What I got wrong:
I said: “Unlike the Microsoft approach to “ecosystem” – where everything other than the Xbox is able to view and edit Excel spreadsheets – my hunch is the iPad is all about lifestyle, the Internet, and entertainment. I’d guess there’s a native version of Safari, some kind of simple email and calendaring, and that’s about it.”
In reality: native new version of iWork!
Reaction: I’m pretty surprised by this move. I certainly see the case for casual work-like content creation (make a simple budget, add some numbers, etc), but figured this would be much more of an afterthought. Further, without an input mechanism (camera – more below) beyond the touchscreen, I don’t quite feel the product “fits” as a content creator.
Augmented Reality/Content Creation
I said: “I’d predict there are several native applications and services that provide very cool augmented reality features. I’m firmly in the camp of one or more cameras on the iPad, and I think Apple will include one or more fun exploits of the concept from the get-go.”
In reality: zero cameras.
Reaction: This is unquestionably the most questionable aspect of the iPad (like how I did that?). There’s one in the Nano, but not here? Just doesn’t make sense to me, nor most of the people I spoke with during and post the event. My colleague Jim Schaff thinks this is effectively a beancounter’s decision – the numbers were run that showed adding a camera could/would cannibalize from either MacBook or iPhone sales, and thus the camera was dropped. Other folks I’ve spoken with theorize it’ll show up in a rapid revision of the product (something I don’t agree with, as they had no specific reason to rush the iPad to market, and could easily have waited until it was working). My other theory here is that it’s not a hardware issue, but a product/software complexity issue, and the overall impact of adding a camera would have created too significant a product development challenge in the short term. Gotta crawl before ya run.
I said: “It’ll have the iPod connector, USB, DisplayPort and an SD card slot. A webcam is highly probably, and I wouldn’t be surprised with an IR interface as well.”
In reality: custom dock connector, USB, no other ports.
Reaction: I’m disappointed at the lack of SD card reader, especially in context of the photo frame use-case.
What I got right:
I said: “iPad”.
Heavy software emphasis
I said: “Everything that ships on the iPad will be designed completely to work in a touch fashion, or it won’t be included period. I’m still torn between whether it’ll be a version of OS X or a version of the iPhone OS, but either way, the device will ship with oodles of applicable software, custom-built to be great in gesture, touch, multi-touch, or even by looking at it the right way.”
Closed app infrastructure
I said: “I expect the iPad will sit somewhere between the iPhone, with individually manually approved apps, and the OS X platform. Based on the reports today that some apps are supposedly already being run on the iPad (of course these reports prove absolutely nothing, as it could either be an updated iPhone with a new OS, or simply another “labs” product running around campus. but where would modern tech blogging be without unsubstantiated rumor circulation and amplification?) , my leaning is a differentiated version of the iPhone OS, with more leniency in app approval, but still not open. Many will complain, many will profit, and many will love it.”
Single carrier support
I said: “And since the former isn’t very Apple-y, it’s much more likely there’s only one carrier involved” and “It’ll have 3G services built-in. I’d hope for Verizon, but that limits Apple to its international possibilities. And there’s no way they’d waste the money on two different 3G chips.”
Note that I’m surprised, but not shocked, that it’s still just AT&T.
Media Slate as product definition
I said: “So picture a device that’s sleek and sexy, can play back movies, TV shows (including live TV), Internet radio (lala), show pictures/slideshows, play simple games (app store), and be otherwise completely entertaining. It connects from anywhere, has enough internal storage to last a nationwide flight, and is all about fun. Further, it comes with numerous context access options, including free services, a la carte purchasing/rentals, and subscription options. It probably also has a Webcam and native iChat support. I’m fairly bullish on this concept, as it seems to fit in with the Apple iLifestyle very well, and makes for a useful product.”
I’m actually going to write another blog post with my specific thoughts on the iPad (and I’m the only guy doing that!). My quickest reactions are that I’m impressed with the price point, but shocked about the lack of camera. I think they *will* sell millions of units, and it’ll be more compelling to a more mainstream audience than many others think, though I still find flaws in the overall offering. In reality, this device is actually a very good alternate “home computer” for the average person who only needs web surfing, email, media playback, and entertainment. It’s certainly more compelling than a Netbook.
For some final fun, here’s the blog post I wrote predicting roughly this device. Of course that was back in July 2007.