The explosive world of iPAD and future opportunities
Many people donít buy the initial version of a product, and typically feel it to be a work in progress and somewhat unfinished. As development proceeds it is always going to get updates. Weíll just wait for the next iteration as it will certainly be more finished. Look at any OS, they are works in progress with myriads of updates ... it takes lot of effort and focus to develop complicated products. Most of us know iPAD was not fully developed by Apple (In hardware and in software). But it was a huge first step. We also can expect improvements in function, style and software ... thus iPAD2 ... a great improvement ... it addresses ease of holding it ... lighter and less weight, faster action and response, while continuing to offer long battery charge ... and all this gets better with iOS4.3 and so on (Safari is twice as fast). iMovie and GarageBand are spectacular APPS. We can certainly expect a nice bump in capabilities with each iteration ... because this is what Apple does and is doing.
Apple (and many other manufacturers) do not release all the features and capabilities to their customers until they (the features) are REALLY ready, and we should thank them for that. It also means the full potential of their products are not fully realized on the announced launch day. Many may not know that Apple builds-in future hardware capability, that gets energized when the software is ready to make it happen in subsequent iterations of hardware. This means some degree of backwards compatibility we all want. We often have substantial investment in stuff we bought a few years ago. We know Apple products improve over time, and it is proven over and over (we haven't been disappointed in that area yet). They also carry value in resale, often much higher than comparable PC competition. Apple isn't perfect, but they have proven to be very reliable (perhaps more than other vendors) ... their continuing growth and profitability prove that. This was not always the case as it takes time to get on the proper path. Maybe we are just short sighted and impatient?
So, we realize that no computing device is ever released with its full potential on its launch day, and as the software is updated, so the potential and action comes to life... step by step by step.
Now, many Fanbois, wannabe, and media driven guessers will always try to upstage any promising event. That is what energizes them. But leaving out an I-want feature or connection interface is not the same as it will be coming ... maybe so, maybe not. Design and development is all about tradeoffs. What makes Steve Jobs so successful is holding the focus to critical key needs. Not letting an ambitious marketing/engineering team include, oh we can also do this, and this and this ... but at the expense of critical issues... oh, what is the competition up to next? This isnít to say that marketing/engineering doesnít contribute to the big picture. Apple technical team is really savvy. So is the management team. As a team, it takes real courage to step away from the legacy systems of the past that are so entrenched. Weight, ease of holding it, long battery life, a beautiful display (doesnít necessarily mean Retina quality), good enough cameras,front and back ... all at a reasonable price are the key issues. Not every legacy connector, Flash, and PC-like-multitasking will be implemented, has to be simple and EZ to operate and use. The legacy fanbois always want their PC functions and conveniences (they want to change, upgrade and tweak. Even the Apple fanbois are wanting the be able to use their old G5 processors for OSX (lion). Oh, no Rosetta ... darn. They rarely are willing to accept what is and just go with it. Instead they just have to have it their way, and why canít I have it for less.
If we could just see the long range plan ... the world of digital data transfer is going wireless ... Thunderbolt is very powerful, but wonít be in iPAD. I could see mini-display port for video, but data requires PCI express. The single 30 pin connector is genius for cost and control of iPAD. The interfacing of legacy ports is in the add-on serial connection device ... monitors, hubs, etc. But take notice, Apple has just implemented Thunderbolt in MacBookPro ... and there is a slick lightweight MacBook Air that features instant-on with SSD storage... but not Optical drives. I donít know if it has Thunderbolt included, but I would be willing to bet it is in the long range plan. Wouldnít it be great for one connector to allow interfacing will all the current important ports, USB2.0, USB3.0, Firewire 400, 800 +, High speed ethernet, VGA, DVI, and HDMI video feeds, and wireless standards, 802.11g,n, maybe a.
Not implementing a feature that could possibly be implemented is not the same as "slipping". For it to "slip" it has to first be planned for implementation. So, multitasking didn't "slip" with the release of the first iPad, it was never scheduled to ship with the first release. Also, just because something is technically possible, doesn't mean it must be implemented ... something many don't seem to understand. It may be decided that it's simply an over kill feature (1080p playback from an iPad, or any tablet, or Retina quality ppi) ... but HDMI and mirroring is slick. it may be decided that it would be a nice feature, but it's simply not worth investing the engineering effort in it, or, it may be decided that it's a worthwhile feature, but it is not cost effective... maybe ... many other issues are involved. Sometimes, less is better. Look at how long it took to offer compatibility with CDMA technology. A new chip had to be developed (they took even further and it is both CDMA and GSM capable). The use of a SIM card with GSM is a different animal than CDMA. It may even be on the roadmap, but it hasn't slipped until the version it was scheduled for has past.
