idiot_ipad_.jpgOur sister publication, Gadgetell, has an article with this title and, since we’ve talked a lot about the iPad, I thought I’d reprint it below. A question, though, did any of you pre-order it? I certainly want to see one before I make up my mind. Too much money for me to splurge on it sight unseen. Article begins:

PC World writer, Galen Gruman, called out iPad pre-order buyers on Saturday, calling them names in his post, “iPad Pre-Orders: For Idiots Only.” Apple’s iPad went on pre-order Friday and is rumored to have 120,000 devices sold as a result. Even at the cheapest model, that’s $60 million, not a bad day in my book.

Gruman puts forth a logical argument,

“… we’ve all seen promising product demonstrations that resulted in major letdown when we finally got a hold of the real thing. Why take that chance? After all, the first-generation iPad is particularly likely to have disappointments, as it’s the version that will tell us what, after the hoopla dies down, Apple should have done.”

We all know that first generation anything, typically has some bugs to work out: cars, appliances, and especially gadgets. Gruman seems content to call the cult-like followers of the golden fruit names while forgetting (or perhaps counting on for page hits) other motivations for buying. Fear not, the “idiots” responded to the post:

“And if I call someone an idiot, my post gets flagged for personal attacks . . . but this guy can call a whole slew of people idiots, IN THE TOPIC EVEN!!!”
“aren’t you the same guy who was raving about the iPad just last month?”
“PC World used to have much better tech journalism than this. Are they hiring high school kids to write their op-eds during the recession now?”
“According to the logic of this article, I should cancel my subscription to PC World on the grounds that I would be an “idiot” to order an issue of a magazine before I’d actually had the opportunity to review it.”
“Galen, please stop writing. Your boorish, self pleasuring drivel has tainted a rather noble profession.”
“Galen Gruman is a prick.”
“I won’t defend my decision to purchase the iPad because your clearly not capable of understanding. Go FYS “

As of this writing, there were 139 comments, mostly voiced by folks that sounded as if either they pre-ordered the iPad or can find logic in doing so. There were a few, “take that Apple fanboys” but most were put off by Gruman’s name calling. The tone was angry, disappointed in PC World, and often insulted.

I wonder how the post would have compared if the author had titled it, “iPad Pre-Orders, You’re an idiot if you didn’t get one”. Would the Microsoft legion have come out against the fanboy? How many times would the word “fanboy” or “fanboi” have been in the comments? Or “Kool Aid”? Let us know in the comments.


  1. This does not surprise me PC World would say that.

    They are Windows centric and if the shine comes off Microsoft, which it has been, so goes the sales of most of their published guides and articles.

    I predict their next trick will be to have huge ads and unlimited coverage of the HP Slate followed by several books they will write detailing how to get the most out of it’s limited touch screen functionality.

  2. The name calling detracts from the logic of his points.
    Most importantly, the article itself is pointless; pre-order buyers of hardware (any hardware, but especially Apple products) are making an emotional commitment based on hope and hype, not a logical fact-based assessment. Such folks won’t be swayed by mere facts and logic of economic merit and value.
    Coming on the heels of recent PCWorld articles on ebooks and ebook readers it sounds like PCWorld is looking to become the Don Imus of the tech press.

    Time to tune them out.

  3. i agree with Teddypig. preaching to the choir over there. as someone who reserved my wifi model, i’m also insulted. i have followed ebook news for years, and apple’s development in particular, and i’m fully aware of what i’m buying. i think the iPad will be perfect for me, and it seems i’m not alone. i’m also an early adopter of the iphone, and we all know how that worked out. in fact, i’m still happily using my first-gen iphone.

  4. There are two main reasons why I preordered an iPad:

    1) My iPhone experience: I got an iPhone as early as I could and never regretted it–I’d owned plenty of PDAs, starting with several of Palm’s, and this was hands down the *best* I’d ever used. Yes, it took me a while (perhaps a week) to get used to the non-hardware keyboard, but keep in mind that I’d used Palms (which required you to learn a new way to handwrite), and I’d used a couple of really cramped “keyboards” on Windows Mobile devices. Also, Apple bent over backwards to make new features available to early adopters: while the rest of the industry made (and makes!) OS upgrades only available by buying new hardware, as of this writing, every iPhone OS upgrade has been a free download for existing users. (Even if the rumors are true and iPhone OS 4.x won’t work on first-gen hardware, that’s been an incredible run–three years of free OS upgrades, most of which brought stunning new functionality.)

    Also, it’s not as if the difference between first-gen and current hardware functionality is *that* huge; yes, the maximum storage is 4x as much, but the RAM for running programs has always stayed the same; yes, newer iPhones can use 3G networks, but those weren’t rolled out in my home town until pretty recently; yes, the 3GS has a digital compass and a video (as opposed to still) camera–but I don’t use those all that much, honestly. I *do* greatly appreciate the GPS (I find it much easier to use than my parents’ standalone GPS device) and the faster CPU, but the slow CPU still gets the job done.

