The Apple iPad will be in the hands of some anxious consumers on April 3rd (this Saturday!). If you have not pre-ordered the iPad through Apple’s website, you still can and get it by April 12th or stand in a long line at the Apple or Bestbuy physical stores which will be allocated a few of the devices. Another viable option is eBay where a few people already trying to sell their tablet before receiving it.
Interesting Results from iPad Developer Survey
There was a recent announcement in Business Week about the lucky developers who got hold of early iPads to get their applications done. While a large percentage (42 to be precise) of them is for game development. That statistic is understandable since the popular gaming sector provides more challenge and will allow Apple to show off their magical device on the most complex applications first.
Another interesting statistic from the survey shows only 3% of these early devices is geared toward ereading applications. That small percentage is to be expected since Apple placed reading at the bottom of the priorities when the iPad was announced at the 2010 CES. How are existing ereader competitors reacting? To ensure they get a piece of the Apple iPad pie, competitors are scrambling to provide apps for the iPad (e.g. recently announced Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook applications for iPad).
The iPad and other tablet devices in general bring a lot more capabilities than just dedicated reading or buy books from one ebook store. Apple has created a revolutionary device to exploit these ereader shortcomings and appeal to the masses with a multi-media device. Who wouldn’t want a single portable device that can play music, watch movies, play games, do a little work, and reading a good book, magazine, or newspaper?
Ereaders Enjoy A Few Advantages
One advantage traditional ereaders (e.g. Amazon Kindle reader, Barnes & Noble Nook reader, and Sony Reader) still clinging to is the ability to read long term without eye strain. The battle of the LCD screens of tablet devices versus the passive, light reflecting e-ink type displays of the ereaders is yet to be determined. Serious readers find the e-ink readers more comfortable to curl up with a “Gone with the Wind” kind of reading experience. The future holds bright for the iPad and similar devices that will change reading to a new level. Imagine books coming to life with colour, sound, and embedded interactive videos.
Another advantage likely to be held by ereaders over other devices is longer battery life (e.g. 2 weeks for the Kindle and only 10 hours for the iPad). Expect the gap to be less distant as ereaders try to offer colour and other apps besides reading which will consume more battery.
What Device Should You Buy?
Given the obvious differences between the ereaders and Apple’s iPad, get the ereader for serious reading, but the iPad tablet is a better choice for light reading and other peripheral activities (e.g. games, movies, etc).
The jury is still out on whether the iPad is magical or revolutionary. One thing for sure, the latest Apple creation will shake up the netbook and ereader markets and set a new standard for years to come.