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Businesses Handhelds Apple

iPad Is Destroying Netbook Sales 911

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the good-for-someone dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Fortune magazine reports that sales growth of low-cost, low-powered netbooks peaked last summer at an astonishing 641% year-over-year growth rate but netbook sales fell off a cliff in January and shrank again in April — collateral damage, according to Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty, from the January introduction and April launch of the iPad. In support of Huberty's theory, she offers a Morgan Stanley/Alphawise survey conducted in March which found that 44% of US consumers who were planning to buy an iPad said they were buying it instead of a netbook or notebook computer. In related news, Apple announced that it sold its one millionth iPad last week, just 28 days after its introduction on April 3. 'One million iPads in 28 days — that's less than half of the 74 days it took to achieve this milestone with iPhone,' says Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. 'Demand continues to exceed supply and we're working hard to get this magical product into the hands of even more customers.'"
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iPad Is Destroying Netbook Sales

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  • hyperbole much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thomasdz (178114) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:41AM (#32112608)

    Geesh... "destroyed"? "fell off a cliff"?
    no bias in this article

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:42AM (#32112622)

    in fact, a dell mini10v JUST so that I could run hackintosh sw on it. 100% compat (once you have a mac to sysgen your new mac, that is).

    it has a keyboard. it can run any os. I can upgrade things. it has ports!

    do I want an ipad? no. not at the current price, features and, well, its almost all that is WRONG with apple these days.

    only apple guys are buying the ipad. that's still a very tiny minority. netbooks are still firmly in the sales channels and will be even though apple tries to change our view of reality with their paid-for ads and fake grass-roots posts.

    a walled garden can never replace a notebook. we all know that!

  • by Yossarian45793 (617611) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:42AM (#32112624)
    Or maybe netbook sales are cratering because instead of delivering quality models with high performance and low power packed into a lightweight enclosure, companies like Dell have axed all but the most profitable models, and replaced SSDs with magnetic disks and raised prices to the maximum they can squeeze out of customers. Netbook selection is terrible now compared to what it was a year ago. Last year there were many models and there was a price war, now there are a few models and they're just crappy low-end notebooks.
  • by Peach Rings (1782482) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:43AM (#32112636) Homepage

    Why on earth would you want to use an iPad to browse the internet if you have a laptop? Tiny screen, no Flash support, no keyboard... when did it become hip to use crippled devices?

  • Sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:45AM (#32112672)

    I think it has to do more with market saturation than the iPad. All of the Soccer Moms and folks who wanted the small portable cheap computer picked them up over last year and the holidays. These aren't people on a 3 year HW replacement cycle and don't care about power so they're not going to go out and jump for another machine.

    Enough iPad sensationalism.

  • One million (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zerth (26112) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:45AM (#32112678)

    I'm going to feel just a little bit sad for the owners of those million iPads when they drop the price and kick out the next version in 6 months. They'll be outraged, but Jobs will just say "hey, at least it wasn't 2 months this time!"

  • by v(*_*)vvvv (233078) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:45AM (#32112682)

    An iPad is a big iPod Touch. It's a toy. Fun for the whole family, and even geeks love them... but it is still a toy.

    A Netbook is another name for a cheap laptop. You can do real work on a netbook, and by work I mean Microsoft Office and Quickbooks work.

    So if people were buying netbooks just for fun, then maybe those who think they could have more fun with an iPad are opting for those instead, but it seems like the iPad is selling to a whole new audience that wouldn't have bought a Netbook to begin with like...

    Apple users who wanted a Netbook (Apple only has expensive laptops)

  • Re:hyperbole much? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Scyth3 (988321) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:46AM (#32112704)
    It's hard-hitting Glenn Beck-style news. 100% "truth".
  • by fruitbane (454488) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:47AM (#32112724) Homepage

    When un-crippled devices proved to complex to use and maintain. The average person doesn't actually need a full-on PC for most tasks. The said, the iPad is damn expensive for a limited computing appliance.

  • by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:48AM (#32112728)

    Why on earth would you want to use an iPad to browse the internet if you have a laptop? Tiny screen, no Flash support, no keyboard... when did it become hip to use crippled devices?

    Try it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:49AM (#32112744)

    This may come as a shock to you but there are millions of people who don't need to do "real work" with an electronic device. Not everyone compiles Linux kernels, uses accounting software an needs to write the great American novel on a portable tablet. You want to do that shit, sit down on a chair in from a computer and go to it.

    Networks are garbage and that's why when given a choice, the iPad has a very large market it can tap into.

  • Not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ErichTheRed (39327) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:49AM (#32112746)

    For the vast majority of end users, especially those who don't care what's running their devices, the iPad is a good enough substitute for a full laptop PC. The screen is big enough to do serious browsing (unless you use Flash...) and it doubles as a book reader/media player. The major problems I've always had with netbooks is the desktop OS (Linux or Windows) crammed onto a too-small screen, the speed and the tiny keyboards. I've tried to like them - I really have. But that form factor really stinks if you have bad eyes and big fingers.

    (And no, I don't own an iPad. I'm the old fogey in the corner with a 14" laptop.)

    Even with the lack of Flash,a keyboard and a mainstream OS, the iPad as a netbook replacement is not totally out to lunch. There are some situations where netbooks work well, usually they involve field workers in non-harsh environments who have to run full desktop apps but want a 2 pound laptop instead of a 5 pound one.

  • Inaccurate summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:50AM (#32112750)

    Growth in netbook sales is slowed down to "only" 6% YOY as of April. This means that they're just as strong as last year, just not going up at an insane exponential rate which is, by definition unsustainable for many generations. They are not *cratering* as the summary implies.

  • by rjamestaylor (117847) Works for Rackspace <rjamestaylor@gmail.com> on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:52AM (#32112780) Journal

    While it's true iPad cannot doesn't allow me to do everything my laptop does, I find that for most of the things I do with a laptop the iPad excels. Especially consuming content. Creating content is getting better (I'm more used to the keyboard and use an external BT keyboard for long writing sessions), iSSH makes it bearable to manage my servers remotely (the only servers I use anymore are "remote"), and when off work the iPad is a fantastic movie and gaming platform.

    So, I am finding myself using my iPad more and my laptop less. (Ironically, I'm writing this from my MacBookPro :)

  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:52AM (#32112794)
    People buy toys. . .
  • Sheer Madness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:52AM (#32112800) Journal

    'One million iPads in 28 days -- that's less than half of the 74 days it took to achieve this milestone with iPhone,'

    Isn't it crazy how fast people will belly up to throw cash at you when you're not also forcing them into a two year cellphone plan with AT&T with high monthly payments? I know you need a service plan to use the iPad's 3G but there's also a model with no 3G. I wonder what the breakdown of that million sales looks like (yes, I know the 3G just came out). I'd wager the faster adoption of the iPad is mostly due to the consumer's ability to make their own choices. Consumer options are a good thing. I know that's not the way Jobs likes to do things but that's just my analysis.

