Posts tagged ipad
After several months of waiting and years of speculation, it’s finally arrived. The Apple iPad has been called a “revolutionary” “”polarizing” “magical” and “useless” device by various reviewers, but today the public finally got to lay their fingers on the glass and try it for themselves.
Lines slowly grew outside the University Village Apple Store before the 9 a.m. opening, but there was no shortage of iPads for people who didn’t pre-order the device. Jason Chan, an employee at the store, said that even though they had sold over 500 already, there was more than enough iPads to go around well after noon. Employees were cheering as people left the store with their new toys, and overall the environment was festive and exciting.
iSlate? iTablet? iPad? One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the upcoming Apple press event isn’t what they’re going to release, but instead what the almost inevitable tablet Mac will be named, and more importantly, what it will do. We will all find out on Jan. 27 when Apple holds one of their world-famous press conferences to announce new gadgets. The tablet Mac is almost a certainty, and it’s about time.
The rumors surrounding an Apple tablet running some form of Mac OS have been around since shortly after the iPhone was released. There have been many a press conference where geeks held their breath hoping for that “one more thing” to be announced at the end, only to have their hopes and dreams shattered when the only noteworthy product release was slightly redesigned iPods. The speculation is immense: some bloggers are saying it’s going to have a new version of iPhone OS on it, essentially making it a huge iPod Touch, or, as a source close to Apple put it, an “iPhone on steroids.” Others are claiming it will run a full-fledged version of Snow Leopard, like a normal Mac computer with new touch controls. Nobody really knows anything for sure.
The real question that the idea of an Apple tablet brings up is the who factor. Who is Apple going to cater this device to? If the market they’re looking for is the e-reader market, and they’re trying to go toe-to-toe with devices like the Kindle, a modified iPhone OS would work great. But the price would have to be low for any legitimate competition, and that’s something we all know Apple isn’t very good at. If it’s aimed at creative professionals like artists, photographers and filmmakers, it would almost have to run a full copy of OSX. I’d like to see them try to market a device to professional artists without Illustrator and Photoshop or to filmmakers without Final Cut. It just wouldn’t work.
As it stands right now, it seems like Apple isn’t really doing anything groundbreaking here, but rather doing what they’ve done in the past: taken emerging tech and made it easy to use for the masses. They did it with smartphones and the iPhone, with MP3 players and the iPod, and with old-school command-line computers and the Mac. There are plenty of tablet PCs out running Windows right now, but none of them are impressive, none of them do anything too exciting out of the touch or pen input that people are buying them for. For Apple to be successful here, they have to provide something new and exciting to get everyone’s attention, as well as the ability for the kind of people who usually buy tablet PCs to do what they’ve been doing for years on the friendlier Mac OS.
Since this device has been kept under wraps so well, the only thing that exists is rumors and guessing. There are rumors that magazine publisher Conde Nast is making tablet-formatted versions of its magazines for use on the tablet, which would point to a more iPod or iPhone like gadget with an emphasis on content consumption. There are also rumors that it will cost around $1000, which seems like a bit much to pay for a device aimed at reading magazines and e-books. Again, nobody really knows anything.
This tablet announcement is perhaps the most significant Apple announcement since the iPhone. We pretty much knew almost everything about the iPhone before it came out (including the completely obvious name), because a smartphone is a little bit easier of a thing to pin down. The idea of a “tablet” Mac could mean a whole load of things, and really the only thing to do is wait patiently until the 27th. Plenty of blogs will be posting up-to-the-minute reports of the announcement, and I know I’ll be glued to my screen for the duration.