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back to article Apple details iPad's 'breakthrough' mobile contract

Apple's iPad will come with a monthly contract, a replacement option when the battery craps out and a button to stop the screen spinning round - and it'll even read bedtime stories to you. With the iPad now available for pre-order, for Americans at least, more details of the device have emerged including an additional button …

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Battery replacement

"Apple will charge $99 for the service which sees the iPad reset and fitted with a new battery, but it's hard to imagine that more than a handful will take Apple up on the offer."

I think you'd better read the Apple page again. According to the link:

"You will receive a replacement iPad that will not contain any of your personal data."

This sounds like an enormous PITA. Lost data, etc. Especially when you consider:

"Note: Your iPad is not eligible for Battery Replacement Service if the product has been damaged, for example, as result of an accident, liquid contact, disassembly, unauthorized service or unauthorized modifications"

... So if you drop your ipad and scratch it, or if you have it engraved or personalised in ANY WAY - you won't be able to get a replacement battery?

Good one Apple. Nice call.

I'm an Apple fan, but this is really poor.

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@Matt

Matt - it's just a glorified iPod touch. It syncs with a computer. All the data on my iPhone is backed up as part of a sync. There's nothing on it I don't have elsewhere.

Oh and personalising stuff is for girls ... ;-)

Tim

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Lost Data?

It's synced with your fracking PC (and probably mobile.me, and probably many other online sources).

If you're getting a replacement because the battery isn't performing right, sync it, then send it in. 0% data loss (not even your personal settings and options will be lost). If the battery DIES, it can be powered THROUGH the dock port, and will still sync.

If it COMPELTELY dies, and you were not doing syncs, how is this any different from your notebook or desktop dying if you had not backed it up either?

This thing is SO much easier to keep backed up than any other PC, it;s IMAGED for all intents and purposes... Backups are a non-issue unless you;re a moron who buys a "companion PC" device without first owning a PC (which is a requirement printed on the packaging).

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Battery replacement?

Hands up everyone who's ever bought a spare or replacement battery for their mobile phone, laptop or MP3 player?

I used to have a couple of spares for my Nokia 2010i, about 12 or 15 years ago I think, and I think I bought a spare battery for my last but one laptop but only used it once or twice. It's useful to know there's a battery replacement service available, but I think the article is right, there'll be very little demand for it in practice. The whole question of battery replacement is a big non-issue.

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Coat

for goodness sake

If you can't manage the Crayola safe world of (effectively) plugging an iPod into your computer and letting iTunes quickly and painlessly carry out a complete automagic backup, then you probably shouldn't have access to anything sharper than a pillow.

Sorry, but.. even *I* can manage it, on days when I remember to plug the cable in, rather than taping it to my arse, so I can cavort around the office screaming "look at me, I'm a PONY!".

I don't know how some people even manage to cross the road without assistance!

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If it COMPELTELY dies...

"...and you were not doing syncs, how is this any different from your notebook or desktop dying if you had not backed it up either?"

If any of my laptops, netbooks or desktops were to COMPLETELY die, experience of such events in the past suggests it'll be the power supply or motherboard that's to blame, leaving the contents of the hard drive entirely (or almost entirely, depending on if the system keeled over in the middle of a write) intact and able to be read back once the drive is reconnected to a working system...

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Paris Hilton

dropped iPads

... So if you drop your ipad and scratch it, or if you have it engraved or personalised in ANY WAY - you won't be able to get a replacement battery?

Good one Apple. Nice call.

I'm an Apple fan, but this is really poor.

To be fair you get a lot of people that put through a dropped MacBook and claim it was the service centre. Its got to the stage now where most service centre book it in with an inspection and mark out damaged areas, similar to when you rent a car. Apart from the cosmetic disfigurement you get from a dropped MacBook, who can tell what internal components are also damaged. If you book in a iPad with exterior problems for a simple battery replacement, who can tell what internal damage has occurred and no doubt the end user will end blaming the service centre for.

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Grenade

@ TimBiller.....Plonker

What's wrong with girls Bignose?

