So Apple has launched the mythical iPad / iTablet / iSlate to the world. It is officially called the iPad, and it will sell millions. And then be the most common device in second hand electronics stores when people realise it has no real application.
Apple had to pull something new out of the bag to make the iPad the same kind of success as the iPhone. What they have given us instead is 10″ iPod Touch. No new screen innovations, and no improved interface technology. It is too big to be a useful mobile device, not big or powerful enough to be a laptop replacement. If I buy an iPad I will still need an iPhone and a laptop. With both of those I do not need the iPad. The iPad’s luminescent screen and piddly 10 hour battery life make it no more effective as an eReader than a laptop. And the need to dock with a external keyboard for effective typing are simply an admission that Apple has not been able to get an effective touch screen interface to work better than a laptop. Is there a market for this device? Yes, but it is a relatively small niche audience looking for a pretty toy rather than the mass audience the iPhone caters to.
In contrast, the announcement of an iBook store is good if very overdue news. iTunes is the dominant, established marketplace for media, and I am certain book sales through it will be good news for writers and publishers alike. However, until Apple deliver a better reading device I think people will be more likely to read them on their iPhone than the new iPad.