back to article Apple iPad – the 'Tickle Me Elmo' of 2010

Apple will sell 12.9 million iPads before the end of this year, according to the market watchers at iSuppli, upping their earlier estimate of 7.1 million "magical and revolutionary" devices. "The iPad is shaping up to be the 'Tickle Me Elmo' of the 2010 holiday season," said iSuppli's Rhoda Alexander in a statement, meaning …


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  1. Dick Emery

    Are other manu's effin' dense?

    This is why they fail. Waiting to see how Apple does before launching something half as good into the market place a year or more late and then wonder why they have lackluster sales in comparison. They already know how Apple steals key market segments (or creates them) with their products. The iPad is nothing new or innovative. It's just a big iTouch ffs! No wonder Job's is laughing all the way to the bank. I honestly believe that the people running some of these other companies need firing and replacing them with monkeys. They'd probably do a much better job!

    I wish I was head of some company like HP, Dell, Asus,Samsung or one of the other smartphone makers perhaps. I'd soon kick their design teams into shape.

    1. Goat Jam

      Re: Are other manu's effin' dense?

      Well, yes in fact they are.

      Most of them are under the thumb of intel and MS. They take their lead from those two. This is why HP has spent the last few years developing the slate based on promises from intel that the "low power atom" would be great and from MS that "Windows 7 will be much better at touch"

      It turns out that neither promises are true and the slate has been dumped, leaving them to finally grow a pair and develop a product in defiance of their legacy <ahem> "partnerships" with their bullying suppliers.

      Until PC manufacturers start to think for themselves and say to "hell with you intel/Microsoft" they will continue to fail when competing against the likes of apple.

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        Re: Are other manu's effin' dense?

        HP, Asus, et al are basically just assembly companies. They take software from MS, core hardware from Intel, and try and make a pretty case & box for it.

        Apple, on the other hand, "own" the entire stack. It's this ownership that allows them to come up with something different.

      2. Chika

        Re: Are other manu's effin' dense?

        I'd agree with most o what Goat Jam has to say with one additional point.

        Perhaps if Microsoft (and, perhaps, Apple) hadn't spent so much time and effort killing off those other companies that actually did think for themselves, perhaps Apple really wouldn't have such an easy time of it. Mind you, considering that Apple were one of these companies that M$ tried so hard to kill off at one time, I really can't blame Apple 100% for its actions.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          A title is required!! Re

          "Mind you, considering that Apple were one of these companies that M$ tried so hard to kill off at one time, I really can't blame Apple 100% for its actions."

          LOL Fanboi alert. Obvious fanboi is obvious, etc.

          No, Microsoft did not try to kill off Apple, in fact, Apple would not exist today if not for Microsoft. The antitrust laws in the United States forced Microsoft to fully fund Apple when Apple went broke for building crap products. It looks like Bill Gates did a good job reconstructing Apple, even though the two barely directly compete anymore.

          People don't buy Apple products for the operating system, and the hardware is the same (or worse) than comparable PCs. People buy Apple solely for the brand and 'look' of the case. This means that Apple competes with companies like HP and Dell. Probably their most direct competition is Sony, because both Apple and Sony place a huge markup on their products to rip off naive customers.

          1. B 9

            You need to learn your history

            Apple was not saved by Microsoft. They would not have gone bankrupt without MS' help. That's an old misconception by people who don't understand what really went on.

            You also don't understand why people by Apple products. Saying they buy them for the brand and the look of the case is utterly ridiculous. Your ignorance on topics relating to Apple seems to be fueled by your dislike of the company and thus a lack of effort to dig a little deeper to understand the facts.

    2. JaitcH

      Waiting to see how Apple does ...

      Please note that pads/tablets - mostly using Android - were out in retail MONTHS before Jobs released his.

      He should have bought samples as most of these early units have way many features than Apples knock off. These standard features include 32 gig SD support, Android, multiple USB connectors, Flash, 3G, WiFi, GSM, touch, gestures, etc.

