The Apple iPad: The Morning After

Talking iPad with Charles Crowson on Today's THV This MorningSo, the iPad’s out. What do we think?

Looking at our wholly unscientific surveys from yesterday, the majority of respondents think that 1) Wednesday’s keynote, when compared to other Apple keynotes in the past, simply did not live up to the months and months of hype, 2) while the iPad might indeed prove to be a significant device, it’s certainly not game-changer on an iPod or iPhone level and 3) the iPad is not a device many of us think we need to buy immediately, as soon as it’s available.

In the above video, accessible via the screenshot, I share my first impressions of the device on “Today’s THV This Morning” with Charles Crowson. Basically, while I think iPad is another beautiful, cool, amazingly well designed piece of technology, I can’t imagine who the device is for. What is the market for the iPad?

Instant Appeal

The iPod and iPhone had instant appeal to an array of users for several reasons. Among them, they each fundamentally changed the way we consume certain media and conduct everyday tasks. (The iPod changed how we listen and buy music; the iPhone brought the full Web to our handsets and created a new software ecosystem with apps.)

The iPad, while well-designed and beautiful, does neither. All it does is build on existing technologies to deliver media in a not-entirely-new form factor. If you’ve got an iPhone or iPod Touch, you’ve seen these tricks before. And if you have a laptop, you can do all the things the iPad does — and more — on a more robust machine.

Apple iPad

Flat-out cool. But who's it for?

Why?

So why the iPad? Apple is trying to create a device optimized solely for consuming all types of media in a quieter, less distracting operating environment. This is part of the reason why there’s no camera on the iPad, nor can it run more than on application on the device’s souped-up iPhone OS. With the laptop, you work, you create media. With the iPhone,  you answer calls and e-mails, stay in touch and work on the go. The iPad is what you pick up when you get home and want to unwind.

The delineation is fine one. Many people simply won’t see it. And if they do, why plunk down at least $500 (or add to your money data bill if you invest in a 3G version) for what amounts to a mobile media device? I’m not sure Apple has made a compelling case for that.

But — is it Apple’s responsibility to make that case? I’m not entirely sure. Part of what could make the iPad a hit is what’s already made the iPhone and iPod Touch indispensible: the App Store.

*Some Innovation Required

In my mind, it’s going to be up to content providers, including newspapers and magazines, to create fully optimized, multimedia content that exploits every advantage the iPad brings to bear to make the platform work. As it stands, iPad already looks more attractive e-reader than the Kindle or the Nook. If publishers fully embrace the multimedia capabilities now at their fingerprints to create valuable interactive publications, the iPad could very become the media consumption device of choice of readers, college students, young video-gamers and more.

And while we see signs that the video game industry is excited by the new form factor their App Store games can know inhabit, newspapers and magazines’ reactions have so far seemed, well, boring. The New York Times app demoed at yesterday’s keynote was underwhelming at best, particularly compared with what NYTimes.com offers on the Web. Guess what publishers? You still need to innovate. Even on Steve Job’s magical device.

Without innovation from all content providers, the iPad — however beautiful, unique, cool, whatever — will become merely another niche device that only a few of us ever use, a far cry from the revolution it’s billed as.

More

Blake Rutherford on the iPad, technology and politics

Gizmodo – Why the iPad is the device you never you needed

David Carr – The game changed today

NY Times – Device blurs the lines

GalleyCat – Publishing experts weigh in on iPad

NY Times – Another data hog for AT&T?

LA Times – No revolution, but ‘great promise’

Wired – Where’s Verizon?

AdAge – The hard questions for publishers drooling over the iPad

The Wrap – What Apple got right and wrong with the iPad

BusinessWeek – Apple’s effects on content partners, the good and bad

LA Weekly – Should Hollywood be afraid of iPad?

