Monday, March 15, 2010

I haven't pre-ordered an iPad (and I'm not going to)

The iPad comes out in just under three weeks. Pre-orders began this past Friday morning. The wifi version will be delivered on Saturday the 3rd of April if you pre-order, and the version with 3g can also be pre-ordered though you will not get it until late April (date TBD). I have a large number of clients participating in the pre-order. Quite a few of my fellow Apple nerds are doing it as well. But not me.

I did wait in line twice for the iPhone - once for the original, once for the 3G. When the 3GS came out I had it shipped to my house instead since that was an option. I'm not planning to order this years' iPhone either, though.

Why did I wait for an iPhone in 2007? Well, back then I had a Treo 700p. It sucked. Hard. I got tired of it right around the same time the iPhone was nearing launch. Had the timing been different, I would likely have sucked it up longer. I waited for the 3G because heck - it had been kinda fun the first time (of course the massive activation Fail Apple and AT&T teamed up on with the 3G subsidy took the fun right out of it). By the time the 3GS came out the only reason I got one then was because I was looking to get an upgrade for my wife, who had a 4GB original iPhone and needed more space. So I took the 3GS and gave her my 3G.

There's nothing falling apart in my technological life that compels me to go get an iPad sight-unseen. It looks like a really neat device. It takes the iPhone metaphor up properly without giving too much away. The prices are pretty reasonable as these things go, though the 3G version is being sold at a hefty premium.

But there's nothing I do in life that screams "I have to have an iPad!"

Whenever I leave the house, I have my iPhone (which I now refer to as my "iPad nano") in my pocket. That gets me email, some music, quick webpage referrals, Yelp, Wikipedia, and some news sites along with a few games. Pretty much my essentials. There's a charger in my car, a pocket for the Bluetooth headset in my jacket, and I usually have my Mophie JuicePack Air handy to give me a full day's talk time if I need it.

For my work, I almost always have a MacBook in my bag. It's a 13" that will be replaced with an Arrandale if they ever ship 'em (let's hope this Tuesday brings laptop joy). If I'm working I have it with me.

When I go on a trip longer than overnight I also have the laptop with me. Staying in a hotel, going on vacation, or visiting family and friends I bring the laptop along. That's pretty much a necessity on anything but weekend daytrips.

And back in November I got a Kindle (the little one). It holds all my tech reference material plus an occasional book for vacation trips (and I've bought a couple of bestsellers rather than getting them as dead tree versions). I don't take it everywhere but I do have it in my bag a lot.

In other words, the iPad doesn't really fit any of my typical use patterns. If/when I get one, here's what it'll do for me:

- Keep me from bringing my laptop downstairs to sit on the sofa

- Give me something to take on overnight weekend trips

- Provide another, less battery-efficient way to read my e-books and reference material

Will I still get one? Of course I will at some point. And I'll find ways to use it that aren't covered by this list, either. But I figure that isn't a sufficiently compelling reason to buy one the first week.