      Now a HongKong company is producing Android custom chips to support the Chinese pad manufacturers - no materials shortages there!

      Finally, a Vietnamese company, GM Software of Ho Chi Minh City, is about to release a pad.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Ho Ho

        "Finally, a Vietnamese company, GM Software of Ho Chi Minh City, is about to release a pad."

        Tell you what, why don't you buy one and get back to us with a full report, including information on world-wide availibility, guarantees, support and software availibility.

        Are you getting my drift, or do you want me to type more s l o w l y?

        1. JaitcH

          The VN Pad

          GM Software already has a working pad. It has similar specs to the Chinese Apad that hit the stores very late last year.

          The major difference is the English/Vietnamese languages of the OS - UI. Facebook is not on the UI but the government sanctioned Facebook lookalike is.

          Read about the great features of the unit which preceded iScratch < >.

          I have a bunch of Chinese pads/tablets and they are bulging with features that a certain California company doesn't have including a couple with 3D screens (for gaming).


      the ipad:

      >"It's just a big iTouch ffs!"

      Except the iPod Touch is actually a mini-iPad: the iPad was Apple's vision all along.

  2. honkj

    iPad is the Item of 2010, and 2011

    iPad is the Item of 2010, and 2011, yet the iPhone 4 will outsell the iPad in both years easily, despite the hate speechers...

    money talks and BS of the hate speechers walks, and Apple can't build the iPhone 4 fast enough to satisfy demand. that is money talking.

    1. Ian K

      "hate speechers"?

      Over-playing the victimhood much?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        RE: "hate speechers"?

        Considering the last iPhone 4 article I read on here had about 40 or 50 comments saying how shit it was - all from people who had never even seen one or used one, then he's not over playing it at all.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: RE: "hate speechers"?

          "...all from people who had never even seen one or used one, then he's not over playing it at all."

          Really? You know that for a FACT, do you?

          Overplaying *your* argument much?

        2. Anonymous Coward

          RE: "hate speechers"?

          Hardly suprising on an IT site when a broken product is so hyped, but no worse than Vista's reception here. Industry wide however there is definitely a move towards Apple becoming a new pariah - if MS would just get rid of Balmer we'd enter a completely new era.

          I don't hate Apple, they're just exploiting their position and consumer fickelty same as Microsoft and many others have done before. What I hate is the media empowering Apple, doing their marketing gratis and raising the status of a technically illiterate marketing guy to some kind of IT guru. Bill Gates was hardly a bright light, but at least he was a mediocre developer.

          I guess Elias et al are probably insipidly rich and don't lose too much sleep, but it must irk a little that iPhone is portrayed as Ives and Jobs' baby despite neither having the slightest clue how it actually works...and with iPhone4 I'm pretty sure both had far too much of a hand (pardon the pun) in why it doesn't .

          1. Giles Jones Gold badge

            Used one?

            Have you used one?

            Where did the reports of problems come from? an Apple support forum. What are user support forums for? they are for people asking questions when they are having problems with something. They aren't full of people saying "I just had to write that my phone is working great".

            If you went and sat in a hospital waiting room you would also conclude that the human body is no good as well as they are people there having problems with their health.

    2. gfs


      What are "hate speechers" exactly?

      1. Ian K

        Re: What


        In reality they're people that don't like something about Apple, or an Apple product. The "not liking" can include mild dissatisfaction with features, derisive mocking of flaws, not agreeing with licensing policy or thinking they're on the pricey side, amongst other things.

        Real Fans of Apple, though, regard any sort of disapproval of Jobs and His Works as tantamount to heresy, so dive straight in at the emotional deep end and accuse any dissenters of "hatred".

      2. Anonymous Coward

        re: "What?"

        It's a perfectly cromulent phrase!

  3. uhuznaa

    @Dick Emery:

    So what would be the Next Big Product you would create, design and sell in millions and millions of copies to eager customers if you'd be running HP, Dell, Asus, or Samsung? I'm curious, really.

