Why I'm Not Buying an iPad... Yet

As I'm sure you know by now, today is iPad release day, and Apple is expected to sell something like 200 gazillion of the devices by the end of the weekend (note: math may be off slightly). Despite being an Apple apologist, former Apple employee and two-time iPhone owner, I'm not getting an iPad.


First things first: I try to stay away from "first-generation" Apple products. There's a belief that first-gen Apple products are poor quality, and while sometimes that's true (I'm looking at you 13-inch MacBook and 27-inch iMac), sometimes it's not. It's really just a hit or miss. However, the iPad has "first-gen" feel, not from a quality standpoint, but from a features standpoint. There's just so much room for this device to grow (camera, video conferencing, more flexible I/O options) that I don't want to get locked into the current model.

Secondly, nearly everything I would do with the iPad, I can currently do with my MacBook Pro. Would tweeting or web surfing or watching video from my couch be easier using a screen-sized device instead of a 15-inch metal heat sink? Absolutely. But that's a luxury, and I'm not sure I can spend $500 on a luxury right now, especially since, if I know I'm going to be in "consuming only" mode, I've got my iPhone for that.

Speaking of the iPhone, the strength of the device has been the apps developed for it. It looks like that'll be the same with the iPad, which is actually frustrating me. Not because the iPad apps are bad, far from it? What kills me is that these iPad apps -- particularly the Netflix app, the ABC viewer, the NBA gameviewer and the Marvel comics app -- aren't being simultaneously developed for the iPhone. Could they be? Probably, but they're not.

I'm also frustrated that this level of app development isn't happening on the Mac itself. The iPad, like the iPhone before it, is an OS X device. Learning Mac development shouldn't be that hard once you've developed for the iPad. Yes, most of the iPad "apps" I listed above extend functionality that already exists within a web browser, but that doesn't mean they couldn't be amazing-looking apps for OS X too. However the OS X developer boom that was expected after iPhone development picked up just hasn't happened. And now the iPad seems to be usurping resources from iPhone development, rather than supplementing them.

This doesn't mean I'm NEVER going to get an iPad. Eventually my MacBook Pro is going to need to be replaced, and I could see myself going back to a desktop as a primary computer, while supplementing it with an iPad. However, I won't be in line at the Apple Store today, or any time soon, to get one.