iPad unveiled amidst disappointment

The day we were all waiting for finally came.  At 10 am PST, Apple unveiled its latest “monster” in the iPad and let me assure you, putting monster in quotation marks was no accident.  I have to be honest, it took me a few minutes to decide whether I was completely underwhelmed by the announcement, thoroughly impressed by it or just plain confused.  Let me explain…

On the one hand, Apple basically delivered a bigger, fancier version of the iTouch.  Don’t get me wrong, the iPad appears to be sleek and sexy with great display, browsing and multimedia capabilities amongst a myriad of other great features like the iBook Store where you can purchase and download eBooks, but in all honesty, Steve Jobs’ latest creation didn’t push the envelope like I hoped it would.

With a price tag of $499, I was left wondering where this device fits in.  Sure, it’s a legitimate contender if you’re looking to replace your Kindle or Sony Reader but do you really need it if you have an iPhone?  Without a camera, Skyping capabilities, etc., it feels more like an “I’ve been there and done that” type of device.  Moreover, if you want 3G and the memory to take advantage of all the really cool, powerful apps out there, you’re looking at a price tag of over $800!  Yikes!

On the other hand, it does run most apps we’ve come to love right out of the box.  This is definitely exciting news for PressDisplay subscribers as you can download NewspaperDirect’s PressReader app directly to the iPad.  Just like the iPhone or iTouch, you’ll be able to use it immediately to read 1400+ full content publications from around the world.  From this point, the iPad will impress as I’m certain you’ll enjoy a digital reading experience unlike any you’ve experienced before.

Mostly though, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the great functionality you’ve come to expect from PressReader only in a larger format – which isn’t a bad thing.  We already know PressReader is hugely popular with iPhone and iTouch users, so why wouldn’t it be even more popular on a bigger a device?  Here’s some evidence:

“Brilliant app. I was looking for something like this the other day. Glad I got it. Good work!”  Andy, UK

“I’m really enjoying reading the National Post on my iPod Touch. I’m actually reading more of it since I’m having it in this device, than when I was accessing it on my computer.”  J.D., Ontario

“What is good about PressDisplay is the amazing wide selection of newspapers and the beautiful newspapers that look like its original look, complete with the actual advertisements.  I tried it [PressReader] out and love the app.”

So where does this leave us?  Well, I’m excited at the prospect of using PressReader on the iPad as I’m certain the viewing experience will be nothing short of brilliant.  Unfortunately, that’s the end of my intrigue.  I’m mostly disappointed because like many, I expected a lot more from Apple and judging from the roller coaster ride Apple’s stock took in the market this morning (mostly downwards), I’m not the only one.

Quite simply, the iPad was overhyped and just flat out didn’t deliver on expectations leading me to believe it’s a device that will get caught up in no man’s land.  One thing is for certain, it doesn’t surpass the capabilities of the iTouch or iPhone, which in my estimation, are Jobs’ greatest inventions to date.

-Michael