    They are all aping Apple because the whole PC industry has ever only been an industry that produced what someone else already sold well. And then tried to make it cheaper and faster and with more megapixels, more buttons and larger screens. While at the same time never ever leave out any feature that has been in the previous model. It's no surprise that the last smartphones creep to 4 and 5" screens, two flash lights on the back and ever more Ghz. Next year we will probably see the first smartphones with cameras on the sides and *two* USB ports. And some buttons on the back, maybe.

    1. JaitcH
      Jobs Horns

      ICrap 4 changed product enhancement

      Uhuznaa said:

      "While at the same time never ever leave out any feature that has been in the previous model. ..."

      iCrap 4 is different, versions 1,2 and 3 could make calls even if held with the Grip of Death ... version 4 can't.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        RE: ICrap 4 changed product enhancement

        Have you noticed that the iPhone and iPad are different things?

        Crawl back to where you came from and bash some rocks together instead of typing, it's more suited to your IQ

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Have you noticed

          that the comment was a response to the previous one which generalizes about products made by the PC industry and not about iPads?

          I'm sure you are intelligent enough to know what you've made yourself look like with your rocks/IQ flame, so I won't spell it out.

        2. JaitcH
          Jobs Horns

          iCrap 4 and iScratch share common features

          The common features are the inability to make decent phone calls (iScratch can be modded to make calls) as well as sharing other crippled features.

          I always like Anonymous Coward posts as they usually reflect the value of the comment.

    2. DZ-Jay


      That's freaking hilarious! And so true.

      I tip my hat to you, sir!


    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      new next big product?

      If I was in charge of a company like HP, this is what I would be working toward:

      Monitor-over-wireless-network technology.

      Monitor-over-web technology.

      These two functions would eliminate the entire laptop, netbook and tablet market at once. You could carry a screen with you, that would remotely sync back to your desktop, giving you the full processing power of a desktop on a simple screen/input device. There would be no need for much of any processing power, since it would be a display, which would allow it to be much smaller or flexible in design. It would essentially be cloud ready, just using the concept in a more micro way, rather than the macro cloud vision we have now.

      They have already solved printing over the web, but the media doesn't fanboi for them.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Put that way

    We all know how irritating a Tickle Me Elmo is.

    1. Wallyb132
      Jobs Horns

      Why yes we do...

      And Lie to me Steve! is shaping up to be just as annoying... History is doomed to repeat itself yet again, in just the same way it has every time a larger than life figure has come along and dazzled the great unwashed. soon these devout worshiper will find themselves standing there holding useless junk and feeling familiar burning feeling in the pit of their stomach that follows after realized they've just been conned by their holier than thou cult leader...

      1. g e

        I move

        that El Reg refers to Jobs as 'Honest Steve' with a mandatory link on the text to a bullshitography of that mendacious megalomaniac.

        When people 'copy' Apple products they tend to get carried away and add features they should have been released with like cameras, sd slot, etc... but Apple's genius is the slavish pavlovian response their customers have to every new release, hence why the monkey brained users will ditch their ipad1 for an ipad2 just cos they added the camera they deliberately omitted from #1 cos they knew they would spend again for #2. That, in any universe, is a damned clever revenue stream.

        It's also why Honest Steve is probably starting to become bad for the company with his insane ranting, too.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        RE: Why yes we do...

        WTF? You do realise that the problems at the moment are with the iPhone4. Not the iPad.

        Any confusion between something that's small enough to fit in your pocket and something that's the size of a medium book indicates a high level of stupiditiy on your part.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The point...

          ...was elaborating on a comment about 'Apple products'. Have you not slept much lately?

      3. DZ-Jay

        Re: Why yes we do...

        One can only hope, right? It must be surreal, to lust so passionately for the downfall of others.

        In other news, imminent demise of Apple announced, movie at 11.


