Redmond Diary

By Andrew J. Brust

Blog archive

Why I'm Getting an iPad

I have never purchased an Apple product in my life. That's a "true fact." And, for that matter, the last Apple product I really wanted was an Apple IIe, back in the 1980s. I couldn't afford it though (I was still in high school), so I got a Commodore 64 instead -- it had the same microprocessor, after all. If the iPhone were on Verizon, I probably would have picked one up in December, when I got my Droid. And if the iPod Touch worked with my Napster subscription (which, of course, it does not, but my Sonos does) I might have picked up one of those instead.

That's three strikes, but Apple's not out. I've decided I want the iPad.

Why? Well, to start with, my birthday is March 31st. The iPad comes out on April 3rd and my wife wanted to know what to get me. Also, my house is a seven minute walk from the Apple Store on West 14th Street in Manhattan. This makes it easy to get my pre-ordered device on launch day, and get home quickly with it. Oh, and I agreed to write an article for Redmond Magazine, the fee for which will pay for the device -- that way the birthday present doesn't have to be an extravagant expense. Plus, I'm a contrarian, so I want to buy the one device from Apple that the fanboys have actually panned.

Think those are bad reasons? How about this: I want to experience iPhone and iPad development and, although my app will probably never hit the App Store and run on the actual device, I still think owning one will help me develop something better.

I also want to see if the slate form factor has good business usage scenarios. I want to see if Business Intelligence technology on a device like this can work. Just imagine a dashboard running on this thing.

And, for the consumer experience, I really want a touch device on which I can surf the Web while I'm in the kitchen, or on the couch. I don't want the small form factor of my phone, I don't want to use my TV, and I don't want a keyboard that will get dirty or in my way.

I don't want to watch movies on it (my TV is good for that), so I don't care that the iPad has a 4:3 screen. I don't want to read books on it, so I don't care that the display is backlit LCD, rather than eInk.

But really what I want is to understand, first hand, why people have such brand loyalty to Apple. I know the big reasons; I'm not detached from society. But I want to know the subtle points of what Apple does really well, and also what they do poorly. And I'd like to know, once and for all, if Microsoft can beat Apple, if Microsoft can think the right way to beat Apple and if Microsoft should even try to beat Apple.

I expect to share my thoughts on these questions, as they develop.

Posted by Andrew J. Brust on 03/31/2010 at 1:15 PM


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