  • Re:welp. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DeadDecoy (877617) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:53AM (#32112810)
    Nah, most of the /. crowd is formed of IT admins, programmers, and engineers, whose environment is saturated with computers and probably do not need a device that has less functionality than the one they sit in front of all day long. For the basic end-user, it's a nifty device. You're just getting a biased opinion here.
  • 641 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by random string of num (1676550) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:54AM (#32112834)
    641% wow man.. thats a lot of growth, if they could keep that up the number of netbooks in the market doubles roughly every month, it would only take just under 3 years for the entire population of the world to have a net-book (starting with 1 net-book at the 1st month) isn't it more likely that the net book market has saturated itself. I find it hard to understand how people can compare these two different product types, these tablets don't even have keyboards, and cost at least 2wice as much. enough already with this apple out to conquer the world hogwash don't believe the hype
  • by nweaver (113078) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:54AM (#32112852) Homepage

    An iPad is really a "new class" of device: a "content access" tool rather than a "content creation" tool. A notebook is really good for creating stuff. But for viewing stuff, its actually decidedly second-class.

    And netbooks are just small notebooks: with all the limitations that a notebook has.

    An iPad is different: it actually sucks for creating content for the most part: the keyboard just is a steaming pile of "not good" compared with even the keyboard on the XO laptop. But for data access it is brilliant: Light weight, long lived, easy to use.

    And with the app ecology, apps are just more "data to access", and its really good at that. I'd expect to see, eg, a lot of interesting industrial/business applications as well start to develop. Its not just a "for fun" device really, its just a reflection that there are different roles for devices, and apple built a specialist-in-a-different direction device.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:56AM (#32112884)

    Its also entirely possible that people have begun to realize that netbooks are just annoying.

    Too small for long term use, too large for stuffing in your pocket or a small purse, battery life no better than my MBP for the same tasks and utterly incapable of doing the same things. Not useful as a phone.

    Netbooks were a cute fad but lets face it, they aren't really useful to most people and it took people a little bit to realize it.

  • Re:hyperbole much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeffmeden (135043) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:57AM (#32112914) Homepage Journal

    *We report* on how the awesome new Ipad is decimating the very existence of the Netbook, then defecating on its already stinking corpse. *You Decide* how long it will take you to open your eyes to the best computing device on earth, and then open your checkbook to the tune of 800 bucks!

    Fair.And.Balanced.

    Hey, look out! There's something behind you!

  • by Antiocheian (859870) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:58AM (#32112922) Journal

    It's a great device for such computing requirements.

    I wish your Macbook Pro a more demanding owner.

  • by insertwackynamehere (891357) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:59AM (#32112960) Journal
    So what you are saying is that the ipad is worthless in your opinion, which is more relevant than the fact the ipad is doing very well. Slashdot hated the ipad but all of their misguided and out of touch opinions couldn't change the fact that the ipad is a good product from the standpoint of the manufacturer and the consumers who purchase it.
  • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:00PM (#32112974) Homepage

    You can do real work on a netbook, and by work I mean Microsoft Office and Quickbooks work.

    You know, I think you've basically just proved Apple's marketing campaign for the last several years.

    Usually the PC is saying they can do spreadsheets and other similar boring business type tasks. The Mac is more concerned about doing interesting things like managing photos and playing music and having a life.

    To a lot of people, Microsoft Office and Quickbooks aren't things they want to do. Apple seems to have made a market about selling people devices which do fun things. And, yes, that likely is a whole new audience.

    The fact they've sold a million in this timeframe means it's a big audience. I don't know what I'd do with one, but what I've seen of them makes me secretly want one -- I won't be buying one, but I do covet them.

  • Re:Not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animats (122034) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:00PM (#32112980) Homepage

    They were very cheap, but since the original EeeeeeeeeeeeeePC they've gradually crept up in price and now they're just too expensive for what they are.

    I know. There should be vast numbers of $200 netbooks, and there aren't. The PC industry was terrified of that price drop, and with Microsoft's help, managed to fight it off.

    I have several of the original EeePC machines. Their Linux has a built-in self-destruct feature. Their "union file system" loses inodes over time. As a test, I have one plugged in and completely idle; it loses about 1% of its inodes per day. When all the inodes are gone, the machine stops working. There is a workaround for this [eeeuser.com], which must be applied every 90 days of power-on time, or sooner if you actually use the machine. The vendor-recommended procedure, though, is to reinitialize the machine to the factory-empty state, losing all user files.

    And people wonder why Linux hasn't succeeded on the desktop.

  • by sean.peters (568334) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:02PM (#32112994) Homepage
    Not particularly an iPad fan here, but still... every technology product has this issue. I think most people understand the tradeoff between having something now and having something slightly more whiz-bang later.
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:03PM (#32113022) Homepage

    Agreed. If you are a hardcore gamer or programmer, then yes tweaking your system to its fullest can be a complicated affair. If you are just a normal user, then the average consumer computer (i.e. one that runs OSX or Windows 7) is extremely simple. If all you do is websurfing, it doesn't take long to learn how to push the power button, wait for it to boot up, and click on the icon for your internet browser.

    The fact that people find computers sooo complicated and need pictures that look like they were drawn for pre-schoolers makes me fear for society. Have we as a culture really become that goddamn stupid? Do we really need our computers to function like digital picture books?

    Oh noes, this one has words longer than four letters! Oh, and what the hell is this rectangular thing with the alphabet and a numbers on it? And what is this crazy contraption that slides around?

    Seriously. 20 years ago, something like the iPad being a great idea to simplify computing would have been believable. Now? It's just fucking pathetic.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:05PM (#32113060)

    Slashdot hated the ipad but all of their misguided and out of touch opinions couldn't change the fact that the ipad is a good product from the standpoint of sales figures and sales figures alone.

    FTFY. I can assure you, sales do not indicate a "good" product in any way, shape, or form.

  • by paiute (550198) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:08PM (#32113120)

    Friend of mine bought an iPad. It's already collecting dust according to him.

    The actual worth of an iPad aside, your friend has a new piece of tech which people are lining up to buy at full retail and is still in limited supply? And he is letting it sit idle? He is either imaginary or an idiot or has never heard of eBay.

  • Re:welp. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by insertwackynamehere (891357) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:10PM (#32113142) Journal
    "it's worthless, mother, tell them it's worthless!" sulked Slashdot user Zironic. "There, there honey," his mother purred. "It's going to be alright. The iPad is worthless." In her heart, however, she knew that she was lying to him. As Zironic drifted off into sleep, she shed a tear of sadness for her sulking manchild. She knew that one day he would have to face the truth: he had no idea what he was talking about and everyone hated him.
  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:11PM (#32113168)

    battery power DOES matter on netbooks. on 3cell batts (the cheap ones) you get 2-3 hours. on my larger notebook, only the 6cell batt even comes close to that.

    my 6cell on my netbook is close to 5hours. find me a notebook that can truly run for that long and I'll agree with you.

    if I'm going on a trip (plane) there is NO WAY I'd take a larger notebook over a netbook!

    netbooks DO have a reason to exist. they ARE a lot smaller and that often makes enough diff to justify the screen size being so small.

