The blogs were a buzz this weekend with anticipation over the Saturday iPad release date. Malls containing Apple stores were beefing up their security and on Friday NPR did a segment on “iPad saturday” plans for various malls across the country. Plans ranged from opening early to handing out free coffee to bringing in extra temporary security and bathroom facilities. All this hype and the word from the press is that the day was no where near as crazy as people thought it would be and the that there were plenty of iPads to go around.
iPad shopping aside, the reviews are all over the place. Glenn Fleishman of wifinetnews.com, calls the device: “marvelous–certainly the best computing device ever produced of its size or nature”, then goes on to say that there is not really much to discuss as far as the devices Wi-Fi capabilities, it works with 802.11 and that’s about the jist of it. Walt Mossberg, similarly describes the Wi-Fi enabled iPad as a “beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple [that] has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop”. So, it seems as though the big guys are pretty taken by the beauty of device. That being said – there are some questions as to the features of the iPad – what was left out of the device and why. The device lacks USB ports, a webcam, does not support flash (like the iPhone), does not enable multi-tasking. This seems to be irritaing people, however, it’s important to remember that this is a first generation device and I’m sure Apple has plans to release more functionality on future models, like it does with most all of it’s devices. At this point, beauty of the device aside, it seems to be that the iPad is primarily a device for web browsing, applications, etc – not a work device or a techy device.
According to the NYT, Apple sold 300,000 iPads on Saturday and that number is probably not inclusive of everyone who will be purchasing an iPad as many consumers, such as myself, want to wait for the 3G version so I test the Wi-Fi vs. 3G on the iPad and see if my predictions are right that the 3G iPad is going to result in even worse data gridlock for the 3G network. I will be spending a few hours playing with the Wi-Fi only iPad this week and will let you know my thoughts.
In the meantime, here are some iPad demo videos:
iPad user demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62LrPx43lyI&feature=popular