Who needs the iPad? Nobody, I’m sure.
The headline pretty much says it all. What is the point of the iPad? I think this may be the perfect example of the consumer product that exists first and foremost to fleece its buyers out of their money. Goal #2: To convince them that it’s great in the absence of these customers having better reasons for living.
Too cynical? Perhaps. Granted, the last thing I should probably do is dare to question the uber-smart-and-savvy Steve Jobs. After all, every high-tech, game-changing, mega-hyped, life-altering, blockbuster piece of techo-wizardry that Apple has released in the past decade has been a slam-bang success, right?
The very first “i” product, the iMac, basically saved Apple from oblivion shortly before the turn of the millennium. After that came the iPod and the iPhone, both of which redefined the notion of success when it comes to cool-ass gadgets. The iPod announced Apple as a company that owned the gadget zeitgeist, and the iPhone was so hyped it confirmed Apple’s lightning-in-a-bottle reputation well before it even came out. For me to question the potential success of the iPad is probably betting against the house, where the house has long ago rigged the game.
But we’ll see. There’s a part of me that can’t shake the feeling that the concept of the iPad is very flawed, trying desperately to invent a market rather than fill one that actually exists. Do you really need a device that positions itself in between your smartphone and your laptop? If you have an iPhone (which I grant is a terrific device that I would gladly own) and you have a laptop — and I’m guessing about 99 percent of potential iPad buyers have both — do you really need an iPad?
No. You don’t.
You are just buying it because it’s cool. And because you have $500-$700 to set on fire.
And if snarky humor doesn’t do it for you, I think James Poniewozik does a great job on an actual pragmatic level.
But the thing about Apple is that they find a way to make their gadgets so darn cool and effective when it comes to user interface that they manage to transcend the whole necessary-ness thing. So Apple prevails.
But I still can’t help asking: Why? Who out there is buying an iPad? And can you admit to the rest of us that it’s because you think it’s cool, and because you heart Apple, and only because of that? Because, beyond that, I would think your lightweight awesome MacBooks would provide enough Apple+Portable to get you through the day.