  5. Herby

    Buy more, please

    I have Apple stock. More sales please. I need the $$$$$

    1. serviceWithASmile


      BYE MOAR!!

      shun the non beleivers


  6. JaitcH

    With iScratch there is a cost ...

    No freebie OS upgrades with Apple for the scribe devices. These owners will be getting their first chargeable upgrade soon.

    On the other hand ANDROID is FREE, in many ways.

    Given the massive adoption of Android by CN (China) cell manufacturers, as well as by the slate/pad crew and now by device manufactures, such as refrigerator and other domestic appliance producers, it is unlikely Apple will be the dominant software OS in the worlds biggest market..

    Android also lets the CN government continue it's suppression as the Android OS is so malleable that 'offending' features can be omitted. WiFi in CN is practically non-existent in most cities and therefore ir is often omitted on hand-held devices sold in CN.

    1. Adrian Bool
      FAIL there?

      JaitcH, just how do you know that iOS4 will be chargeable for iPad? Given that iOS4 wasn't a chargeable update for the iTouch; I'd be willing to bet you're wrong.

      Anyway, in your nice 'free' Android world the problem is not with billable updates; but with the likely lack of any update for your device once the manufacturer has moved onto their next model - leaving your hardware behind. Look at the Android phone world for a multitude of examples...

      1. g e

        free upgrades

        Heard of them? I've not paid for a new phone in ten years or so. I don't have a need to slavishly have the newest shiny thing every month. 18 months is fine for me.

        Looking forward to my next free (Android) phone in November when the upgrade is due.

      2. JaitcH
        Jobs Horns

        Apple: More money, please

        I get to read Internet articles ahead of The Register posting daily updates.

        However, read: < >, <>

        There were others but as I am about to go home for the night ...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      next update is free

      The next ipad ios update will be free

      Froyo is out but only on one (discontinued) device. You've got to play version envy and wait for your carrier to implement and push it out.

    3. richard 69

      how is webster phreaky?

      or amanfrommars?

      how long before you come up with another name?

      still holding onto your apple memories aren't you....remember that powermac that you used to have?

    4. Anonymous Coward

      RE: With iScratch there is a cost ...

      "No freebie OS upgrades with Apple for the scribe devices. These owners will be getting their first chargeable upgrade soon."

      Apple OS upgrades have always been free. (Except from one major revision to another)

      Then again, my iPhone3GS now runs iOS4 and that was a free upgrade...

  7. Lottie

    Android Fridge?

    " device manufactures, such as refrigerator and other domestic appliance producers"

    Please, please link me to the Android fridge. I'd love to be able to play peggle on the door!

    1. DZ-Jay

      Re: Android Fridge?

      It's more like AdMob on your eggs drawer.


  8. Jim Coleman
    Thumb Up


    HP are already in the 'Pad market, I have one of their excellent Touchsmart TM2 convertible laptops. Use it as a normal laptop for work, flip the screen into tablet mode for content consumption (movies etc), pop that into Portrait for reading ebooks (9 hour battery life) or for taking handwritten notes in meetings (yes! it has a digitizer and pen! Yes if you turn the pen over you can erase stuff with the other end! Wooo!)

    It's a truly limitless device. Oh did I mention it has an HDMI socket and supports both a TV (at 1920 x 1080 true HD) and its LCD screen simultaneously? Card reader? 3 USB slots? VGA output? Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, 320GB hard drive? External DVD burner?

    The screen is capacitive and supports all the usual multitouch gestures. Oh and it switches on from standby in about 3 seconds.

    We have an iPad user in the office and my colleagues all want HP Touchsmarts because the iPad in comparison does....nothing.

    1. richard 69

      jim, time to retire

      it has a pen, 3 USB slots and external DVD burner?! welcome to 2003 jim...

      "the ipad does nothing" - you have actually switched it on haven't you? go and read the apple site and you might be surprised and happy with what it can actually do for today's consumers - those in 2010.

    2. It'sa Mea... Mario


      And that HP costs how much?

      1. SteveK


        "And that HP costs how much?"

