We'll see it before then
If all too many previous Apple launches are anything to go by, it wouldn't surprise me if beans are spilled in advance of the official announcement.
Apple will uncloak the next generation of its überpopular fondleslab, the iPad, on March 2 in San Francisco. Fanbois, mark your calendars. This news comes to us from The Loop, which – clearly being on better terms with Cupertino than The Reg – received its invitation to the event on Wednesday morning. Apple's invitation to …
Make no mistake, El Reg is as guilty as any of riding the Apple wave of speculation. It's a win-win situation though, as the extra eyeballs (and clicks) boost ad revenue too. Applemania is a 'good thing' for all concerned, it even provides ample troll bait for all round entertainment too ;-)
Apple are the only company with any new ideas anyway, aren't they?
What they for again?
In an office full of geeks, the 'company' fondleslab being used to develop a fondleslab app; so that marketing fondlers can impress at market fondling shows; has so far not managed to impress anyone.
We're talking design/developer geeks who gather around the water cooler to discuss the latest gadgets and who own ... a *lot* ... of gadgets.
The general premise is, "nice gadget, if I got one for free, that'd be neat" - in short, everyone is just simply whelmed by it. No under, no over, just whelmed. Whatever.
Effectively, to this day, it's the same whelmed response Jobs got at the product keynote...
"Is that it then? - erm, ok, we expected the second coming based on your marketing, but, erm, we got Brian"
"So, it's a portable computer with a touch screen. Cool. That it? Can it do anything my laptop can't do?" ... erm ... "You can interact with it with lots of your fingers..." ... "like a keyboard and mouse then?" ... er... "Yes, but it's sooo cool, look, I can rotate stuff with two fingers!, I can pinch and zoom!"
I'll never forget watching that keynote, there was a distinct air of .. "erm, er, yippee?" as Jobs sat in an armchair and dismally failed to impress a room full of uber fanboi's. Embarrasing.
I rest my case.
But hey, if anyone decides to give me one, or if the price drops to £200, I'm keen to get one so I can leave it in a drawer somewhere after a week...
... my kindle on the other hand, now THAT is a killer bit of hardware ...
I remember the spiel about it being the full web experience or something to that effect during the official launch event. Then the distinct "HA!" effect hit when I noticed that familiar "where's the Flash plugin?" icon appeared on one of the sites (NY Times?) the bespectacled one was using to demonstrate the iPad.
He can hate Flash as much as he likes, and as much as a large amount of other people hate it too, but he's being very foolish to ignore how widespread it is across the web as a whole. Until something better comes along it will very likely continue to be this way, no matter how much his ego might think otherwise. Not even his ego and power over Apple fanatics will change that.
The geeks may only be 'whelmed' by the iPad but that didn't stop Apple from selling 15.2 million of the things in their last financial year which is what matters to Apple.
What are they for? I use mine every day for casual browsing as it's more convenient than having a laptop out all the time.
The iPad is the least impressive supergadgety thing I've used in yonks. For all its size and the pretty screen, there is little escaping the fact that it is a very large, very expensive iPod. And I don't like iPods much to begin with.
And I have seen 5x more Kindles on the train to work than I have iPads. Actually, I see at least twice as many actual working honest-to-God-I'm-trying-to-get-something-done-here-turn-your-fucking-music-down-your-Apple-branded-headphones-are-incredibly-shit laptops on the train as I do iPads. My 17" brick included.
I feel like a giant when I get on public transport, because my legs rarely fit behind a seat, and if I do manage to cram them in, some arse in front will bounce around crushing my kneecaps... or lift the arm rest, crushing my knee caps. On some of the smaller Diesel trains, my legs are longer than the seats are by a few inches so I actually have to sit sideways. So , long legs... add to that, I'm wide... my shoulders are huge... I'm not really designed for public transport.
I end up looking like a trussed Chicken, effectively.
You see 5x more Kindles than iPads on the train. I see 5x more Ford Mondeos than Mercedes E-Class cars on the roads. The Mondeo costs less, is more economical to run, perhaps easier to drive (has handbrake in the right place) - however, some people will prefer a Mercedes E-Class. They both transport 4 adults in comfort from A-B. Each to his own.
That peeled back corner of the icon should be rounded! Good thing Jobs is taking some time off, otherwise he'd probably lock the whole marketing team in a cage with a couple of bears. I mean, he's worked so hard establishing rounded corners on everything, the least they can do is remember to use them!
I've got to say that despite being stuck in front of four monitors during working hours (or perhaps precisely for that reason?) not 24-hours has gone by since I received my iPad on UK launch day, where I haven't used it for reading, surfing and more.
It's far from perfect but it's so much more comfortable in use than a netbook and I wouldn't want to be without it. Unsurprisingly YMMV.
"...used it for reading, surfing and more"
i.e. playing games.
Admit it. It's basically a chic games console. One third of all apps downloaded and almost all the top paid apps are games.
