The Apple iPad tablet is finally here, but it hasn’t drawn quite the same cheer from Apple enthusiasts and gadget fans that some observers expected.
About 60 percent of the 1,114 readers that took Wired.com’s iPad poll said they would not buy the iPod. Some 41 percent of the 892 readers who took a separate poll said the tablet did not live up to its hype, though they expect it to find a home among high-end consumers.
The quick verdict: “It’s an iPod Touch on steroids.”
The iPad name was the focus of many jokes with, predictably, the comments hitting the “pad” aspect of it.
“I think they should have gone with iSlate for the name,” commenter Navi101 wrote in response to our live coverage of the event. “iPad makes me think of feminine products.”
There’s more. The Jezebel blog, written for women, published an entire article summing up the “best period-related iPad jokes.”
“Not gonna lie, the name iPad makes me shudder a bit,” tweeted Lisa Gumerman. “Kind of even makes me less interested in buying it.”
The iPad name is also symptomatic of the lack of women engineers in IT, said Eve Tahmincioglu on the Huffington Post blog.
“I suspect a room full of female computer engineers would not have named Apple’s new cybertablet the iPad,” she wrote. “This naming faux pas is a perfect example of why we need more women IT professionals in this world. Apple wants women to buy these gizmos, but is anyone really thinking about us gals?”
Still some Apple fans says that customers are likely to warm up to the name after the initial reaction. “It’s a poorly chosen name. But so was Wii, and everyone got over those jokes after the first week,” tweeted Rob Sheridan, creative director for Nine Inch Nails.
Other users focused on the real shortcomings of the device. “What? iPad has no [Adobe] Flash player. That’s what it needs for so many websites. That’s not good,” tweeted Andrea Bakes.
Others pointed to the lack of USB port and multitasking in the device as features that will be missed.
“I don’t understand no multitasking, I mean how can you expect anyone to use this for work?” commented ’spitfiredd’ on Wired.com.
Though Apple’s Steve Jobs introduced the iPad as a device that would occupy the world between smartphones and laptops, potential customers aren’t convinced. A full 71 percent of 934 readers polled said they won’t buy an iPad, because they are happy with their smartphone and notebook.
Some Apple fans are not ready to give up on the device.
“I am not a fanboy at all, and I find it absolutely awe inspiring,” commented NickSA. “This is the future. Hats off to Apple, they have done it again — though personally I would wait till the second generation [of the device] for all the bugs to get ironed out.”
Ultimately, the question is, who really needs an iPad and is the data plan worth it. “Why would you take a iPad with you if you have a iPhone? Do you need to have both?,” commented jescott418. “Why spend an amount on two service plans with AT&T two basically do the same thing? I am scratching my head at who really needs this except for the base model for a coffee table piece.”
And as for the publishing industry, where some had pinned their hopes on the tablet, the iPad is unlikely to prove to be the digital savior that was wished for. About 59 percent of 824 readers who took the poll say the iPad won’t save the publishing industry.
That’s a few hundred readers that publishers won’t be able to count on.