I have just a few thoughts regarding the iPad and its relationship to the consumer.
But first a couple of minor points. Can you say, "Lame name?" How did that get through creative? I'm stunned.
As for the technology, it too is lacking. There's more hope in the technology, however, than in the nomenclature. Several folks have pointed out that the iPad is like the earliest iPods. Remember those awkward, monochrome things? The iPad, it is said, is just the first version of an amazing product, two years from now.
A revolutionary technology must be able to do two things: 1. it must conjure possibilities in the end user's imagination and 2. it must be easy to envision how it will develop into an exponentially better technology in the near future.The iPod went from an MP3 player to a mini computer to a mini computer/game console/phone/camera. MacBooks have gone from laptops to laptops. It's clear which one was revolutionary. The iPad might be revolutionary, but it's hard to say.
And there is a motive force called "expectation" that will create resistance to the iPad. When the iPod launched it was unspectacular. No one expected it, and no one put expectations on it. When the iPhone launched it was spectacular, and people were expecting it to be. This week when the iPad launched, the expectation was all or nothing - either better than the iPhone or so-so gadget. Most people seem to think the iPad is a so-so gadget.
Nevertheless, a lot of people are going to buy it. And this is where I'm personally most disappointed. The iPad does little more than offer you and me the chance to, you guessed it, buy one more thing.
The iPod turned us into consumers. With an iPod you could listen to the audio version of the New York Times. The iPhone turned us into contributors. With an iPhone you could produce the pictures and tweets and audio that might contribute to the New York Times. The iPad seems oriented toward putting us all back in our place as buyers of things. It has a nice application that lets us read the New York Times.
With an iPad, it seems to me, the average person can add value to the world, if "value" means playing games, buying media, and looking cooler than the person without the latest gadget. With an iPad there is not much for you and me to contribute, yet. And that's not revolutionary, yet.