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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tea Parties

Infighting has divided the "tea party" movement, while there is massive disagreement of what the name means, what it stands for and who supports or should support it. That's according to a report in USA Today.

Reasons the iPad will work

Photos: New York Times, use links for specific photo credits and links to the stories they are sourced in. This site is educational and used by communication courses and instructors.

Steve Jobs of Apple takes chances. He take command and takes responsibility for failures, viewing them as steps toward success. He believes in form, function, quality and taste. With Apple, as with Pixar and his other endeavors, he has shown that attention to detail, quality and perfection pay dividends.


The New York Times on Sunday featured "Steve Jobs and the Economics of Elitism." It featured elitism as a postive,  along with individualism and function. It helps explain why I feel that the iPad, as the iPod (which was called an overpriced dud in advance reviews, with the letters standing for "idiots price our devices") before it, will grow into the start of a new product line. Competitors are already working on refining competing products.


According to the Times "great products, according to Mr. Jobs, are triumphs of “taste.” And taste, he explains, is a byproduct of study, observation and being steeped in the culture of the past and present, of “trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then bring those things into what you are doing.”

The story continues "“Real innovation in technology involves a leap ahead, anticipating needs that no one really knew they had and then delivering capabilities that redefine product categories,” said David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School. “That’s what Steve Jobs has done."

The iPad may look, feel and for now be an oversized iPod or iPhone without the phone, in the view of the casual observer, but it is really much more. Plus it has the advantage of an easy to use interface already familiar to a large number of consumers, many of whom are already loyal to or inclined to be continuing Apple customers.

Publishers have been moving in the direction of electronic books, including textbooks. Student can carry their entire library on an iPad in any briefcase or backpack. The books are capable of including interactive features, including quizzes, research links, audio, video, podcast and help instant messaging or chat boards. The Times and publishing industry experts feel that the iPad will revolunize publishing, just as it did the music industry.

The image is the best available in a screen its size, leading to an east of use for readers far greater than the competing Amazon Kindle or Sony products. The image is full color. The image quality will make watching video crisp, clean, high definition and easier to see than squinting at an iPod.

Apple is in negotiation for live streaming of television, increased video as well as film product for rental, pay per view and sales. 

In addition to ample applications already designed for iPhones and iPods, new applications are being developed specific to size and capability of the iPad.

Apple has an established on-line store, including the iTunes store. The company has a growing number of Apple boutique locations, plus a network of supporting retailers. Apple Care service contracts are rated among the best in the industry.

Drawbacks do exist, and perhaps will be corrected (or explained) in future applications and product refinements. 

The iPad is not a full service computer. It is not intended to compete with laptops or netbooks.

The iPad will run iWorks and Apple programs in formats designed for the divice. There is an optional stand and keyboard interface (if you do not wish to use the on-screen keyboard) to turn it into a functional very basic work computer.

Since it relies on Internet access and Apple phone aps to provide much of the processing power and programming, the iPad cannot be compared apples to oranges to laptops or netbooks. With the movement toward cloud computing this may be a deliberate calculation on the part of Jobs and Apple.

The iPad is not a true tablet computer, as there is no stylus, writing or drawing capacity. Motion sensors built into the unit may mean that Apple is working on and possibly may release this tool soon. A major problem with HP and other tablets echo problems Apple had with the Newton years ago, where errors in translating what is written caused more problems than the convenience was worth.

No ability to play Adobe Flash animations, widely used on the Web. As the web develops to become more smart phone and ne-tbook friendly other video applications may either translate or replace flash applications. The application with a potential to put Adobe Flash out of business is not an applcation, it is a web format. "html5" makes all video and graphics compatible for all devices, from Apple's iPhone and iPad,  to any operating system currently use by computers and phones. It promises to eliminate the need for most plug ins. Also, Jobs says he believes that there are properties in Flash that can cause conflicts, slowing of processing feed or preference changes interfering with aps that Apple users are now becoming dependent on.

No camera, still or video. This may have been done for cost reasons, however here I am at a loss to understand why since video conferencing would be a natural to expand the market for iPads. As with an assortment of drives, perhaps Apple is relying on wifi products to provide this service for iPad owners. A thought through: the current G3 and G4 systems suffer from a shortage of bandwidth to properly handle the volume smart phones and wired PC's are putting on the systems resulting in dropped calls, slow processing and other hassles (depending on geography and time of day). People tend to blame the device instead of the unseen, and un-thought about airwaves. Maybe Apple is waiting with full knowledge of this limitation on the part of carriers (despite their advertising).

No non-Internet phone function. Of course at ten inches long, the iPad would be pretty large to be a smart phone, and I doubt Apple intended it to compete with the iPhone. In any event, if you do pay for G3, there is a microphone and could be an input to add phone functions.

No removable battery for a device that could suck a lot of power. Jobs held off on the iPad for along time, waiting for the battery life the device promises to deliver. My guess is an exterior or removable battery would have added bulk and weight to the unit that Jobs fought hard to avoid, preferring lightweight and simplicity to removable batteries or added built in functions.

No removable storage. Again, Apple may assume that wifi to exterior storage devices and storage on cloud computing systems or Apple's Mobile Me will provide this functionality.

Minimal "wow" factor. In other words in being familiar the shock and wow expected from Apple was not there at the launch.

All in all, I feel that it is a matter of time as the product grows in function and popularity, just as it took time for the iPod to become the dominant MPEG multi-function player on the market today.

Plus there is the unknown “coolness” factor. How cool will have and using an iPad be, or will it be seen as a five hundred plus dollar “toy” or “fad”?

Why will the iPad work?

Because the man behind it created Apple, led Pixar to annimation dominance, put personal digital music players on fast forward, created a top music selling entity, legitimized digital music and video, and  made all them household names believes it will work.

Good enough or me.


this first item first published January 28, 2010, added select links February 4, 2010.