It'd be nice if owners came clean and just admitted as much, that the iPad is a great device for farting about and basically wasting time, rather than try and have us all believe it's wonderful and magical and going to revolutionise the world and everyone needs one. Because it ain't and they don't.
Not me, no. I don't play games on the iPad -- that's what the Xbox is for! For me the iPad *is*, principally used for the web, VNC connections, and reading via the Kindle app and GoodReader (PDFs) app.
(I play tabletop roleplaying games regularly, which no computer has yet to satisfactorily emulate.)
But if folks want to play games on it, why does that annoy YOU? You've convinced me that YOU don't need one and you don't find the device "wonderful and magical". Nor do I actually ... it's a tool that does a variety of tasks well. For me.
'Admit it. It's basically a chic games console. One third of all apps downloaded and almost all the top paid apps are games.'
So two-thirds of the apps downloaded are not games. And that's the best stat you have to support your argument? Or was it merely a rant?
My part of the world gets snowy and has webcams showing real-time road conditions. I can turn on the iPad, look at the situation five km down the road and be well on the way there while your laptop is still 'loading your personal profile'. (iPad goes from 'off' to 'web page loaded' in 20sec.)
And that's just one example of the iPad for everyday convenience. I could add half a dozen more examples but why should I bother trying to talk sense to you?
Gaming is the App Store's single biggest industry by some margin. The fact a majority of non-game purchases are spread wafer thin across the 19 remaining categories if anything helps prove my original point: all the top sellers are targeting one market and it's not productivity or education.
Also anecdotal evidence about looking at snow on web cameras proves nothing, though it may help you rationalise your purchase. I can also use an iPad to view train timetables and tide information, but like most people I've managed to go through life without that.
Best of all I still have the cost of an iPad in my bank account! How ironic that not being a sucker means I could, should I wanted, use the money to buy an iPad 2.
in order of importance...
[V] Wide-angle display (OLED/PVA/IPS)
[V] Capacitive touch
[ ] A reliable, simple way to install homebrew apps. Yes, i like to write code for my PDAs, ever since palm III.
[ ] Active pressure-sensitive stylus, to use when creating content
[ ] USB Host
[ ] Dual-core CPU (the only way to actually provide a fluid user experience)
[V] Good battery life > 8 hours
[V] Good choice of connectivity
[V] Good choice of applications
[ ] Good web experience (yes, i mean flash)
For now, no fondleslab ticked all the boxes... For now, iPad checks the most of them. But, HP's windows7 tablet checks more.
Have nothing in the pocket, thank you...
...how many people like to write into El Reg to tell us how much they dislike anything Apple-related. What is it about Apple that makes them so rabid?
Never ceases to amaze me.
I vote that for every person commenting (whilst foaming at the mouth) on Apple stories should also have to post the reason they ORIGINALLY disliked Apple. (You now who you are - the people who said the iPod/iPhone/iPad would never take off). Mummy didn't let you have a Mac SE like your friends and you had to be happy with a Dell? Or is it that some techies just don't like consumers using computers/phones/tablets as it is slowly dispelling the "black art of IT" little by little?
Me. I judge them purely on their products: Performas were terrible, iMacs great; MobileMe is so-so, iTunes Store is great, etc. etc.
I used to like Apple. That is, I liked Macs. I grew up using Macs at home and at school. Then I discovered PCs. PCs were just so much more fun. You could rip them apart and swap parts here and there and you had a choice of OS.
When you buy an Apple product these days, you're not just buying a product, you're buying the experience. For me, that closed world experience is just too restrictive. You have to experience it Apple's way or no way, and that's not for me. I like to play.
Apple's products are good at what they do, and I'm sure they're fine for the majority who just want to use a device the way it comes in the box. But for me, by nature, an inquisitive geek, Apple's whole ethos is anathema.
With Apple facing an extended delay whilst it figures out what's wrong with it's latest tablet, it has to do something to all the competitors that are busy readying shipments of their pads, many of which have additional features not found on the Walled Garden version 2 tablet.
Jobs, or whomever, needn't worry, there's plenty of business for everyone and the iPhans will wait as long as he commands them to do so.
I am wondering why iPad generates so much hate, especially form the people that do not own one ...
I don't own a race boat, but I don't hate them, they are expensive, overpriced etc ... I just don't care
what makes some non iPad owners react so badly to it, do they wish they had one, or the money to waste ? or do they wish they could control what it is, or is not ?
who should give a flying crap, unless you are to buy one, or had one and were disapointed ?
seriously weird behaviours there ...
Anyroad ... I love the look and feel of this thing, but can't justify the spend, against the functionality (and for the plank above comparing it to a kindle ... I mean .. really?!).
I sure would like to see the new one in action.
"I don't own a race boat, but I don't hate them, they are expensive, overpriced etc ... I just don't care"
True, but owners of racing boats don't (usually) bring them along to meetings and prominently plonk them on the desk and look smugly around the room and waste the first 15 minutes of the meeting letting people have a play...
