Having followed the Apple iPad since the Cali based tech company first released word they were working on something fresh, here are my thoughts as they stand today.
This is my personal site, so naturally personal bias and opinions are sure to jump in between facts and relevant concerns. It should be known that I currently use an iTouch. This is the only product I currently use from Apple other than iTunes. It is my second iPod and I cannot be happier with this version, and to tell you the truth, my older iPod Video 30 gig is still going strong.
I bring a balanced perspective to any discussion about technology. Over the years, I have embraced many product manufactures. I’m not one of those die hard Apple aficionados that will pay through the roof for the latest and greatest, generally glitch prone new Apple product.
If you somehow missed the Apple iPad release video with Steve Jobs, please go here and watch, http://www.apple.com/ipad/. Also, if you would like to read one of my older post about the iPad, to help get the historical perspective before the official release, you can just click here.
Many have asked why one would purchase an iPad. This naturally makes sense. If you currently own a laptop and an iPhone or Blackberry/Driod, many of the features you would use the iPad for are being met. Interestingly enough, Steve Jobs launched into his presentation video for the iPad saying that a tablet like device, in order to succeed, would have to do a better job of meeting our digital needs. In other words, the Apple iPad experience surfing the internet, watching movies, viewing pictures and playing applications would be superier to the current MacBooks and iPhone. A tall order if you ask me. The iPhone and MacBooks are hard to beat.
Now lets get to the meat of my thoughts. The iPad is thin, sexy and packed with horsepower. It runs the Apple iPhone OS, runs all 140,000+ iTunes applications with improved performance and screen size. Is this perfect? Personally, my though is that they could of went with the Mac OS if it was possible. I think having the ability to run multiple applications in real time is a benefit the iPad can’t compete with. In addition, not every application will transfer trouble free. Though we are told by the release date most every popular application should run flawless on the iPad.
The battery is powerful and can keep the iPad going for as long as 10 hours. I would most likely give it maximum of 6 to 8 hours playing movies though. This is one area most any laptop gets decimated. And lets not forget the battery is powering a crystal clear 10 inch touch screen. And from what I’ve read, Apple spared no expense in this area. In addition, the touch screen is one area Apple is banking on. They have stated surfing the internet with a full touch screen enhances the experience factor. I would agree. I have enjoyed surfing the internet on my iTouch, and it has a tiny screen compared to the iPad.
Then there is the ability to just lounge around with the thing.This could be one of the best perks, or one of the larger negatives. How do I mean? Basically, picture watching a movie and having to hold the iPad for hours on end. Of course you can place it down on something, but it’s flat and finding that perfect viewing angle is a challenge. However, compare this to a hot 8 pound laptop and the choice is clear. I feel the benefits of having the portability and size outweighs the negatives.
What is the iPad missing? For one, it needs a camera that can do video. I want to have the ability to Skype my girlfriend with the iPad. In addition, no usb, no camera, no multitasking, no video out, ugly bezel, no protective cover and a touch keyboard. Sounds like a lot of negatives, but truth is it all comes down to price. How much will people pay for a device like this? I should add that you can add much of these functions to the iPad, but they cost extra.
For example: apple-ipad-accessory-prices-accessories-cos
iPad Camera Connection Kit, Apple iPad Accessories Cost
Recently, Business week wrote an article, iPad Component Costs Leave Room for Price Cuts. Essentially, Apple may pay as little as $219.35 for the new tablet’s parts. We have been told the release price is set at $499. In my opinion, that is a reasonable price for a device like this. With the iPod Touch 3G at $349 currently, buck 50 more gets you the standard no frills iPad. This base model only comes with a meager 16 gigs of memory. However, if Apple can lower the costs, and it seems like they have some room to, it will catch on like a brush fire.
The most profitable of the six iPads is the 32-gigabyte version with 3G network access. Its combined materials and manufacturing cost of $287.15 amount to 39.4% of the retail price. The retail price for this model is set right now at $729. The least profitable is the 16-gigabyte non-3G version, which sells for $499. The most expensive model currently offered comes in at $829, features 64 gigs of memory and 3G coverage. (this does not include the cost per-month of the service)
Here is my prediction for how the price could work. Apple releases the Apple iPad with the $499-$829 base-max model price point unchanged. The users who want in and Apple die hards purchase this model and the more pricey ones. They deal with the glitches and issues that arise and come November 2010 the price point will drop to $399-729.
I expect many professions to purchase this right out the gate. Imagine the edge it gives when presenting a presentation on an iPad with a customer one on one. The cool factor of the thing should be enough alone to get his or her attention.
I also see Apple’s stock staying consistent for about the next few months. Then, this time next year, see a nice $15-30 point jump from the additional market share and revenue generated from the iPad. Once this thing starts showing up on the average middle class kitchen counter and in class rooms, it will become a necessary peace of hardware and Apple, because they were first and looks to have done it right, wins. As will the stockholders.
Of course I could be wrong and the iPad is released with countless glitches. It takes longer than expected to catch on as people (and investors) don’t see the need for the device. Then all it takes is a competitor coming in and taking market share away. But, I just do not see a competitor who could possibly rival the iTunes application store. So, with that and the rest of my thoughts, I continue to recommend a 4 star buy for Apple and a enthusiastic review for the iPad. Although with the looming bear market I would wait and see if Apple can be purchased below $190. But if you are going long, purchasing the stock today would not be a terrible idea.
New technology is exciting. I hope you enjoyed this post and found something of value within it.