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Sync

Well yes. Sync.

Funny you should mention that. My girlfriend's iPhone developed a nasty filesystem fail recently, so she had to do a factory restore and then resync.

Now, I suspect she'll have used the default sync settings. Whatever: her Macbook hadn't synced her apps or downloads, so when she did the factory reset she then had to manually redownload all her apps from iTunes.

This was a time consuming exercise, and pretty annoying. I guess she could have done this via iTunes, but the reset / sync process took long enough, so redownloading all the apps and resyncing again was a bridge too far.

She's now redownloading them on her phone as and when she discovers a missing app which she needs. Convenient it is not.

... but no: although I did buy her the Macbook, I didn't have it engraved. ;) Maybe next time.

My point is this: with any other consumer device, you'd simply go and buy another battery. With iPad, you have to give up your device AND ALL ITS DATA. Provided of course that it isn't damaged or marked in any way, in which case you can't get a new battery via this scheme AT ALL.

I have no problem with Apple's locked device mentality when it comes to mobile devices - it makes sense: why do I want the hassle of worrying about the security and safety of my phone? But the iPad is supposed to be a home computing device, and I can't see many users being happy about handing over their iPad full of family photos and downloaded software / music, and being handed a blank one in exchange, just in order to get a new battery!

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe consumers will queue up for the iPad. I somehow doubt it this time.

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Glass half-full or half-empty?

I see where you're coming from, but my reaction on hearing of the battery death policy was "So provided I look after it*, when the battery dies after 2 years*, I can just sync it, then get a new one for $99?!** Sweet!"

* = My iphone isn't scratched after nearly 2 years, purely because of the aftermarket protective covers etc, you just know these will also spring up for the ipad.

** = No, I'm not in the US, but obviously we in the UK don't have pricing yet.

PS. I'm not saying I will get an ipad - this thing will make or break (probably make) on the apps - so I'll wait and see what it's used for.

Apple aren't perfect by any means, but I think you're hating them for the wrong things. Fair point about default settings for backups on iTunes though. I was a little surprised when I found that one.

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WTF?

RE: Sync

"Now, I suspect she'll have used the default sync settings. Whatever: her Macbook hadn't synced her apps or downloads"

...but that's the default sync settings. Not only that, unless you download apps via WiFi then you'll be getting them via your computer in the first place. If they're not on your computer then you're asked about copying them over when you sync!

"My point is this: with any other consumer device, you'd simply go and buy another battery. With iPad, you have to give up your device AND ALL ITS DATA"

No you don't, since you will have been syncing it with your computer regularly, won't you

(which btw, is what it sounds like your girlfriend WASN'T doing with her iPhone)

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Anonymous Coward

250MB is 1/3rd of movie

Title says it all, 250MB is bugger all.

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1/3 of a movie

It is 1/3 movie. But there's no way to get a movie onto the DRM-infested piece of crud so it's a moot point.

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@AC "250 is 3rd of movie"

"Title says it all, 250MB is bugger all." Thats why you would download the movie on your main PC NOT your ipad.

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Grenade

Correction.

1st, it's the single LEAST DRM infested piece of crud on the market. Music is DRM free, many ebooks will be DRM free, and TV and movies are not DRM free from ANY of the competition, and that's not even under Apple's control but the MPAA and the content providers you Troll. Apple is a leader in DRM free content, and has been the first ot offer such content from major distributors in each media market. TV is being worked on actively, and movies you can simply give up on as per the studios "we don't offer DRM free content in ANY format, it;s DRM locked even on physical media in stores, and we're seeking to lock your TV into DRM with selective output, so why should we let Apple or anyone else offer it without that same protection online?"

Next, Getting a movie on the iPad is as fracking simple as dragging a compatible (proper size/dimension, and a QT or H.264 file) file into your iTunes library. I have NUMEROUS home movies on my iPhone, as well as several ripped movies and TV shows. It requires no more software than clicking an "export to iPhone format" button in whatever video editing/compression/ripping software you're already using illegally to get your DRM free video content in the first place.

