Apple's iPad

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Apple's iPad

So at long last, the Apple iPad has been announced and demo’d, and you can find a photostream of the presentation at Engadet. Is it a game changer? Or did Jobs—as Michael Grant writes below—punt the reader? I disagree, but then, that’s my nature—contrarian. Especially where Grant is concerned.

iPad

The iPad will probably kill the Kindle, but I don’t think it really laid a glove on Amazon. The book reader interface is a steal from some other guy and not in any way revolutionary.

And judging by the pricing used on their mock-up, Apple has fallen into a trap with the legacy publishers. Also, there’s no enhancing capability.

And since the iPad takes all iPhone apps it means Amazon can sell Kindle books to the iPad as of day one.

Kind of looks like Steve Jobs punted on e-books, at least in terms of retailing and publishing.

But what do you all think?

iPad
  1. At first glance on the Apple site, it does indeed seem like they overleaped The Reader. They are clearly not marketing the iPad as a reader. In the description it highlights web, email, photos, and video, and mentions nothing about reading. There is a picture of The New York Times displayed on the screen but that’s as far as it goes. The bottom line is that the iPad looks sleek, saavy, and, compared to the Kindle and Nook, much more versatile. I’ll get it, eventually.

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  2. You know it’s bad when you find yourself dreaming about being at the unveiling only to wake up and realize it hadn’t even happened yet. :S

    I want to get one of these, not so much for e-reading, but to be able to mark up my manuscript by hand on the screen. I’m very happy that the cost is half what I had thought it would be. 🙂

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  3. I wonder how many people will actually be able to read books on this thing with all the other distractions that the ipad will bring. The book being read will be in a constant battle for time with Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

    As long as the person purchases the book in the first place, maybe that doesn’t matter. But, it will matter if they aren’t consuming them fast enough to purchase more books.

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  4. I remember when I had to buy i-pads for my wife once at the grocery store… I still blush when I think about it.

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  5. That’s a good point, Scott. Books, even on the Kindle with its single function, are quickly becoming a way to unplug from the rest of the world (at least from me). I enjoy holding a book and knowing that pop-ups, texts, or Facebook notifications won’t interrupt the experience.

    If the reading is linked with a device that’s also tied to the other online distractions, the intimacy and concentration of the reading will likely suffer. Reading could potentially become something you do in short, unfocused bursts, like so much of our world.

    But hey, I still want one and am excited for what the future holds.

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  6. I must say I agree with Munk’s subtle and humorous comment. What a horrible, horrible name. Although this does come from the company who just puts ‘i’ in front of nouns (and the occasional verb) so the next option would’ve been Ireader. Just a vowel away from what it really is.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge mac fan with my macbook, ipod and iphone. I think the display is nice and it is more versatile than what’s currently on the market. But in my unprofessional opinion the people who will buy the Ipad (shudder) already have smart phones so there’s no need for a lot of the browsing programs the Ipad includes. I think they where on the right path with being able to edit documents with it but missed a large niche of people who would use it as a way to look and write documents (contracts, etc) and books in a more convenient way. I know several of my friends would love a way to not carry around boxes of court files and I’m still looking for a handheld word program.

    What I really want from an e-reader is something the size of a book. Gasp! Imagine! Everything popular and inexpensive right now I can’t shove in my purse like I can with a most paperbacks and would feel uncomfortable carrying it under my arm on the subway.

    Honestly, I may not be hip with the times (at 22) but you’ll have to pry books from my cold dead slightly sarcastic hands.

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  7. It looked kind of ridiculous to me. Like a novelty iPhone. And we’re a Mac household where 4 people have 4 iPhones and 4 laptops, not to mention an Air and an iMac.

    Amazon is offering 70% royalties on ebooks — to any rights-holder. So I can publish with Amazon, massively undercut the legacy publisher’s prices at iTunes, and still put my books on the iPad and iPhone via the Kindle App.

    No way the legacy publishers can keep ebook prices above 9.99, and below 9.99 they’re scraping pretty hard to find any profit. Especially because the Amazon opening means writers have an alternative venue.

    The smarter move would have been to move as fast as possible to enhanced books, but I imagine the legacy publishers killed that idea as they cling to their Betamax business model.

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  8. I’m imagining men with flowing beards and long robes muttering curses when the transition from stone tablets to scrolls took place.

    I think people forget that what you are really purchasing with books is content. Format is preference. Would I pay full HC price for e-format? Absolutely, because I understand what I truly value, but I love electronic convenience. I hate USPS. I hate waiting for shipping. I’ve loaned books to people who destroyed them rather than returning them in treasured condition, if they bothered returning them to me at all, so the sharing argument is ridiculous to me.

    Will I buy an iPad? Yes. Why? Because I’m a gadget whore and I love my iPods and iPhone and my son practically has to lock up his Macbook to keep me from pilfering it while he’s sleeping. I still have a Kindle 2, still use it regularly, though I have issues with the bugs – particularly when real life intrudes and the device sleeps a little too long. The fact that I can use the Kindle app on the iPad is a bonus. If I weren’t old and blind, I wouldn’t have bought the Kindle 2, and simply contented myself to read on the Kindle app for the iPhone.

    The real selling point for me was mentioned some blog entries back. Apple simply has fantastic customer service. Amazon with the Kindle – well, they lower the bar on customer service a tad in my experience.

    Dubious naming aside, you have to admit that “iPad” certainly was a name that garnered attention. That’s a marketing coup in itself.

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  9. This is one iPad that will be pulled outta my purse more than once a month. And yes, that truly was my first thought when I got my CNN breaking news text on my iPhone.

    The name blows, but the product looks way cool.

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  10. I am very underwhelmed by the iPad. It’s an iPod Touch XXL. Jobs claims it’s a bridge between smart phones and laptops, yet it has little to no laptop functionality. Why can’t I view flash? Where is the camera? What’s with the over-simplified desktop? It’s just an e-reader on steroids.

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  11. Lots of of bloggers are not too happy with this new iPad.There was too much hype about it and alot people got disapointed.Thing is, I for one see great deal of the awesome potential uses of the device. Third-party apps for doing tunes, games, newspapers and magazine and books, tons of good stuff, but IMHO they just didn’t really sell it properly (aside from the books). It smells sort of undercooked

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  12. The name iPad is consistent with the science fiction heritage of the device (e.g. the PADD from Star Trek http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/PADD).

    Combine that with Apple already having a wildly successful product called the “iPod,” I think “iPad” is the natural choice for a name.

    And yes, I want one. For books.

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