    I also worry a lot less about my $175 netbook getting destroyed in travel than my $500+ notebook.

    MANY reasons for why netbooks still have a place in the computing world. they're far from dead even though they are getting closer to proper notebooks in cpu power.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:12PM (#32113178)

    Try it.

    Pay for it for me.

    Go to the Apple store and try it.

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <.enderandrew. .at. .gmail.com.> on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:12PM (#32113186) Homepage Journal

    They show a chart that lists declines in Netbook YoY growth from July of 2009, and cite the iPad as being the reason why. The iPad wasn't even ANNOUNCED until January of 2010.

    The chart doesn't list netbook sales, but rather the rate of growth over the last year. You'll note that netbook sales still have positive growth.

    So despite the fact there was this sudden MASSIVE surge to buy netbooks in the past two years, netbook sales continue to grow. But the growth rate of that surge did not continue upward. And even though the decline started six months before anyone had heard of an iPad, clearly this is all about the iPad.

    Bull-fucking-shit. But nice try.

    That being said, I'd buy an iPad at $200. For $300 or more, I expect more PC-like functioanlity and would prefer a netbook. In fact, Asus makes a nice convertible netbook/tablet that is cheaper than the iPad, has 10 times the storage, a faster processer, a webcam, I can install whatever software I want, it runs Flash, has more RAM, has a full keyboard built-in when I want it, etc. etc. etc.

    If I can get that at $450, why would I want to spend so much more for far less functionality?

    Oh, the i-before the name!

  • Re:One million (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ogive17 (691899) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:14PM (#32113208)

    I'm going to feel just a little bit sad for the owners of those million iPads when they drop the price and kick out the next version in 6 months. They'll be outraged, but Jobs will just say "hey, at least it wasn't 2 months this time!"

    Not only that, the next version will come with features that should have been included on the 1st one. Apple always fucks over the early adopters... yet they keep falling for the same trick every time. I know if I ever had the urge to buy an Apple product, I'd wait til the 2nd or 3rd generation. By then the price would have dropped and the list of features would be more in line with the price. This is why I told my gf to not buy an iPad yet... probably get a better one for half the price in another year.

  • Re:welp. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by insertwackynamehere (891357) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:15PM (#32113238) Journal
    What technical knowledge do they lack? They don't need any. That's why they like Apple. That's why they like the iPad. Do you think you can gallop into the Apple store on a brilliant white steed and declaritively compare spec sheets and the consumer will be blinded by your glory and understand the error of their ways?
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:18PM (#32113270)

    Like most technology it is not for all people...

    I didn't buy an iPad because I don't need it, it doesn't fit what I want to do with a computer.

    However there are people out there that do things the iPad does well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:20PM (#32113304)

    Simple - the iPad is much more comfortable to use when you don't need those things. When I'm sitting at home reading the internet, maybe lying in bed or sitting on the couch, my laptop is terribly inconvenient. It's hot, it's heavy, and it's awkward. The iPad is light (well, lighter), completely cool to the touch, and I can toss it aside without worrying about it. It is so much more convenient for casual use that I haven't touched my laptop for anything outside of work for almost the entire month I've had the iPad.

    Oh, and as for flash - who here doesn't run flash block? When did we start liking flash?

    Now, the iPad is terrible for work - obviously right now there's no decent productivity software for it, but even if there was I wouldn't want to use it. You can pry my work laptop from my cold, dead hands. There are huge drawbacks to a touch screen device when it comes to actual content production. But when it's time for content consumption, the iPad is leagues beyond what your laptop can muster.

  • by InsaneProcessor (869563) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:21PM (#32113318)
    Agreed. I work with over 100 high tech people and associate with at lease 300 more. Not an ipad in sight. They are useless to anyone with a brain.
  • by Panaflex (13191) <convivialdingo AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:21PM (#32113328)

    I don't think it's a sign of the end-times... it's a leisure device, it's instant-on and easy enough for kids to use without messing things up.

    These people already have a computer for the heavy stuff...
    Most people just want to google a term, play a quick game, or set the kids up in the backseat for a movie.

  • by dfghjk (711126) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:21PM (#32113330)

    Did Flash suddenly disappear from the Web because Apple wishes it so? Why should the lies about the iPad's superior browsing experience stand? It fails at more than Flash support.

    "It's a nice productivity tool..."

    If there is anything the iPad isn't, it's a productivity tool. STFU fanboy.

  • Re:Not surprising (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:21PM (#32113332)

    There are some situations where netbooks work well, usually they involve field workers in non-harsh environments who have to run full desktop apps but want a 2 pound laptop instead of a 5 pound one.

    What people really want -- and always wanted -- is an electronic substitute for a clipboard. They've been using netbooks (and Tablet PCs before that) because that's all that was available; now that the iPad exists there's no surprise that it's killing off those other devices! It still needs to lose another pound and get a better method of text/handwriting entry, though. (And be less proprietary...)

  • by LuYu (519260) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:23PM (#32113380) Homepage Journal

    While the iPad may have been a nail in the coffin, the death of netbooks has been obviously on the horizon since MS changed its tune and began to "support" them (MS support == embrace, extend, and extinguish). When the first EEEPC came out, it was a cool device: SSD storage, lightweight, better than average (for laptops) battery life, and it could fit in a fashionable woman's purse. These devices were extremely useful for science, diagnostic testing, playing, reading, etcetera -- in fact, these were the first real instance of mobile computing. Laptops were bulky, expensive, ran hot, and had terrible batteries. The first year of netbooks was somewhat of a golden age.

    Enter M$. Now, what do netbooks look like? I checked last week, and it is now impossible to buy a netbook without a spinning platter hard drive. Linux netbooks are almost completely unavailable. I checked Amazon and Newegg. Both listed Linux netbooks that were "no longer available". The available netbooks are no longer much lighter or more convenient than traditonal laptops. In fact, battery life is about the only selling point they have left.

    I figure it was just a matter of time before the public came to realize that netbooks are just about the same as laptops now, so they have to go somewhere else to search for convenient mobile devices. The fact that so many people are rushing to the iPad is just more proof that Steve Jobs -- bastard that he is -- is a genius at predicting the right time and climate to release a product. Just as people are fed up with MS ruining the very concept of the netbook, we have the iPad: long battery life, nice screen, hardware accelerated video, light and portable, all the things that MS has taken away from the netbook.

    While anyone who buys Apple products is still a jerk, I think MS owes the hardware manufacturers and the public an apology for destroying a lucrative sector of the market and a useful product for people to use. Unfortunately, running to Apple is not an unreasonable choice. This just proves the harm that comes from monopolies being allowed to exist.

  • Re:Not surprising (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:23PM (#32113386)

    This has nothing to do with Linux on the desktop but rather with what Asus (or whoever developed Xandros) has done to Linux.

