back to article Queuing for an iPad? Why?

As the UK braces itself for tomorrow's iPad launch, one might wonder what the device is good for beyond providing entertainment during today's lacklustre TV shows. This evening the queues will start forming as fans chomp at the bit for the latest Apple bling. Tomorrow's news will no doubt be full of happy Apple customers being …


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  1. Modjo30


    If you're one of the people that will be buying a Large Trigger happy TV style Ipod Touch then you can just call yourself a sheep that can't think for themselves, there are better devices out there at a cheaper price and not locked down like everything that Apple bring out

    1. Anonymous Coward

      OK, I'll bite...

      Presumably then, you:

      1. Own a tiny TV instead of a big one since smaller is obviously better

      2. Use a non-Windows PC since following the "crowd" is stupid

      3. Drive a Kia C'eed instead of a VW Golf since the former is cheaper

      4. Spend all you days trying to run (and use) Photoshop on a tiny, underpowered netbook just because it is technically possible

      Has it ever crossed your mind that an iPad buyer may actually have considered what they primarily use a computer for, looked into the alternatives, compared stuff which is not necessarily on the spec sheets, and then decided that the iPad best fits their needs best?

      But feel free to rant on some tech site just because you're butt-hurt that geeks are no longer the main target of computer manufacturers and many of those non-geeks happen to like the iPad.

      (and yes, I do realise the irony of having a go at you for ranting...)

      1. Geoff Campbell

        OK, I'll bite too....

        "Has it ever crossed your mind that an iPad buyer may actually have considered what they primarily use a computer for, looked into the alternatives, compared stuff which is not necessarily on the spec sheets, and then decided that the iPad best fits their needs best?"

        Well, yes, that thought did cross my mind, as it happens. And once I stopped laughing and wiped the spittle off of the screen, I went back to my previous assumption that the first wave of buyers are almost all the same cash-rich fashion-led mostly young buyers who bought the first wave of iPhones.

        And that's fine, no problem. But let's wait and see how the second wave develops before proclaiming on the success/failure/otherwise of the iPad, shall we? I don't believe the iPhone really moved out of that niche in any significant fashion, I have no idea whether or not the iPad will manage it.


        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          how long will it last?

          Yes, this is a good point. We'll need the initial crowd of fanbois to clear before we truly see whether this product will fly. My guess is that it will have a couple of months in the sun as people go through the "woo!" stage. After that the realisation will dawn that it is indeed just a big ipod touch, the lack of flash will start to grate on those using it for web browsing, and finally it'll end up in the back of a cupboard, relegated to a kind of "Sinclair C5" curiosity status. I wonder if the bookies'll give me odds on this?

        2. Big-nosed Pengie


          The post is required, and must contain letters.

        3. Alex Johnson 1
          Jobs Halo

          Tedious Nay-Sayers

          @ Geoff: Whether you "believe" the iPhone moved out of a niche you have defined - which is nonsense, by the way - that isn't borne out by the sales figures, unless by "significant fashion" you mean, "as ubiquitous as Mao's Little Red Book in the Cultural Revolution." The iPhone beat all sales expectations and has continued to do so relentlessly. This is not an opinion. You're also right - something newer and better than the iPad could come along. However, right now this is a wildly successful product launch by any possible metric, other than yours of course. We all get that you don't want one. Me, I am "cash rich" and I can afford one. It is really the perfect size to read: not just the canard of books, but magazines, newspapers, regular websites, and email. It, and devices like it, are clearly the future of how many people will consume media, particularly the written word, in the leisure and travelling time. They will get thinner, lighter, and presumably screen sizes will vary. But the hoopla about the launches around the world suggests very strongly that they won't be going away anytime soon.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Has it ever crossed your mind that an iPad buyer may actually..

        .. be mental and need some help?

      3. JEDIDIAH

        Ultimate expression of the willfully ignorant consumer.

        > Has it ever crossed your mind that an iPad buyer may actually have considered

        Yup. I quickly dismissed the idea that the iPad buyer "considered" anything.

        They just aren't that sort of consumer.

      4. Doug Glass

        Re: 1. Own a tiny ... smaller is obviously better

        That true for your body parts too?


    The Twitter Effect

    That's all very well and good but I can assure you that as an avid Twitterer, TV has become a social experience hence the need to be plugged into a laptop all night!

    See what I mean for yourself during Britain's Got Talent by following these couple of Twitterers - @AngryBritain and @TVKev

    TV will never be the same - trust me!

