I want an iPad. Yep, you read that right. I want an iPad. But…I don’t want the iPhone operating system on the iPad. I want webOS, Windows 7 or Android. Why? Because I don’t want anything to do with the iTunes ecosystem. The iPad hardware, however, is pretty damned hot. Don’t you think Windows 7 would look great running on that hardware? Of course, it won’t, for several reasons. The biggest reason is that the processor is entirely different and you can bet that Microsoft will NEVER port Windows to any other processor family now. The next biggest reason is Apple. They want tight, tight control over everything they do. Creating a new platform, from the ground up, and the hardware that runs that platform is one great way to maintain that tight control. They pretty much lost control with the Mac, which is why, going forward, you will see more and more emphasis on the portable platform like iPhone OS than you will Mac OS. They won’t exit the desktop scene anytime soon, but, I suspect, it is only a matter of time now. They probably have two or three more major updates to Mac OS X and then it’s going to be lights out. The Mac won’t go away, but it will sport a different OS. Just watch.
Anyway, an iPad device running Android or webOS would be very nice as well. webOS is very finger friendly, more than Android, I think, and would also be pretty hot on an iPad like device. So, we KNOW that Apple will make it very difficult to replace iPhone OS with anything else so you will be stuck with the device as Apple puts it out. I am guessing, too, that jail breaking it is going to be more difficult. So, if I can’t get one of those three operating systems on the device, do I still want it? Yes, yes I do. Not at the prices they announced, but I do. Even with the restrictions. Even though it is from Apple. Given all of that, I’d still want the device. It is the perfect form factor for casual computing. I love my 17 inch HP laptop, but, often times, it is overkill for what I am doing. Likewise, I love my Palm Pre and Zune. They are terrific little devices and do an adequate job for quick Internet lookups, a quick game or two and music/podcast listening. However, when I’m on my couch watching a NASCAR event or some other program that does not require constant attention, I’d like to sit back and browse the net, check out scores or results from other sports, catch up on the news, etc. That 17 inch laptop gets hot and is a bit bulky for that use. iPad is perfect for this.
Of course, there are other similar devices out or coming out. The problem is that most of them are more expensive. So far, the Joo Joo seems to come closer to the price point of the iPad, but…it requires an active Internet connection and lacks a cell radio. And, contrary to what I just said, there would be times I’d use such a device when there may not be an active Internet connection. This makes the Joo Joo a bit useless. The HP Slate, another sexy device, runs Windows 7 and looks great. It is also very expensive for what you get. So, back to iPad.
Whether or not Apple has a hit with iPad remains to be seen. I think it will do OK. I don’t see it selling in the same numbers as iPhone, but, then again, I didn’t think iPhone would survive. I wiped the egg off of my face a year ago. It has tremendous support now, but it has a large and vocal hate group as well. What surprises me are the people in each camp. Those I thought would poo-poo the device seem to love it. This camp is filled with people who, prior to the announcement, just could not figure out why one would want such a device. They could not dream of any use other the bathroom. Now, since Steve Jobs showed them the way, they believe. But only in the iPad. The other group, the haters, consist of many types, including some of the Apple faithful who were hoping it WAS a tablet. Now, for whatever reason, they don’t see a need for the device. They must not have drank the whole cup of Kool-Ade. I just don’t get it.
In the end, I will probably NOT buy an iPad. Price is the biggest reason. Such devices, to me, aren’t worth more than $300 and that is pushing it. I still WANT one, though. Maybe when Apple slashes $150 from the price to move more units. Or AT&T subsidizes the thing. Or…oh, who am I kidding. This is Apple I’m talking about. They think different. Or, am I just not cool enough?