  • by Yakasha (42321) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:27PM (#32113462) Homepage

    Why on earth would you want to use an iPad to browse the internet if you have a laptop? Tiny screen, no Flash support, no keyboard

    When I wanted to sit on my comfy chair on my deck wrapped in a blanket with a coffee in one hand and /. in the other.
    Or when I want to browse while standing for an hour on the train twice a day.
    Or when I want to just not carry around a 5lb brick everywhere I go when not working.
    Or when I don't want unblockable popups.

    ... when did it become hip to use crippled devices?

    You mean like a motorcycle instead of a car?
    You mean like a regular cell phone instead of a smart phone?
    You mean like a laptop instead of a desktop?

    Many people like to use whatever is appropriate to the task.

  • by asoduk (1348187) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:29PM (#32113524)
    It is rather sad that there have already been over 1,000,000 people who either: a) will buy whatever apple puts in their stores or have to have the latest trendy product or b) apparently don't do anything of value with a computer I really can't think of any reason to have a computer without a keyboard other than a POS terminal, especially one that can't do Flash. I have an older Acer netbook. Its great for some things: like traveling, using at on-site jobs, for music on my patio, in the kitchen, etc. Its great for web browsing and checking e-mail. And I could install iTunes on it... Oh yeah: I paid $230 for mine over a year ago. I have used it for work and pleasure. Ipad is just a toy for a while..... but I can see useful applications for it if Apple allows it.
  • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:31PM (#32113586)

    I have a netbook and an ipad and for me the ipad is a much, much better machine.

    For one, it's battery life is astounding.

    Secondly, the build quality is superb. It feels solid. The netbook in comparison is too flexible and feels very cheap.

    Third, I like tools that do what they are designed to do well. For some, no flash is deal breaker. For me, I don't miss flash one iota.

    I use the ipad for watching movies, email, surfing, reading, and games. In other words consuming content (ack - I hate that phrase). For these uses, it's hardly a crippled device. At least no more crippled than, say, a Nintendo DS or an XBox. Different devices, different uses. Personally, I'm a fan of simple tools that do a limited number of things well.

  • by dfghjk (711126) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:32PM (#32113600)

    "But for viewing stuff, its actually decidedly second-class."

    How so? In what ways is the iPad "first-class" in comparison?

    "...with all the limitations that a notebook has."

    None of which you have enumerated.

    "But for data access it is brilliant: Light weight, long lived, easy to use."

    Why is it brilliant for data access? In what ways does it help a user use "data" better than existing devices? Is it really easier to use than a notebook, say an Apple notebook? I don't agree. You are aware of the iPad's poor ergonomics for longer term use, right?

    "apps are just more "data to access"..."

    No they aren't, and apps are censored by Apple meaning there will be fewer than there otherwise would be. Sorry, that's another disadvantage.

    "I'd expect to see, eg, a lot of interesting industrial/business applications as well start to develop."

    Perhaps, but that doesn't make the iPad a "new class" of device. Tablets for vertical markets have been successful for more than a decade already.

    Sorry, but you are ignorant.

  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:33PM (#32113632) Homepage Journal

    >Tiny screen?
    Not. Smaller than a 15.6" laptop? Sure but bigger or equivalent to most netbooks.

    At that price, it'd better be.

    > no Flash support
    We are still fracking talking about this? Please.

    They still haven't fixed it, and they're clearly not going to. All the talk in the world about HTML 5 doesn't change the fact that many, many web sites use Flash, or that there's no HTML 5 equivalent of the Flash developer tools. Until either the iPad changes or the web changes, the iPad will be cut off from a big part of the web.

    On screen keyboard in landscape mode does fine for typing pretty long missives

    Having used an iPad myself, I beg to differ. I wouldn't recommend that screen for typing an SMS, much less a blog post.

    It's really not "crippled" or "limited", not in the knee-jerk manner most consider. It's a nice productivity tool,

    It's crippled in the sense that there are many applications you can't get, web sites you can't use, and tasks you can't perform with it, all because Steve has a chip on his shoulder. As for "productivity tool"... well, maybe with a Bluetooth keyboard hooked up. But at that point, you might ask yourself why you're trying to make it into something it doesn't want to be, and whether you might look a bit less silly using a device where the keyboard is attached to the screen.

    and, it's a great device to have in the house or for travels. It does a ton of stuff.

    Heh. You know what's an even greater device to have in the house or for travels, something that does even more stuff? A netbook. Comparable screen, lower price tag, actual keyboard, and uncrippled OS.

  • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:39PM (#32113742)

    There's an app for that:
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rotten-tomatoes/id342598232?mt=8 [apple.com]

    This is actually one of the things I'm a little bit worried about with the iPad. Rather than use the open, ubiquitous web, some are choosing to put up walls around their content by making it available through an app rather than the browser.

    More likely though, I think sites like Rotten Tomatoes are generally working to get away from Flash and Silverlight. This, I think, is a good thing. There are enough iPad's out there to make moving away from Flash worthwhile, but not enough to make locking up the content in an app a good idea. I'm happy about this.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:41PM (#32113782)

    It's really funny to me how when presented with technology they don't understand, people call it magic. I guess I like it though, it does wonders for my ego and self esteem to know that I'm not the most ignorant person in the world, by a longshot.

  • by snikulin (889460) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:43PM (#32113836)

    Nah... It's more like "Slashdotters are ostriches".

  • by mikael_j (106439) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:45PM (#32113886)

    Really? You must be new to the computing world, I could give you a long list of laptops I've used that couldn't go above 800x600, 640x480 or even lower resolutions. I've also been using computers long enough to remember why "everyone" hates Microsoft...

  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:45PM (#32113890)

    I think the people going out and getting these either have money to burn or don't realize that you can get a pretty decent and big laptop for the same kind of money.

    The people getting iPads DON'T WANT A BIG LAPTOP! They're getting the iPad specifically because it's NOT BIG. What part of that is so fucking hard to understand?!

  • by raddan (519638) * on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:45PM (#32113892)
    I don't hear many people complaining about not being able to write novels on their Playstations.
  • by Peteskiplayer (1032662) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:46PM (#32113896)
    It has also had a lot more media coverage and been hyped greatly, and it's quite likely the marketing budget was larger too as Apple is touting it as the 'next big thing'.
    This may lead to more sales even if the product isn't any better.
  • Re:Not surprising (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:48PM (#32113954)

    Please note that this argument also applies to Windows Mobile. Bare MS and industrial-rated images are stable. When HP or HTC get their hands on it, it turns into crap. Yet Microsoft still gets the blame. I think this is a large part of the draconian restrictions on Windows Phone 7 devices.

  • by fantomas (94850) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:49PM (#32113974)

    Or maybe the vast majority of people who wanted a netbook now have one and that's why sales have slowed down. Were people expecting month on month rise in sales of 641% for ever? sounds like a new market plateauing to me.

    Early adopters might change their laptop eevery six months but most people will hang on to the same one for 2, 3 or more years. They've bought them and now the market has shrunk to a more mature marketplace shape?

  • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:49PM (#32113980)

    Lots of people by televisions and game consoles. These cost considerably more than $500 and arguably do a lot less. What's your point again?

