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By Goofyhoofy
January 28, 2010

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I am surprised at the lack of on onboard camera; not because anybody would use it like a digital camera or cellphone camera, but for video conferencing and streaming this would seem to be a natural.

The "stand up" dock is clever, as is the cover which converts to angle the thing in either horizontal or portrait mode.

The data plans seem reasonable, but then it has to be on top of a cell phone plan and (likely) a cable modem or DSL plan at home. Will consumers pop for another monthly charge, even a modest one?

The $14.99 price for 250mb seems fair - if it fits; Verizon's 250mb plan is $39.95 a month by comparison. They tout it being right for: "Need a mobile connection 7-8 hours a month / Send or receive email with small or no attachments / Light Web Browsing / Download or upload small files / Download a song or two once in a while."
Verizon's 5 gig plan is $60. AT&T's unlimited is $30. Quite a difference. This presumes AT&T's works for you, of course.

I can't find it now, but once upon a time Verizon had an estimate of what 250 mb would do, I recall it being "several thousand" web pages, or 1.5 TV shows or downloading 100 songs or something like that. (My memory is probably wrong, but that's what it's telling me.) Enough for casual surfing, not enough for much more.

Nice touch, tossing in the AT&T wi-fi hotspots. Of course Verizon does this with their plan, too. (AT&T has the deal with Starbucks. And starting soon, McDonald's. That's pretty fair coverage right there. This is the Coke strategy, of getting the exclusive "pour" rights in chains even at a wafer-thin margin, because thin margin is better than no margin, and a lot better than any margin for your competitor.)

I think my Kindle just lost about $100 in value. I like it, but at near the same price point for the additional functionality, I would have bought one of these instead. Of course I wouldn't have ended up paying "about the same", because I would have upgraded, bought accessories - and had the monthly charges too. Damn, gets me every time.

I would think this will take some sales out of Kindle, but I think it will also steal from netbooks too, as well as creating a new market for something in-between. How big that market is remains to be seen, but the first couple months sales are gonna be terrific. There are a lot of "I gotta have this" people out there. Bring out the stanchions at the retail stores for the debut in March. And the TV cameras ;)

It's a tad bigger than I think I would like, but until I get my hands on one I won't really know. One funny scene after the presentation; Apple set up about 70 of them on tables ("like an Apple store") for about 400 journalists/bloggers in attendance. I wouldn't have wanted to be in that room.

Having current apps run on it, even in emulation mode, is smart. It comes off the launch pad with 100,000 apps. You can bet developers are downloading the kit in a frenzy, too. The first apps had the market to themselves, until 99,990 other guys jumped in. (Of course by that time the iPhone had an established base of users; this one doesn't.) But this also gives them a chance to use the iPhone as a marketing tool for the "bigger, better" app that runs on the tablet, and for which they can presumably charge a few bucks. Maybe they'll even make some serious coin on it.

Interesting to have 6 different price points. If it's anything like the iPhone, the bulk of sales will be at the top end - but I can see people who just want a book reader for airplanes (and a few games) or whatnot to go lower. Hmm. Do I just want wi-fi, or 3G? Do I want 16 or 32 or 64? Decisions, decisions.

How many of those "leaked" photos turned out to be accurate? I don't know how Apple does it; they have to have working prototypes, somebody somewhere has to be producing the dock, somebody else somewhere else the cover, lots of somebody else's the various components - and it still manages to be "a surprise." That's something else.

But no toaster? No cure for cancer? I guess I have to wait for Rev 2.0.