I’ve not known Tim Challies to be one given to hyperbole, so I was struck by the title of his recent review of the iPad: “iPad: The Greatest Disappointment in Human History.” He explains:
“Apple has high standards when it comes to devices like this one and I, for one, was prepared to be amazed. Alas, I was disappointed. iDisappointed, even. I’m ready to declare that the iPad is the greatest disappointment in all of human history (at least since The Phantom Menace). . .
“But it could do a whole lot of things a whole lot better if only Apple had not deliberately handicapped the device. They did two things that annoy me to no end and make me declare it a massive disappointment. First, they held back features so they could play the hero when they add them later on. And second, they deliberately left out features, handicapping the device, so you would have to continue to buy their other hardware.”
I agree with Challies on this one. This device looks to be totally superfluous. Read the rest here.
P.S. And since you asked, Tim, I think it’s the biggest disappointment since the finale of Seinfeld.
Apple is simply testing their market’s allegiance by selling a product that has no productivity benefit whatsoever. It is actually pretty brilliant even if the product itself lacks the shock and awe of the iPhone.
What is Tim talking about, this is the greatest invention since man started walking on this planet! NOT! I’ll just stick with my humble iPod Touch.
I read Tim’s post but didn’t bother to comment over there. I felt like I’d need to go point-by-point through what he said. A few things were valid, but most were just not serious complaints for a device they were trying to keep at $499.
They could have added more features and the cost would have been closer to a Macbook. I think the device is exceptional for what its designed to do, and I was anticipating not liking the thing when it was released.
Micah the pilot
I’ve never read Challies and his review is interesting, probably the best negative review I’ve read so far. Mostly, negative reviews are simply “why no flash?” and “why no multitasking?” except that they look like they’ve been written by 14-year-olds via txt on an analog device. But Challies offers some interesting thoughts.
Most fundamental when thinking about the iPad is to realize that this is a third device, meaning simply that it neither replaces nor competes with (smart)phones or computers. It may compete with netbooks, eReaders, and devices like those but this platform is much more flexible than either of those and appears to provide much more promise.
As a third device, if the iPad will survive it will survive by creating a new market, not replacing an existing device. More specifically, it will replace analog or paper devices a digital alternative. The walkman transitioned to the iPod and the rolodex/dayplanner transitioned to the PDA then smartphone.
The iPad may fail historically, but not because is misses expectations but only if it misses imagination. Challies’ review is by far not the worst of any I’ve read, but any review that is based upon expectation misses the point and is ultimately narrow, even if it is later true.
The best imaginative reviews I’ve read have been by the New York Times and Tyler Cowen. Cowen thinks this device may compete with the University (bold) and could see a device like this attached to every hospital bed.
Micah the pilot
An interesting view on the iPad target audience.