The Macalope Weekly: Welcome, All-knowing IPad!

The iPad is here! Happy iPad, everyone! Now all that's left to do is take sides in the battle of histrionics over whether it's the greatest thing ever or the biggest disappointment of all time. Hurry up! You don't want to be the dorky kid that gets picked last!

OK, everyone on a side? Then let's do this thing! Let's get histrionical!

Yay, iPad!

The anecdotal evidence is irrefutable: the iPad is a hit! Who says? Just ask the mother of the creator of NetNewsWire, that's who! You callin' Brent Simmons's mom a liar? YOU TAKE THAT BACK!

Red Sweater Software's Daniel Jalkut meanwhile opined:

Anecdotally, many random acquaintances who never gave a damn about computers, iPhones or iPods, suddenly "want" an iPad.

The Macalope found similar anecdotal results. So, add up all these anecdotes and what do you get? A big pile of anecdotes!

The fact that we can only base our conclusions on opinions hasn't stopped Wall Street analysts from projecting how many units Apple will sell (anywhere from 4 million to 10 million). As long as we're guessing, the Macalope thinks the iPad will, at a minimum, fall on the upper end of the range between "Apple TV and MacBook Air" and "iPhone and iPod" which, for any other company, is nothing short of a home run.

You know what side he's on.

Boo, iPad!

Of course, these anecdotes all come from people already invested in the ecosystem. What do people outside the ecosystem say? (Tip o' the antlers to Rob Enderle, who was actually fairly positive about the iPad but still misses the point.) Joe Wilcox asked them:

Mid-afternoon Saturday, I asked Betanews readers: "Will you buy an Apple iPad?" The responses are in, and the majority of readers say: "No!" I'm with you. Apple's iPad does absolutely nothing to advance the tablet category.

Really?

Most of the comments boil down to "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."

MACALOPE NEWSFLASH, MUST CREDIT MACALOPE: SAME PEOPLE WHO DID NOT GET THE IPOD AND DID NOT GET THE IPHONE ALSO DO NOT GET THE IPAD.

Once again, the Macalope agrees with Michael Gartenberg who said:

Yes, I think it's not perfect, but let's be clear, the innovation and design outweigh any issues by an order of magnitude, perhaps several.

Whoops, wait. That wasn't about the iPad! It was about the iPhone!

Silly Macalope!

To know me is to love me

In all the complaining about the flaws of the iPhone, the one thing detractors simply disregarded was the interface. "NO FM TUNER. FAIL."

It's Saturday, just three days after the iPad was revealed, and it's already become a cliché in Apple circles to say "You have to hold one to get it," but it's true. The Macalope hasn't gotten his hooves on one yet, but watch the keynote. It's not a big iPod touch, it's different. The way you interact with the interface is more robust, more refined, more responsive because the larger surface area allows more gesture options and the faster processor responds to them better.

Think about the Microsoft Surface. It's cool! It's like something out of a movie. It issomething out of a movie! But who has the space or money for one? No one. Microsoft made a cool thing that no one can use. Brilliant.

Apple made a cool thing that everyone in the market for consumer technology can use.

InfoWorld's Galen Gruman thinks the iPad will kill the netbook. The Macalope would argue the netbook never really existed, but still: don't compare the iPad to a netbook. If you're comparing the iPad to a netbook you're doing it wrong. Netbooks are small, cheap, weak laptops. Forget them.

The iPad is something different. The iPad is small and cheap but not weak. It's focused. And yet it fills a hundred niches a crappy plastic laptop never could. One of the complaints in Wilcox's piece is how do you print from iWork? Who needs to print? Good lord, if Apple could kill printing they'd be doing us the single biggest favor in the history of all mankind. But here you have a device that a salesman and a customer, a doctor and a patient, a lawyer and a client, an Indian chief and a Pilgrim can sit down at together. They can pass it back and forth. This device is intimate; it brings people together. And if someone needs a copy, you e-mail it to them. Printing? 1997 called and it wants its ink cartridges back.

Apple didn't set out to kill netbooks, though it may view that as a side benefit. The Macalope would argue that the single biggest mistake Steve Jobs made in the keynote was implying that the iPad was just something in between an iPhone and a MacBook. He'd argue it's more than that.

A year from now, every hardware vendor in the business will be shipping iPad-wannabes because the iPad redefines the box. And that's the most important sign it will likely be a big success.

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