Like a number of people, I was following the announcement of Apple’s new tablet today, the iPad. The hype it was generating was crazy. I’ve been excited about its release for awhile. Now that it’s out there? I’m not so sure.

When I think about the ninety minute iPad presentation, my initial thoughts are the cons with the iPad and the presentation.

  • AT&T exclusive
  • no built-in camera
  • Steve Job’s/Apple’s hubris
  • Email/iWork

I had been looking forward to the release of the iPad, but I also hoped there’d be an announcement about the iPhone no longer being exclusive with AT&T here in America. Wrong. Perhaps Verizon realized it wasn’t going to happen and that’s why they started their recent 3G campaign which has targeted AT&T. Who knows. Unless AT&T is giving Apple a big chunk of money with all these contracts, I think Apple is going to regret being exclusive with AT&T. AT&T’s service is nowhere near as good as Verizon’s. For a company like Apple that likes to talk about having the best product, they don’t when they partner exclusively with AT&T.

I’m surprised there is no camera with the iPad. Being able to be mobile and functional is key with Apple, so why isn’t there a camera for video conferencing, chat, social media and more? I’d have to guess there will be a camera in at some point. They’ll slowly roll out the upgrades so people will keep buying the latest version of the iPad.

Perhaps it was the feed I was watching from, but I didn’t understand why Steve was making such a big deal about how this is the best way to do email. Was anyone really pining for a new way to do email? Email is dying. The way Steve kept referencing to the iPad being the best way to do email had me thinking he’s showing his age a bit. And iWork? Really? I use Keynote, but I’m surprised iWork was used as a reason to purchase the iPad. If you want to talk about office productivity, talk about mobility and have a video camera installed on the iPad. (Because we already know the email is “the best”.)

I know Steve is trying to sell the iPad, but it would be interesting to count how many times the iPad was referred to as the best way to do something now. The hyperbole was overkill, especially when it came to talking about iWork. It was off-putting by the end of the event.

I liked how Steve said Apple always tries to be at the intersection of technology and liberal arts, and I think their recent history proves that. Still, the quote about the iPad being “our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelieveable price” is not true. Why?

  • Steve referred to the Kindle as having done pioneering work with being a reader.
  • AT&T has shown to not be advanced, or competent, with phone/data service.
  • As many people have summed up the iPad, it’s a glorified iPod touch.

Now, will I still get one? Probably, but not right away. (When the iPad is available in stores, I’ll gladly check it out at the Apple Store.) This is surprising, considering what I said recently about the iPad.  I don’t want to buy one, and then around Christmas watch as Apple releases a new iPad that has a built-in camera.

As someone who has traveled a lot, the iPad is appealing. Before, I’d have my laptop, multiple books, iPod and more in my backpack. The iPad reduces that clutter down immensely, and makes traveling much easier. And, the battery life on an iPad is nice for flights to China.

The mobility of watching tv shows and movies anywhere is great, and I don’t understand why Steve didn’t hammer this home more. (Perhaps he did, and it didn’t come across in the feed I was following.) Especially when you have a ten hour battery (allegedly). Steve has said in the past that Apple was going to deal with Blu-Ray, partly because everything is going to be digital. I just don’t understand why he made such a big deal about email and iWork when he could have talked about watching Lost (for example) on a decent sized screen anywhere. I like that a whole lot more than improvements with Pages.

I do think the concept of the iPad is the future for people. Students will have all their school books on it. People will store all their media on it. It is the future, but the iPad I want is still in the future. For now, I can keep my laptop and still enjoy watching shows and reading articles online.

The question I also ask myself is if Apple is not going to open up iPhone to any other carriers, do I make the plunge by buying a Verizon smartphone? I had been holding out, hoping that Apple would finally drop their exclusive contract with AT&T. I guess owning an iPhone is on hold a bit longer.

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