    $500 is an affordable price for a pretty large segment of the population. Couple that with the fact that there is so much software that you can get either for free or very inexpensively and you end up with a pretty cheap device that does quite a lot.

    Buy a PS3 or an XBox and check out the price of their popular titles. Lots of games are $50 or even more. When I buy a game for my iPad, I consider $5 to be expensive.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:50PM (#32113994)

    If I choose to buy a netbook DESPITE its limited hardware capabilities, it's probably because I like the price tag. I don't see how the iPad is the cause of the fall in sales of netbooks. It's an expensive device that caters to an entiredly different crowd. Most likely the fall in sales of the netbook probably has to do with it's very sharp growth. It has reached a large percentage of its target audience (who really were waiting for something like that for a while) and now the pool of users can only grow more slowly. when you have an astonishingly high growth rate, it cannot be maintained forever.

    This kind of analysis suffers the same problem as assuming unlimited growth of the economy. If you ahve a limited resource (here potential clients) the faster and more succesffully this resource is tapped into at the beginning, the faster you will run out of it.

    Somebody is paid to sell the iPad line. Because they don't share the same niche. It's a non-story.

  • by mikael_j (106439) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:51PM (#32114020)

    I never heard anyone say that about the Macbook Air (I assume that's the product you meant when you wrote "the Air"), I did hear (and agree with) plenty of people talk about it being overpriced or being too much of an "executive" laptop (meaning it's ultra-light and had enough power to do just about anything most people do in a normal workday but overall what you're getting just isn't worth it since the small edge it has over regular laptops is negated by the high price).

    Also, in case you didn't know, the Macbook Air was a full-fledged laptop where the focus was on making it lightweight and thin, unfortunately the price seemed to be too high for most people (I have met a couple of *nix geeks working as consultants who swore it was the best laptop they'd ever owned but they were an exception since they could afford it and it made sense for them to use a laptop with a decent-sized screen combined with a form factor that's as small as possible).

  • Re:welp. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:53PM (#32114078)

    The slashdot crowd has been the vocal bunch that come out in every Apple article and moan and moan about how terrible all their products are, rather than simply skipping past.

    Bonus points for "not another apple article" comments. You think the scroll wheel or page down key had never been invented.

    Just look back over the early articles leading up to the launch - the overwhelming consensus was that it would tank, with some saying "it'll be great" some saying "who knows?" and some saying "only retards will buy one".

    Now that it's flying off the shelves faster than the iPhone those opinions have all gone, to be replaced with "what is it for?" and "only yuppies are buying them".

    I don't care one way or the other whether it succeeds, but a large portion of people here just can't leave it alone - it's not enough to just not buy one, it somehow must be killed with fire.

  • Re:One million (Score:3, Insightful)

    by s73v3r (963317) <s73v3r@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:56PM (#32114136)
    Care to name any other company that doesn't do this? Every company adds features to their products as the years go on.
  • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @12:56PM (#32114138)

    Exactly. Which is why you're never going to sell a million of anything you make in your life.

    Slashdot slams Apple every single chance they get.
    "Locked to no Apps, no one is going to buy that"
    "No way to change a battery! No one is going to buy that"
    "No flash, no one is going to buy that".

    Please, someone stand up and accept the fact that you have no idea what drives the general public and that as much as you rant and rave, stuff sells.

    Remember, Less Space than a Nomad. No Wireless. Has Lamely become synonymous with an MP3 player. Apple is the 400 lb gorilla when it comes to online audio sales.

    There are a few Apple threads that I remember being some of the largest slashdot has ever had. It's like being turned down for a first date, you hate something so much because you refuse to accept the fact that maybe you're not the target demographic that you rant and rave about it and STILL miss the point.

  • by darrylo (97569) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:01PM (#32114276)

    The iPad is easy-to-use, and has a decent battery life. Flash issues aside, it's the perfect device for non-technical users. Sure, it doesn't do a lot of things well, but it does them "good enough" -- good enough that the non-technical users don't care or can't tell the difference. And many (most?) don't care if there isn't a physical keyboard -- a lot of people can only type via hunt-and-peck, and most of them probably don't care if they're pecking on a real or virtual keyboard.

    Of course the iPad is disliked by a lot of people on slashdot, but advanced users aren't the target audience. Allow me to use a word that many people here might understand: it's for the "n00bs". Many consumers still have only little to modest computer expertise, and the iPad is a great, toaster-like device for them. (Apple will probably make a metric a**load more money selling to novices than advanced users.)

  • by jDeepbeep (913892) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:03PM (#32114352)

    when did it become hip to use crippled devices?

    Outside of /., it's called 'convenient', not 'crippled.'

  • by Ltap (1572175) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:06PM (#32114414) Homepage
    You're missing a distinction. We're trying to make the point that Apple products are crap and Apple supremacy is wrong, we're not saying it's impossible or even improbable. We just wish people didn't fall for their bullshit.
  • by Nemyst (1383049) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:08PM (#32114456) Homepage
    If I get an iPad, I want it to be portable. Getting a Bluetooth keyboard on top of that defeats that purpose, since suddenly you're carrying around two things (at which point a netbook becomes a better investment).

    Compared to a netbook, it is crippled. I want to be able to install whatever I want, whenever I want, from whoever I want without Jobs policing me. If I want Flash, well I'm stuck on the iPad (like it or not, Flash is still very widespread and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future; yes it's still brought up and all the fanbois crying that Flash is so 2000s are obviously disconnected from reality). If I want to do anything serious, I won't use an onscreen keyboard. Do you touch type? I do, and I can tell you it's quite a bit more effective than going one-finger on a touchscreen. Even if you became used to it, you can never expect to be as fast as you would on a normal keyboard.

    Honestly, the number one reason it sells to well is that it is very simple to use and that Apple's sales and marketing teams are amongst the best in the industry. That's it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:21PM (#32114710)

    I call this the slashdot cycle.

    1) Criticize a new device/technology because it isn't open/free enough for your personal tastes, and talk about how NO ONE WILL BUY THIS CUZ IT AIN'T FREE, AND CUSTOMERS VALUE FREEDOM!
    2) Watch as people enjoy and buy/use the new device/technology
    3) Complain about how WELL IT ISN'T USEFUL AS THIS OTHER THING THAT IS VERY DIFFERENT WHY DON'T YOU USE THAT? YOU'RE STUPID BECAUSE I'M A GENIUS.
    4) Complain more and shoot down anyone who tries to explain the appeal, they're clearly a plant by corporations!
    5) Repeat with next technology that comes along

    There's not even a profit stage!

  • by Evtim (1022085) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:24PM (#32114772)
    I think the large sale figures are because they are trying (and perhaps succeeding) to engage the completely non-technical crowd that still has to/would like to use at least the Web in their lives.

    Like my mom who has first seen PC at the age of 45 and never needed it, but now would want to Skype with me, being 2000km away. And no one around her can support (without payment) a PC. Add to that girlfriends/wives (some of them), posers, fan boys, uber consumers....I am damn sure the hype will not die out in a hurry.