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FAIL

Shows how much you know

...no way to put movies on an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad? Have you even SEEN one? Criticisng things you've never seen makes you a proper bell-end.

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No way to get a movie on?

What, apart from downloading from the iTunes store (via WiFi), or dropping one in a suitable un-DRM'd MP4 format onto your PC's iTunes app and then synching? Trying to download a full movie via 3G is pretty stupid though.

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Tit.

And you'd use a mobile connection to download movies?

Get out. Get out and don't come back.

Some days I think the gene pool needs a little bleach.

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At my house, ADSL2 (Bulldog/Pipex) gives me about 576kb/s downstream, HSDPA (T-Mobile) about 2Mb/s. So I would use a mobile connection to download large files, if it were uncapped.

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@William Gallafent

Get a new internet provider FFS!

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Linux

What's simpler than warp drive?

> Next, Getting a movie on the iPad is as fracking simple as dragging a compatible

> (proper size/dimension, and a QT or H.264 file) file into your iTunes library. I have

> NUMEROUS home movies on my iPhone, as well as

Well,that's the trick now isn't it.

First the video has to be in the right container format.

Then it has to use an h264 profile that's not too "advanced" for the ipod.

Then it can't have too high of a bitrate.

Then it can't have the wrong type of audio.

Then it can't have too large of an image size.

If you get ANY of this wrong, iTunes won't tell you what you did wrong.

Stuff like Handbrake is supposed to make all of that not a problem but I've

recently run into stuff for which it doesn't generate a suitable ipod friendly

file.

Why should the end user be bothered with adapting content to Apple anyways?

There is a reason that VLC is a popular MacOS download.

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wtf

Do you also get a large free mug with this break through offer,£700 for a large calculator

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£700?

Other than from your arse, where did you pull that figure?! With exchange rates in mind (Sterling is approaching worthless) and allowing for taxes, duties and logistics, I'd expect the price in the UK to be around the £400 mark, which isn't far off the US price when you take away the VAT and other taxes. Still, that doesn't hold with the myth that Apple are always more expensive than the competition, does it? Typically the usual 'tards that have yet to see the device (and probably never will--they'll go out of their way to avoid it) condemn it, making spurious claims based on their own rediculous and petty predudices.Their inabillity to think outside the box and empathise witha verage consumers is laughable, and just a little bit sad. The irony is that they are usually rabid Microsoft fanboys themselves and will hail the admittedly impressive Courier concept as the second coming, negleting to mention that it too will have a similar propietry OS (ie not a 'full' desktop OS) and be similarly priced, if not more expensive. I suppose these are the same peaple that refer to users as 'lusers' and consider themselves "mighty morphing power-users"! Nerds...

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Anonymous Coward

"...more expensive than the competition"

Is there competition? Is someone else doing a tablet that you can't upgrade, has no keyboard for when your touchscreen breaks, can't take external USB devices without an adapter, doesn't have an SD card slot (again, without an adapter), restricts you to purchasing software from a single retail outlet, and which doesn't support multi-tasking?

Of course there isn't, because anyone else who launched such a device would be committing their company to financial ruin.

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FAIL

It was a general comment...

The touted Courier, which Microsoft reportedly hope to release later this year; and as pointed won't be running a "desktop" OS, and the 'new' HP tablet will be more expensive, with the HP tablet being less useful than the iPad. More (or 'bigger') != better.

Generally; Apple stuff is about par with other medium-to-highend kit in terms of spec and price, sometimes more, as often less. FACT! Again cheap != value. Can we move on from this strawman now please?

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Financial ruin?

C'mon. You can do better than that. Just because other companies don't have the ability or interest in opening new markets, rather sticking with the same old x86 kit, doesn't mean Apple is headed for financial ruin.

Look at the iPhone: The hardware itself is pretty lackluster. It's the SOFTWARE that makes the phone's features more accessible for those who do not have a CS degree. The same thing will happen with the iPad. If the rumor about multitasking in the 4.0 software comes true, you will have one less thing to complain about.

