ipad A few iPad quick-links:

Remember how McGraw-Hill’s CEO blithely leaked about his company’s involvement with the iPad last night? Insiders tell VentureBeat that as a result, any mention of his company was entirely dropped from the iPad’s launch today.

If true, not a great surprise. You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and you don’t leak on a Steve Jobs launch presentation.

And speaking of Jobs’s launch presentation, Engadget reports that you can now watch it streamed in its entirety. Granted, it has been pretty much “spoiled” by this point, but still, the opportunity to invite Jobs’s reality distortion field into your living room only comes around a few times per year!

And does the iPad have Flash or not? Apparently you can build iPad apps with it, but not use it in the iPad’s web browser.

In my post about the iPad’s launch, I was concerned that iBooks might mean Apple would be inclined to shove out the other e-book applications, since they do not bring Apple 30% of revenues.

Apparently Amazon does not believe this is going to be the case, as they tell the New York Times that Kindle e-books will in fact be readable on the iPad. Likewise, e-textbook startup Inkling seems confident it will be able to put e-textbooks on the iPad.

I have emailed Apple’s media relations contact email address with questions about iBooks and how it relates to other e-book applications. Hopefully they will respond with some answers.

Incidentally, apparently iBooks copies not only the appearance of Classics, but also of the Macintosh application Delicious Library—and neither of those apps’ designers is particularly thrilled about it.

And here are a couple of stories about what the iPad does not have. TechCrunch’s CrunchGear complains about the lack of an SD card slot (and Apple’s solution: sell a dock connector SD card reader). Meanwhile, ReadWriteWeb thinks that the lack of a camera is a serious problem. I’m just disappointed it does not come with a pony.

David Pogue has some rather brilliant observations on all the iPad-bashing that is happening at the moment, along those lines.

Finally, CNet wonders whether or not the iPad should be considered a computer. I just wonder whether it matters.


  1. Oh, there is no doubt its a computer.
    It may not be particularly useful *as* a computer but the thing has a word processor and a spreadsheet after all.
    The Apple II didn’t multitask, sport a webcam, or support flash video and it still did okay. At least until the IBM PC clones swept the market. 😉

    I see no reason why iPad can’t do well. Particularly among the Apple faithful who are predisposed to see Apple product limitations as features, anyway.

    It not a direct competitor for any existing product, which is rare for Apple these days (the last such intro from the along those lies was the Newton) although it does show some of the same thinking as the Nokia Internet Tablets. It does “legitimize” the form actor, I guess, and open the door for the ARM-based Linux smartbook-class gadgets to come and it will probably spawn a host of Archos9-equivalent Netbook tablets, both of which are good things.

    For people who prefer their ebook readers to have LCD screens, this should open the door to a great many options. And we may finally see a serious move towards a proper Higher Education ebook effort come out of the new post-iPad Tablet PCs headed our way.

    All, in all, the iPad is not likely to be an AppleTV or even a Newton. But I suspect it won’t be an iPod class success either. Mostly it incrementally increases Apple’s product line and props up the Mac pricing model without undercutting it the way a MacOS netbook would. A bit less there than the faithful were hoping for but enough for a sustainable product.

    That alone makes it a worthwhile effort in Apple’s eyes. Have to maintain those margins at all costs, after all.

  2. The iPad Special Event can be seen at http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/1001q3f8hhr/event/index.html

    The iBooks section is from 0:51:50 to 0:56:55

    At 0:53:08 Steve says “.we’ve got… five of the largest publishers in the world” with a significant pause just before five.

    At 0:56:33 he says “We’re going to use the ePub format…”]

    At 0:56:50 he makes a VERY low-key mention of text books “…but we are also very excited about text books as well.”

    I suspect that without that five seconds of mention yesterday, there would have been six publishers in the list, and a significant section on textbooks.

    After all, the iPad seems an idea schoolbook. Text book and computer all in one. Ten hour battery life lasts the entire school day with ease. Only 1.5 pounds and $499. Every student should have one….

    I am sorry to see that the iBookStore is US-only. I suspect that will quickly change as they make arrangements with publishers in other countries – just like the iTunes Music Store was initially US-only and is now in many countries.

    I would have liked to see it with a video camera for use with an iChat application. Perhaps in the next version.

  3. “Incidentally, apparently iBooks copies not only the appearance of Classics, but also of the Macintosh application Delicious Library”

    As I imagine you already know (but I’ll mention for the sake of other reading this), Wired is reporting, “[The creator of Classics] also acknowledges that Classics’ bookshelf view was heavily inspired by Delicious Library, but he asked Delicious Library creator Wil Shipley for approval before Classics’ release.”

  4. Oh, niceties such as trade dress IP or even trademarks are no barrier to Apple; they steamrolled Cisco for the iPhone name and they don’t care that Fujitsu owns iPad, so Mr Shipley had better just save his legal fees and take it on the chin like everybody else that gets in Apple’s way. (sorry!)

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