TechCrunch – How iPad will put Kindle out of business

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Apple’s Tablet Computer: Will You Buy It? Rate It Here

Apple has unveiled it’s highly anticipated tablet computer, the iPad. We want to know what you think of it, via the surveys below. Plus: Have other impressions, opinions of the device? Share them in comments.

Rate the keynote:

Tell us what you think of the device:

Will you buy one?

Unveiled: The Apple iPad

The Apple iPad

The Apple iPad

And here it is. Share your reactions in comments.

Apple’s official iPad site

Gizmodo Live Blog

Engadget Live Blog

Before the Keynote: Last-minute News, Rumors; Also: How Will Twitter Hold Up Under the iPad Juggernaut?

Today’s highly anticipated Apple event has been buzzed about for months, and today’s the big day. The event gets underway at noon local time and is sure to be the most discussed, blogged, live-blogged and tweeted event since probably Election Night 2008. We’ve already been writing about it. And many wonder: Whose speech will everyone be talking about tomorrow? Barack Obama’s or Steve Jobs?

Looking to keep with the tablet news? You can check Gizmodo’s liveblog here, probably the best place for live updates and photos as the event unfolds. Engadget’s liveblog, also sure to be very good, will be available here. Both will start before the official event.

Apple January Event

Noon today

Gizmodo notes that it will also be providing updates to Facebook here and via Twitter here. Engadget will do the same.

Last minute rumors, reports? We got ’em:

Textbook maker McGraw-Hill confirms on CNBC that tablet is coming (video) – Engadget

Wall Street Journal reports Apple pricing for books on the tablet platform, $12.99 or $14.99 for hardcovers – Engadget

Apple tablet in the wild? Engadget thinks these images might be legit – Engadget

New iPhone OS could be coming Wednesday, according to edited Apple terms for app developers – Gizmodo

Will connect via Wifi and 3G, 10-inch screen – New York Times

Verizon and AT&T might carry the tablet – Fox News

Will the tablet be the newest item in Jack Bauer’s gadget bag? – Gizmodo

New version of iLife? iPhone 4? – Techtorial

Many more rumors – Gizmodo

You got predictions? Things you’d like to see in the new device? Let us know in comments.

Thar She Blows!

Meanwhile, we wonder, how will the Internets hold up during all this madness? Specifically, how long before Twitter goes all Fail Whale on us during the keynote?

We’ll take your bets below:

Get Ready for Apple’s iPad With A Look Back at Steve Jobs Keynotes of Yore


Above: The iPhone unveiled, 2007 (part 1). More Apple keynote videos after the jump below.

Well, it’s finally Tablet Week.

After months and months of hype and speculation and rumor and threat of lawsuits, it’s finally here. On Wednesday, Apple will announce its “latest creation,” most likely a touchscreen tablet computer (most likely called an iPad) along with possibly new details of the latest iPhone OS, maybe (but probably not) a new 4G iPhone and (most likely this year but probably not tomorrow) a new version of iTunes that puts your entire music library in the cloud.

It’s a tall order for Apple, whose fan base expects each big keynote to deliver more than the last. And considering Apple’s track record of innovation in the last 10 years or so, expectations are justifiably high.

Another Disruptor?

Gizmodo's Apple Tablet Mockup

Gizmodo's oft-posted Apple Tablet mockup

And Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ tablet (or iPad, or iSlate, or “new” iBook, whatever) has the potential to be another iPod/iPhone-class disruptor, a device that literally Changes Everything. (Jobs apparently believes it’s the “best thing he’s ever done”.) It’s a device that aims at the heart of most major media sectors: software, book publishing, video games, music, movies, TV, newspapers and magazines. It might even alter how we physically interact with computers, depending on what innovations it contains in its user interface, most likely dominated more multi-touch enhancements.

Or, Apple will show up, unveil iPhone 3Gses in assorted colors, “Thanks, that’s all folks,” show’s over and the Internet explodes. Which would be nearly as entertaining!

But seriously, an Apple tablet on Wednesday is a high probability. On Monday, Jobs even commented that the company is “starting this week with a major new product.”