    1. Seanmon

      A combination of

      Britain's got Talent AND Twitter? F*cking hold me back.

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      The twatter effect

      Pull those twatters at random did you? Oh no, one of them looks like you...

      Bet you were gutted Big Brother was canceled eh?

      1. Paul RND*1000

        They cancelled Big Brother?

        YEE-EEESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-D *fist-pump* THERE IS A GOD!!!

        Now get rid of the other ten dozen useless "reality" shows it spawned and we'll be onto something.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Social experience

      "TV has become a social experience "

      That's odd - for me its a social experience too. I sit down in front of a TV and watch it with my friends. But I guess you don't have any of those.

  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    It's a badge, not an appliance

    Just like in the 70's the height of cool was to have a couple of Led Zep[1]. albums under your arm. You may never get to play them, but the mere fact that you had them said something about you. So it is with this gizmo. It says "I am at the foreski^H^H^front of technology. I have a lot of spare money. I value pretty design." The hope is (as in the 70's) that people of a like mind will come up and be your friend, maybe even offer you a puff of whatever they were smoking.

    So it is today. It's more a thing that says "look at me", rather than just quietly getting on with doing the job. That's all fine, but I bet they have a laptop squirreled away somewhere, too.

    [1] or 'Floyd, or Moodies

  4. Jimmy Floyd
    Paris Hilton

    Since you ask...

    "So what is the iPad for?"

    It's for proving the old adage about a fool and his money.

    Paris, being she provides eye-candy and precious little else.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      The thing is Pedro...

      that Apple products generally DO let you get on with what you are doing unhindered. What is this disdain for things being well designed aesthetically? It's beyond fucking ridiculous. Are you suggesting that there is no merit is design? Why shouldn't an item be pleasing to hold, to look at? Must all technology be ugly? I do wish you IT types would accept that you, contrary to you own beliefs, DO NOT know all about everything, and adjust you opinion and missives accordingly. Believe it or not designing things is actually quite hard, certainly not something anybody can do. It's an extremely important part of a products lifecycle because it involve HOW the device will function, HOW it will be manufactured and HOW much it will cost. The last part is interesting, the cheaper the materials and components are, the bigger and more lasting impact the device has environmentally, but hey, what do I know...

      And who are people like you? Soporific and supercilious nerds, boring us with list of 'features' that your preferred doohickey has, however poorly conceived and implemented they are and grumping judgementally as to how others choose to spend *THEIR* money on?

      1. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge


        Aesthetics are irrelevant. Functionality is king. What the person or the device looks like doesn't matter, only what he/she/it can do and how much time/money/etc. it costs to do it.

        When you grow out of judging books by their cover, you not become more efficient at damned near everything, but you meet some interesting and frankly outstanding people as well.

        Is something or someone that is pretty a bad thing? Not at all…it’s simply not relevant. If I have two objects to choose from /of equal functionality, cost and resource consumption/ then why not choose the pretty one? Until something is completely and utterly commoditised however, aesthetics are just not a consideration. I know for some folks it's really hard to understand...but there honestly is a huge percentage of the population that believes and lives by the concept that design just doesn't matter.

        Life’s to short to get bogged down with pointlessly snubbing people or tools because of how they look.

      2. Big-nosed Pengie


        There's nothing wrong with aesthetic design. Nothing whatsoever.

        The problem here is functionality, not aesthetics.

  5. Eponymous Cowherd

    Why indeed....

    ***Talking to a few people who've been using them for a week or two the killer application, beyond any other, is web surfing while watching TV. Sadly it seems that the quality of our television is now so low that without additional entertainment viewers just become bored."***

    Surely a bog-standard notebook / netbook will do this just as well and, by virtue of its hinged screen, can sit on your lap with the screen orientated to the optimum viewing angle, leaving your hands free for operating the TV / STB remote controls.

    Can *anyone* suggest a valid use for the iPad that cannot be accomplished easier with a smartphone and/or netbook? This is a serious question, they certainly look very cool, but I cannot think of a single use I'd put one to.

  6. Stefing

    Reg readers

    Mainly too independent and smart to fall for Apple's keyboardless netbook.

    Oh go on, prove me wrong!

    1. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

      I would imagine

      That they would be better for playing table tennis with than a laptop. I expect you can even get a rubberised cover for them, which would allow you to impart some spin onto the ball.

