iPod touch on steroids

T3’s first impressions:

iPad, therefore I am… a little bit disappointed.

Is that it? After all the frenzy, the hype, the building, surging expectation? Is this what all the earnest young men of the tech blogs have been strumming their keyboards for, thrusting towards yesterday’s gadgety happy finish and the ultimate, game-changing, epoch-making techgasm?

How Steve Jobs – cruel, heartless Steve Jobs – has betrayed their innocence. For what is the iPad, at first sight, but a wet fart of meta-nothingness? A digital picture frame you carry around. A comically huge iPod Touch – it even has a 3.5mm socket. “The best browsing experience you’ll ever have,” except there’s no Flash support. An ebook reader without the e-ink that makes reading on a screen a pleasure rather than a chore.

You can smell the disappointment on the blogs, and the reason is simple. All along, it was never clear what the iPad would actually do, so the faithful had to believe there was a special purpose for it. They had to really, truly believe in their hearts, clasp their hands together in prayer and await The Rapture. For truly, Apple moves in mysterious ways, its miracles to perform.

Check out the rest of the article here.

Also, Tyler Cowen’s predictions on iPad economics:

My theory is that Apple wants to capture a chunk of the revenue in this nation’s enormous textbook market — high school, college, whatever.  Why lug all those books around?  The superior Apple graphics, colors, and fonts will support all of the textbook features which Kindle botches and destroys.  Apple takes a chunk of the market revenue, of course, plus they sell the iPads and some AT&T contracts.  There are lots of schoolkids in the world.

As Kottke says, it is a device you use sitting down.  And it fails to solve the “sunlight on your reading screen” problem/  Those both point to somewhat sedentary uses..  And it doesn’t seem to have a camera.

In the longer run the iPad will compete with your university, or in some ways enhance your university.  It will offer homework services and instructional videos and courses, none of which can work well on the current iPhone or Kindle.  The device also seems to allow for collaborative use. Can you imagine one attached to every hospital bed or in the hands of every doctor and nurse?

It will take some business away from Kindle but that will not be the major impact.  The commercial book trade just isn’t that big in terms of revenue and arguably that sector will shrink with digitalization, as recorded music has been doing. The story here is one of new markets, not cannibalization or even competition.

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