Apple has announced the long rumored iPad. Will the iPad bring about a new age of tablet PC growth or not is the real question. I say no.
It will bring about a series of wars with the eBook readers. Looking at the specs and what the iPad does, I can’t call it a tablet PC. You load software from the app store like the iPhone. You can’t just go out and buy software for it. There is no CD/DVD drive. Heck even the developer kit is included as part of the new iPhone developer kit. How is this a tablet PC instead of an overgrown iPod touch (there is no phone or camera on the iPad also) with eBook capabilities?
Microsoft has been trying to crack the whole tablet PC area for years. They have come a long way, but its still not perfect. The plus side is that if you get a tablet from a vendor like Lenovo, its a laptop with a special screen than can rotate into a position on top of the keyboard so you have a tablet. You get the best of both worlds, even though the OS is still shaky (I have not seen the tablet features of Windows 7 to make a comparison with).
Lets look at the other issue with the iPad. The versions with cellular capabilities are partnered with AT&T. We all know about the overtaxed network due to the iPod. Not only that but most of AT&T’s coverage areas are still 2G compared to 3G. If the iPad takes off as a gadget, and that is what I look at it as, AT&T is going to have more problems.
The iPad’s price could be its downfall in the near term. With the way the economy is, I can’t see why someone would choose this over a lower end laptop in the same price range.