iPad For Business – It Can’t Do Anything, But Maybe It Will Someday
As I read the release coverage from the technology community about the new Apple iPad I kept thinking, what could you actually do with it that would make it work buying one for $500? Sure, it can surf the web and read emails, but so can a lot of much cheaper devices. I began to wonder if it wasn’t just a myth that Apple gets a pass on all of its technology the way other companies, especially Microsoft, do not.
It is starting to become clearer that technology pundits, website bloggers, and other technology writers are too eager to like whatever Apple sends their way, regardless of how well the device actually performs.
Remember the problem with the iPhone antenna that everyone knew about, but Apple refused to admit even existed? A fix was silently rolled out and everyone went about their business. If a Microsoft device, Palm gadget, or BlackBerry had the same issue, it would have been pilloried in technology circles as having been not ready for prime time or something of the sort, but since it was an Apple product, it was just a little glitch that got fixed.
So far, I haven’t heard of any hardware troubles with the iPad, but it does seem an awful lot like certain techie folks are trying too hard to like the iPad.
Consider this blog post at Network World from a technology blogger using the iPad for business. The point of the column is that it is "still lacking," but the reasoning is absolutely comical.
First, there is an issue with using LinkedIn. There is no LinkedIn app for the iPad yet, so it doesn’t look very good. Um…isn’t LinkedIn a website?
Isn’t the core function of the iPad the ability to use the Internet and websites? If it has to have a native iPad app for websites to look and function well, then isn’t this a big failure of the iPad?
Shouldn’t the iPad be able to work as an online device without having to download a special application for every website you use?
Then there is the issue of not being able to open certain types of non-Apple files, particularly .ics calendar files. Ironically, ics files are from iCalendar which is an Apple application. If Windows Mobile refused to open calendar files from Outlook would it get a two liner in a blog post about how that is disappointing, or would there be calls for a mass boycott and anti-trust investigations?
Equally laughable is the lament about how few applications are ready for the iPad. Would a review for Palm, Microsoft, or other device mention that as a little nagging thing? Aren’t Microsoft releases of everything judged by whether or not they have a killer application?
So, in short, the iPad isn’t really a good gadget to be used for business purposes and if anyone else had released it, technology bloggers and media types would be giving away their demo units, but with this guy and many others, the course of action is to insist that the iPad will be great someday once there are more apps, once it works better, once it is less closed and proprietary.
The Bigger Fool
But the thing that made me pull my eyeball muscles from rolling them so hard was the writer’s complaint about the price of iPad accessories. He notes that it is outrageous that Apple charges $50 for a cover for the iPad. Wait, that isn’t entirely correct. The writer notes that it is outrageous that HE PAID $50 for an iPad cover. What is actually outrageous is how many people willingly overpay for Apple accessories.
I guess it isn’t so outrageous after all. When you know that people will pay anything you ask for whatever you are selling, why charge less? Wouldn’t that make Apple the sucker instead of — well, we won’t say it.
In all fairness, this particular blogger is a networking guy and writes for the publication because of his experience with Cisco et.al, which is why I read his stuff in the first place.
Keep reading this guy’s posts and you’ll find where he declares that AT&T should fire everyone who came up with limited data plans and how businesses will be pulling 3G cards in from the field because of it. I guess no one at Apple should be fired for any of its product’s shortcomings.
Ironically, you won’t find one mention about how Apple’s decision to lock its customers into a single carrier are the root cause of this issue. AT&T knows that, just like this guy will shell out $50 for a $15 case, they will also pay every month for a capped data plan because some people will do anything to like the iPad. That is what impartial, cool, in-the-know technology bloggers and hipsters do. If people could move with their iPads to another carrier, AT&T wouldn’t be able to change data plans to be more limited, but that would be something bad about Apple, and we never ever want to write that.