iPad: Before the Backlash

5:30 PM Let's step back: It's amazing that Apple has popularized a new mobile device format in less than a month

Dan Jones, Mobile Editor

May 4, 2010

2 Min Read
iPad: Before the Backlash

5:30 PM -- There's bound to be a backlash -- either from the media, users, or both -- against the iPad soon enough, even if that that doesn't usually mean enough to the mobile masses that they will actually stop buying Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) products.

It is as night follows day: An Apple product gets sent into the world to delirious hype and -- eventually -- people get annoyed with one or another aspect of it.

For my money, it is network problems with the 3G iPad that are likely to cause a backlash sooner rather than later. Let's conservatively suggest that iPad users consume double the data of the average iPhone user (some suggest it will be far more). This means that a million 3G iPads sold will be equivalent to adding 2 million phones to the network. How many 3G iPads is Apple likely to shift this year? Given the sales so far, we have to expect that there will be millions of iPad users on the network by the end of the year.

Will AT&T's network upgrades be enough to cope? Does it have a plan to deal with iPad traffic? If it does, it isn't saying anything new right now. I know, I've asked.

Still, the backlash could also come from lack of access to applications. Or some as-yet unforeseen technical difficulty could inspire a backlash. Still, there's bound to be some complaints down the line -- that's just how things are with i-prefixed objects of desire.

So, with that hefty disclaimer out of the way, let's reflect on how remarkable it is that Apple has managed to popularize an entirely new segment of mobile devices in less than a month. I mean, wow, one million iPads sold in 28 days!

It can only be good for Apple, its carrier partners, and other device vendors looking to horn in on the action. The folks out of Cupertino have taken a format that was considered DOA, kicked it into life, and given wireless operators a whole new stream of devices to make money off.

And they've done this at the worst of times: in a recession that we may be "coming out of" in a statistical sense, but it absolutely doesn't feel like that in everyday life. Pretty amazing to create something so remarkable that people had to drop several hundred dollars just to have one.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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