Apple: iPad will beat netbooks with "magic"

Apple COO Tim Cook says that netbook shoppers who play with an iPad first will buy it. And he might be right.

Apple's iPad

Apple's iPad

In a talk intended to woo investors, Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said the iPad will win over potential netbook buyers, but not because of specs or features.

No, Cook said the iPad's magical properties will seal the deal. "The netbook is not an experience people are going to continue wanting to have," Cook said, according to Macworld. "When they play with the iPad and experience the magic of using it ... I have a hard time believing they're going to go for a netbook."

I'm not trying to be flippant by bringing this up. Cook is, of course, brings up a valid point about the user experience, one that will be similar to the iPhone. On paper, netbooks can do everything the iPad can -- and more -- especially netbooks with graphics accelerators for watching HD video. They're cheaper too, and more customizable, with an operating system people are familiar with.

But there is something about that user experience. When Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, sans App Store, it was a hit -- even though you could get the same basic features of Web, multimedia and e-mail on other phones. When Apple introduced the iPod in 2001, it was a hit even though other MP3 players, such as the Archos Jukebox, let you store more music (side note: step back in time and check out the iPod's foresight-lacking detractors). The difference in all cases is the value Apple puts on user experience.

However, the iPad is also in a different situation, because it's not an Apple netbook. While the iPhone succeeded other smartphones, and the iPod succeeded other MP3 players, the iPad is a slim touch screen device that doesn't quite compare with a netbook.

That means consumers will have a harder time thinking of it as a device for traditional computing. If Apple wants to take on netbooks, the real challenge will be convincing people that the iPad is not just for entertainment -- an oversized iPod Touch, if you will.

With the introduction of iWork for the iPad, the iPad indeed accomplishes the original goal of the netbook, which was to provide a simple device for Web browsing, e-mail, and word processing. But the usefulness of netbooks has expanded, and they're now considered mini-computers. When my old laptop kicked the bucket, I used a netbook for work every day until I scraped together enough cash for another notebook, and it was fine.

I'm not sure the same could be said for the iPad. If your work is limited to office productivity software and e-mail, you'll be fine. But can a Web developer write code on the iPad? Can a blogger download, edit and upload photos? And what about specialized software that only work on Macs or PCs? For people whose work requires a bit more flexibility, no amount of magic will get the job done.

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Jared Newman

PC World (US online)

22 Comments

Anonymous

1

Who said anything about web developers?

or developers in general for that matter. I don't believe Apple is targeting computer savvy people. On the contrary, just like the iPhone vs Windows Mobile, the iPad is a much much much more simplified OS. Nevertheless, people still got it even if it didn't multi task, or copy&paste, or even that it doesn't support Flash.

During the video presentation of the iPad, I didn't see anything about geeks. I saw a photo application, a video application, an address book, some games, but nothing about work.

So, in the end, iPad, like iPhone, is for the common people who just want to get the latest gadget with an OS that just works.

I'm on the other side, that is why I have a Windows Mobile with a QWERTY keyboard, a stylus, and around 12 additional hard buttons (HTC TyTN); but people like me are the minority...

Anonymous

2

don't agree

Just try to sit at a desk and use ipad instead of a netbook. It's at least a bad experience.

Anonymous

3

For the Masses

Your article implies that the iPad was designed for the tech-savvy consumer, such as yourself. This is not the case. I can't see myself writing code on the iPad and wouldn't purchase it for the purpose.

It's funny, but as the launch of the iPad comes to fruition, I'm seeing more and more of a need (actually desire) for such a device in my life. It remains to be seen if the masses will agree...

Anonymous

4

oh really? ipad can replace a netbook? gimme a break! please...

ipad can never replace a netbook.1

ipad cannot multitask, can you send an app to background ?
can you open skype, safari, your word editor and some msn apps all at the same time?
nope. that is the minimum a netbook can do.

can you open the browser and your write your project or word? no cannot.

are you really gonna pay that much money for a device that just has 3G and wifi, a 'nice' capacitive touch screen" but no keyboard?
alright, sure! I guess so.

a 3G dongle is like $60 bucks, just add it to your $300 netbook and you are set for $360

ipad will never replace a netbook, it's a total failure and it seems that some people are getting paid to write good about it. ;) uhmm...

Anonymous

5

Seriously?

Come on guys. Seriously? These are your gripes?

First, Apple specifically said the iPad was NOT a netbook competitor. It was a new product class. They are not trying to compete with netbooks so to compare them is just silly and a waste of time.

