As is customary with almost all Apple product launches, speculations about the likely features of iPad 2 were rife much ahead of the launch (I guess its a function of setting high standards). They ranged from realistic ones to wishful thinking.
I don’t think any other Company is put ‘under the microscope’ so much with respect to a product launch. Naturally, this sets up huge expectations from end users. It also creates a platform for ‘Apple derision’ (about all this being needless hype about a product meant only for show off) those who aren’t necessarily fans of Apple products. The frenzy includes blog posts, news articles, rumours, tweets and Facebook updates from fans, reporters, tech experts and Apple naysayers.
The script repeated itself with iPad 2. Apple fans like yours truly followed the event through live blogs and Twitter feeds, starting 2330 IST yesterday. No other product launch is likely to create so much enthusiasm and motivate individuals like me to sacrifice sleep over a product announcement.
My $0.02 on the launch:
The presence of Steve Jobs (speculated by tech sites a day prior to the event) was a clear signal to both competition and Wall Street. The surprise factor contributed to the drama – a master stroke.
The presentation (and I mean the slides created on Keynote) and the delivery were classic Apple: minimalist, visual-driven slides that are so refreshingly different from the copy-heavy, bullet-proof galore numbers driven presetnations we are so used to seeing.
The actual product was ‘evolutionary‘ – as was expected. Some called it an underwhelming launch but that’s a but unfair. Every product from Apple cannot do all it is supposed to do and also be a cure for cancer. For me, the iPad 2 is worth buying (even if you already own an iPad) for these 3 reasons:
– Face Time
– The price
– Native iPad apps like GarageBand and iMovie
– The smart covers (they are so ingenious!)
Yes, there will be naysayers who will quibble about some feature or the other. But as this article says, if you are comparing specs between tablets, you’ve missed the point. In India the most popular questions among the skeptics are ‘does it have a USB port?’, followed by ‘Can I upgrade the capacity?’. An answer like, ‘it doesn’t have a USB port because it is not meant to be all things for all people or replace a desktop yet, but you can buy a USB adapter if you want’ is not going to convince them. Neither will the answer, ‘if you choose the right version depending on your video usage’ you really shouldn’t have a problem on capacity’ to the second question. I also cannot provide a convincing argument for those complaining about lack of Flash capability – maybe my browsing habits are different but I am able to view most of the YouTube videos (both through the inbuilt app and as embedded content on websites) but yes, I do face the problem on some sites. But I choose to live with it. And for those seeking to (a) copy songs & movies directly from an external hard drive or a laptop (b) looking to rip or convert DVD movies into iTunes the iPad doesn’t offer a solution. For all such skeptics, there could be several other options in the pipeline – though not many have seen light of day yet.
The smartest thing about iPad could very well be the price. Maybe it is to do with wisely investing the cash reserves in striking long term deals with suppliers but Apple seems to have flummoxed competition on that score. Sadly for us in India, the one getting flummoxed will be Apple – when they launch iPad 2 sometime next year much after competing brands like Samsung have taken lead.
What do you think of iPad 2’s launch? Do comment in.