        About £700 inc VAT at public online prices as far as I can see. So the same as the top end iPad.

        Not that I have either, I'm just answering the question...


    3. Anonymous Coward

      RE: HP?

      "Oh did I mention it has an HDMI socket and supports both a TV (at 1920 x 1080 true HD) and its LCD screen simultaneously? Card reader? 3 USB slots? VGA output? Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, 320GB hard drive? External DVD burner?"

      You fail to understand what the iPad is for.

      It's not for burning things to DVD or for connecting USB devices. It's a simple device, designed to do simple tasks very well indeed. In that area it excels.

      As an added bonus, you won't find yourself downloading malware to it accidentally...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        what the iPad is for

        "You fail to understand what the iPad is for.

        It's not for burning things to DVD or for connecting USB devices. It's a simple device, designed to do simple tasks."

        Simple device, for simple people, with simple minds. Sounds about right to me.

        Note that simple is neither revolutionary nor magical. I think anyone would be extremely hard pressed to find anything that the iPad does that is new.

        1. Rolf Howarth


          "Note that simple is neither revolutionary nor magical."

          Revolutionary and magical is PRECISELY what simple is. "Simple" means taking something overcomplicated and bloated and reducing it to its core essence. Doing so takes a lot of skill and hard work.

          It's very easy just to throw together every feature you can imagine. The difficult part is understanding the underlying requirements and having the insight (and courage of your convictions) to disregard what everyone else is doing to come up with a new and simple way to achieve your goals.

          Good design and aesthetics has nothing specifically to do with Apple or iPad, by the way. The same principles apply to any product, whether hardware or software, mass market or niche.

      2. Rob Dobs

        You fail to be the consumer apple wants you to be

        From AC:

        "You fail to understand what the iPad is for.

        It's not for burning things to DVD or for connecting USB devices. It's a simple device, designed to do simple tasks very well indeed. In that area it excels."


        {mocking voice:}

        All those great features you list are not needed because of your failure of understanding.

        You fail to understand that Apple is free from viruses, because M$ has more viruses.

        You fail to understand no one would want to watch their video on thier most expensive screen when its nearby. You fail as a human because you want to watch the movies and music you have already seen and paid for, rather than just buy it again from his holy Steve.

        {End mocking voice}

        Oh grow up really, this is why the rest of get so sick of the sanctimonious cult like attitude the fanbois insist on displaying. These are all great features for a mobile device...don't defend the lack of them in the ipad by saying no one wants them, its an invalid argument and doesn't make you look intelligent. A simple device does NOT COST $800.

        Further what the hell does it do so well? Turn on? Show photos and connect to the Web? Really I have yet to have one fanboi validly defend that this the Ipad is anything other than a large ipod, Palm pilots and netbooks have been able to do all the things the touch can for YEARS - hell blackberries have had many of these features for years. Even some of the old Pentium Toshiba notebooks were super tiny, light, long batter, and had more ports, and CPU power than this ipad joke, and they were around over a decade ago.

        And to other AC: come on what a stupid comment yes DVD's were around in 2003 - does your smartphone or netbook have one? didn't think so - sounds like a pretty desirable feature to me...should phones not have screens since LCD's are so 90's.... ha!

  9. Florence
    Thumb Up

    I like the Tickle Me Elmo comparison

    Big fad for about a year, luxury (as in not essential) item that serves pretty much no purpose.

    The iPad isn't as irritating as Elmo, however that role is fulfilled by S.Jobs and fanbois.

    1. LinkOfHyrule

      I would buy an iPad if...

      I would buy an iPad if Apple brought out a 'Tickle me Steve' app for it!

      hehe, you give him a tickle on his belly using the touch screen and he says "hehe haha hoho please stop! It doesn't have reception problems honest! hehe haha hoho you're holding it wrong! hehe haha hoho Please stop! Mind the new liver, please stop hehehehehehahahahahahaha" and so on!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about the Adam?

    is it just me who has an eye on the arrival of the Adam later this year, or is there something about that which I've missed?

