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Rotten Apple?

I deal with securtiy and encryption so this is totally off topic for me but I can’t help but comment on this.

I was fascinated to see the BBC website providing so much free advertising to Apple and their new iPad. I can’t understand the hype around this product, it is meant to be a device to open up a whole new market segment. I am sorry, a new market segment? Don’t they mean an old, stale market segment that has never taken off and will probably not but one Apple can exploit because their target audience is people who put brand over function and will buy shiny Apple products no matter what they are?

When I first saw the iPad my first impression was it is a big iPhone. Sometimes in the weekend papers you get a catalogue and one of the items of tat for sale is typically a mobile phone aimed at the older consumer, you know the type, it has a simple display and BIG chunky buttons. That is what the iPad looked like to me, an iPhone for the elderly.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like some of the products that Apple produces, I own some of them, I just don’t think Apple deserves the hype they get each time they launch something, especially something as lame as this.

Let’s cut through the Apple veneer and look at the reality of tablet computing. They are difficult to use unless you like clipboards because you need one arm to cradle the device so it is one handed typing if you use it whilst you are out and about. The iPad is touch screen only so no handwriting unlike other tablet devices that support a stylus. From the tech specs and reviews it appears not to be able to multitask, it is more linear so you need to exit one then launch the next application each time you switch between them. They are cagy about the internal spec, speeds and memory due to them saying it is proprietary and cannot be compared like for like but I don’t buy this argument, I think what are they ashamed of?

Personally, I would look at the new HP Tablet IF I were considering one handed awkward computing, but then personally I would not look at tablets full stop. Instead I think the best route, if you want a device without optical media, is to go down the Netbook route. At least you get multitasking, the ability to connect external devices and the option to install different applications that are not all channelled through an expensive online portal that holds you and the device to ransom.

I don’t want to comment further, suffice to say that Apple are genius at appealing to a narrow sector of society and always will be. On this basis my gut feel is that this device will fill a gap in the market, not a technological gap but an emotional gap in the lives of people who are Apple fans who just have to have one, then ask what does it do.

My prediction is we will see a lot of iPads on eBay in about 3 months after people get exasperated with tablet computing. It is not new, it has never really worked and it never will for the mass market, they are hard to use and the novelty wears off really quickly.

Judging by the technical reviews (not the gushy non-techie journos who are infatuated with Apple) and how I predict users will typically feel after the initial shiny shiny new gadget feeling has worn off and they have get to grips with using it regularly I think it will be dubbed the iSlate!

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from IT Security & Encryption authored by Duncan McDonald. Read the original post at: http://abcnetworking.blogspot.com/2010/01/rotten-apple.html

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