The iPad – how disappointing

Yesterday was Apple iPad day – and what a let down it was.  After all the hype it turned out to be just a big iTouch.

What Apple (usually) does really well is take something that already exist and make it sexy and so much easier to use.   It turned MP3 players into iPods.  It turned phones / PDAs into iPhones.  So there was me waiting for it to turn the laptop / netbook into … what?  Well basically something that solved all the usability problems of having a screen that is separated from a keyboard and doesn’t give me an inutitive data entry tool (i.e a pen) and requires bolt-on connectivity – so that I have one device that allows me to do all the things the connected citizen needs to do – i.e. produce stuff, consume stuff and share stuff.

The iPad is basically just a jumped-up media consumption tool.

Why is it that no-one – a tech company like Apple or a service company like Google – seems to have gotten their heads around that fact that media has changed?  We therefore have a bunch of tools and services out there that allow us to either consume stuff, OR share stuff, OR produce stuff – but nothing that allows us to do all three – the Mythical One Place and the Mythical One Device.

I know why the Mythical One Place (essentially the Social Media App) doesn’t exist – that’s because Google and especially Facebook don’t really want it to exist.  If you could Do Facebook without going to Facebook, that would force the realisation that Facebook is a service or infrastructure, not a media property.  And its valuation and current revenue model is based on it being a media property.  But it’s not so hard in the device space – which is why I was hopeful that Apple might have really introduced something new.  And they haven’t.

Update: it appears as though Hitler agrees with me (couldn’t have really put it better myself Adolf)


  1. Norby

    Interesting point of view. It appears to me as huge iPhone, too. However, I’m not disappointed. It’s only a first step in the market. Hopefully ideas like yours will be considered in the next Generation.

  2. mitnik

    i think you are way off the mark here, what is innovative here is the price, for a bit more than an ipod you can get a near 10″ multi-touch screen that runs your main apps and lets you see everything really clearly and easily, rather than squinting at a crappy little screen. it is not intended to be an alternative to your macbook pro, but to compliment it.

    re: your ‘mythical place’, you are quite wrong here, google is doing everything it can to create this (social networks api, waves, etc) it is up to everyone else now to decide whether they want to join google there, or if they would refer to do their own thing. meanwhile facebook is doing everything it can to make itself the one central point (introduction of web searching, music, etc , as well as the extension of their api to allow more interaction between external websites and fb functionality).

    • richardstacy

      But the world wasn’t waiting for a big iTouch/Pod, with a nice screen and all the rest. The world was waiting for Apple to kill the netbook.

      Google is doing a lot – but is still playing in separate silos. Wave is probably closest but still basically sits in the sharing silo. And Facebook – Facebook is just trying to eat everything that is out there and regurgitate it for us, rather than helping us to eat.

  3. Pedja

    You’re so right. A “multimedia device” with no USB, SD, camera?
    A mobile computer without UMTS and GPS?
    And then all those DRM-restrictions for bought media contents…

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