Always fun to see who was right and who was wrong with all those pre-event predictions.
And, of course, always entertaining to read all those articles to the effect of “Apple’s new iPad fails to impress.”
People didn’t buy the iPhone 4S in record numbers because of its revolutionary features (though Siri qualifies). They bought it because it was the newest, best version of the phone they already wanted. That’s why the new iPad will likely sell in record numbers as well.
I only have a few issues with the new device. They’re not deal-killers, just observations.
First, especially coming after Tim Cook’s ramp-up yesterday about the “post-PC” world, I wish this iPad had an SD card slot. iCloud gave us the ability to use our iPhones and iPads without ever connecting them to our computers. But if you want to work with higher quality photos than those you get with iPhone and iPad — you need to connect to your computer. Not a very post-PC solution.
Given that the new iPhoto app offers such tremendously cool ways to enhance photos, and having fun with photos is a #1 consumer activity, it’s sad that we can’t go directly from camera to iPad without buying Apple’s $29 Camera Connection Kit. Should be built in, just as it is with iMacs and MacBooks.
Second, I really expected Siri to make her debut on this model. Seems like the next logical extension after iPhone. Maybe that happens only when Siri has her Beta status removed.
Last is the name. For all the predictions about what the new iPad was going to be called, nobody saw this one coming. No iPad 3, no iPad HD — just “the new iPad.” We all believe in simplicity, Apple more than most. The question is: does removing the number from the iPad name make things simpler or more complicated?
Actually, this move shouldn’t be all that shocking. It’s perfectly consistent with the way Apple names iPod, iMac, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. One could argue that the simplest form of product naming is to remove the model number. It’s all branding.
However, we can’t let Apple off the hook quite so easily. I can’t remember a time when Apple changed naming horses midstream. iPhone has
faithfully often followed the numbered path (with some letters thrown in along the way), and iPad seemed to be following suit— until this abrupt about-face. (Correction: only iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4 and 4S had numbers.)
I was surprised to see Phil Schiller’s explanation in a Wall Street Journal article about the new iPad naming yesterday. Phil says Apple did it “because we didn’t want to be predictable.” Honestly, I would have expected Apple to either be silent on this matter, or just talk about it being yet another form of simplification.
Somehow, making decisions of this magnitude just to be “unpredictable” feels a bit flimsy.
All that said, naming experts know that the initial reactions to product names are mostly irrelevant. Remember how laughable the name iPad was at first, becoming instant fodder for late-night comedy. Not so funny anymore, is it.
So I think we’ll all recover from not having a number with which we can identify our chosen iPad. The new model will sell by the zillion.
Just don’t be surprised when iPhone loses its number with this summer’s new model. At that time Apple won’t be doing it to be unpredictable — they’ll be doing it to be consistent.