Optical/IP Networks

iPad: The Touch of Death?

4:00 PM -- Heh, the iPad is certainly bringing some out some interesting opinions in the tech world.

For instance, take this PC World article on how the iPad will make the iPhone -- and other smartphones -- obsolete and liberate us from the limitations of "the mobile Web." Writer Galen Gruman contends that iPhone users "won't renew" their contracts, preferring instead to get a simple voice phone and use their iPad over WiFi for multimedia applications:

    The iPad doesn't make or receive calls. So what? Face it: As cool as it is to use an iPhone to surf the Web, check e-mail, play games, and run apps, it'll be cooler and more productive on an iPad. And since everyone seems to hate AT&T's phone coverage (it's always sucked in San Francisco, where I live, years before AT&T began blaming the iPhone users for its inadequate network) and have been frustrated with the iPhone's own phone-calling flaws -- everyone will be able to have their cake and eat it too: reliable phone service from someone else, and compelling data services over Wi-Fi and maybe one day even over AT&T's 3G network on the iPad.

Perhaps I'm not a typical consumer of wireless devices but this seems at odds with the way I -- and maybe you -- use mobile Web services today. Aside from calls, I regularly use an Android phone today to:
  • Check email
  • Instant message and G-chat
  • Get or give directions quickly and accurately
  • Twitter
  • Find stores or restaurants
  • Check the weather, flight schedules etc.

Returning to a phone that couldn't get me on the Web -- just the ordinary Web mind, not the green-screen WAP horror of yesteryear -- and instead carrying an extra bag around to house a tablet seems to negate much of the mobility aspect of having a mobile phone. Plus, then you are at the mercy of WiFi just to check directions or find an Italian restaurant in a strange neighborhood. I'd much rather have a weak 3G signal than a shaky WiFi connection when I'm on the move. It seems to me that you're locked into quickly shuttling among home, the office, and Starbucks to ensure good WiFi access on the iPad

In addition, I'm not sure I'd want to whip out an iPad late at night on the streets, buses, and trains of New York, London, Paris, or any other major metropolis. It is a good deal less discreet than a smartphone, and those devices are already prime targets for pickpockets and muggers. If you're driving you can forget about using an iPad, it strikes me as less safe than even the in-car cellphone texting that so many U.S. states are cracking down on.

Personally, I doubt that even Apple sees the iPad as a replacement for its iPhone. In fact, I suspect they'd be pissed if that was the case, seeing as an iPhone is much cheaper than an iPad and therefore more appealing to a broader audience when disposable income is tight around the world.

Of course, it is possible that Mr. Gruman simply prefers clothes that feature really big pockets so portability just isn't an issue for him. I haven't worn a jumpsuit or overalls since a particularly dark period for my fashion sense in the 1980s, however, and I don't intend to start again now.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

gayleP 12/5/2012 | 4:43:17 PM
re: iPad: The Touch of Death?

iPhone App are really great. Not just only you can access into different games but also you can open your Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites. Just want to know who ISN'T on Twitter these days? I think very few people doesn't aware yet of it, but majority will do.Many advantages that Twitter brings to us like for instance a person could use social networking to make a little cash. To be precise, if you have enough followers, then you'll get paid for sponsored Tweets.  Obviously, you aren't going to make as much as a famous person for a sponsored Tweet – and it takes a while to get enough followers to make even as much as the average payday loans worth – but then again, making a few extra bucks per day adds up.

FredStein 12/5/2012 | 4:42:50 PM
re: iPad: The Touch of Death?

Dan,you're right.

Sure some folks will use an iPad and cheap simple phone. I recall hearing about Blackberry users who bought the iPod Touch and kept their BB's or upgraded their BB's. But it doesn't matter. iPhones and Android are still growing nicely. The iPad is not a mobile comms device, at least not yet. Its a media device. Hence Wifi to load up new content, books, movies, Video clips, magazines, etc. The iPad is also a gaming device. It's all about immersive experiences. Smart Phones are for on-the-go rich comms.

I doubt that people will give up Smart Phones. Maybe teens and college kids will get feature phones and an iPad, since data plans are a bigger financial challenge.

JohnRogers99 12/5/2012 | 4:42:21 PM
re: iPad: The Touch of Death?

I'm not sure about Ipad tbh, it does seem like a nice peice of kit, but the functionality is pretty much the same as the the iphone, other than the screen size and the fact that you can't call people in it. Online technology is improving all the time, but I think this has missed the boat really in terms of functionality. We can do everything online now, from online banking to tweeting our every move to the world to see on Twitter. Tech companies therefore need to come up with something a bit more advanced as the consumer has much more choice. Would I get an Ipad? No, I will wait until 2011 when the next 'big thing' will be released.

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