Friday, April 02, 2010

Case For and Against Buying the iPad on Launch Date

The clock is ticking down as I type this post. It's less than 24 hours to iPad's launch. The who's-who from Good Morning America to David Letterman have been recruited to the Apple's hype machinery in the last hours, and yes the hype is rebuilding since the product announcement back in January 2010.

But Apple has also given everyone 60 days and a few videos to consider over buying this "magical" device. I will stroll down to the Apple Store regardless of my decision to purchase or not, but let's first take a very brief look at cases for and against buying one at launch date.

Cases for buying one

  1. Back in August 2008 I said that a paperback size tablet with all the iPod Touch functions plus a ebook reader and a simple office suite would be enough. And yes, being able to use the iWorks suite on the iPad is a huge drawing factor for me.

  2. Just like the iPhone, this gadget does not need to be powered down. When I need to do something on it, the screen comes up instantly. When I am done it goes to standby mode right away and save power.

  3. Everytime I dock it to the computer, iTunes performs a full system backup. There is no fear of losing data, and no need to device a method to do backup as in the case of using, say, a netbook.

  4. I have long believed that direct object manipulation, a.k.a. touch technologies, will supersede less direct object manipulation methods, like using a mouse. The time has come with the introduction of iPad.

Cases against buying one

  1. I am thinking of a valuable use case on the iPad, something I do when being production, and it sounds like this: I am going through tons of research papers (usually in PDF format) and save relevant ones in a bucket. I will most likely jump back and forth between note taking and paper searching. This means allowing multiple apps to run at the same time, something Apple has yet to implement fully.

  2. No Flash. I don't care about the war against Flash by Apple, but the fact remains that many sites still use Flash. So unless Apple's campaign can be so successful that Flash will die on the Internet, or it finally allows Flash to run, I am bound to run into websites that do not load because of Flash. That is very annoying.

The above are but a few major factors that affect my buying decision, but I have made up my mind: NO.

That said, any attempt to make a definitive judgment is way too premature. The iPad will not be out till tomorrow 9am anyway. It will be interesting to see how the use cases of iPad expand as more and more great apps show up in the App Store and take full advantage of the big color touch screen. Perhaps it will be compelling enough for me to get one even before iPad 2.0 comes out, which I believe will finally do full multitasking. I only hope that the day will come sooner.