Apple iPad is Just Another DOA

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What do the new Apple iPad and Google's Nexus One have in common? Both were DOA: Disappointing On Arrival.

Neither lived up to its advance publicity. Both also turned out to be more fashion accessory than the revolutionary gizmo each portended to be.

I can't say "pretended to be" because neither Google nor Apple did much to fuel the pre-launch speculation, but neither reined it in, either.

Why is the iPad a disappointment? Because it doesn't allow us to do anything we couldn't do before. Sure, it is a neat form factor, but it comes with significant trade-offs, too. No 16:9 widescreen, for example.

The iPad is more evolutionary than revolutionary. People have noticed this, as even a quick scan of news stories about the iPad will quickly point out.

I wonder: Has Steve Jobs' fabled reality distortion field finally failed its creator?

An unbiased observer would have to say the iPad is really not much more--and in some ways less--than an iPod touch with a larger screen.

Apple says the iPad comes at "an unbelievable price" and they're right, I don't believe.

The $499 iPad, with its whopping 16GB of memory and Wi-Fi only, won't cut it for serious users' needs, especially if video is stored on the device. More believable, for most folks, is the $599 32GB or $699 64GB models.

If you want 3G data, you'll spend $829 on that 64GB model, though you can buy a much more functional notebook or netbook for less.

Between the Nexus One and iPad, Apple's tablet is clearly the better device. But, neither lived up to the hype that surrounded their release and each is diminished by the unfulfilled expectations created for them.

Such hype is part of Apple's marketing plan, so it's unlikely the company will do anything to rein it in. Google, however, might learn from it's Nexus One disaster and do a better job of setting expectations in the future.

It's not supposed to be that new products are better liked before launch than after.

David Coursey has been writing about technology products and companies for more than 25 years. He tweets as @techinciter and may be contacted via his Web site.

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