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The High Road Is Hard to Find
This week’s unveiling of the iPad brought along with it a lot of people apologizing for its faults out of sheer fondness for Apple. The iPad is a colossal misstep for a company that’s more calculated about its moves than a man sweeping a minefield. This is the company that brought us the iPhone just to bring us the completely underwhelming iPad three years later? Let’s boil this failure down to a few key points.
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Where Does it Fit?
The iPad (in addition to the widespread and instant derision it has received for having a name reminiscent of a feminine hygene product) currently exists in gadget purgatory. It is not functional enough to replace a netbook, or small enough to replace a smart phone. It is, as it stands, a confusingly useless device for the average consumer. If you have a PC/Mac/Laptop and a phone, why buy this mutant that underwhelms on both sides?
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I want to hammer this point home in this article. If you walk away with nothing else, just remember this. A cell phone or mobile PC that’s incapable of handling Adobe’s Flash standard in the year 2010 is nothing short of inexcusable. Sure, you can feed me a PR-ready line about HTML5 and Apple’s long-fought cases against Adobe for being a monopoly on the market, but the fact remains, the web breathes in Flash and if your new device doesn’t support it, you can’t quite claim that it allows you to “see the internet better than ever before”.
Also, I will disregard the lack of expandable memory, expandable RAM, multi-SIM card slots, USB slots, and even the fact that the native resolution is an odd one for a device of this size, as well as the lack of HDMI. But one thing that should also stand out to you is the lack of multitasking. The iPad can’t do what a Windows 95 PC or an Apple PC from the 90s could – which is run two programs simultaneously side-by-side. I may have become spoiled with Windows 7, but I’d like to think that my “laptop substitute” should be able to run more than one program at a time.
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Some Final Thoughts
Listen, I’m not here to rag on Apple. I love my iPhone (although I’d give it up in a heartbeat for a Zune HD phone with OLED and 720p video) and it suits my life perfectly, but the iPad is a useless invention that may one day become great if given the right kind of treatment. As it currently stands, it’s the perfect device for my generation (people in their 20s), a generation often referred to as a “generation of wants over needs”. Nobody needs an iPad, there isn’t even a good justification for why the product is on the market. But as long as my generation continues to swallow PR garbage and buy these products, this is what will continue to happen. 3 years after a revolutionary device comes out, companies will be content to sit on their laurels, waiting for your hard-earned cash to be dropped into their massive wallets as they churn out yet another iPad or another iteration of a device nobody needs.