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by E W

Let it be said, this author was wrong - very wrong. In fact, he could not possibly have been more wrong. I did not see the ipad for what it was. I expected that it would be Apple's first hiccup in a while. It is too big to be taken everywhere like an iphone. It is not much lighter or less expensive than newer, and much more powerful, laptop computers. Yet, ipads have been selling like hotcakes with no end in sight. I obviously underestimated the appeal of a Kindle+ market. Steve Jobs proved - once again - that he is significantly smarter than me.Speaking of the Kindle, its popularity should have served as a hint to me that this market was ready to burst. The Kindle has been a hugely popular online reader for Amazon, but it is limited in what it can do - i.e. basically strictly a reader. What if you could have that same reader, but with a better display and the ability to incorporate all forms of media - video, music, web browsing, social applications, etc? Would an audience be willing to pay roughly twice the price for tenfold the features? Obviously the answer is a resounding yes. Apple caught on to it first, but others are coming on fast.

The ipad is more than a product; it is the start of a revolution. Apple's success has not been lost on its competition. Every major player in the computer market is rolling out plans to offer their own tablet computing system - with some debuting sooner than others. Hewlett Packard, Dell, Asus, Compal, Notion, MSI, et al have all announced their plans to enter the market. Apple's ipad will not be bowing to the competition any time soon, but they did leave some holes in the market. From a hardcore computing standpoint, the ipad is lacking a bit. It is definitely geared more towards media and the casual user. For the techie and/or developer, they will be looking to something that offers capabilities more in line with a standard hard dive. Also, just like the existence of a fiercely loyal Mac community, there exists a staunchly anti-Mac OS market. People tend to forget that, despite what Justin Long tells you in the Mac commercials, the majority of the world is still PC/Windows based. For those people that have yet to get an ipad, the HP/Dell/Other options would likely be viewed as a more natural transition. Regardless of maker, the revolution is upon us.

One thing still left to be determined with the ipad and other tablets is what to do if things go awry. Every single thing with a computer chip experiences problems sooner or later. New media devices do not always offer a guide for best practices to handle random issues. How will these machines react to potential computer viruses? Can a data recovery problem extract the user's sensitive files if required? How easy is it to add and withdraw different components of the device? Surely these questions will be answered in the near future. But for newer users, they are likely to serve as the guinea pigs for the masses.
About the Author

- EW
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