It's a gadget. It's great at some things, not so great at others, but it (and iphones) tend to cause a division between people saying 'ooh, you've got one of those', and those saying 'just put the thing away'... Maybe that triggers a form of jealousy, I don't know..
I have one through work (in order to support the managers who had to get one only to find it didn't do what they expected or replace their slimline laptops - my excuse anyway). It's ok for that. It's not really enterprise-grade though (only syncing to one PC/one user account stops managers handing it to their secretary to put files on), although to be fair it hasn't ever been advertised as such. It's great as a coffee-table internet/media device to just pick up and browse and play Angry Birds. But I wouldn't buy one myself at that price.
"True, but owners of racing boats don't (usually) bring them along to meetings and prominently plonk them on the desk and look smugly around the room and waste the first 15 minutes of the meeting letting people have a play."
I can't think of a single meeting I've ever sat in that wouldn't have been improved by some playtime with a racing boat, smug bastard or no.
Simple: Apple is really effective at skewing the market. Many people who want a portable media player go into a shop and ask for "an iPod", and people who want a tablet will now ask for "an iPad". The shops will sell them what they ask for.
It feels invasive to have entire product categories defined by a not-particularly-special example of the genre, and it's a threat to competition and choice.
Heres an idea... if Apple make your blood boil so much (did they steal your sweeties or something?)... STOP READING ARTICLES ABOUT APPLE.
Its really not very hard.
I love how Apples marketing is somehow made out to be evil or wrong. Perhaps if the other companies could market quite as effectively they wouldn't all be struggling to catch up??
Heres an idea... if Anti-Apple comments make your blood boil so much (did they steal your sweeties or something?)... STOP READING COMMENTS ABOUT APPLE.
Its really not very hard.
I love how not liking Assle is somehow made out to be evil or wrong. Perhaps if the assle commentards could respond as effectively they wouldn't all be struggling to catch up??
'much appreciated by those of us who use our iPads primarily for Kindle, Instapaper, and the like.'
Yes, that existing ipad you have had for less than a year is completely worthless now isn't it ? Better buy a new one as soon as it comes out, I hear it has a slightly improved screen!!'
While so many people are amazed by the iphone and the ipad, all they are are variations on the ipod touch.
iphone = ipod touch + cell phone + 3G
ipad = big ipod touch + 3G
It will be interesting to see if the next really new product from Apple is derived from the ipod touch, or will they come up with something completely different for a change.
I dont like Apple....
Because it is all about how much money you are willing to spunk on the latest over hyped, slave built hobbled device that is tied to a single locked down programme.
Then pay again for apps, pay again for music at inflated rates, pay again when they make your year old product obsolete & the whole circus ride starts again.
Money pit disposable computing is not my idea of fun. The marketing just makes me barf too, magical my arse.
So thats why Mr AC.
I have a number of Apple products (MacBook Pro, iMac & iPhone) none of which are hobbled in the slightest. I run Windows on the PCs and the phone is jail broken. The hardware suits me perfectly and I can afford to buy it.
When a company updates a product the older version is not obsolete. I quite happily used my iPhone 3G up until last autumn when I decided I fancied an IPhone 4.
I don't have an iPad yet as, for me, the absence of a front facing camera was an issue. I may well get an iPad 2 if it adds this feature.
And I have seen the effect of using iOS has on a lot of people. There is something amazing about how accessible it is. I have yet to see the same in any other product (but, to be fair, I haven't looked at Windows Mobile 7 or WebOS).
Get over yourself.
So wait, this is an announcement of an announcement? Why is that news? And all the rumour stories we have up until now have been Rumoured announcement of an announcement of an announcement?
This is getting silly.
(I remember back in the late 90s when PC companies like Gateway had bought out the Amiga, and were rather inept doing things, it got to be a bit of a running joke that we'd end up getting endless "Announcements of Announcements", not to mention endless vaporware rumoured announcements. I loved the Amiga, but the handling of it by later companies was a shame. Sad to see Apple now doing the same. The difference is however that at least back then, the users realised what a sham it was, where as now, the users just lap up the endless announcements of announcements from Apple or the media...)
"What are they for? I use mine every day for casual browsing as it's more convenient than having a laptop out all the time."
How is it more convenient than a netbook? Honest question.
And yes they sold a few million, but that's hardly surprising with endless wall-to-wall coverage and advertising, and with them being a massive company. It's still a drop in the ocean to the hundreds of millions of laptops and smartphones though - the Ipads are okay products if that's what you want, but they are not a revolution.
"If you'd never seen an iPhone or iPod Touch you'd be a lot more whelmed."
No, because we'd just look at our Androids and Nokias and note that Ipads are still just large phones that can't make phone calls. (A phone being big used to be a bad point - we called them "bricks".)
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