding 3G and GPS doesn’t make everything magically mobile. The iPad is going to work for some, that’s obvious and proven above but I hope the article makes people think carefully about what they really need. I remember not so long ago when the majority was complaining of mobile devices that were 1.5lb and don’t fit in the pocket!

    For mobile GTD, car use, pocketability, one-handed consumption, two thumb typing and battery life there’s a sweet spot in industrial design that sits around the 4-6 inches mark. Unfortunately, there aren’t many devices in that segment yet. Why? I dont know. Suggestions?

    James Reply:

    I’d say it was because technology simply hasn’t reached the point that a 4-6 inch device can be made both cheaply and still be a powerful all around device that won’t go through batteries like there was no tomorrow.

    The lack of a good optimized OS built for mobility with a large library of Apps to support it to serve that function has also been lacking.

    And the industry is always slow in developing products that doesn’t already have a large share of the market.

    But I think this is changing as society is becoming far more mobile orientated in device usage and it is only a matter of time now before we start seeing more practical devices showing up.

    At least once the industry gets past the knee jerk reaction method of throwing us a bunch of bones and seeing where the majority of us start to crowd towards :P

    Mike Cane Reply:

    >>>never lifted their bums from their aeron chair.

    I don’t have an Aeron chair.

    >>>For mobile GTD, car use, pocketability, one-handed consumption, two thumb typing and battery life there’s a sweet spot in industrial design that sits around the 4-6 inches mark.

    And now the new Finish Line is GTD? Where was that metric prior to now?! And why does it have to be *two* thumb typing? Doesn’t something like Swype (is that it) allow one-finger?! If something that allows one-finger to be superior to two-fingers (and I’m not saying Swype is), automatically make it inferior to two fingers?!

    I think you keep changing the rules just to agitate.

    James Reply:

    What changing of the rules? He just tells you what his experience leads him to conclude. He’s been advocating such form factors for years, with actual hands on reviews of most portable devices that gives him the ability to directly compare many designs used to date.

    Frankly, a lot of people think the iPad should have been a bit smaller to make it more practical for mobile use.

  22. Sascha Pallenberg says:

    I can’t agree more with you Chippy. I am using the iPad now for 3 das and i really man it that Way, Cause try to do everything with it, i did with my netbooknews or any MID. Yes, the Virtual Keyboard is pretty good (i am writing on it now)but this isn’t made for long comments, actually it is painfull to just write this one now. These is nö way that you can use the iPad in the sunlight cause the display is way too gl

  23. Sascha Pallenberg says:

    Oh well and then you press the wrong button on this keyboard and…….

    Anyways, it’s awesome for consuming content on the couch but that’s about it…

    Steve 'Chippy' Paine Reply:

    Looking forward to talking to you about it on the next MeetMobility podcast!

    animatio Reply:

    not to mention the almost absent two key functions, shortcuts and well – in my case – all the 3-button, wheel mouse specials ….. for what i call “productivity” there is no way without these

  24. Tha Don says:

    Another good write up Chippy. I fully support everything that was said, its really a shame the the world would go crazy over form & not function. Its Just stupid to have something that looks nice on the outside so that everyone can see, but is really flat on the inside! Keep up the good work Chippy.

  25. John says:

    Wibrain is better as a mobile productivity tool? Wibrain’s design has all the sins that kept tablets, umpcs and the like to the ground for so long. We don’t need to repeat the same things on every single post. You may argue that iPad is still at an early stage of development. Productivity software is still in it’s infancy, but things change rapidly. What is important is that iPad is built on firm foundations, it represents the right philosophy for what mobile computing is all about. Mobile computing is all about priorities on how to overcome constraints and Apple seems to understand this better than anyone. Just give it some time Chippy, time for the right software to hit the store. All that Apple has to do is keep the spark and creativity for sw development alive…

    James Reply:

    Software can’t completely compensate for the failings of the hardware. No matter how good the software gets the iPad will still be a limited device because it was designed with specific limitations. The only reason for argument is because some people refuse to accept that it has any limitations and that causes other people to start pointing them out.

    So it won’t be unless later improved models are released that opinions will really change about the iPad.

    The iPad is a nice tech toy, plenty of people will love it, but it definitely is not the perfect all in one mobile solution that will fit everyone’s needs and never will in its present form.

