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Handhelds Apple

The iPad Questions Apple Won't Answer 671

Posted by kdawson
from the silence-speaks-volumes dept.
snydeq writes "Apple's reticence to reveal details prior to a product's launch is legendary. But when Apple extends this silence beyond a product's unveiling, historically this has meant that the product cannot deliver the functionality that analysts and journalists are asking about. InfoWorld's Galen Gruman lists eight key questions for the iPad, about all of which Apple has kept silent. Can you save and transfer documents to the iPad? Does the iPad support Microsoft Exchange email? Does the iPad support VPN? Configuration management? 'I have no doubt the iPad will be compelling to some users. But I now have major concerns that it will fulfill the potential beyond being an iTunes delivery screen that I and other industry observers saw,' Gruman writes."
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The iPad Questions Apple Won't Answer

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  • Re:Answers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @06:39AM (#31070122) Journal

    The whole iPad is completely locked.

    Even a locked device can be very useful, if it accomplishes an attractive set of purposes economically and well. If it does not, then it needs to be unlocked, so that people can rectify its deficiencies or add other features that they want. Alternatively, the device needs to drop down the price scale until its locked performance is economically sound. The value proposition of the iPad is very questionable, IMO, but could be improved in a number of ways even while remaining locked.

  • Just pollin' (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bytesex (112972) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @06:40AM (#31070126) Homepage

    I know I could Google it, but I'd much rather have an expression of US 'sentiment' if you will - perhaps things are different across the ocean. I don't see a market for this thing and it leaves me puzzled. My question is this: does anyone there actually own something that could be seen as a precursor to this machine ? Is every other person in the US walking around with an e-book reader, that they are ready to replace with an iPad or something ? I mean, the iPod was launched in an existing portable MP3-player market, the iPhone was launched in an existing (even crowded) mobile phone market. This makes me wonder, since I do not have anything that looks like an iPad already (I don't need it) - is there a widespread need for this product ? I mean, I have a netbook, but i wouldn't compare that - it is much more capable.

  • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @06:42AM (#31070138)
    That's the key thing I still haven't heard anyone explain. What is an Ipad for, exactly?

    Maybe it's just me, but the ipad seems like a monumental waste of money.

    If you're trying to sell me something for $300 minimum, and you can't tell me with a straight answer what the device is for, then you have a problem.
  • Re:Just pollin' (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Beelzebud (1361137) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @06:44AM (#31070148)
    That's what I've been asking. What is it for? Seems like a simple enough question, but I see no answers.
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @07:28AM (#31070348) Journal
    The most important question is "Has Apple found a niche for this product that other Tablet PC manufacturers have been unable to find?"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @08:08AM (#31070558)

    I love apples iCrap

    It lets me assume a great many things about the people who own them. And it turns out to be right more times than not.

    They whip out an iCrap device. I know right away... HEY... theres a trendy technically clueless pod person wannabe who has more money than sense. Weak willed. Easily influenced. And if you rip them off. They don't get mad, they're used to being ripped off. They don't even notice!
    (And they always reveal their iCrap devices. They can't stop playing with them. )

    I can use this knowledge to part him from some money!

    Amazingly i'm not actually trolling. This does really work. Well. For those of us who are smarter than the apple drones. In a position to take money from them.
    It fits well with skills like the reading of body language and facial expressions. And it's made me SO much money in the last few years...

    Being able to pick the sucker out is a HUGE advantage.

  • by 91degrees (207121) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @08:24AM (#31070644) Journal
    So, uhm... You don't know either, but your devotion is such that you believe that the prophet Steve Jobs has something and if I dare question this possibility I'm an Apple basher.

