Saturday, January 30, 2010

Room for Expansion

This is a can of diet Red Bull left overnight at sub freezing temperatures. Rather than explode the can designers included some folds in it to allow for the 9% expansion caused of water turning to ice.

That's an example of good design, and so next let us consider the Apple iPad. Is this groundbreaking design?

  • From an Industrial Design and looks perspective it is gorgeous and advertised as such by Uncle Steve.

  • If it can perform better than a Netbook then the future looks bright. As Uncle Steve commented, Netbooks are worse (than notebooks) at everything!

  • Some of the claimed highlights are ability to watch movies, browse the Internet (via WiFi / 3G), read iBooks

  • Operate for 10 hours on a single battery charge, 10W power consumption

  • Run all existing iPhone Apps (since the Apple A4 processor is binary compatible with the iPhone )

  • Accelerometer and Light sensor

  • Proprietary Dock, speaker, microphone, SIM slot

  • VGA 1024x768 pixel output via dock

Some disappointments
Early days, but I cannot imagine why the iPad is missing
  • GPS (maybe due to power consumption?)
  • At least one camera - for conferencing
  • A native USB port
  • A native SD or microSD slot
A cynic might say that the purposeful exclusion of the above is to make sure that this product does not cut into iPhone or MacBook sales.

WiFi Question Marks
Just like the iPhone the iPad needs a mobile Internet connection to be useful. This raises the operability questions in some US states where AT&T 3G coverage is patchy and in many European Countries (e.g. Switzerland) where 3G data is still by expensive subscription only.

Talking CPUs
The Apple iPhone 3G S uses a Samsung processor incorporating an ARM Cortex-A8 processor core and Imagination's PowerVR SGX graphics core

The Apple iPad uses an ARM Cortex-A9 processor with an ARM Mali GPU


Executive Summary
The Apple iPad is going to be a phenomenal success. Users are going to be best pleased with the portability, battery life, and the ability to surf and read iBooks. The multitouch pointerless interface will set a new standard. Competitive eBook readers including the Nook and the Kindle will be crushed. By controlling what was included and what was purposefully left out, the iPad compliments the existing iTunes, iPhone and Macbook Apple infrastructure. In order to get best value and seamless integration however you had better switch to wholeheartedly Apple, they want your phone and laptop/desktop business, not just your Netbook replacement.