    John Reply:

    There is no ideal device. And you obviously missed what I said: mobility = limitations. Noone can seriously argue that with the present state of technology we can have mobile devices that have no limitations. The question is what are your priorities when dealing with these limitations. IPad with all it’s limitations is the right approach. Umpc’s with desktop OS’s is the wrong approach. It is simple as that.

    Back to your points, it seems that you mainly object the form factor -the tablet form factor. I guess you prefer clamshell designs. That’s fine, everyone has different needs. But please try to understand that a clamshell device cannot work properly with a touch GUI. You need a pointer, a mouse, for the simple reason that your hands sit on the keyboard and not on the screen. As soon as you ask your hands to touch the screen you are back to the tablet form factor. Maybe a keyboard embodied in a case (like the old Samsung Q1) would make things easier for those long typing sessions.

    Bottom line. It’s not about the hardware. It’s all about the software, and in this regard it’s too early to give the final verdict.

    Jame Reply:

    Yes, there is no universally ideal device but there are devices more ideal than others that will fit the needs of more people with less compromise. Bottom line is hardware matters just as much as the software.

    There is a difference from being portable and being a mobile device. The iPad is a portable device but was never intended to a be a full mobile device. Apple designed it to be part of the Apple product ecosystem and not a single all in one solution.

    And I never said UMPC’s with desktop OS was the right approach. I’m just pointing out that the iPad isn’t entirely the right approach either!

  26. Clio says:

    I think iPad is more targeted at Women, compared to other computer-devices. It’s an excellent glossy magazine, the App-store approval process ensures the apps installs and runs with minimum fuss, and it’s fashionable. It should almost categorise as a “lifestyle product” instead of “computer product”.

    It’s not really made for heavy-blogging, typing-intensive, or business use (Word/Excel/Presentations/Files exchange via USB drive/business video conferencing/etc).

    I think a Dual-touchScreen clamshell device, something like MSI’s, but 2x 5~6 inch screens designed around On-Screen Keyboard (OSK) thumb-typing, would give better overall balance between productivity, mobility, and consumption experience:
    - pocket size (large pockets anyway)
    - good (7-8″) screen real-estate when OSK not needed,
    - less leverage on wrists & less arm movement when using OSK while standing or “mobile”
    - rotate to portrait and it can be a decent alternative to glossy-magazines, (screen’s viewing angle allowing)
    - adjustable screen angle when peck-typing in laptop mode

  27. DavidC1 says:

    You can’t have an ideal device for everyone.

    Desktops live on because its an ultimate productivity and consumption device. You can’t make up for having a full sized(read: not shallow keyboards as in laptops) keyboard and mouse along with a huge screen. There’s also the performance you get.

    Perhaps even Apple realizes the iPad won’t appeal to everyone. I mean come on, they are the one with less than 10% marketshare in computing!

    Who’s ever going to deliver the ideal Tablet that appeals to both consumption and productivity uses? Whatever appeals to one segment somehow negates the benefits of the other segment.

    The fact that iPad like devices are so closed in its nature makes it an attractive consumption device. Consumption devices are like remote control and toasters. You don’t want it having viruses and having to mess with “optimizing” to use them. You want them just working. You just can’t mess up a closed platform.

    That’s not true with UMPCs which seem like they are aimed at beta testers that are inherently familiar with hardware and software. Clunky UI, sub-par battery life, crappy on screen keyboards, and you can get viruses as easy as you can on a more capable PC. They aren’t that cheap either and compete with Netbooks which can do similar things. Portability is not good enough and doesn’t have enough wireless options to make it a phone-replacement either, why not just carry a Netbook around?

  28. medah4rick says:

    so what if the ipad isn’t the ideal mobile device. didn’t stop a million people so far. so the ideal device is this mythical “carrypad”? i bet even if carrypad was made it still wouldn’t be ideal since we seem to be picky about it doing some function that only bloggers care about or GTD whatever that is.

  29. TWatcher says:

    The one extremely important thing missing from this article, is that no mattery how portable and how functional a device is, it completely and totally fails if it does not encourage a desire to be used.

    the ipad will succeed where most other tablets/UMPC/MIDS have failed simply because people get a kick out of using it and showing it. Clearly its not the most functional, clearly its not the most portable, but if its design is such that people really enjoy using it and showing it to others, they it has been a complete success. If 10 million of them do indeed sell (and I’ll go for 30-40M over its lifetime), then by definition it has succeeded where everyother device that came before, failed.

