Apple's iPad iPalooza: The aftermath

The iPad: It slices, it dices, it builds strong bodies 12 ways -- but there are a few things Apple didn't quite get right

The circus is finally over. The carnies are pulling down the tents, the clowns have packed up their seltzer bottles, and we are basking in the soft, sweet afterglow of greatness.

So much for Obama's State of the Union address -- now about that Apple event earlier today. By now you've probably seen or read dozens of stories about the iPad, as well as stories about stories about the iPad. Well, here's my take, post facto.

[ Also on InfoWorld: Get the key information on the new iPad in Galen Gruman's "What you should know about Apple's tablet" and Paul Krill's "New iPad means iPhone developers need to think different." ]

First, the iPad really does look like a game changer. I honestly didn't think Apple could pull it off. Color me stupid. Yet again Apple seems to have created a new product category -- as well as possibly a netbook and e-book killer -- out of sweat, Red Bull, and Steve Jobs' fevered imagination.

Still, this wouldn't be a Cringely blog post if I didn't have a few quibbles.

The name: iPad, eh? I know -- it's like iPod, only with an "a." Personally, I see problems brewing. As eSarcasm's JR Raphael snarks:

Mass confusion will ensue at all Boston-area retail outlets when accent-heavy customers ask for an “iPod” (e.g., an “iPahd”). Prepare to hear frequent yelling of such phrases as: “I said iPahd, not iPad. Whatayou, fahkin’ retahdid?”

Also, as I've said before, that name carries some off-putting connotations for me. Or as another wag put it, "On especially heavy surfing days they call it the MaxiPad."

The specs: Impressive, to say the least: a 10-inch, 720p touchscreen; 1.5 pounds; optional physical keyboard; and as whizzy an interface as you'll find anywhere. But 10 hours of active battery life and 30 days on standby? I'll believe that when I see it. Once people can get their hands on this sucker and play with it, I expect we'll find a few more flies in the honey.

The price: I gotta say, I never expected it to come in at $499. But when you add in all the goodies they showed off at today's unveiling -- including 64GB of memory, 3G, and Wi-Fi -- we're talking $829. That's much closer to what I expected.

The bigger price news, IMHO, is the data plan: $15 a month for 250MB of data, or $30 unlimited, and no customer headlock (aka contract). If that's not a model for future wireless connectivity, I don't know what is.

The 3G carrier: AT&T. Thud. I guess you can't have everything. Still, I hear they have a really good map.

The press coverage: It's become almost mandatory. Whenever there's a product announcement of any import, hundreds or even thousands of attendees must "liveblog" the event. So many tried to capture the iPad announcement in real time that they temporarily overloaded liveblogging platforms at CoverItLive, bollixing coverage from sites like, Ars Technica, The Seattle Post Intelligencer, and The Technologizer. (Ars and TT later recovered.)

Then, of course, there are the sites liveblogging the liveblogging of the event. It's a little like watching a movie by having someone write down summaries of each scene onto a blackboard.

Maybe this is a stupid question, but: Why doesn't somebody just digitally capture the entire event and stream it live to the world? Do we really need interpreters to tell us what Steve Jobs is saying? It's not like he's speaking Swahili.

The mantra: Jobs said it (twice) near the end of the event, then put it up on a large screen in case anybody missed it: “Our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.” Or to make it easier to fit on a tattoo: OMATIAMARDAAUP. Remember that; you will be tested later.

Twitter: As I write this, half a dozen of the top trending topics on Twitter are related to the iPad announcement -- including "iTampon." See, I told you it was a bad name.

OK, enough of my mindless palaver. What do you think of the JesusPad? Post your thoughts below or e-mail me: Just remember: Any Apple fanboys who get too unruly will have their iPhones confiscated until class is over.

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