It's obvious you need a laptop. Get a laptop. The iPad is not for you.

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Yeah...

"Is there competition? Is someone else doing a tablet that you can't upgrade, has no keyboard for when your touchscreen breaks, can't take external USB devices without an adapter, doesn't have an SD card slot (again, without an adapter), restricts you to purchasing software from a single retail outlet, and which doesn't support multi-tasking?"

That'll be Archos you're thinking of, with the possible exception of the Archos 9 - it can multi-task. That said, the reviews have found it to be so dire just single-tasking that it sounds a bit pointless.

Can't upgrade it? No. There are a handfull of "tablet" machines on the market already, larger ones are based on existing laptop technology and the new smaller ones starting to appear are based around touch screen. I don't expect any of them to be easily upgradable, if they even can be.

Yes, if your touch screen breaks you're stuck, but then if your laptop/netbook keyboard breaks you're in the same boat (yes; you can plug in an external keyboard, but guess what? You can do that with the iPad too, or use a Bluetooth one).

Can't take external USB devices without an adaper? Erm, so what? My laptop can take a few but I hardly ever plug anything in. What vital piece of equipment do you think you'll need? I can see why you might want to use an external mouse/keyboard on a netbook, but you can use a wireless keyboard and with the touchscreen the mouse is likely to be pointless anyway.

Doesn't have an SD card slot. Again, so what? My current phone uses micro-SD (or mini, can't remember) so would need an adapter and my camera uses Compact Flash. Point is, even with a machine /with/ an SD card slot I still have to carry adapters and a card reader.

Yes, you can only get software from one place, but so far Apple have done a reasonable job. The app store compares rather well with offerings from Nokia, Google and MS (especially as they haven't bothered).

Multi-tasking. Not at the moment, but if the rumours are true it'll be along a little later in the year.

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You Also Fail It

"when your touchscreen breaks"? WTF? And, `FYI, there IS a keyboard accessory. You MASSIVE tool.

As for someone else launching an iPad - they would if they knew how.

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Anonymous Coward

Dear me, aren't we excitable Frankie-boy?

Breath deeply, you tiny tool. Relaaax. Remember - none of this really matters. It's opinion on the internet. It's not real life.. you don't need to get so upset or start trying to insult strangers. My experience of using touchscreens is that on occasion they can go wrong, not registering touch etc. In such circumstances the ability to easily plug in any old keyboard/mouse that's lying around has been invaluable to me. To have to go out and purchase either a specific piece of hardware or an adapter for a generic piece of hardware is hardly ideal.

@Aaron, my implication wasn't that Apple would be headed for ruin - clearly this device is going to be a massive success. But it's not solely because of the device iteself - as noted above, it's a result of good quality software with an emphasis on ease of use, but also the massive "cool" weight with idiots that apple kit has. I would imagine most of the iFad sales won't be predicated on a "need useful tool" basis, but on a "want cool white toy" basis.

@chr0m4t1c, if I buy a tablet PC that I can't stick new RAM or HDD in I'd be rather ticked off..

FYI all, I would have jumped all over this had I been able to plug my camera or SD from my camera straight into it out of the box, purely as a field photo review tool. The quality colour reproduction from the screen, portability, and touch interface would make it absolutely perfect for this purpose. Just seems a shame that this market (and I'm sure it'd be a big one) isn't catered for without spending extra..

You beautiful people you.

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That's your use, not mine

I don't expect anything with a 1GHz ARM CPU to convert the 12MPixel RAW files from my camera, so my "field photo review tool" is a notebook. But I might put some processed jpegs on an iPad to show them around.

Funfact, three of four professional photographers I know will buy an iPad for this purpose. One of them uses Macs. I'm the one who works in IT and I will buy an iPad because it's a cool gadget and I want one to play with.

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@Matt Bradley

> This sounds like an enormous PITA. Lost data, etc.

Er how? All your iPad content is synced with / backed up in iTunes, so if you need the battery replacing you just sync the new one to get the stuff back onto it.