      Joke Alert. Or is it? I can't decide.

    2. Kevin Bailey

      There's a huge, enourmous benefit in saving time...

      ...specifically, *my* time.

      Say my non-techie friend/mum/aged aunt etc want to read the interweb and emails.

      If they get a laptop then I have to fix it forever (for tea and biscuits at most).

      If they get an iPad then I won't have to fix it ever.

      That's why my friend will be banging on the Apple store door 0800 tomorrow. He wants to read websites and his hotmail and I said to him to wait until the iPad was out.

      As much as the MS fanbois hate it I would say that Jobs/Apple has got it right again.

      Still, it looks like Balmer is taking over WinMo - so good exciting things should be coming out soon.

      1. Eponymous Cowherd
        Thumb Down


        ***"If they get an iPad then I won't have to fix it ever."***

        Because it is perfect, and if you can't do it, you don't need it?

        Aunt Edith: "I can't see the videos on the BBC News website".

        Kevin: "That's because they use Flash".

        Aunt Edith: "Can you install it"?

        Kevin: "Errm, no".

        Aunt Edith: "Why not"?

        Kevin: "Because Apple won't allow it".

        Aunt Edith: "Can I have one of those netbook things. Edna's got one and she can see the videos".

        ***"Still, it looks like Balmer is taking over WinMo - so good exciting things should be coming out soon."***

        Chairs, mostly.

        1. Kevin Bailey

          Fair enough point....

          ... but it still doesn't use up my time.

          Can't watch Flash - then you can't watch flash.

          And if you want the same as Edna then that's fine - as long as Edna's there to help you work it.

          Also, the netbook would have to be Ubuntu (or at least non-Windows). My 70-year0old mum uses an old laptop running Ubuntu which I've set to load her gmail on boot up - and again support has never been needed. If she gets stuck then she turns it off and then then boots it again to get back to her gmail account.

      2. JEDIDIAH


        > If they get an iPad then I won't have to fix it ever.

        The old classic: MacOS and Linux don't exist. The worst Windows based experience you could possibly come up with is the only thing that is possible for PCs. Never mind the fact that the iPad is essentially a Mac with a different shell and a locked down version of Ubuntu's package manager.

        Plus you will still need a PC to manage that iPad. Chances are it will be a Windows PC. All of the anti-PC propaganda will help make sure that doesn't change.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          RE: JEDIDIAH

          "The worst Windows based experience you could possibly come up with is the only thing that is possible for PCs."

          I can only speak from experience but the worst WIndows based experience *is* Windows itself. Just about every other OS is/was better than Windows in its time. Amiga OS, Risc OS and now Linux, OSX etc

          "Never mind the fact that the iPad is essentially a Mac with a different shell and a locked down version of Ubuntu's package manager."

          A Mac with a different shell, eh? Methinks not. An iPhone with a larger shell, perhaps. The OS is completely different. Much more different than Windows CE and Windows desktop ever were.

          1. IanPotter

            Err no

            "A Mac with a different shell, eh? Methinks not. An iPhone with a larger shell, perhaps. The OS is completely different. The OS is completely different. Much more different than Windows CE and Windows desktop ever were."

            Physically yes in that it uses an ARM based processor but it is still running a Mach kernel and a slimmed down BSD userspace even if it is hidden so it is much closer to OSX than CE ever was to Windows.

      3. Doug Glass

        If you spend your life ....

        ... saving time you'll die having accomplished nothing. Wise men, and women, SPEND 100% of their time but do so in ways the benefit themselves and hopefully others.

        Saving is good only when it puts money in the bank and makes you more money over time. Time is not to be saved; it's to be spent wisely.

    3. Richard 45


      Precisely. I use my Xperia X1 in this manner while half-watching the telly.

    4. chr0m4t1c


      I have pets who like to sit on my lap, which makes the business of using a laptop/netbook a bit awkward, particularly as they just see the keyboard as a nice place to sit.

      My laptop gets quite warm while in use, particularly the underside, so having it sat in my lap can be quite uncomfortable, especially in warmer weather.

      So device that generates less heat and can be controlled from a touch screen would be handy. Yes, my smartphone can do all of that, but the screen is a bit small for general browsing.

      I'm not sure what your problem is. Yes other devices can provide similar functionality, but why should the computing arena be different to everywhere else?

