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The iPad Is For The Masses, Get Over It

by Sean P. Aune | January 29, 2010January 29, 2010 9:54 am PDT

Since the moment Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, started showing off the iPad yesterday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco, blogging pundits have been decrying how it is a giant pile of failure.  What I find more of a failure is that bloggers seem to be forgetting this was built for the masses, and not us.

If you’re reading this post, I can pretty much promise you the iPad was not built for you.  While Apple appreciates all of the people willing to plunk down money for its products, its biggest concern is people like Jon Q. Public.  Would the company have sold a cumulative 250 million iPods if all they cared about was us?  No, they wouldn’t have.

ipad350I was guilty of writing a similar post yesterday about what was missing from the iPad, and while I tried to concentrate on features that were missing, some of the criticisms I’m seeing around the blogosphere just seem to be trying to find every possible reason they can to complain about the iPad.  Lets take a look at some of the most prevalent ones.

Bevel

Apparently some are offended by the aesthetics of the bevel, or the black border around the glass screen.  Well, where would you propose people put their thumbs while browsing on the device?  Some have sais they see a point to it, just not so much of it.

Really?  We’re going to start picking on centimeters of width?  As someone with huge hands, I can totally see the current width being just about right.  I can also see Apple trying to plan ahead for different places where you might use this, say on the couch, laying on your back with it propped against your legs, at that angle you are going to need a lot of bevel.

It really is not that big of a deal.

Camera

Do you remember how everyone went nuts when the iPhone came out and it didn’t have 3G?  People bought it in droves any way, they continued to complain about it for a year, and then Apple introduced the iPhone 3G.  Some people who bought the first one bought a second one at full price because they were not yet eligible for an upgrade.

Some folks did the same thing with the iPod Touch because the first version lacked an external speaker, but the second iteration added it.

Are you seeing a trend here?

Bobby Womack, a singer/songwriter, once famously said, “Leave them wanting more and you know they’ll call you back.”  Steve Jobs has taken this theory to heart.  Yes, a forward facing camera would have been nice, and with the news that VoIP calls can now be placed over 3G via apps, the desire for video conferencing will just grow and grow … why, it might just be at a fever pitch by the time the second or third iPad comes out.  What a coincidence.
ipadcasefolded

Closed Ecosystem

“You can only install apps from the Apple App Store.  What were they thinking?!?  This thing should be open to installing anything you want!”

Hello, I would like to introduce you to Steve Jobs and a little company he runs named Apple.  Perhaps you’ve never heard of them?  Did you not see the giant Apple logo on this device?  Of course it’s a closed ecosystem.  And you know what?  It won’t curtail one purchase of the iPad.  Apple sold 8.7 million iPhones last quarter using a closed ecosystem.  They sold 21 million iPods last quarter, bringing total sales of the music devices to over 250 million units, using a closed ecosystem.  The masses do not care that we don’t like the idea of a closed ecosystem, they want the sexy new device.

Did everyone think Steve Jobs woke up suddenly one morning, and went “You know what, that closed ecosystem is just not working for us with the iPhone and iPod Touch … we better open it up for the iPad.”

I honestly can’t believe anyone actually thought for a moment this would change with a new device.

The iPad Name

Okay, I got nothing for you on that one.  It’s horrible.

Nothing Can Stop The Apple Train

I am not an Apple Fanboy.  I don’t own any Macs, nor an iPhone, but I do have multiple iPods (darn my music addiction), and I think back to how people have pointed out the flaws of the iPod player line over the years: Poor audio, no support for FLAC format and so on.  Have those complaints stopped Apple from selling over 250 million of them?  No, it hasn’t.

While I don’t think the iPad will ever approach that number, it will still probably be one of the most gifted items come the 2010 holiday shopping season.  Some analysts are predicting Apple will move as many as five million of them this year, and I can just about guarantee you that the majority of them will go to people who, even if they do visit tech blogs, will still think, “I want this.”

Of course we should still publish our thoughts on products that we question their sensibility, but perhaps we should look a bit less desperate in our vitriol then complaining about the size of a bevel?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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