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 What’s Behind the Great iPad Media Hype? 
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Post What’s Behind the Great iPad Media Hype?
What’s Behind the Great iPad Media Hype?
by: David Lopez





If you didn’t already know, the Apple iPad will be released in Australia on May 28. Analysts predict that up to 50% of Australians are planning to buy one. That’s an incredible prediction, but while it appears that the media hype around the iPad knows no bounds, one has to ask themselves why the iPad is receiving so much attention and being touted as the “next big thing” when technically the device is rather underwhelming to say the least.

Before looking at why there is such a massive media circus surrounding the iPad phenomenon, let’s take a look at what the capabilities of the iPad are, or should we say what they are not...

What Can’t the iPad Do?

The best way to describe the iPad is that it closely resembles a larger version of the iPod Touch. It uses the same operating system as the iPod Touch and the iPhone. Unlike the iPhone, you cannot make phone calls on the iPad. The iPad has no DVD drive, no Flash memory slots, no USB ports and no webcam. The storage capacity is quite small for a machine that does not offer USB or memory expansions, coming with only 16, 32 and 64 gigabyte models. The idea there seems to be that most of your data should be stored online.

Another controversial detraction from is that the iPad does not support Adobe Flash. Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, has assured customers that we are all better off without it and that new standards such as HTML5 will eventually replace Flash as the standard for online video, interactive media and all the other wonderful things that Flash has brought to the online world. Meanwhile, no Flash support means no ABC iView, no Flash games on Facebook and MySpace.

To connect the iPad to the Internet, the standard model is Wi-Fi only, with the more expensive model offering a non-standard SIM-card slot for 3G mobile access. The Wi-Fi option has been suffering a lot of signal strength issues that Apple promises to fix. The 3G SIM option leaves customers vulnerable to telcos that offer iPad-only 3G data plans. This means that you cannot use the 3G SIM card from your mobile phone and you are stuck with whatever the telcos choose to charge for their special iPad data plans.

The iPad, like the iPhone and iPad Touch, is touch screen driven and therefore has no built-in keyboard. The touch screen is pretty slick and intuitive, but if you are attempting to tap out an email or write documents, the iPad becomes a cumbersome tool for students and business people. Some business people might find it useful; photographers who want to share photos or sales people who want to show clients electronic brochures and such, but if you want to use it as a serious productivity tool it may frustrate you a bit. It is true that you can buy a external keyboard along with adapters for digital phones etc that you pay a premium for, but I find that carrying so many expensive accessories around defeats the purpose of portability in devices like this.

The iPad Set to Change How We Consume Media

So why is the media falling over themselves to give free press for this device? There are plenty of alternative tablet PCs and netbooks that are technically superior so what makes the iPad exceptional in the eyes of the mainstream media? The latest news from The Australian bullhorns that the yet to be released Apple device will be deemed a laptop by the ATO and therefore acceptable for the newly announced tax break of up to $375 per primary student and $750 per secondary student. It’s important to note that The Australian newspaper, owned by News Ltd, is set to release its own iPad application via Apple’s iStore. This app is basically a subscription to newspaper content at a cost of $5.00 per month. This follows The Wall Street Journal offering a similar iPad specific subscription app which is the beginning of a widely predicted trend for changing the main stream media business model. As most people are aware, News Ltd and the print media in general are experiencing falling advertising revenues from print media advertising, with predictions that television is also under threat from Internet advertising models.

Apple’s iPad appears to be the answer to the old media’s empire’s prayers: a centralised information distribution network that doesn’t give the news away for free and presents value to advertisers. The Australian’s iPad app shows an enhanced newspaper style format with embedded video. The device promises to offer easy consumption that centrally controls much of the Internet’s content through iStore applications. This new darling of the big media and telco moguls would appear to be coming at the expense of consumer by limiting their choices at every opportunity. On the other hand, there are plenty of alternatives to this kind of restrictive technology.

AWD Business IT Hardware and Software Consulting

When it comes to IT, AWD looks beyond the hype to help you with your business needs. Unlike the mass media, we give you solid solutions that save you money, increase productivity and help you to effectively compete in your market. If you need straight answers for your IT requirements, get in contact with an AWD IT consultant today.

About The Author
David Lopez is an eMarketing consultant with 10 years experience on internet technologies and working as part of the AWD team. David is currently offering a free 30 minute eMarketing consultation for new and existing clients of AWD. If you are interested in a free consultation for SEO or eMarketing for your website, contact him at emarketing@awebd.com.au
The author invites you to visit:
http://www.awebd.com.au




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Sat Sep 25, 2010 3:04 pm
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