    For all the conventional wisdom’s whining about first-gen iPhones versus current ones, I’d rather have a first-gen iPhone than a state-of-the-art iPod Touch. (But different strokes for different folks; maybe you don’t care about the still camera and would prefer the huge storage of a top-of-the-line iPod Touch to the “measly” 8GB 1st-gen iPhone.)

    2) I read ebooks a *lot*–while I won’t go so far as Jeff Bezos (who said he doesn’t doesn’t read paper books if he can help it)–I find ebooks a *lot* more convenient for me than paper books.

    I have a first-gen Kindle, a second-gen Kindle, my Macs, and my iPhone. My iPhone is easily the ebook reader I like the best; it reads more formats (non-DRMed *and* DRMed Kindle, ePub, non-DRMed *and* DRMed ereader, PDF, DjVu) than the others. (My Macs handle all those except Kindle.) My one big complaint about the iPhone is the small screen size–and what do you know, the iPad will have the tallest portrait screen of any ebook reading hardware I own. (Well, except for the big-screen iMac in my office, but that’s a] in my office, and b] completely non-portable 😉

    I listed five different ebook formats above that I read on my iPhone; *none* of them (well, except PDF) are built in to the iPhone; all five are via third-party programs. Kindle and Stanza were free downloads. GoodReader (my preferred PDF reader; it’s a little clumsy, but has excellent functionality) cost me $1.98 . Easy DJVU Reader cost me $0.99 . All these will almost certainly run as-is on the iPad–and I won’t even have to shell out another $3 to buy them again. (Though I *would* happily pay $3–or a lot more!–if the software developers upgraded them to make better use of the bigger screen. For that matter, I’d happily pay $3 just to support and thank the software developers for all the use I’ve gotten out of their products.)

    All in all, there was no question in my mind about whether I’d get an iPad. The only question is whether I’d be able to wait an extra few weeks for the iPad with 3G. I ultimately decided I want the GPS, and can forgo a month or so of bigger-screen ebook reading–but not without grumbling 😉 !

  5. Most PC magazines have a long history of similar linkbaiting (for example anything that John Dvorak has ever written). Their authors know that by publishing an article insulting Apple’s technology or their users, they can generate a huge amount of traffic, and a huge amount of incoming links (as your own article here proves). It doesn’t really matter if the article is correct or wildly inaccurate, the point is to drive up pageviews.

  6. David Crotty is correct! Though there (might) be some actual thought behind the article, the article’s title reveals it for what it is, inflammatory trolling for pageviews.

    John C Dvorak used to do this all the time; he found it especially effective if he went after Apple, whose fanatical fans could be counted on to link to the article, comment, and raise holy heck; someone even asked Dvorak about this on-camera at one of the computer trade shows, and he admitted as much. (Doubtless that snippet lives on at YouTube.)

    But for the record, I haven’t ordered an iPad, and will wait until I hear the first wave of user complaints or raves about any new gadget before buying one myself. I just would never refer to those who do as ‘idiots.’

    — asotir

  7. I do not like Apple. I don’t like the iPhone, because it is inferior to my HTC HD. To me, iPhones are cool for people who have not owned a really good WiMo device or maybe never owned a smartphone before.

    I don’t like that the iPad does not do multitasking and does not support Flash, does not have a user replaceable battery or a storage card slot.

    With that being said, I preordered my 3G model on Friday at 8:45, because it gives me unlimited data for 30 bucks, it is quadband and unlocked, so I can take it back and forth to Germany with me and it will still work. The battery should last me through a flight and then some. I don’t yet have a data plan here because the prices for data (and voice, actually) are outrageous in the US, and also because I don’t like to commit to a plan for any amount of time. I also bought it because I leisure-surf A LOT and the iPAd will be instant-on like my phone, but give me a larger screen and a larger screen resolution. I am not an idiot. I am well aware of its many shortcomings (the Flash issue especially), but until the Courier comes out and hopefully with a similar data “plan”, I will make do with my iPad.

  8. It doesn’t matter what the reasons are, there are never any acceptable reasons to justify name-calling in any form of “journalism” or any type of news, reviews, articles and so on.

    There’s a reason nobody even cares about PC World, they pull this type of crap and nobody here will miss them if PC World just go away.

    Link-baiting is something I completely disagree with, any site that pulls this crap will just lose all my respect and anybody ever referring me to the site will just get me telling them to stop following and usually they do. Link baiting can get sites huge traffic in short term but will lose a lot of their loyal followers in long term. Watch as PC world tries to do this more and watch how hard they will fall over time.

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