To iPad or Not?

By Perks |

This week, the long-awaited iPad was introduced to stores and met with crowds of people who couldn’t wait to test out the device we’ve heard so much about over the past few months. While everyone wants to be the first kid on the block with the latest and greatest toy, is it reasonable to jump up and buy the iPad in its baby stages? And what are the considerations to keep in mind?

· iPad versus Netbook

iPadThe majority of consumers who have purchased the iPad thus far seem to be early adopters, tech/media geeks (we admit, we at Perks been called this name ourselves) or Apple fanatics who can’t wait to get their hands on this shiny gadget. Functionally, the iPad has big competition with other mobile notebooks and netbooks already on the market. The iPad is great for jotting down quick blog posts, emails and updating your Twitter status, but would you be comfortable sitting down and writing a client proposal on your iPad? Of course, it’s possible to use the iPad with a normal keyboard, but you will have to carry around a separate dock. Right now, the iPad is more of a fun, exploratory technology than a “must-have” item, especially for those looking to use this mobile device for purely functional reasons.

· Mobile carriers

While the 3G version of the iPad won’t come out until the end of April, there are questions as to why Apple selected AT&T to be its carrier of choice after all the complaints iPhone users have issued. Many people see this as a deal-breaker, mainly because service on the AT&T network (especially in New York) is average, at best. On the other hand, the iPad is mainly going to be used for consuming content on the web and mobile applications instead of for important business calls. So if connection does fail, iPad users will only be left with a half-open browser page rather than a dead phone line. Still, the poor relationship that many have experienced with AT&T and the iPhone leads us to question if it was the best decision for Apple to stick with this carrier.

· Multiple devices

Do you really need an iPad if you already own a Macbook and an iPhone? There is no camera, hence no video-conferencing available on the iPad, and you can’t make phone calls from the device either.** If you are planning to use the iPad for business purposes then you will probably want to shell out the additional $100 for a keyboard and a dock. You will also be paying AT&T another $15 a month for 3G service in addition to your monthly iPhone service bills. Plus, the iPad won’t be getting multitasking capabilities until the fall with the launch of OS 4.0, while this is already built in to your Macbook.

The excitement built around the impressive new iPad is a kind that only Apple can create with its dramatic new product launches. The iPad holds a world of possibility for the future of mobile capabilities, advertising, and consumer engagement. But, before you run out and stand in line to take one home, we encourage you to keep these considerations in mind.

Do you have an iPad and want to share your thoughts? Shoot us a tweet @PerksConsulting.

**You are able to make a phone call on the iPad if you install a Skype or similar application, but this capability is not organically built into the device.

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