Second, if you can't see the potential for the iPad then you've got your head down, deep down, in the sand. The iWork suit proves this device can be productive as well as just entertainment. I can see coda writing an app for this so web developers can write code, easily. Yes, it's not going to be as fun to type on the screen as it is on a standard keyboard, but hey, if you got that much typing to do, buy the keyboard attachment or USE A COMPUTER.

Finally, the impact the iPad will have on the business users is going to be great. Personally, I'm thrilled to have device that is not a clunky, waste of space netbook to go out to meetings with to prevent documents, slideshows, take notes or just share web browsing and such. The fact that I'll be able to hook it up to all projectors seals the deal.

You tech writers have been trying for months, even before being announced, to find an argument against the iPad, other than the name which is lame, with no success. Instead of sounding like a bunch of over complex geek heads who really just want another computer, why not pull your head out of the sand and think about what it will do instead of what it currently does. Cause once the developers get a hold of righting for this thing, I think we'll see some amazing stuff.

Anonymous

6

sorry for my typing mistakes... it's late here and my eyes arent that good right now. hahaha.

advice: don't waste your money thinking this ipad thing is gonna replace a netbook. "You will have a bad experience"

haha
:)

Anonymous

7

Hahaha

Are you joking?

Read before commenting stupidly:

http://www.goodgearguide.com.au/article/337406/apple_ipad_will_beat_netbooks_magic?fp=4194304&fpid=1

Anonymous

8

Where is the top?

I want to close when someone walks by......no privacey.....

Anonymous

9

Rant rant "Multitasking" rant rant "bad experience" rant rant..

It's a bit boring hearing people 'It doesn't have Multitasking' - does it actually NEED it?

I give you the doubt in terms of it might be nice to run a chat in the background, though I'm quite happy seeing it work 'in the background' like whatsapp does on the iphone. It works FINE...

Then someone needs to point out "It's at least a bad experience". How? I mean, maybe, possibly - but without actually trying what they did and how it feels, saying "It's at least a bad experience" doesn't seem much more than another lame unfounded rant.

People may feel the ipad was overhyped, and I think the media did run a bit too far with their coverage, but now following it up with unfounded bashing of things it doesn't do is plainly just as bad.

If multitasking is the most important thing for you, fine - but that does not mean the device must not have a raison d'etre; I think there might be plenty of people that will be fine with it NOT multitasking.

THe user experience? Well, maybe it is bad if you desperately want OpenOffice on it - as for my experience with an Asus netbook - OpenOffice on it sucked badly; my original 'idea' to use it for eclipse when travelling, well - I was 'mildly' disappointed to say the least. (Yes, I am aware that the ipad won't be the platform for that either - and I'm fairly sure of it, without ever having held one in my hand).

Still, before I will make my decision on whether to get one or not, I will actually go to an Apple Store once it's out and actually have a look at the thing and get some actual first-hand experience in lieu of all the 'it-cannot-multitask' whining. It's pointless, unproductive, and in the end, won't change the outcome for the device if you rant about it or not.

In the meantime, I will certainly hope you will not at some point starve to death when in the supermarket you realize that the bread you might buy can't multitask - and neither can the pizza. Hint: They don't need it... So, relax, there are so many things you deal with on a day to day basis that can't multitask and can still perform their function.

Oh - and - no, I don't work for Apple. I DO have a Mac and and iphone, though. Just so you have an idea on any bias that might color my opinion here...

Anonymous

10

Impossible

Ahahah, the joke of the day! Thanks for making me have such a launch on this early morning! This one is far way better http://www.notionink.in/adamfeature.php

Anonymous

11

Funny... the magic didn't keep my from buying my netbook a couple short hours the iPad was announced.

Anonymous

12

Multitasking.

>> "It's a bit boring hearing people 'It doesn't have Multitasking' - does it actually NEED it?"

YES. Yes, it does.

Hell, man, the iPhone is practically unusable without multi-tasking. Have you ever tried to use a non-jailbroken iPhone for more than half an hour? The thing is almost impossible to navigate, and god forbid if somebody sends you contact information that you want to put into your address book.

For those of us that do more with our mobile devices than "chat" and "read Facebook", then yes, we need multitasking. We also need a device that isn't made for an 8 year old. Some of us like to actually get things done instead of playing around.

Anonymous

13

Actually, the fact that your final point is that you are thrilled to finally have a tiny device to carry around data, proves you probably have never met a netbook in your life, because they equally portable.

Its also clear that you are one of the people who have been misled into believing Apple invented tablets (yes, there are plenty of better full-powered tablets out there). If this was branded "super awesome asian brand", you'd have to admit, you'd think twice.