    I would still not buy it for my mom because it will be some time (if ever) until the OS is translated into my language (mom does not speak English). I hope they do it for Russian though - that will solve it for her.

    I offered my wife to consider the iPad, but she disagrees with Apple about the pr0n thing and Steve's high moral horse (she reads /. sometimes).

    I would love to be able to browse while in the sofa though, so I hope there will be many more and suited to every taste devices like this. And I hope the whole DRM thing will not spoil the book reading, music listening and movie watching experiences on said devices.
  • by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid@nOSpAm.gmail.com> on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:24PM (#32114782) Homepage Journal
    bullshit

    No, you're wrong. Bullshit is companies like SCO, or Microsoft's blatant historical use of vaporware to instantly demolish other companies.

    The fact that you can't make that distinction is why you don't get it, and use exactly the same hyperbole you accuse Apple of, is why the Apple haters are just as fucking tedious as the fanbois.

    Being popular may not make it right, but it doesn't mean you couldn't STFU and go buy some Apple stock or something.
  • Re:welp. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by joh (27088) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:27PM (#32114848)

    Nah, most of the /. crowd is formed of IT admins, programmers, and engineers, whose environment is saturated with computers and probably do not need a device that has less functionality than the one they sit in front of all day long. For the basic end-user, it's a nifty device. You're just getting a biased opinion here.

    No, the *real* IT admins, programmers and engineers whose environment is saturated with computers anyway love the iPad, because it is something they can just use for a change. No real IT admin wants to use a real computer for casual things if he can get away with something more simple instead. If you really can't get enough of computers even in your free time you must be fairly fresh to the job.

    Who's hating the iPad are all those people who pretend to be IT professionals and who just hate the thought of something people can just use, because they love to aimlessly tinker around with computers and pretend to be experts. That's the /. crowd today. At least it seems so.

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:29PM (#32114880) Homepage Journal

    This is just a bad article in general. They're reporting year over year growth of Netbooks, which was going to plateau eventually. They're still on track to sell more than 20 million netbooks this year. 1 million iPads displacing 1 million units of netbooks isn't an enormous drop - it's about 5% of sales. Tops. I know a lot of engineers who weren't considering a netbook at all, but wanted a new shiny apple toy, so they bought the iPad.
     
    All the graph in the article does is illustrate a decline in growth of an established product. iPod sales growth has been declining too, but that's simply because literally everyone and their mother owns one now, and people are simply replacing them or buying their child their first iPod. Nobody's making splashy headlines about that. All products plateau eventually, and it happens sooner than later when their adoption rates skyrocket at launch.

  • by BlueStraggler (765543) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:29PM (#32114882)

    Careful, you are in danger of making his point through use of unintended irony.

    It may be "crap," "wrong," and "bullshit" but according to the market, it's still head and shoulders above all the other crappy bullshit that is flogged by Apple's competitors. This is where the nerd cognitive dissonance tends to kick in: "If *I* think it's crap, but the marketplace thinks it's vastly superior, the only way to resolve this paradox is to assume that the marketplace is profoundly stupid and duped by Apple's svengali-like marketing. Because it couldn't possibly be that I don't have a freaking clue what people want."

  • by Altus (1034) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:42PM (#32115072) Homepage

    Everyone I know who owns an iPad is an engineer. Several of them write code for a living, all of them are very computer literate.

    Now I'm not saying that the iPad isn't good for non technical people, but your assumption about advanced users is incorrect. Admittedly they aren't replacing their primary computer with an iPad but they are using them far more than their primary machines for casual use cases. Just because someone is capable of being a power user does not mean that they wont enjoy sitting back on their couch and using an iPad.

    There might even come a day when I will stop buying laptops and actually move back to a desktop for my heavy duty computer and own an iPad for all my portable computing needs.

    I know a lot of people talk about an iPad being useless for "real" work. I don't know about you but most of the real work that most people do is at an office on a computer provided by the company that employs them. That might not be the case for you, but it is the case for the majority of the world (even the majority of technical professionals).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 06, 2010 @01:43PM (#32115120)

    You say they "haven't fixed it" with respect to no flash support. Eh? It is working! Woohoo! No flash! Bring out the champagne! This may come as a huge shock to you, but some people don't *like* flash and *aren't* geeks. This whole "flash == the Internet" meme seemed to pop up after the iPad announcement (it didn't seem that big an issue with the iTouch and iPhone) in a way that totally smacks of astroturfing by Adobe. I'm *not* saying *you* are astroturfing, but it does seem odd that only now are people outraged by Apple's intransigence on the issue. Its like being horrified about MS dropping ActiveX. The only thing I would do is cheer.

  • by Goaway (82658) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @02:06PM (#32115502) Homepage

    You're comparing 1 million sold in 28 days with 20 million sold in a year, and you're accusing others of misrepresenting numbers?

  • by node 3 (115640) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @02:31PM (#32115912)

    They're still on track to sell more than 20 million netbooks this year. 1 million iPads displacing 1 million units of netbooks isn't an enormous drop - it's about 5% of sales. Tops.

    1 million iPads displaced in one month. That's 12 million per year (perhaps less, as initial demand dies down, perhaps more, as production meets demand and international sales begin). That's greater than 50%, not "5% tops".

    All the graph in the article does is illustrate a decline in growth of an established product.

    It shows growth has flatlined (5% for April). One thing this graph shows for certain is that the iPad is undeniably having a negative impact on the netbook.

    iPod sales growth has been declining too, but that's simply because literally everyone and their mother owns one now, and people are simply replacing them or buying their child their first iPod.

    The iPod's decline in growth has been offset by the iPod Touch and iPhone. Apple keeps ahead of the game by being the ones who sell the product that replaces their old one.

    So the question for the netbook is, what product is going to replace it? Answer: iPad.

    Market saturation a la iPod not the reason for the netbook decline. Until the iPad, netbooks were pretty much the only game in town for ultraportable computing beyond a smartphone. Now the iPad fills that role, and it fills it far better than any netbook, because the iPad is designed from the ground up for that very purpose. The netbook is a parody of a real computer. It's an atavistic dead-end.

    As far as those numbers go, do you really think that somehow netbooks are approaching an asymptote of 0% YoY growth? Because that doesn't seem terribly likely. It's not like the market is going to fall off so quickly and just stop at "status quo from last year". In the course of less than a year, netbook growth went from over 600%, to just 5%.

    The writing is on the wall. Take off the nerd glasses and maybe you'll be able to read it.

  • by nabsltd (1313397) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @02:31PM (#32115918)

    "If *I* think it's crap, but the marketplace thinks it's vastly superior, the only way to resolve this paradox is to assume that the marketplace is profoundly stupid and duped by Apple's svengali-like marketing. Because it couldn't possibly be that I don't have a freaking clue what people want."

    I believe the US elections of the past few years show that as long as the average consumer is distracted by shiny toys, nothing else makes any impact on their brain. Apple products are the ultimate in shiny toys, thus, they are wildly successful.