  11. The BigYin

    It's not the form factor

    Let's face it, any tablet suffers from similar problems. Can't prop it up, can't place it easily on a lap, input can be tricky, no real keyboard etc etc. So why is the iPad (to my surprise) flying off the shelves? One word.


    Apple do not own the whole hardware stack, they buy in components anyone else could from Intel, LG etc. What they do own is the software stack and they seem to operate under the ethos of "If <thing> cannot be integrated seamlessly and elegantly, then <thing> will not be offered".

    So, sure, you get a device that has no USB, no video out, no SD slots etc. But what it does have just works. The Apps Store works flawlessly (although the Law of Jobs and the Walled Garden approach do rankle me), but a user can be pretty sure than anything they install will just work.

    MS cannot do this as they need to be all-things-to-all-people, they end up going for the lowest-common-denominator in every area and then cludging together the integration. Apple simply drop the feature.

    Open Source may make very good tools (arguably the best in many cases) but with no overriding vision the tools fail miserably to integrate, leaving the user to hack around with config files. Fine if you are a techie, not acceptable if you are a consumer. When someone does enter the Open Source arena and attempts to provide a single vision (e.g. Shuttleowrth, Google[sort-of]), they get torn to shreds for "dumbing it down" by the elite geeks who simply do not understand the real world.

    Like 'em or loathe 'em, Apple are giving people the experience they want. They may not be satisfying the geeks, but then geeks are not their market - well-heeled consumers are. Computers are often an appliance (just like a washing machine) - deal with it.

    1. Nicholas Smith


      Well done, this is one of the most coherent and well written comments I've seen on one of these articles.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      One word


      Relentless, endless, mind-numbing adverts. Everywhere. All the time

      1. The BigYin

        @Anon Coward

        You have 7 seconds to tell me why Apple advertising is mind-numbing.


  12. Tigra 07

    A load of cobblers

    "the iPad's future looks bright indeed: shipments of the device will soar to 36.5 million in 2011 and 50.4 million in 2012."

    Assuming apple doesn't replace it for a slightly upgraded ipad every year for an extra $100 or £200 for us in Blighty

    Buy a laptop for God's sake! It's cheaper and can do more!

    1. jubtastic1
      Thumb Up

      Why settle for a laptop?

      For less money than that laptop you can get a much faster desktop with a bigger monitor which can do so much more.

      Unless the form factor or some other feature unique to a laptop itself was what attracted you to it but from your own comment I'm sure that's not the case.

      1. Tigra 07

        RE: why settle for a laptop?

        Since going from desktop to laptop, i can't believe i didn't switch before

        It's easier to transport and doesn't need a load of plugs

        It hasn't restricted me in any way from doing what i usually do =]

        Basically what im saying is if it costs more than a phone and laptop but can't do as much as either then why buy one?

    2. ChrisB 2

      Buy a laptop

      I have both an iPad and a laptop and, indeed, I have a desktop.

      They're different tools for different jobs (pun intended) albeit with a degree of overlap in functionality. The iPad is surprisingly versatile and has replaced about 85% of my laptop use, but I still use my laptop when I need to do detailed/lengthy content creation, and my desktop when I need the power/speed for compex content creation (rarely - it''s more often just an excuse to get out of the living room and into the study).

      IMO a notebook would be useless for me as it can't do the role of a laptop and has none of the advantages of an iPad.

      So, all this fuss about "get a notebook/laptop" and "iPads can't do x, y or z" is actually pretty irrelevant and could more usefully be replaced by "choose the right tool for the job and if device x doesn't do the job you want it to do, don't buy it."

      It's all a little bit like a having car and a motorbike - you wouldn't necessarily want to use the latter for a long journey with three passengers on a cold and wet day when a car is the clearly more suitable option, but you might want to use it for a quick, unencumbered country spin on a nice sunny day when you have no passengers.