    What many do not take into consideration is how important looks and visual interaction is on portable devices. You don’t want to be showin your mates an old clunky netbook, you want something that engenders envy and admiration. This is totally different from “proper” laptops or desktops, which are seen as devices that are first and foremost things of function. The segment that the ipad is targettig is one where function is NOT the prime criterium, the sooner people learn this, the sooner they’ll have competing devices.

    James Reply:

    Desires often fall to becoming just fads, it’s too early to say the iPad will have the longevity to be more than a fad yet. People do tend to grow tired of virtually any gadget no matter how cool and then just move on to the next new cool thing. Especially if the new device makes the old one look dated.

    The simple fact of the matter is the iPad can never be upgraded, only replaced.

    The only devices that usually last is devices based on functionality and the actual need for said device. The iPad has some functionality but it is limited in ways that reduce its portability with the needs for accessories and has yet to show why people would actually need it.

    With an ever increasing world of mobile users, where anyone can run their own blogs and people in ever expanding fields of interest need to be able to produce content on the go and often do so means the concerns voiced in this debate will only grow and become ever more pertinent to the average user.

    So 2010 may be the year of the iPad but 2011 is another year and lots can change by then…

    TWatcher Reply:

    Your comments could equally be aimed at the iphone, i.e. can;t be upgraded (no flash slots), is style over function. The one valid one of course is that it is a product for which a market has not been developed, i.e. why do you want one. However THAT arguement can be aimed at the entire UMPC/MID/NETBOOK segement.

    I think the last one is the reason why apple held of from such a device for so long, until they could see that publishers would go for it, be it books, mags, papers or games. And the key thing that stands ipad apart from other netbook-esk devices (from publishers point of view) is that the content is secure. You can’t get books (mags,papers,games) onto OR off it, except via the official app store, ensuring the publishers get their pound of flesh each time.
    It is widely talked about for ages that traditional publishers have been looking at ways to get paid for their, up-until-now, free web content.The ipad is it.

    Beyond that it does appear that the ipad is probably the best device for bringing your digital photos round to someone else-s house, and its probably a decent devices for browsing in the living room etc.

    Whether that adds up to a reason for an extra device, but I think overall its making a more compelling case that what has gone before.I’m pretty sure it is never designed as a productivity device (more of a consumption device) and as such it should actually not be compared to the vast majority of devices that come through this website.

  30. zviera says:

    When I am looking for new UMPC, I check
    1.specs
    2.Software
    3.Manufacturer
    when vegetable people want to show off, they check.
    1.Manufacturer
    2.Software
    3.Specs
    Anyhow. This video is hilarious. This is the purpose of iPad, what Steve was telling us.

  31. david says:

    Chippy, I think you are right about the sweet spot. I’m typing this on a moto droid and am trying to think of how I would go about making it a larger device.

    I think the keyboard needs to be larger than it is, but smaller than the screen so that both thumbs can still work together, but with the larger screen expanding from the hands in a more organic way – tilted slightly and resting ON the pointer fingers instead of being held between.

    Somehow, the ideal mobile formfactor will emerge and I totaly believe in the necesity of a built in hardware keyboard. I think every experienced user outside the cult of apple will agree at this time that flat tablets are incredibly limited by design, and that there is much more work to be done in this field.

    I appreciate your resistance to be satisfied. Manufacturers need to start looking at the human body and working out to the computer screen, instead of plopping a computer screen in our laps and expecting us to conform to it.

    Apple is the last company that I would expect to do this, based on their desire to create forms that funtion instead of functions that form. I mean, every thing they make looks the same, no matter what it is supposed to do. The most presentation oriented company ever, which is why you are right about how sad it is that so many people will be introduced to this category of devices through their marketing machine.

  32. Giuseppe Faraone says:

    iPad 3G – Not the Ideal Mobile Internet Device http://bit.ly/bLMqLz

  33. stanb says:

    Ideal for me would be the Hanvon but with x70 battery life. Despite the physical similarities to the ipad, the hanvon and x70 target diff.. users.

    Love the x70! typing from bed..sick like a dog!

  34. Ed Rivera says:

    iPad 3G – Not the Ideal Mobile Internet Device: 3G and GPS are technologies that can turn an Internet device into … http://bit.ly/9fq4xL