While initial reaction has been all over the map, mine is overwhelmingly positive. I think they hit a grand slam.
1. There are lots of reasons why a tablet is a better mobile device than a laptop or a netbook.
2. The price is right (Starts at $499, goes to $829)
3. The data plans are right (Wifi, 3G $14.95 to $29.95 for data plan coverage from AT&T, use at all wifi hotspots, no contract.)
4. iWork for $30. Web browsing, photos, vidoes, reading, games, email, word processing, spreadsheets and presentations – that’s 95% of what 90% of people do with a computer.
5. Dock and Keyboard. Use it like a desktop, if you must.
6. iPhone and iPod Touch software works on it now, the SDK (iPhone OS) and emulator are released the same day, and units will ship in 60 days. That means iPhone developers like us will be pushing out new versions of those 100,000 apps as well as brand new apps out there as fast as we can design and code.
7. The app store model makes installing new apps a one click affair. I don’t get any “Honey, can you help me” shouts from my wife with the iPhone, and I wont get them with the iPad either (especially since it doesn’t have a camera;-)
In short, this is great news for those people yearning to trade away technical complexity for vastly increased simplicity and ease of use.
Sure there are things that a lot of people (smart, tech savvy analysts and developers all) will bemoan* and think are missing, but the same thing could be said of the iPhone. It’s Apple’s way (only release it if it kicks ass and makes them money) it works, and it will work here as well.
* I of course was hoping for front facing video camera for video phone support.