      1. Peter W.

        @Buy a laptop

        I think you confused your terminology somewhere along the way.... a notebook is completely useful to you, as it is a "laptop" - just the more modern name for them. However, a "netbook" would not serve the role of a notebook, as it doesn't have room for an optical drive built in and does not have the performance capabilities of a decent notebook either.

        The other option then becomes a Tablet, which takes a smaller notebook/netbook, and adds a flippable display and touch-based input (via either pen or finger, dependant upon the device in question).

  13. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Those sales figures look mighty optimistic to me

    I own (and love) an iPad. I used to own (and love - though slightly less) a tablet PC. Both fulfilled a requirement that I personally have, the iPad slightly better, so I'm happy with it.

    The reaction to the two amongst people who see them isn't that different. Most non-geeks were/are completely unaware of the existence of the tablet PC, so seeing one of those in the wild used to get almost as much interest and 'what the hell is that what can it do' reaction as the iPad does now. The difference is people have heard of the iPad.

    However the reaction is similar in another way. Most people have a little play, and make happy 'shiny-toy' cooing noises, but don't really see an application for themselves that justifies spending any money. So I've spoken a few people who are tempted by the iPad, but probably can't/won't justify spending the cash, and mostly people who quite like it, but don't really see the point. Very similar to my old HP tablet.

    Thus I doubt they're going to be selling hundreds of millions of these over the next couple of years. After all, to most people the iPhone is 'free'. The iPad isn't. And it doesn't replace something they already have, it's not a phone, and it really isn't a laptop replacement. So my feeling is the iPad will go down well with Apple fanbois, frustrated tablet PC fanbois, some road-warriors and lovers of shiny tech with cash to spare. That's not going to generate 50m sales in a year!

    1. DZ-Jay

      @I ain't Spartacus

      My experience is similar, though with slight differences. My family, friends, and co-workers who have seen an iPad for the first time typically react in much the same way as you described: "ooh, it's so pretty and futuristic! but what can I do with it? Oh, I already have a laptop/computer/pda/phone/etc."

      However, in conversations, it comes up that (being laymen) most of what they use a personal computer can be accomplished on the iPad. Indeed, some have even ventured to purchase one only to come back the next week to extol all the wonderful things that they did during the week-end, while sitting on their couch--and didn't even had to boot-up their PC! These comments are bandied around for a few weeks, and eventually others catch on.

      So far a handful of them have bought iPads, but they all the device. I hear their stories of how they use it for simple things, like web browsing and photo management, which is exactly what they used their computers for in the past.

      I tell you, a few months of these types of comments going around, and most everybody will end up buying one. At first with trepidation, not knowing what it can offer, but as the mind-share expands into the mainstream, people will just check it out.

      It will be big, mark my words.


      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge


        Shame on you for using the word 'mindshare'... ;o)

        You could be right, your experience is different to mine. I've only had the iPad a month, they've only been out in the UK a couple of weeks longer than that, and I know hardly anyone who's got one. I've met only one person who uses it for business, at a meeting last week, and we had a bit of an iPad love-in. I occasionally fire it up for work stuff, but it's really a tech toy for me.

        Even our iPhone evangelist at work (he's still scarred from his WinMo experience bless him...) doesn't see the point in the iPad.

        I've got one friend who played with it, and asked me to take it away from him before he succumbed to temptation, as he's not got the cash at the moment, and no one else has shown an interest.

        Oh, apart from my Mum. She's in her 70s and not a tech lover, though she does have a PC and an Acer Aspire One (that she never uses). She's had a long play with an iPad, and is tempted, and you're right it would serve her needs of email/web/photo rather well. However she could barely operate it, everyone else just picks it up and plays away with minimal instruction, Mum was really struggling...

        So I agree, for her, it's better than the PC that she struggles even more with. But the killer is photos. By not putting a USB port on it, not having an even semi-accessible filesystem and tying it to iTunes, Apple have ruined this market. Email and web people can do, but they can't use it to replace their PC, only to avoid using it, except for their photos, and at that point can they justify the expense?

