I bought my first TabletPC five or more years ago. I’ve had a handheld touch-computer running Linux for at least 3 years. I’m writing this on a convertible touch computer running Windows 7 (4GB RAM, 250GB hard drive). Moreover, I’ve lived near the bleeding edge of computing for 25 years – long enough to see Steve Jobs’ market-triumphs such as Lisa, neXt, and Newton. Still, I think competition sometimes drives innovation and usually brings down prices. I’m a big fan of choice and think the world would be worse off without Apple, although I, personally, wouldn’t miss it.
You can read elsewhere – everywhere, it seems – about the new iPad. (Note: iMac was a fitting and innovative name. Was that 15 years ago or more? Each new iName seems a little more iContrived or iAncient.) iPad is surely the best new iTouch this year, but it would be a failure in the PC (non-Mac) marketplace. PC users would be outraged by the following features of any computer:
- No USB. Really? I know, Apple was in the lead getting rid of disks and discs. Generally, proprietary connections and adapters such as those for the iPad are user-unfriendly and anti-competitive. Plus, these dongles are surprisingly ugly and – I just can’t believe this – they plug into the bottom edge of the iPad. Perhaps, you’ll be able to buy an Apple iLap Protector.
- 16GB storage. Really? Your cellphone and camera card have more storage these days.
- No memory card slots. This would have been one way around the lunacy of both no USB and limited storage: let people insert cards (an easy way to transfer photos). But then, how would you sell the more expensive iPads? Every handheld device I know of takes one or more types of cards.
- No Camera. This is jawdroppingly uncool from the Company of Cool (or so the fans think). Perhaps this is another innovation: People no longer what to video chat! Every cheap netbook and cellphone has a camera. How in the hell did this happen? (Video eats bandwidth. Perhaps ATT said no or wanted too much for the connectivity.)
- Non-removable battery. Classic Apple – Thou shalt not open the box! Once again, harshly anti-competitive (therefore, price-fixing) and user-UNfriendly.
- No tabs in browser. Huh? Is it 1999?
- No multi-tasking. Well, it’s not a computer, it’s a pretty gadget.
- $499. For an Apple product, that may seem cheap. But many netbooks cost less than $400 and are real computers with a multi-tasking OS, tabbed browsing, video conferencing, USB, card slots, and a keyboard.
Mostly, this gianormous iTouch looks like a Sony Reader-killer. Granted, the iPant is way better than a Kindle. But don’t worry about Kindle – Amazon could bury Apple in styrofoam peanuts.
(Someone may say, “No Flash – that’s a deal breaker.” Not me – that’s a plus, to me. I sometimes disdain Apple but I loathe Adobe.)