    There are many other shiny toys that target people with more money than brains, and most are also wildly successful: almost every heavily advertised movie or video game (regardless of actual quality), "premium" automobiles that are just re-badged versions of cheaper makes, and, of course, casinos.

    I think anyone (including /. readers) should be proud if they are not one of the sheep, but rather a thinking human being. Even if you are an Apple fan (which means you likely aren't a big thinker...I kid) it's pretty easy to figure that an iPhone plus some other device (netbook, eReader, etc.) is a better bang for your buck than an iPad.

  • by c++0xFF (1758032) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @02:48PM (#32116162)

    No, the point we're trying to make is that technically-minded people see the shortcomings in Apple products compared to others.

    The problem is that people pay attention to their hip friends, not to the nerd with the broken glasses sitting at the front of the class. That nerd feels put-down because nobody listens to him.

    I don't think many people here seriously believe that "nobody will buy the iPad" -- on the contrary, it's easy to see that some people will buy any device that Apple makes and some will buy it because they don't care about the technical shortcomings ("it's good enough").

    That doesn't make Apple products "the best (computer|mp3 player|phone|tablet|etc) in the word" ... but it does make the product successful.

  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @02:57PM (#32116314) Journal

    > no Flash support
    We are still fracking talking about this? Please.

    Which is HILARIOUS coming from /. crowd.

    Think about it for a minute. There is a huge contingent of diehard Flash haters here on /. and then you have this post, which decries the lack of Flash on the iPad.

    So, which is it? We hate flash, until it is not there, then we hate Apple for removing such a pig ?

    Silliness.

  • by xtracto (837672) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @03:11PM (#32116530) Journal

    When I wanted to sit on my comfy chair on my deck wrapped in a blanket with a coffee in one hand and /. in the other.

    So, how long did it take to write this message on the iPad?
    I imagine you had to put down your coffee mug, put down the iPad in "notebook position... [d'oh!]" and write... or maybe you "touch typed" with your nose lol.

    Or when I want to just not carry around a 5lb brick everywhere I go when not working.

    netbooks weight at most 1.5 kg :)

  • by Azureflare (645778) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @03:19PM (#32116654)

    Eating spam is also a bigger bang for your buck. No one does it because it tastes like crap.

    Apple products may be derided as toys, but so what? Are you saying you don't like playing with shiny gadget toys? What kind of geek are you??

  • by abigor (540274) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @03:26PM (#32116782)

    OS X is the only viable desktop Unix out there, and the Macbook hardware is great. Please tell me how the tool I use to earn $95 an hour as a programmer who deploys to Unix is a "toy". Thanks.

    Oh, while you're at it, post what you do for a living, what tools you use, and how much you make. That's assuming you have a job, of course.

  • by abigor (540274) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @03:28PM (#32116806)

    Funny thing - go to any Unix conference, filled with probably some of the nerdiest people ever, and check out the laptops people have. Hint: they aren't Dells running Linux.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @03:29PM (#32116828)
    iPad has less functionality than a netbook, and cost twice as much ("Less costs more" -- the same philosophy behind the Airbook!). When an iPad costs less than a netbook, then I might believe it threatens netbook sales. But currently, they are different market segments. iPads are designed purely for consuming content. Netbooks are also mostly for consuming content, but with occasional use of traditional PC apps, which the iPad simply does not support. This backwards compatibility with a desktop PC running Windows XP is the reason people buy netbooks instead of iPads. Not many netbooks running Linux have sold, have they?
  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @04:02PM (#32117300) Homepage

    I think most things would make more sense if geeks coupled it to the fact that most consider their users to suffer from id10-t or PEBCAK problems. While that's not really true either, most people don't want a "computer" the way us geeks look at a computer. They don't want to know about CPU and RAM and GPU and so on, it's kind of like asking them to assemble a car by what engine, transmission, brakes and exhaust system go together. They want a car that solves a transportation problem. => limited models

    Likewise with Apple's walled garden, honestly already people DO NOT know how to use their gizmos. Most of them will never ever see the fence, and if they do it'd feel tiny like the borders of North Korea. Geeks are like running full speed towards it and go like "See, there's a fence there" while others are like "Ok whatever, but what's everything else I haven't explored like? There *are* 200k apps here that do all sorts of cool shit." As many have said when they suggest a computer or internet driving licence, people don't know how to administrate their own systems. They depend on others whether it's their geeky kids, friends, family, computer shop or the support line or whatever. What the geeks are saying Apple takes away is something they already feel they have very little knowledge and control over. => don't care about lockdown

    Also, geeks have a blind spot for missing user interface disasters, but common users have a blind spot for missing back end disasters. We try something, realize it's crap and move on. They try it, struggle, struggle some more and think computers are really, really hard or that they are dense. They have huge learning costs and only understand function, not concept so each application is almost like new to them. Users like being put in front of one piece of good software, it does not have to be the ultimate software of all time but better than trying to figure out which of five open source clones are actually any good. This is why they always ask for "brand" products like Photoshop, they don't know good from bad but assume that with a famous product it's as easy as it'll get. => iEverything

    Apple makes products for the huge group who doesn't "really" want the complexities of those products, which turns out to be most of us. I have to admit that while I'm insanely geeky in some areas, for example my washing machine has more than a dozen programs and 95%+ of the time I use the basic 40 degree program. My photo camera has a bunch of manual settings but 95%+ of the time I just want to use the intelligent everything. Kinda like the Wii, I've managed to get even my parents to try it. They wouldn't touch PC or console games with a 10 foot pole. Any product you make that lets "everyone else" use something will be a huge hit. Just admit you're not in the "everybody else" category.

  • Re:Look and Feel (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SpooForBrains (771537) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @04:35PM (#32117648)
    and that UI responsiveness is exactly what would be lost if they opened up the software it can run to include non-approved apps, apps that can run in the background and FUCKING FLASH.
  • Re:One million (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dangitman (862676) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @06:38PM (#32119516)

    Not every company holds features out at the beginning and adds them in later...

    Spoken like somebody who knows nothing about software or hardware development. Do you think Apple just has a pile of these "features" sitting around and says "hey, let's exclude this feature so we can screw customers again in the future"?

    Software development takes time. Features that armchair pundits think are "trivial" actually take a lot of work and testing to implement. And features don't exist in isolation. They live within a system, where different parts are dependent on others. So, if you want good software it takes time and hard decisions to get it right. Of course, you could just add features in a rushed, half-assed manner, but then you don't end up with good software.

    Hardware is similar - you have to balance a whole range of factors - battery life, physical space and form factor, cost, heat, component availability, industrial design, manufacturing technology. A wafer-thin portable computer is not just something you hack together.

  • Re:Look and Feel (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dirtside (91468) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @10:06PM (#32121542) Journal

    I agree; I love my Android phone (G1) but I really wish it prioritized user input response over everything else. I'll gladly sacrifice some processing power in order to ensure that it always responds to my UI actions immediately.