        1. DZ-Jay

          @I ain't Spartacus

          Sorry for saying "mind-share" comment; I've been too long surrounded by corporate wienies.

          Anyway, I don't think the USB port is an issue, specially with the digital camera hook-up kit, which basically allows for any USB device to get connected (but, more importantly, the ever important digital camera).

          As for not being able to replace their PC, I know some people for whom the iPad has done just that. Oh, they still own the PC, they just tend to not use it anymore.

          My parents are looking to purchase iPads for their grandchildren (my sister's kids). My Mother, specifically, saw one at the Apple store and fell in love with it, yet was confused when she heard comments from friends (non-iPad owners all of them) saying pretty much the same thing you did: It's pretty, but it doesn't do anything that your computer doesn't do already, so it's just a waste of money.

          She then called me and I asked her to list the things she uses the computer for: browsing the web (for recipes and online tabloids, of course), online banking, and amazon purchases. That's it. (The grandkids play video games on the computer when they visit, too). I told her that those exact things she can do with an iPad, from the couch, easier and better. Plus e-books (which she was considering looking into), and video games for the grandkids, plus--remember that nifty electronic photo frame you got for Mother's day with the pictures of the kids? that too!

          That, and her own experience at the Apple store convinced her. She has a Mac Mini at home, so she's already accustomed to using iTunes, so that won't be a problem.

          I hear much the same comments from at least one non-techie lady at the office. She purchased an iPad with trepidation after being told by many people "what's the point? you already have a laptop", and discovered what others have: that it is indeed easier and better than doing those things on the PC, and much more fun. She loves it, and talks to all her friends about it.

          Make no mistake, this thing is going to take off, big!


  14. Gavin Jamie

    Tickle me Elmo joke

    The HR manager at the "Tickle me Elmo" factors offers a job to a new young lady and then explains here duties to her. She starts the next day.

    Well the next day comes and within half an hour of the start of production the foreman is up complaining about the new girl. The whole line has come to a halt because of this girl.

    "What's wrong with her?"

    "You had better come and see."

    The foreman leads the manager to the production line which indeed all backed up. At the front is the new employee with a pile of red velour and a bag of marbles which she is slowly sewing on to each Elmo.

    The manager looks stunned for a moment and then bursts out laughing. It is a couple of minutes before he, gasping, regains the power of speech.

    "No, no, no" he wheezes. "I told you to give them two test tickles."

    1. LinkOfHyrule


      That made me groan but I up-voted it none the less!

  15. digstar


    completly agree, other half has a macbook which she uses to use the net, listen to music on itunes and watch films. The only thing she can't do on the ipad is watch dvds, everything else and an ipad is perfect. And she wants one.

    Of course, I want her to get one, as I want her macbook..... I mean that with a grin, but in truth I would much rather have the macbook and her the ipad. And it REALLY doesn't matter to her that the macbook can do more.

    1. DZ-Jay


      >> "The only thing she can't do on the ipad is watch dvds, everything else and an ipad is perfect."

      My wife has an iPad and she uses it for almost everything--except for playing WoW.

      Regarding DVDs, we use Netflix and can stream movies from their site. Also, there's a nifty app called "Air Video" which streams anything from your computer through Wi-Fi, including DVDs!


  16. AnonymousDareDevil

    application ecosystem?

    I love my iPad, but what made me pay the Ferrari price wasn't the applications available for it.

    Or rather, it was but the applications were iBooks, Mail, Calendar, Safari, iPod, etc...

    I really don't want a different application, each with it's own illusions of great modern design,for every newspapers/magazines/tv channel/comic book publisher I follow/subscribe.

    There are some valid cases,like GPS, Office Productivity, Games, etc but it's getting to the silly side when you see application after application that is just a different interface to a web site.

    How many applications do we have on average in a PC?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    iSuppli spouting fatuous bs again

    Someone really needs to cut off their oxygen suppli.

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