    Grow up.
  • Re:Just pollin' (Score:2, Interesting)

    by buruonbrails (1247370) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @08:28AM (#31070674) Homepage

    That's what I've been asking. What is it for? Seems like a simple enough question, but I see no answers.

    iPad is a computer for technically illiterate people. As those people form the majority of world's population, there's potentially huge market for it. Just think of it from the point of view of an average consumer:

    • It's simple. Even a monkey can learn how to interact with iPhone OS, everything is simple, touchable, rounded and shiny.
    • It has a nice browser (even though it doesn't support Flash)
    • It can be used to watch videos, listen to music and read books
    • It will have a gazillion of [relatively] cheap and cool games.
    • It won't have viruses, malware and spyware
    • You don't need to ask your geeky friend to reinstall Windows on it once in a while.
    • It's good looking (in comparison to an average PC, at least).
    • It's relatively cheap (in comparison to an average Mac)

    The only problem with iPad is that it can't be used without iTunes, but then again, every family usually has at least one more-or-less technically-savvy person, who has a PC or a Mac and can synchronize his mother's, dad's and granny's iPads with iTunes from time to time.

  • Re:Real Answers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 10Ghz (453478) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @08:32AM (#31070686)

    Would it really hurt apple to put a usb or sd card slot on to the ipad. I mean seriously people like to take photo's and the iPad screen is a useful size.

    Well, the iPod-connector is USB plus other bits and pieces. And they have a camera connection kit which does allow you to hook the iPad to a camera or plug in a SD-card.

    there has to be i/o someway of connecting to a printer at least.

    I have heard rumours that iPad will support printing to networked printers.

    I'm struggling to see why the iPad has any potential to be a popular product if its going to be so limited.

    iPod touch is very succesfull product, and iPad is order of magnitude more capable than the touch is.And quite often offering the user maximum amount of flexibility and adaptability usually increases the amount of complexity and opportunities of failure. Apple wanted iPad to be a simple device. Hell, it's so simple that I could see my mother using one, even though she has never used a computer!

    The mistake people are doing is staring at the hardware-specs, and proclaiming the iPad as "nothing but oversized iPod touch", when the key thing is the software. You can do things on the Ipad that would simply not be possible on the iPod touch. It's no surprise that the people who complain about the iPad are people who haven't used one. The ones that have used one, seem to have an opposite opinion. And that's because you can complain about the specs even if you just saw them listed on a piece of paper, but in order to have an opinion regarding the software and actual use of the device, you have to actually USE the device, as opposed to stare at a bunch of specs in a website.

    I bet that when people actually use the iPad, it becomes quite obvious that it's a lot more than just "oversized iPod touch".

  • Re:Answers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Daengbo (523424) <daengbo@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @08:45AM (#31070766) Homepage Journal

    I'm willing to bet that Asus' tablet would have included a camera, many ports, multitasking, Flash, and an SD card slot ... all for the same or lower price. Apple's markup is 40%, while other companies are living (and starving) on a quarter of that. A price point of 499 would mean that Asus could pack in $97 more in hardware for the standard markups mentioned.

  • by Tim C (15259) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @09:03AM (#31070878)

    I had similar (though not from the GP afaik) when I voiced my disappointment that my iPod Touch doesn't present as a USB mass storage device, unlike every other iPod (at least since they stopped being Firewire-only, which predates my use of them). Suddenly, I hate Apple. Wtf?

  • Re:Just pollin' (Score:3, Interesting)

    by c_sd_m (995261) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @09:25AM (#31071036)
    My mom's definitely going to end up with one. She has a netbook which results in regular "service requests" for us and complains for weeks every time Facebook changes anything. Her iPod Touch she loves and uses all by herself. If she asks for help with it, it's always like "someone told me you do X, can you show me how?" Since she's confident and motivated she remembers those tricks much better than where her files magically hide on her netbook.
  • Re:Real Answers (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @09:55AM (#31071346)

    If you take car trips that last 30 movies, you drive more miles than I do, I can tell you that.

    Would you care to name those devices out there that dwarf this new Apple device? Because I can't think of any. Or maybe you think a netbook is in the same category (it isn't).

    You can stomp your feet all you want, but the iPad is going to be a hit with the non-geek crowd. Just like the iPod and just like the iPhone. Yes, you might be utterly offended that you can't install GnuBSD and OpenFrotzware on the thing, but you know what? Most people don't care about such things. Only us geeks, but we are severely outnumbered in the real world.

    Prediction: there will be queues around the block on launch day at every major Apple store.

  • by Remus Shepherd (32833) <remus@panix.com> on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @10:38AM (#31071826) Homepage

    And none of it was purchased through your iPhone. You can purchase music on a computer and transfer it to the device, but there's no way to get non-iTunes music through the device itself.

