You may have missed it, but it’s iPad launch day today here in the UK (and the rest of the world outside the USA) – and despite being something of an unashamed Apple fan I am not buying one. At least not yet, and thought I might explain why.
The statement above about being an Apple fan is in many ways a misnomer in my case. It would be more accurate to say that I like some of Apple’s current products because they do what I need to do with technology and they do it in a way which appears to sensible to me. Thats not to say that they are better than an equivalent PC / Microsoft / HTC or Google solution – they just worked best for me at the time I bought them. They fitted my needs closest then, and largely they still do.
Apple have a large base of “followers” who genuinely believe that Apple can do no wrong. They also have a large group of detractors who believe they can do no right. Both groups are entirely entitled to their opinions based on their understanding of Apple – however I am in neither. I use an iPhone because it works for me, and have a 24″ iMac at home and an AppleTV, but I also have a (ageing) Dell Latitude laptop which I use every day to earn my living; and I run Windows XP & Windows 7 in VMWare Fusion on my Mac. Its about the right tools for the right job for me…
A friend of mine bought an iPad this morning, and I have used it briefly. It truly is a very impressive piece of technology; and indeed when it was announced even I thought of a number of good uses for it. The problem is, that at the moment I just can’t see where it will fit in with what I do and what I need. Setting aside the approx £500 price tag! Yep, it’d be nice to have it to browse the internet and use Facebook & Twitter from the sofa – but I have a laptop which can do that and it does much more too!
For now, I intend to keep the £500 and put it in a fund to replace the ageing Dell (it actually belongs to the company I contract to, but I can’t see them replacing it anytime soon) and at the moment I am erring toward a MacBook Pro on which I can run Windows in a VM if need be. Call it the Swiss Army Knife of computing!
My larger point though, and the main reason for this blog post is that there will be a whole pile of people today and over the forthcoming bank holiday weekend who will go out and buy an iPad because its the latest and greatest offering from Apple, or because their friend / neighbour / colleague has one. In my opinion, and I’m open to suggestion, I would suggest this is the wrong reason to get any piece of new technology, and will result in disappointment and probably buyers remorse. If you don’t know what you want from a piece of technology, or don’t have a need for it, or it doesn’t solve a problem you have – then how can you measure how good it is or how satisfied you are with it? You’re just engaging in a technology arms race!!