Hi. So the iPad is out. Now that I have read everyone else's opinion I can now attempt to offer mine long after anyone has stopped caring. But I tell THE TRUTH and obviously my opinion is far more insightful than anyone elses (ahem).
I'm going to try and approach this in a backward approach and try and understand what the iPad is built for and what the audience is, before seeing if that means anything for what I personally do on the device.
I like the iPad. It's a "thing" that I would consider buying for my mum and dad. They are old people, and particularly my dad, are not very tech-savvy at all. They barely understand email and they definitely do not understand multi-tasking - that's right, they do not understand "more than one thing happening" on an electronic device, and even after you show and explain it to them, they will still not get it. But why will I buy it for them? What is this thing that I would recommend to people like mum and dad? The iPad is a device attacking the eBook market. Mum and Dad enjoy reading and watching movies. Everything else is a nice extra.
Apple are not creating a new market here - that would be an extraordinary move. It's one of the hardest things to do - to create a new market and convince people to buy something completely new. Much like the iPod is a very nice MP3 player, the iPhone is a very nice Cell Phone and the MacBook Air is a very nice laptop, the iPad is basically a very nice eBook. Taking the examples of the iPod, iPhone and the MacBook - they are high end, user friendly products in (at the time) quickly establishing markets with extremely steep trends for sales. Right now, if you look at Kindle, I've read somewhere (a business news site I can't remember) that basically the first and second year sales figures are beating first and second year sales for iPod. This is a *rapidly* growing market - or at least it appears to be, and it's one I think Apple would like to dominate in.
What does this mean then? This piece of information guides me in one concrete area - I know what the mindset and the type of the majority of people who would buy this thing. I also know how they will most likely use it. I can also form my own model of how to answer the often thrown about criticisms of it as "it's not that portable" and "it's not as powerful as a netbook" etc. It is AS PORTABLE as an eBook, and it is AS USEFUL as an eBook. And *that* is how the device will be used around the home, and when moving - such as being taken out in trains to read or on holiday lying on the beach. It will also guide me in what to expect of market size too. I think it will be very interesting tracking the iPad against Kindle and Sony's efforts.
Do you think I'm a complete crazy? Shove a comment and tell me what you think. And buy MiniSquadron - its an IGF Mobile Finalist baby so I actually have a *reason* to be at GDC now other than just loitering near the entrance as I was planning to do :oD