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Tablets

July 4, 2011

Remember Steve Jobs showing off the iPad just before it launched? It had that new look that said, “I’m a game changer. I can put the world in the palm of your hand, where ever your hand happens to be. I’m cool. I’m slick. I’m shiny. You know you want me.”

In many ways it was seductive. I felt the allure almost immediately. Then I saw the price tag and started comparing features that $500 computing instruments are supposed to have and found the iPad falling short. The device is long on promise/short on delivery.

And it gets no better with all the rivals launched since Apple sold a Bazzillion of these “iCould’ve but iDidn’t” tablets.

So why do I think tablets are not fulfilling the promise? Primarily it’s about what I think is a fundamental flaw in the design from day one. And on examination it appears to be a product design decision based on sales rather than technology.

For me the bottom line is this — I don’t want to carry around a Tablet and a Cell Phone. Since my tablet comes with 3G for internet connection it should be able to be a cell phone, right? Put a cell phone dialpad on the screen and/or voice activation, a bluetooth in my ear and I’m good to go. Makes sense, right?

From a technology standpoint it certainly does. From a sales standpoint, not so much. Apple understands that the minute they turn the iPad into a telephone they immediately begin cannibalizing iPhone sales. Shame on you Apple for being the greedy corporate giant everyone knows you are.

Give me a small screen that will let me toss my phone and I might climb on board. Until then the tablet is just an expensive handheld TV where you get email.

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