So, unless we are privy to the roadmap, or it has been publicly announced it hasnít slipped. Samsung 10.1 hasnít slipped ... they never announced the introduction date. So it is still on time ... their time.
If uninformed awareness of a new technology causes us to delay and hold-off ... it is typical. Even the logic, you should never buy any product because there will always be a better next version of that product, and many will often hold back. If we take that approach, many will enjoy what is, while others wait for the ultimate. In reality, there was nothing half baked about the original iPad. We may recall that Apple released iPad with the hardware ability to multi-task months before iOS was released with that capability.
iPad 2 is a solid improvement on a very successful product launch of a product that has opened up a whole new world of experience in display and control thereof to millions of satisfied users. The finger is the most obvious control device ...we never leave it home, it doesnít get lost ..., every body has one (or more), it needs no maintenance, etc.
Look around the world at all the people, groups of people, businesses, enterprises, governments, and schools that are implementing Touch PADs, a la iPAD. Naturally, Apple leads, because it has no competition at the moment. There is lots of media hype about the competitive stuff on its way. It isnít just comparing hardware specs like the geeky clan are inclined to do (a very small group), it is also not un-tested vaporware, and last but not least, yet to be developed APPS. Apps have to really work, be safe and secure. Take note Android. Then there is the total infrastructure.
Kindle, Nook, Sony offered e-book readers (just one of the many features of iPAD, but are oh, so slow). Microsoft worked with the PC manufacturers on Touch Screen technology. That technology has been discontinued. They always needed a stylus ... there is no pointer in iOS ... the finger is the pointer ... there is no way to hover, and the issues go on and on and on. This is also why flash won't work properly. Touch screen a la Microsoft didnít work. They were power hungry. Touch Screen PC is basically dead in the marketplace.
Netbook was a spinoff of an idea for a low cost computer for the third world ... $100. Everyone wants a low cost computer ... until they find out it has significant compromises that make it less than what people really wanted. But it cost less than other current PC computers. But, the old axiom still holds, ďwe get what we pay forĒ.
So along comes iPAD, and a whole new world is born. It wasnít designed to replace your higher performance laptop with all the legacy ports. It doesnít do Photoshop, Aperture, Excel in all of its glory, it isnít Word with all of its collaboration features that made it a world-class word processor. It isnít Alienware or Northwest Falcon class gaming machines. Rather, it is an extremely intuitive device with a gorgeous display that we can sit in a comfortable chair, lean back and experience the internet, in all of its glory ... read books, play games, have fun with digital photos, make and edit movies ... create and update data (word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation, less complicated versions, but still very useful, and these are improving... and the display of all kinds of information (a real file system). It is all right in front of us and our fingers do the walking. Wow, this is really nice. Even kids and Senior citizens can have fun... and everyone in-between. If we need a mechanical keyboard ... blue-tooth versions are readily available. Voice activated data entry is also underdevelopment.
In the vernacular of AFLAC, does it do flash ... nah, nah, nah ... just html5 which is the growing standard. Same for iPAD3 in 2011. John didn't do anyone any favors with his prognostications on that one.
So weíve got some experience with iPAD. Now iPAD2 is upon us with iOS4.3 and faster Safari, and subsequent improved versions ... iOS5 is on the planned horizon for phones ... likely iPAD also. We are well on our way to seeing paper books, newspapers, and magazines becoming digital. Printing reports, government publishing industry (we are all paying for that one) are expensive and cumbersome ... they are also prime candidates for going digital. Airpilots are quickly certifying iPAD for charting and logging. As the publishing and entertainment industries come together, this new technology will transform our society. At the moment, iPAD is the standard display, reader device... others are coming. Xoom is here and waiting for announced features ... i.e. G4, Flash, and APPS.
As I am able to notice the trends in technology ... for consumers it is mobile, it is wireless, and sharing (FaceTime) as well as other schemes. We want to get and share info, still pictures and movies (animation), gaming and entertainment on a device that works all day long. Cloud computing is the cornerstone of large scale storage, though local storage for immediate availability control and security is also important.
Onward and upward. Just my perspective ... it is happening, and that is my view at the moment... IMO.