  • by dudpixel (1429789) on Thursday May 06, 2010 @11:18PM (#32122198)

    let me point out the amount of FAIL I can see here:

    Why on earth would you want to use an iPad to browse the internet if you have a laptop? Tiny screen, no Flash support, no keyboard

    When I wanted to sit on my comfy chair on my deck wrapped in a blanket with a coffee in one hand and /. in the other.

    Until you want to, you know, scroll down. Which do you put down, the iPad or the coffee?
    A netbook would sit comfortably in your lap. coffee in one hand, mouse in the other.

    Or when I want to browse while standing for an hour on the train twice a day.

    So if you're on a train, one hand is holding onto something for balance, and the other is holding a rather large device to do the same as what most other people are doing on their phones. And guess what, you cant scroll down without either putting your iPad on the floor or risking falling over.

    Or when I want to just not carry around a 5lb brick everywhere I go when not working.

    You must have big pockets. I wouldn't want to carry anything around that was bigger than my phone. If it doesn't fit in my jeans pocket - it's inconvenient.

    Or when I don't want unblockable popups.

    nice troll - most browsers block popups these days. You're promoting the lack of flash as a feature, but I'm pretty sure you can disable flash on your netbook if you wanted the same "experience".

    ... when did it become hip to use crippled devices?

    You mean like a motorcycle instead of a car?

    Meh, each to their own preference, they appeal to different markets, and most people prefer cars.

    You mean like a regular cell phone instead of a smart phone?

    The world is moving to smartphones - again, not the direction you were infering.

    You mean like a laptop instead of a desktop?

    There is nothing about a laptop that makes it inferior to a desktop, except for the keyboard maybe. But it actually gives you MORE than a desktop, in that it is portable. Unless you mean netbook, but then most people dont use those instead of their desktop. They use it when they are away from their desktop.

    Many people like to use whatever is appropriate to the task.

    This is true. However I suspect many iPad owners try to make the iPad appropriate to ANY task, rather than applying the above (in which case most of them wouldn't need one).

    I find a netbook much more appropriate for browsing the web from my couch, or whatever other computing task I might like to do. Unless I go out somewhere, in which case my (android) phone is just fine.

    Your examples were all poor. I can certainly see your argument, but I disagree and have provided the flip-side for your amusement :)

  • Re:Look and Feel (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Reservoir Penguin (611789) on Friday May 07, 2010 @01:01AM (#32122834)
    Thank you, great reply. It's sad (and funny) when geek trashs Ipod Touch and now the Ipad comparing it to for instance Nokia N900 which runs a full Linux ARM distro. You know, you are not gonna impress me by having a full distro on a N900 size device, I've seen full distros running on devices only slighly larger than a quarter and even that is not impressive anymore. Any second year student should be able to have Linux running on anything within a month given hardware specs. What is impressive is not cramming features into a device with laggy and unintuitive interface. but the opposite - carefully choosing a nice subset of features and polishing it to near perfection. And this is what Apple has done with the IPod Touch interface, it is more responsive than any Windows or Linux GUI I have tried, on a quad core with 4 gigs of RAM. Only BEOS could compare to it.

    This is actually a particular case of a more general problem with certain programmer's mindset. They believe that giving the users more features and more options is enabling the user, but actually it is quite the opposite - when there are tweny ways to do the same thing it is a sign of mental lazyness of the developer who could not pick the best way to do something and just shifted this responsibility to the user.

  • by shiftless (410350) on Friday May 07, 2010 @01:29AM (#32122998) Homepage

    No, the point we're trying to make is that technically-minded people see the shortcomings in Apple products compared to others.

    The problem is that people pay attention to their hip friends, not to the nerd with the broken glasses sitting at the front of the class. That nerd feels put-down because nobody listens to him. ......and is it any wonder? Tell the nerd you're considering an iPad and ask his opinion and he'll spend 30 minutes ranting and raving about DRM, proprietary lockdown, etc. Ask the trendy hip guy and he'll show you all the neat stuff you can do with it. Try developing some social skills and drop those haughty, arrogant delusions of grandeur, and I bet the world will be a lot more inclined to listen to your viewpoint.

  • by mikael_j (106439) on Friday May 07, 2010 @03:31AM (#32123630)

    Umm, yes. They've been attacking Google at every opportunity, backstabbing Adobe, one of Apple's biggest supporters (flashbacks to what MSFT did to IBM), Suing competitor over spurious software patents whist blatantly ignoring the hardware patents of other companies and threatening Open source codecs with law suits, very Microsoftian.

    They don't even have a majority market share when it comes to the various markets that they're operating in, so they're not so much abusing their position as they are doing what all large corporations do, bickering and backstabbing, something which is a problem but isn't nearly as bad as when someone with practically complete control of the market does it.

    Further more, the are attempting to circumvent web standards by forcing pages to be coded for the Iwhatever. Or did you honestly believe that they were trying to use an open standard, that isn't even a standard yet (strangely reminiscent of what MS did with IE).

    Are you talking about html5? You do realize that it's not some magic "Apple HTML" but rather the next version of the HTML standard, one which is hardly backed by just Apple, right?

    Like trying to force HTML 5 into H.264, or forcing flash sites switch to Apple's implementation of HTML 5. Perhaps the requirement for Iwhatever Application to be originally written in an Apple approved language also slipped your attention, deliberately making it difficult to make cross platform applications (DOS isn't done until Lotus wont run, do you see the resemblance). Maybe the banning of applications that mention Android also went unnoticed (banning something that even mentions a competitor is not anti-competitive, surely).

    They're not the only backers of H.264 as the HTML 5 default for video, and there are actually plenty of sound technical reasons for preferring H.264 over Theora.

    When you say "flash sites" do you by any chance mean video websites? Because yes, the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad don't support Flash, a decision which isn't all good or all bad, while Flash support would've been nice my experience with mobile devices and Flash is that the current state of it is just horrible, combine that with the history of Flash performance problems on OS X and it sort of makes sense that Apple would rather bet on HTML 5 than trust Adobe to magically pull an efficient and stable Flash release for the iPhone/iPad OS...

    There's nothing illegal about being anti-competitive, in fact most companies are pretty anti-competitive, it's when you control a market that it becomes illegal. When it comes to morality it may be wrong but I don't see why we should hold Apple to a higher standard than other large corporations, they're not the ones who have the "Do no evil" mantra.

  • by mdwh2 (535323) on Friday May 07, 2010 @05:41AM (#32124222) Journal

    Incorrect - the Ipad was hyped and advertised for several months. The 30 days was simply the final shipping time.

    Not to mention that's been with vast amounts of coverage and advertising from the media, including Slashdot.

    Compared to any given Netbook product

    Can you tell me which specific netbook product gets three stories on Slashdot a day? Thanks. Hell, we don't even get that much for netbooks as a whole.

    Nokia ship hundreds of millions of mobile computing devices a year - do we get stories about them, or how they're "destroying netbook sales" (or indeed, how they're "destroying Ipad sales")?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 07, 2010 @08:18AM (#32125332)

    Holy shit!

    This is one of the cuntiest posts I've ever seen on this site. Top three at the very least.

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