      We have compact cameras for those who just want point-and-shoot, SLRs for those who want a lot of control and bridge cameras in the middle that provide a mix of easy use and advanced features.

      We have a huge variety of cars for all sorts of uses and requirements, but I don't see anyone asking why Ford make the Focus when the Fiesta and Mondeo provide the same functionality.

      A netbook doesn't do anything a laptop can't do, but they're the right device for enough people to buy them. I don't think it's a legal requirement to have a new device provide unique functionality,

      If you can't think of a use you'd put an iPad to then I'd suggest you don't buy one.

      For me, these tablet machines replicate the functions of a handful of gadgets that I currently use and carry with me regularly, so the advantage would be in having just one device. I tried a netbook and found the form unsuitable in enough situations to make me ditch it.

      1. matt 115

        RE: Well...

        If the heat is your main problem , you could save yourself £299 and buy a tray :)

        Spring an extra 5 and get a special laptop one

    5. Alex Johnson 1
      Jobs Halo

      You Miss The Point

      @Eponymous Cowherd: No, there's nothing you can't do with a phone and laptop. But this is such a stupid argument. Why buy an umbrella if you have a coat with a hood? Why buy a BMW when you could buy a Kia? And so on. The answer is the user experience. Once you start dealign with web pages with your hands - which seems like it will be just the same as the iPhone and now other smartphones but really isn't - to have that experience intermediated by a keyboard seems like the backwards step. It seems so obvious that this is how we will consume media in future I can't realy understand why there is a debate, but perhaps you have to play with one to appreciate this.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    this title intentionally left blank

    Aren't people bored of this now?

    "Company X is about to release product Y"

    reg comments: "Oh yeah? I have no use for it therefore it is shit and anyone who buys one is a complete moron"

    "Don't know why they bother, product Z from Company B is much better - I have one so I need to justify it by saying who incredibly great it is"

    "I hate Company X and everything they make is shit. However, I will not take any time to reflect on the strange fact that I *hate* a company and if I wanted to I could just not bother reading anything about them or posting comments about them. Even though time is precious to me (an argument I use to demonstrate Product Y is completely shit) I have plenty available to tell people who are not interested how much I hate Company X"

    This is getting really tiresome now. Accept the fact that there is value in it for some people and move on. Life really is too short guys.

    1. Code Monkey

      You're right

      Shame on us commentards for having opinions on new pretty-but-useless technology. Reg, you should close these fora immediately!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        point taken but this has been going on since January when it was announced. How many times do we have to hear the same arguments? Same thing happens with the iPhone and that's been over three years and what have we learned during this time? Some people don't like things that other people do. Whoop Whoop.

        We get that people don't like Apple or whatever company. No need to continually beat people over the head with that information.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          .....except on boards like this....

          ....which have the sole purpose of "beating people over the head" with opinions. I'm not sure you did take his point.

    2. Seanie Ryan

      clap clap

      well said sir, however, it will fall on deaf ears.

      Techy types have it built into their DNA to think that everybody in the world sees things as they do and if they dont see value in a product, then everyone else is wrong. And NOTHING can change that idea.

      The insecurity of thinking that they might have to admit that there is a piece of technology or product that they havent heard of, used or own causes utter chaos and anger in their blinkered view, resulting in picking out the flaws in a product because it is not 100% perfect with all functions that can be conceived built in.

      Ironic that the same people could never build up a business and produce the products they criticise in 100 years. No real talent. They simply dont understand the principles of business.

      So , no, they will never tire of telling everyone else they are wrong and the mindless "its crap, it doesnt suit me, so it cant suit anyone " comments will keep flowing. despite that fact that it will shape how all other manufacturers start producing their version... irrelevant.

      but i could be wrong !! ;-)

  8. Andy 115

    This is a title

    "The iPad can connect to a VGA monitor, but not to display slides from Keynote, or web pages, or anything like that. If your presentation consists of YouTube clips or iTunes-purchased films then you're OK, but the rest of us will have to carry a laptop too."

    Erm, isn't keynote about the only reason a VGA connecter is offered? I'm pretty sure that slides are displayed via VGA and speaker notes are displayed on the iPad, in such case, no laptop required?

  9. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Cheer up you lot!

    What a bunch of Negative Nigels we all are today!

    If people wish to buy and cut-down Palm Pilot with a huge screen let them, they finance the innovation we will all pick up on later on when the semi-sensible companies like Acer and Asus bring their own Trigger Happy device.

