The Future with the iPad

Very interesting Newsweek article about Apple’s iPad which will be on sale across the United States April 3rd. Hundreds of thousands have been pre-ordered and stores will inevitably stock out quickly. Steve Jobs deserves a pat on the back for developing a brand that has become synonymous innovation and quality. People spend money on applications of all kinds to use on their Apple products or to simply show off to friends at cocktail parties. They trust that any app that is good enough to be on the Apple app store must be worth a try or will improve their everyday lives. But truthfully how many applications actually enhance our lives?

I’ve never purchased an iPhone and have no plans to drop $499-$800+ that the iPad will cost initially(chances are good I can get them as a late adopter for $299-$600). Perhaps there are some things I would find useful. I would love to take my Netflix on the go streaming video in an airport, or use handy navigation tools to discover a restaurant in an unfamiliar city. I agree the iPad offers value, but at a price. The vertical integration of Apple microprocessors, hardware, software, apps, etc. has such a locking effect that once you upload your entire life onto one of these devices you are invested 100%. There is little reason to change if some new company were to emerge to rival Apple. We cannot as time-crunched individuals spend time transferring our mobile life from home device to mobile device to work device. Now other companies including Amazon and Microsoft make sure to provide a steady revenue stream after device sales by allowing only select compatibility. Once you put that movie or song on your iPad (which has no USB or any other connective ports) it becomes tricky to get to other devices if even possible.

Your Apple account should allow you to take an iPad purchased song and transfer it to your iTunes on your computer, then enabling iPod and compact disc transfer and burns. All I can say is it seems wonderful to have all your personal digital belongings in one convenient, user-friendly location. Just make sure you secure it as well as Apple does (with cables and locks to desks in dark rooms). Heaven forbid you lose such a device and your purchases…so much for mobility. We should pay Apple for its next great service investment – insurance protection.

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