    People are looking for the iPad to free them from needing a computer in some situations. If you can't bypass iTunes on the iPad itself, it doesn't meet their needs.

    I think they're asking too much of a vendor-locked tablet prototype, myself, but their complaints have some weight.

  • by proxima (165692) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @10:43AM (#31071862)

    And none of it was purchased through your iPhone. You can purchase music on a computer and transfer it to the device, but there's no way to get non-iTunes music through the device itself.

    Having never owned an iPhone, what does Apple do to restrict web downloads of mp3s from Amazon or any number of other online services? The only thing I can think of is that the ipod app is incapable of adding news mp3s to its index without itunes on a computer, but I'm just asking...

  • by MrHanky (141717) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @11:03AM (#31072102) Homepage Journal

    The OS core is already the same (if we are to believe Steve Jobs (which is naïve, I admit) and also a few people with jailbroken phones), and many of the non-iphone parts of OS X are already available, like the BSD subsystem. It's not so much about redesigning the OS as adding the restricted parts back in [iphonepassion.com].

    That's all I meant with "full OS X". I wouldn't want PPC or i686 emulation or something fancy as that; hell, I'd even do without 100% source compatibility. I just want the basic tools I expect from Darwin. How hard is that? Not nearly as hard as what Apple have done to restrict people from doing it themselves.

  • Re:Answers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by frdmfghtr (603968) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @11:30AM (#31072448)

    Perhaps, but perhaps not. I've also owned each generation of iPhone (and two different 3G units), but when I upgraded, the sale of the old one paid for at least 75% of the new one. In the case of the 3G-3GS, the 3G sale covered the upgrade entirely.

  • Re:Just pollin' (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jo_ham (604554) <joham999&gmail,com> on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @11:42AM (#31072618)

    If the iPad, a solid, working, real world object that has been seen in person by many people outside of Apple is "vapourware" then what is Duke Nukem Forever?

    This story is really a non-story, and is pretty much an Apple-bash. It has no purpose being on /. but such is the nature of Apple's products at the moment (for every fawning 'change the world' story, there's one like this).

    7 of the 8 "unanswered" questions are in Apple's literature, or are directly comparable to the iTouch and iPhone that run the same OS. The article is just another FUD piece that is having its desired effects - getting people on /. pissed off about "apple stories".

    Will the iPad "change the world" - I don;t think so, but it might just fit into a niche for itself and become popular enough to make it useful. It's not a replacement for a netbook, or any other sort of computer, although the bulk of the complaints about the form factor seem to be that it isn't a netbook.

    If the only thing it ever does is become the way college students use textbooks it will be a huge success. I would kill to have my copy of Warren (Organic Chem) on an iPad. It may be 10" across, but it doesn't weigh 3kg, and is a lot thinner. For the price of 5 textbooks, I could get the cheapest one, and the price is only going to come down.

  • by ciroknight (601098) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @11:55AM (#31072832)
    Not only can you not save arbitrary files (mp3s included), you couldn't use an Amazon-specific downloader app, because Apple would have to approve it through the App Store, which, let's face it, is not going to happen (unless the Justice Department goes all Sherman act on their asses, but they're too impotent to ever do that, just ask the 'Corporations are People Too' Supreme Court). So no MP3 purchases from an iPhone for you. Sorry for your troubles.
  • Re:Just pollin' (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Paul Rose (771894) on Tuesday February 09, 2010 @12:33PM (#31073432)
    I don't necessarily disagree with you, but people said very similar things about the Mac when it first came out in 1984.
    A favorite quote from Slashdot's favorite columnist:

    San Francisco Examiner, John C. Dvorak, 19 Feb. 1984 regarding the new Macintosh from Apple
    The nature of the personal computer is simply not fully understood by companies like Apple (or anyone else for that matter). Apple makes the arrogant assumption of thinking that it knows what you want and need. It, unfortunately, leaves the "why" out of the equation -- as in "why would I want this?" The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a "mouse." There is no evidence that people want to use these things. I don't want one of these new fangled devices.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming

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