    Let the fanbois have some fun, iron out the niggle, pay the price and we'll reap the rewards later on with cheaper and more practical designs.

    I can see this going the way of the Newton, big song and dance until everyone realises it's OK, just not quite the wonder device Lord Jobs painted it to be. That's when the Palm of it's day will step forward and do it right.

  10. Ian Halstead

    PowerPoint? Eh?

    You wouldn't run it even if you could - would you? Keynote shows up PowerPoint for the hopelessly unintuitive mess that it really is.

    Nice to see all these people who have actually tried an iPad for a reasonable period of time making valid comments that are not just based on guesswork or preconceptions.

    1. Aaron Fothergill

      Keynote works on mine

      They are. works fine on my iPad, at least connected via the component lead (vga lead is identical output). Slides go to the big(ger) screen, slide number and controls are on the iPad screen. Do your homework Reg!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      *This* is the Palm of its day

      This product is the fastest consumer product to make $1M revenue. Attack it all you want, but it *is* the Palm of its day (which was the best selling consumer device at the time).

      Going the way of Newton? No way - the Newton had an unsuccessful debut, this one hasn't by a long way.



      > Nice to see all these people who have actually tried an iPad for a

      > reasonable period of time making valid comments that are not just

      > based on guesswork or preconceptions.

      Guess what the second thing done with the Gutenberg printing press was? Recipes.

      Now I like to collect web recipes. Sounds simple enough. I like to

      save them in print ready format so I have them when I want them

      again. Bookmarks would be too unweildy. A print ready file is nice

      and simple (in this case postscript, PDFs younger brother).

      So... "saving" stuff from the web is out.

      So is "printing" stuff.

      There are other things that are handy to print/save like receipts and boarding passes and such.

      So, an iPad isn't even full featured enough to be a ticketing kiosk.

      Nevermind the more "complicated" stuff like home videos in MPEG2 format or whatever strange formats you might have ripped DVDs into (like MKV).

      It really is an oversized ipod despite the fact that it looks very much like OpenStep under the hood.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        So the iPad is obviously not for you!

        Well done, you've proved using a problem (it's not really is it.) specific to you to prove that the iPad is useless for everyone. Here is a gold star! Now fuck off...

        Seriously; if the iPad is so terrible and Apple are so evil, stop reading and commenting on articles about them. If you ignore them, they might just go away. I know, I know, I'm exhibiting that crazy "out-of-the-box" type thinking that you and your ilk cannot begin to comprehend. Hell, the mere radicalness of my suggestion must be giving you a nose bleed as you read it! It's not as if you are doing the public a service here; you're pretty much preaching to the choir. As for printing; explain why bookmarks would be "unwieldy", because they seem to work for everyone else, or are you that kind of 'special'? A solution; copy 'n paste into Pages, and save it as a PDF file. Simples! I know that this is seemingly profound thinking, so you best keep your head forward to help ease the epistaxis...

      2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        @JEDIDIAH this case postscript, PDFs younger brother

        No. Older brother, or possibly even father.

  11. Thomas Davie


    1) You claim the iPad doesn't work as an eBook reader because it doesn't last for weeks on battery. I ask instead, why I'd want that in my house. I don't read for weeks on end, I might push 10 hours on a *really* long day with a *really* good book, but that's about the limit of reading realistically. After that, I dump it in a dock, and am done, simple. The only time I can think that you might want ultra long life is while going away on say, a camping holiday, and well, that's never been a problem for all our mp3 players for example that we'd want to last all week either.

    2) You claim that the VGA output doesn't work with keynote, which is just plain wrong.

    3) Your article actually really neatly sums up what the iPad is for, as you mention so many things you might want to do with it – it's for *everything*, it's good at all sorts of little things that you don't want to have a full size laptop about for.

  12. jason 7

    Why spend all that on a flawed product?

    If another firm brought out a similar product for the same price with all those obvious omissions it would have been laughed into oblivion.

    Is being 'slightly thin' really that greater an excuse for not having all those other obvious features?

    However, the Apple reality disruption bullshit field works again.

    If folks didnt buy it you'd probably get a really really good product next time. However, Apple are fully aware that any unfinished turd they put out folks will buy. And then will buy the proper version 6 months later. Rinse and repeat.

    Its a shame really.

  13. Ben Rosenthal

    "The Twitter Effect "

    smartphone already does for that, I prefer using tweetcaster to anything else I've tried so far :)


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