The iPad hasn’t even shipped its first unit yet to consumers, and already I’m really beginning to think the best thing to do is wait a year for the second iteration of the device.
I fully admit I was caught up in the iPad frenzy the day it was announced, and I was ready to plunk down my hard earned money the day it came out, but by the morning after I was pretty sure I was going to wait a year. There is a list as long as my arm of reasons why you should wait, but I’ll just hit on three of the biggest.
The Camera Situation
The evidence is mounting with each passing moment that a camera is going to be included some day down the road. While this isn’t a huge deal breaker to me, it is for some people, and I can easily see why.
The day of the iPad event, Apple released a new SDK (software development kit) for people wanting to get to work on the iPad. As people have been digging around in it, it has been confirmed that there are references to video calls in the forthcoming update to the iPhone OS. Since the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad all lack forward facing cameras, why would this be included? True, we will probably see an iPhone update this summer, but then it should only be six months or so after that that we see an iPad update.
The SDK also revealed that VoIP calls are being enabled over 3G networks. Video conferencing from anywhere you please, anyone?
It isn’t rock solid evidence, but it is definitely something to ponder.
SMS Text Messaging
This actually may show up prior to the second generation of the iPad, but the SDK also has some indications in it that support for this feature is forthcoming. This was one of the things I listed as being missing from the iPad, and it only makes sense to include it at some point. Text messaging can easily be handled over data connections such as Wi-Fi, and it certainly can be handled by a 3G connection. Why this hasn’t been shown from the moment the device was introduced is a mystery, but it certainly sounds like it’s coming down the line at some point.
This may be the most compelling argument for waiting for the iPad 2.
When the iPhone was first introduced, everyone was amazed by the lack of 3G support, but yet people bought it in droves. One year later, the iPhone 3G was introduced, and due to the way cellular contracts work, none of those first generation buyers were eligible for a subsidized upgrade, yet most of them purchased one any way.
The first generation iPod Touch was nice, but it lacked an external speaker or physical volume controls, two features that everyone had been expecting. Sure enough, they showed up on the second generation.
Sure it’s always easy to say, “Of course the second generation device has more features!”, but Apple’s own history shows us that second generation devices don’t have just more features, but the features that really should have been standard on the first generation. It’s almost as if first generation Apple products are almost like some sort of weird Beta version made for testing that the company just decides to unleash on the public, and the real version comes out a year later.
How Sure Are You About It Being A Year?
Fairly sure. Again, historical data points to that, so don’t be too surprised when next January Steve Jobs hits the stage again with a new version, and that’s when I plan to buy.