So, three initial thoughts about the iPad:
1. At first I was wondering what Steve Jobs was thinking when he named the damn thing the iPad because the internet is quickly filling up with tampon jokes. It gets worse when you realize one of the programs the iPad will run is called CoverFlow, which allows you to see the covers of albums on your screen. It's used in the iPods and iPhones, but it will also be used on this device. So, the sheer volume of jokes that are being made may well crack the internet in half before the day is over.
Because honestly, I figured Apple's entirely too clever for their own good marketing people would have been horrified by the name and would prefer the far more sterile iSlate or iTablet. I could just imagine the meetings where they begged Steve Jobs to change the name. However, as I look at Twitter's trending topics, six of the top 10 topics are Apple related. Seven if you want to throw in all the people talking about how this is going to kill the Kindle.
However, if you want to get into the "no such thing as bad publicity" theory of marketing, then it's actually a good thing. Very few people are going to not buy this because the name is embarrassing. In the meantime, the jokes only further promote the product and get it out there in the public eye. People might be chuckling, but they are reading about it and see if it's a gadget they want to buy.
There are times when I wonder if Steve Jobs isn't some kind of evil genius, really.
2. I wonder what this is going to do to the comic book industry. There have been other Pad-like devices out there, just like there were other MP3 players out there before the iPod. However, this is likely a game changer. Before major players like DC and Marvel have only dipped a toe in the water of online comic books. If the iPad takes off and becomes the device for reading books, magazines and newspapers, how long before comic books make the leap?
So what will that do to comic book stores? I think a healthy number of them are already living in fear. Out of curiosity when I was home at Christmas I went to both local comic book stores to inquire about selling my collection. It's a long story, but basically, they're sitting wrapped in tarp right now and I'm never going to move them up here, so what's the sense of keeping them where they are? One store expressed very luck warm interest, the other expressed no interest and is convinced his store and the industry as we know it is dead in five years.
I can't imagine a time when I wouldn't want to hold a graphic novel in my hands to read it. However, the prospect of downloading new comics onto an iPad if they were priced reasonably....I could be interested in that, I must admit.
And if enough people get interested, well, that's bad news for comic book stores everywhere.
3. Having said all that, I won't be buying one of these for several years. First, I don't think buying first generation electronic items such as this is a good idea. Both first generation iPod and iPhones were revolutionary, but still required fine tuning to work out quirks that frustrated new users. I'm sure it'll be the same with this device.
Next year the iPad 2.0 will be out, and the year after that the iPad 3.0 will come out. By then, maybe, I'll be ready to own one. Also, Jobs emphasizes how Apple is the premier mobile technology company in the world. Which is awesome and all, except I'm not as mobile as people down south (the tundra generally lacks wireless) and the internet we have has caps on it. So I question the usefulness of this device for me. At least for right now. We shall see.
Oh, in a completely unrelated note, I will be doing a review of Episode four of Republic of Doyle which I should have online either late this evening or early tomorrow morning. Hopefully with fewer really stupid mistakes this time.
1. Unknown caller - U2
2. Tom Sawyer - Rush
3. Treat me like your mother - The Dead Weather
4. Brothers in arms - Dire Straits
5. Walter Reed - Michael Penn*