Uncertainty About Accessories Could Slow iPad Sales

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-03-07 Print this article Print

5. Accessory pricing

Since the iPad lacks a USB port, users will be forced to buy accessories that can only connect through its dock. Unfortunately, Apple has been mum on accessory pricing. How much will that physical keyboard cost? What's the prospective cost of other useful accessories? The company should let consumers know before the iPad is released.

6. iPhone OS 4.0

Later this year, Apple is expected to announce a new version of iPhone OS. In previous years, those updates only affected the iPhone and iPod Touch. But now that the iPad is available, it could also affect Apple's tablet. Apple needs to reassure those potential customers who worry that the iPad's software will be obsolete in just a few months that any updates to the iPhone OS will also be made available to the iPad. It might sound obvious to some, but a novice user might be concerned.

7. The Kindle competition

Although Apple is marketing its iPad as a replacement for the Amazon Kindle, the company still needs to be worried about Amazon. A backlit screen is not the best way to enjoy books. And although Apple's iBooks will offer color-a major omission in the Kindle-speculation abounds over a new version of Amazon's e-reader that will compete more effectively against the iPad. Apple needs to figure out its strategy for taking Amazon down before the iPad is released. Any missteps could see book lovers run back to the Kindle.

8. Connectivity

Apple's decision to forgo USB, FireWire or any other kind of connectivity is a major issue. Apple wants the iPad to go along on trips or be used for those moments when users want to perform basic tasks. But what about those moments when users want to transfer files from an iPad to an iMac with the help of a USB key? It won't work with the iPad. That's a shame. Apple needs to find a way for users to connect peripherals they already own as soon as possible.

9. AT&T's network

Apple's decision to partner with AT&T for 3G connectivity is suspect. AT&T has had trouble accommodating all the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS users that have pelted its network. The company is currently investing heavily in infrastructure to address those issues. But with some iPad owners connecting to that same network, it might be tough for AT&T to keep up. Hopefully Apple has worked with AT&T to ensure its network is ready for the iPad 3G.

10. No camera? Really?

Apple's decision to not include a camera in the iPad is a major omission. Part of the value of the iPhone is its ability to capture stills at moments when users don't have a camera readily available. Considering Apple is marketing the iPad as a mobile product, a camera would seem like an obvious inclusion in the device. And yet, it's not available in the iPad. Apple needs to find a way, likely through peripherals, to bring camera functionality to the iPad. It's a must-have that consumers will be missing.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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