Who, in their right mind, would send any electronic item off for repair without backing it up first (or deleting all their pr0n)

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Alien

What we have come to expect

Lock in, owners tax and excuses as to why they won't actually be replacing your iPad.

No thanks Skeletor.

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Jobs Horns

Apple Apologists

Always trying to justify why everything Apple does is for your own good. Something as simple as a battery replacement should never result in a different device being supplied back to you. Itunes sync or not, you should be able to get it back exactly as you left it.

Personally I think replacing the battery should never be a manufacturer issue, it should be law that if it is a battery powered consumer device then that battery should be replaceable by the consumer.

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Joke

Good luck...

Good luck with your pacemaker...

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Coffee/keyboard

Why not?

Fact is, the cost of labor, and the risk of damaging the device during tear down/rebild is simply too high. If it takes an hour to disassemble and re-assemble, plus the processing time to get it in front of an engineer, and then process the return, there's the cost of the battery plus a good hundred bucks in the process, and a couple extra days delay while it sits in a queue waiting for repair.

They don;t fix inkjet printers, or later systems under $500, for the same reason, nor MOST cellphones for that matter. A replacement device is in most cases not only cheaper than a repair, but it's also a much quicker turnaround for the customer.

I'm also a personal fan of built-in batteries. It gets me a smaller device, the battery doesn't fall out and corrupt data I was working on when not properly locked in, and no one needs a second battery when it lasts 10 hours, charges in 1, and there's a tiny universal connector that can leech power off any outlet and most USB ports. Also, external 3rd party "portable chargers" (big battery that charges your internal battery) you don't require custom fit batteries, and a single portable charger could work for half a dozen personal devices with simple adapters, and it;s cheaper than a manufacturer replacement/OEM battery to start with, and typically holds 2-3 charges.

Batteries were not designed to be removable aside from the fact you had to change them several times a day years ago. 1-2 hours was too short to reasonably work. 6-8 hours on a performance notebook, and 10+ hours watching video (30 DAYS in standby) you don't require a stand-by battery that costs $100... Cross shipping a replacement iPad in a few business days is a COMPLETELY acceptable solution vs. the bulk and complexity of a removable since you'll NEVER use a spare OEM battery anyway (when you can charge via the dock almost anywhere and get cheaper 3rd party chargers to boot).

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Coat

If Apple were actually innovative

If Apple were actually innovative then surely by now they would of come up with a design for a battery compartment cover that looks sleek and doesn't spoil the design and lines of the underside of their devices! Cant be that hard, plus I'm sure if they came up with something really cool they could patent the **** out of it like usual - they are defo missing a trick here!

Mines the one with a spare battery and miniature screwdriver sticking out the top pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Wish granted

@AC: "you should be able to get it back exactly as you left it"

In my experience (with the iPhone) this is exactly how it works. My iPhone developed a fault with the accelerometer, so I took it to the local Apple store. They gave it a quick once-over, asked my if the sync was up-to-date, wiped the contents, and handed over a new one. I took it home, restored the latest sync, and everything was exactly as it has been before (except the phone was brand new and worked perfectly).

I don't know about being an 'apologist.' All I can say is they provide excellent service - I wish other companies worked like this.

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In principle

I agree with you. But - and it's a fairly consistent but - in my experience, the biggest problem with battery operated portable kit is the battery door. I see so many broken doors, particularly on cameras and flashguns. All the remotes in our house have either a sticky label or an elastic band round them to stop the battery door falling out.

The number of times I find my phone battery in my pocket because the door has come off is now getting silly.

I'm very impressed with the battery fitting on most of Apple's laptops over the years so i think they ought to be the company that could design a proper sensible, non-breaking door.

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The real reason batteries are not replaceable

Other manufacturers are able to make devices with replaceable batteries but Apple, alleged masters of design find the task is possible. Why is that I wonder? The reason is simple - Apple seals the battery in because it makes people more likely to buy a new iPhone / iPad rather than hang onto the old one. It's as simple as that.

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Innovate This.

Designing a product with an integrated battery clearly has its benefits as you can see from their uMBP June2009 Launch - this is innovation.

