Apple Jumped the Shark

Michael Haney thezorch at
Thu Jan 28 12:13:06 GMT 2010

I'm a fan of Apple's products, especially their computers which are
very high quality.  But, I can be critical of them too.  I'm not
pleased with how they've conducted themselves with the iPhone App
Store.  Treating developers the way they do isn't good business.  With
the competition in the smart-phone arena heating up like it is they
need to change fast or loose market share to Android and Palm.

Yesterday Apple announced a product which has speculated about for a
long time.  A tablet computer.  Its called the iPad.

By itself the iPad isn't all that bad, and in fact the demos were
quite impressive.  Its fast, its screen is very nice, it has the same
multi-touch capabilities of the iPhone and iPod Touch, and the 3G
model will be unlocked accepting Mini-SIM cards so you can use other
carries besides the default AT&T carrier.  The $14.99 250MB and $29.99
unlimited data plans are also a huge plus, and full free access to all
of AT&T's nation-wide wi-fi hotspots is nice too.

Essentially the iPad is an oversized iPod Touch.  Its got pretty much
the same UI only bigger.  It can run all existing iPhone apps, both at
their regular size and double sized, even 3D accelerated games, plus
there is a new SDK for developing native apps for the iPad.  The major
caveats of the device are that there doesn't appear to be any
indication that the iPad apps "won't" be subject to the same
schizophrenic approval process iPhone apps must get through.  In other
words, its a locked down, controlled environment where the approval of
apps are subject to Apple's whims and not a set-in-stone list of rules
and parameters.  Also, like the iPhone there is NO Adobe Flash support
in Safari, and no ability to run multiple apps at once.  That's right
folks, Apple developed a tablet computer that CANNOT multitask and
doesn't have Adobe Flash support!  This is where netbooks have them

Basically, Apple jumped the shark.

The iPad is nice, don't get me wrong its an incredible piece of
engineering, but its limitations don't make it the Netbook killer that
everyone thought it would be.  Apple will eek out their own niche in
the market with this device, but they won't be stealing the thunder of
Netbook manufactures anytime soon.  There are also the other tablets
which are on the horizon, especially the ones equipped the blazing
fast dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 ARM processor, Geforce graphics, and
running Android.  Apple needed to WOW and came up short.

As I said, don't get me wrong the iPad is really nice otherwise.  It
can play 1080p HD movies from the iTunes Store or via a Youtube app
(without Flash).  It supports the ePub standard for ebooks and even
has an ebook store with support from several major publishers.  And,
its fast enough to run iPhone 3D accelerated games blown up to almost
full screen.  The full presentation, which you can watch on the Apple
website (download the video file and open with VLC) was indeed
impressive.  The iPad is easy to use, has an intuitive UI, and its
fast using a custom made Apple branded 1GHz CPU.  They won't be
available to consumers for 30 days.  The 16GB model is just $499.99
which prices in the same range as most netbooks.  The 3G equipped
models which are slightly more expensive will be out 90 days later.

Only time will tell if Apple learns from their mistakes with the
iPhone and realizes that the iPad needs to be an open platform to be
competitive.  If they don't, the iPad will never be anything more than
a niche product and not the netbook killer they probably hoped it
would become.  There is hope that they are listening to consumer
complaints.  The new iPhone SDK, updated to support iPad native app
development, now allows VoIP apps to work via cellular link rather
than just Wi-Fi.  Also, one of the docks for the iPad that Apple
showed off has a full-sized Apple keyboard complete with number pad.

If they haven't learned, and Apple locks down the iPad then they'll
have totally farked up a golden opportunity to steal a lot of
Micro$oft's thunder.  Oh well, don't worry, it'll be Linux to the
rescue when the ARM based tablets seen at CES 2010 start hitting the

Michael "TheZorch" Haney
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