The Classic Keynote

So what market is Apple going for with its tablet? Netbooks? E-readers? Laptops? Portable gaming devices? The answer is probably a mash-up of all of the above, with emphasis on the portability of netbooks and the functions of an e-reader.

In fact, one can imagine the classic Jobs keynote unfolding on Wednesday, where Jobs talks about the current marketplace for both devices, runs through their limitations and shortcomings, and remarks how ugly and cheap those devices are before unveiling his solution: the powerful, elegant, multimedia powerhouse that will be the tablet.

The business models behind the device might be just as compelling, particularly to publishers and developers. Will this device be backed by an ecosystem that allows magazines, books and newspapers to thrive digitally? Will the software’s capabilities add to a publisher’s toolkit, allowing him to create truly interactive, valuable electronic products that finally justify the price of purchase or advertising?

The New York Times has details today:

It will run all the applications of the iPhone and iPod Touch, have a persistent wireless connection over 3G cellphone networks and Wi-Fi, and will be built with a 10-inch color display, allowing newspapers, magazines and book publishers to deliver their products with an eye to the design that had grabbed readers in print.

Whatever Apple unveils on Wednesday, it’ll be another chance at seeing some truly great innovations, leaps in hardware and software that soon reach down into our everyday lives.

To get you ready for Wednesday, we’ve posted videos of some of Jobs’ most notable keynotes, including the first iMac, the first iPod and the Mac Mini, after the jump. Boom.

Continue reading

Some Cogent Political Analysis of Arkansas Congressional Races

Above: Andrew DeMillo’s excellent political analysis piece, summed up succinctly by one of the co-stars in 2009’s feel-good movie of the year, “Antichrist.”

More

AP Sources: Rep. Marion Berry to announce announces retirement [ArkansasBusiness.com]

Shocker! Marion Berry Bows Out! [The Arkansas Project]

Berry to Announce Retirement Tomorrow Morning [The Tolbert Report]

Arkansas Rep. Marion Berry to Retire [Blake’s Think Tank]

Marion Berry to Quit [Arkansas Times]

Cilliza Breaks: Berry Quits; ‘No Democrat Is Safe’ [The Washington Post]

Dems ‘struggling to unite’ [Politico]

‘Of Course They Did’ Department

Republican Party of Arkansas raises cost of filing for Congressional primaries [Tolbert]

Take My Loan, Please! Hocking the Barber Jewelry, Plus More Bad News at Metropolitan Bank in This Week’s Arkansas Business

Your latest edition of Arkansas Business is online now. Among this week’s highlights:

As the Federal Reserve slashes interest rates and banks heavy up on cash, there’s never been a better time to borrow. But an uncertain economy means fewer businesses are willing to take the risk, even at rates that are close to free. Sam Eifling examines the paradox.

Word ’round the campfire is that Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock is set to report another quarterly loss, this one in the $20 million range.

Welspun Pipes adds more than 40 acres to its property at the Little Rock Port.

Capsearch’s new iPhone app puts the entire Arkansas code in your pocket for $3.99. Nifty.

University of Arkansas basketball play-by-play broadcaster Mike Nail is hanging it up. He’ll be honored in some type of half-time ceremony at the end of this season, his 29th. Hm. Why not go for 30? More: This ArkansasSports360.com Q&A with Nail from December.

Keri Barber auctions the bling after her big Chapter 7 bankruptcy filed early last year declaring $16.3 million in liabilities, most of it connected to the defaulted loan on the Legacy Building in Fayetteville. Goodbye Lexus, goodbye Range Rover, goodbye Beluga sterling silver watch …

Mark Rose, only the third general manager ever at KATV-TV, Channel 7, in Little Rock, marks 20 years at the ABC affiliate.

Gwen Moritz on Julie Benafield Bowman, Sandra Hochstetter Byrd, Benton County Judge Dave Bisbee, Wal-Mart and the appearance of impropriety.