Last night during the Oscars, Apple debuted its first iPad commercial. Steve Jobs was even at the awards ceremony and reportedly walked the Red Carpet. The iPad is due out the first of next month and many folks have already announced plans to run out and buy one the second it's available, but is that really a smart move? The fact is this is Apple's first whack at a larger platform touch device and there are probably a lot of kinks left to be worked out. I'm not saying you shouldn't ever buy one, I'm just suggesting it might be a good idea to wait for the first refresh.
Here are five reasons you might want to wait:
1. Never buy 1.0 technology, regardless of the manufacturer.
The fact is it's never a good idea to buy 1.0 technology. The company could change the device substantially and you will be stuck with the early model. Engineers learn from their mistakes and there are always going to be issues with a first generation device. Waiting for the first revision is just prudent.
2. Wait for the camera.
You know that people are going to want to use this device for Skype-type video calls, and it just doesn't make sense to me that they would release it without a built-in camera. I know this won't be a deal killer for many champing to buy one, but if you can wait, chances are Apple will see the light and release the second revision with a camera in the summer or fall.
3. A USB port or two might be nice.
We want this device to be more than the large iPhone it currently resembles right down to the single connector to recharge or connect to a USB port. In the next iteration, maybe Apple will relent and include one or two USB ports. It will make the device all that more useful if they do.
4. The price could come down.
I know that $499 seems like an attractive price, but if it's competing as an eBook Reader or media viewing device, it's still a bit steep. People complain about the Kindle's cost at $259. Once you get past the people who have been sucked in by the Apple hype machine, Apple might find that the market isn't quite as huge as it believed, and if that's the case, the price could drop. If you wait, you might save some money.
5. The longer you hold off, the more you'll get.
One of the beautiful things about technology is that as the price goes down, functionality/power goes up. By waiting you always get more for your money. If you want one, you have to pull the trigger at some point, but the longer you can delay gratification, the more machine you're going to get.
So what do you think? If you're planning on buying and iPad, do you get one as soon as it's available in April, or do you wait a while and see how they refine it in the first refresh?
For me, I'm probably holding off (although my wife is pressing me to buy one now and that's hard to resist). Let's face it though, if you really, really want one, you're going to be in line at the Apple Store on April 3rd and no argument is going to dissuade you.
1. Over six million people bought the first iPhone. It did pretty well in sales. And it still serves people well.
2. The camera may never arrive. You can wait 5 years and may still have no camera. Your laptop and iPhone already have a camera. Thus, this function is duplicated already.
3. USB port will NEVER arrive. You might as well wait for hell to freeze over. Jesus will come back way before a USB port will appear on the iPad.
4. The Price will come down some but really, it is well priced for the vast majority of people. Apple's products always take the high end in price.
5. The longer you hold off, the more you'll get. Of course. But then you don't have the fun of owning it. With Apple products, there is little loss in value. You can always sell your old iPad and get a new one.
1. v1.0 hardware... possibly the only good reason to wait.
2. no camera.... don't need it . The iPad is meant to be a semi-moblie/handheld media device, not a phone. Imagine the nausea inducement
of conducting a video call from a handheld device.
3. no usb. Its a wireless media device, not a full-fledged computer. Go to your laptop.
4. price Its already dirt-cheap.
5. hold off for better upgrade. maybe we should wait to 2050 for the ultimate Mac. In the meantime do with nothing. Enjoy it now, there will always be a better machine.
I go back to this argument: Why exactly do we need this device. Aside from the fact it's cool technology, I'm still wondering if you have a laptop or netbook and if you have smartphone/iPhone, I'm still not clear why you need this. And how many of us can afford to have a phone, a laptop, netbook and tablet/iPad? Do we really need a device for every situation?
“People complain about the Kindle's cost at $259.”
People complain when their just-purchased computer is followed by another one that has more features for $50 less. People complain about getting dumb objections for free from DaniWeb.
If these are your mindsets, you should rethink whether you should have bought the device in the first place. If $259 is too much for a Kindle, with its portability and lower-cost media benefits, why buy one? And why complain about something that's priced for somebody else besides yourself? How many people “complain” about the price of a top-of-the-line BMW? They're mostly just smart enough to look for something more appropriate to their needs and wishes.
Ditto the iPad price: there is no easier forecast than predicting that similar or better capability will be available within two years for less (in today's dollars) -- maybe from Apple, maybe from HP, Asus, Sony, … .
You may not feel that you'll get $100 of good out of the device in the two years before a $100 cheaper/better machine becomes available. If so, DON'T BUY IT.
But let's be clear: Anybody who thinks they can't get $100 of good out of it in 24, 18 or even 12 months, shouldn't be buying it anyway, because it's likely obsolete much sooner than 5 years. By then, we should be seeing MUCH FASTER / MORE INTERESTING devices. Assuming the iPad is as crazy-great as I think, and sells one-half as well as it should if it IS that great.
I'm actually referring to a survey that found that most people aren't willing to pay even $100 for an eReader device. I wrote about this on FierceContentManagement. Now, I know that the iPad will do substantially more than a one-dimensional eBook Reader, but from what I've read many people plan to use it as such, and as an eBook Reader it's definitely expensive.
Also keep in mind that as writers, we sometimes stake out a position to explore it. Do I think it's cool technology? I definitely do, but it's my job to push back and try out ideas. You don't have to agree with them and I welcome your comments (but please try to be civil).
Life is a risk, Ron. If you won't take a chance, you never get anything good. If you wait forever, then you are toting around relics.
Some of your comments indicate that the iPad is not for you and will never be. You sound like a NetBook advocate. Camera's and USB ports are unlikely to be important to the iPad's target audience. Apple will sell tens of millions of the iPads to people who never had a computer before because they hate or fear computers. They want to get on the internet without all the PC's hassles. A NetBook would be cheaper, but would be too hard for them to use.
The point is, "Why are you trying to rain on Apple's parade? Why are you trying to dampen iPad sales?" Let the iPad win or lose on its own merits. It doesn't need your catcalls.
It's not my intention to rain on Apple's parade. I certainly don't believe I have enough clout to dampen their sales (far from it), although I wasn't trying to do that with this post. I've seen articles with a similar sentiment since I wrote this one, so I'm not the only one to suggest this. As I wrote at the end, I'm actually intrigued by the iPad and may in fact get one.