Putting a battery in which can be removable, which has moving parts and which would increase the overall device size is simply copying everyone else.

Incase you didn't know, innovating is to break the mould, which is essentially what apple have done. I was critical of the iPhones non removable battery and lack of multi tasking, now i cant think of using any other phone with either feature, why multi-task on a phone, its not an office device and neither is a multimedia tablet. Can you imagine trying to watch a movie and create a powerpoint presentation on a 10" netbook? I cant.

Kudos on the battery replacement scheme, or device replacement even - many handheld portable devices do come under attack from day to day use and get scratched etc. Apple are nice enough to replace this with a cosmetically perfect device. Excellent.

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@Jamchal

a couple of things....

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Putting a battery in which can be removable, which has moving parts and which would increase the overall device size is simply copying everyone else.

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By 'moving parts', i hope and assume that you mean the battery door? Please tell me thats what you mean?

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why multi-task on a phone, its not an office device and neither is a multimedia tablet.

Can you imagine trying to watch a movie and create a powerpoint presentation on

a 10" netbook? I cant.

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No my friend, neither can I. However, I CAN imagine attempting to run say.....Windows Live Messenger (MSN anyone), Google Latitude/Maps, Facebook whateveryoulike. I generally don't watch movies whilst creating powerpoint presentations on my DESKTOP with 30" screen (not apple, dell 3008 thankyouplease), and neither do most people, so pulling that as an argument against multitasking on a phone is frankly ridiculous.

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Jamchal

Horseshit. The Google Nexus One is thinner than an iPhone yet sports a removable battery. For that matter, so does virtually every other non-Apple phone in existence, many of which are as thin or comparable to an iPhone.

As for multi-tasking, again all Android phones multitask, as does the Palm Pre and doubtless some others. Android phones are explicitly designed to multitask and apps are encouraged to be broken down into activity apps that can be chained together. Obviously the issue is more glaring for phones which allow 3rd party apps. You might be writing an email and wish to look up something on a map, or a browser without stopping those apps to accomplish it. You might even be just playing a game when the phone rings and you want it to pause while you answer. Or you might have an IM / twitter / ebay sniper / downloader which you wish to run constantly in the background. Some lame state save / restore simply doesn't cut it and is onerous to implement too.

As for the battery replacement program, it wouldn't even be necessary if the battery could be removed. Furthermore, you might think it wonderful that you spend days waiting for your iPad be replaced with a refurb just to change a lousy battery but I doubt many other people do. The ONLY reason Apple seal the battery in is to encourage their blind obedient consumers to buy a new model and throw away their otherwise functional old one.

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One problem with MSN/Live Messenger

to do it properly you need Windows, the courier might be worth the wait then.

I use a Jabber server with a gateways to almost anything, works fine for a mobile device.

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Linux

Lord of bad analogies.

> Good luck with your pacemaker...

A pacemaker is a MEDICAL device and is regulated accordingly.

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FAIL

Can't do <insert functionality here>

"...no one will be running BitTorrent clients on an iPad."

Why not? Ah yes, 'cos Uncle Steve says so.

No, I wouldn't want to either. But I'd have liked the option. If I can run BitTorrent on my Android...

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WTF?

Yeah!

Because Apple should let you download movies and music for free illegally! FFS...

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Welcome

Eh?

WTF has it got to do with Apple?! My device, paid for with my money to do with as I please. You wouldn't tolerate me telling you what you can and can't do; why do you accept it from them?

Doormat, because Apple fanbois are.

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FAIL

No!

BitTorrent can be used for legal downloads.

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WTF?

RE: Can't do <insert functionality here>

I'm sure you could do this on a jailbroken iPhone but why bother? I can download at about 1Mb/sec on my home broadband...

...and what good is DVD quality video/video coded with a borked codec/a massive .rar file on a phone anyway?!?!

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Anonymous Coward

@Jimmy Floyd

Are you retarded? Why would you want to download things directly to the pad? How many torrent files are .zip/.rar or something that can't be opened?

Any sane person would download them to their main computer anyway!

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