What the iPad is NOT and Why Knowing Will Make a Difference if You Want One

I know that was a long title, especially for me. I like short titles for my posts. But I digress…

First, I have to give a little background. For the first five years of my career at Thomas Nelson, I was in the “electronic” division. I was there as it was morphing into what is now known industry-wide as “digital publishing”. Yes. That is how NEW all this is for publishers and consumers. All that is to say, I have a little history here. While I spent the last two years of my Nelson career in Ministry Development, I followed (and still do) digital publishing closely.

Now, to the iPad. Here’s the “a ha” moment for you – the iPad is NOT (repeat NOT) an ebook reader. I’ll even say it again for overkill emphasis. The iPad is NOT an ebook reader. The iPad is the next generation of computer that happens to have ebook capability.

The Apple iPad

Desktops are already dinosaurs (with a few exceptions) and laptops are getting there soon. As smartphones become smarter (i.e. – smaller in size, but bigger in memory), you can do everything you need to (for the most part) in the palm of your hand. What you are seeing with the iPad is what every single computer and smartphone will become in the next 5 years. No longer will you have at least three separate devices (phone, music player, computer) you will have ONE device that will be ultra-portable and will have every single function imaginable included. As cloud computing takes over, and wireless technology advances, you won’t even need a hard drive.

So, if you are looking at the iPad as a souped-up ebook reader, it definitely falls short. But if you are looking at the iPad for what it is – the first generation of the future of computing and communications – then it is the most exciting and innovative piece of hardware to come out since the first iPod (which we all thought was a brick, but revolutionized music and the music industry).

Take a second look at iPad with new eyes. You might just find that you want one after all.

  • sorry to hear how fast technology is moving!! we just got a laptop last fall. we have old TVs and cell phone. Jeff has the android b/c of work. we even have those boxes on our TV b/c we don’t have cable. we would love to be up to date but have chosen the wrong professions.

    this ipad sounds awesome!!! I really really want one!!! I guess when everyone is using touch holograms, we will get an ipad!!

    • Scott D. Winter

      As a self-confessed gadget freak, it pains me too Margaret to not have the disposable cash to stay current with tech toys. However, I’ve been pretty happy to let some of the kinks get worked out first before making the plunge. At that point there are a few of the early adopters who are a little jealous of me…

  • Scott,
    From a brand promise/expectation point of view, I wish Apple had billed the iPad as supped up e-reader and then wowed us with its other capabilities. Instead of having us wanting all the tools and options of what a true handheld computer would do.

    The main complaints I have heard about the iPad is that it falls short of a true computing device. It does not run multiple apps, it does not have a camera and it has limited, if any, network capabilities; thus the current cry from even Apple lovers “this is an over sized iPod that won’t fit in your pocket.”

    • Scott D. Winter

      Thanks for your thoughts, Maurilio. First of all, I totally agree with you. But this is 1st generation. Just imagine where the iPad will be in 5-10 years!

      Then again, we could have another tablet PC on our hands. Time will tell.