To program applications for this, you also forgot that you need a mac, and that the applications are ipad/iphone specific. Why the hell would businesses buy this? Don't you think that they would rather buy the HP slate that can run ALL their business applications (because it runs Windows 7)? By the way, yes, Windows 7 supports Multitouch. And yes, many other companies are working on multitouch. And no, Apple didn't invent multitouch (plenty of companies were working on it then too).

Gamer's wont buy it because its too slow. It isn't good for reading because its an LCD display (unlike the kindle which is E-Ink), and it can't replace computers because developers aren't going to pour resources into a platform which is designed in a way that lets Apple block developer apps at will (Apple have already shown they will block apps because they are similar to their own). Lack of multimedia format support, no flash (and limited extendibility).. Hmm, great platform!

In fact, the only reason Apple didn't use OSX and an Intel processor was probably to make it cheaper, and to intentionally profit (because they get a cut of profit for all apps sold on the Apple store, which is the only available delivery system).

So go buy your mystical Apple tablet if you so wish. But any business which buys this device deserves to fail. Seriously, its just an underpowered tablet with limited extendability which is significantly locked down. Dozens of companies have released tablets..

Anonymous

14

I own an Macbook Pro, and iPhone, apple keyboard and magic mouse.
They are great!!!

But an ipad for that price? hahaha it better do some magic then.

Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook must have smoked some weed today morning...

Anonymous

15

Why need someones permission to run the programs I want to ?

You missed the most important thing: a netbook will run any application I want it to run.

I do not need someone's permission to run the programs I want to run.

No app stores, no being denied software, no being treated like an imbecile.

Anonymous

16

Courier looks alot better than the iPad

The Microsoft Courier looks so much better than the iPad so I will either wait for that, get a netbook or wait to see what these dual screen Android/E-ink things turn out like.

To Cook

17

Tim Cook must live in other universe. ;-) Maybe in his universe on his separate planet (Mars? Moon? Venus? elsewhere?) people are so limited and brainwashed fanboys, hence iPad is exactly for them. But for us, who are living on Earth, we need real thing WITHOUT magic to get things done.

Working with iWork requires TWO hands mostly. Try to use two hands sitting near the desk: iPad is horrible here because of not flat back. So you should use only sofa. But if I am on the sofa, then I doubt I would like to setup there my workplace — that's enjoy time with a popcorn and beer to watch some HD movie. Oh wait, iPad can't show me H.264 1080p and does not have 16:9 screen. So I can enjoy my internet time. Oh wait, it does not have Adobe Flash available, so I can not watch Hulu either. OK, lemme at least try to chat with my friends. Oh, wait, it does not has iChat. Fine, let me at least talk to them through camara. Oh wait, it does not has one and no Skype there either.

WTF?? Completely poor, useless crap.

Stuy Parker

18

The 10% re-stocking fee at the Apple Store will also do a lot to make sure consumers who buy an iPad are stuck with it or have to eat crow once the "magic" wears off and they realize they're stuck with an overhyped toy. Having to eat $50 at MINIMUM on one of these devices is going to miff a lot of people.

Victor

19

I seen one guy say "It doesn't have Multitasking' - does it actually NEED it?'"
My answer is Hell yes it needs multitasking!
unless you like just reading, just typing, just jamming reo speedwagon then you are going to need multitasking... some people can do it but I am not one of them...
I like to jam some music read some news and type some meaningless comments... I guess I could get an Itouch and Iphone and Ipad to make it happen at least it will all match right?

ethan66

20

I am a big time Apple fan and have 2 iPhones, a laptop and a desktop Apple computer.

I was thinking of purchasing an iPad when it is released but now after looking at the prices, I think I won't.

It is too expensive!

Thomas Neal

21

You naysayers are the same people who laughed at the iPhone, the iPod and the iMac. You thought the iMac needed a floppy drive!

You thought that the iPhone would never be accepted by IT departments/corporations, but its the execs are the ones who are demanding it from their IT people, not the other way around.

The iPad will make a new generation of crow eaters to add to the ones who are already very happy with this fine cuisine.

xlr8

22

ummm... for all of those complaining about multitasking, I have a bit of old news for you -- the iphone, touch and ipad all multitask. Granted, it's limited to a few native apps, but there is indeed multitasking on these devices. For example, you can listen to music while doing other tasks, or talk on the phone for that matter while doing other things. Additionally, this device is not aimed at the geeks, it's aimed at "the rest of us". And make no mistake, it will sell big. Just like the ipod, the iphone, and even the macbook air, despite all of them being heavily mocked in advance by tech pundits, geeks and the anti-apple ilk. To me, the biggest oversight on this device is it's need to sync with a computer, which I see as a genuine mistake by Apple as the ipad could otherwise be a great piece of technology for the geritol crowd.

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