Now that Apple has finally set a release date for the iPad, it's time to prepare for its launch on April 3. Undoubtedly, some folks will be happy with what they find in the iPad.
They will enjoy using it as a mobile companion when they head out on the road. They might even like to use it when they're sitting on the couch, surfing the Web, checking e-mail and seeing what some of their friends are up to on their favorite social network.
But what about those folks who might not see such value in the iPad? Apple's tablet is still a big question mark for some people. Apple has stayed tight-lipped about the tablet's future development path, opting instead to offer as little information as possible. It's a strategy that has worked in the past. But it also lends to a general feeling of uncertainty in the marketplace.
That's where we come in. There are some issues with Apple's iPad that the company has yet to address. But if Apple wants its tablet to be successful, it better fix them before the iPad hits store shelves next month.
Let's take a look at those issues.
1. Where's the 3G iPad?
Apple announced that the WiFi-only iPad model will be available on April 3. We still have no idea when the 3G-capable iPad will be launched. Apple has only said that it will be made available in "late April." Numerous reports released prior to the announcement suggested that the 3G version will be delayed, so a later release date seems to make sense. But Apple should still provide an exact date to allay the fears of those who wonder if the 3G version will be ready for widespread use at the end of April. After all, Apple's track record with first-generation products isn't stellar.
2. The 3G pricing conundrum
Whether or not customers really want to pay $30 for unlimited 3G data or $14.99 for 250MB of monthly data is up for debate. Even AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said earlier this week that he believes the WiFi-only model will sell better, since folks don't want to pay for another subscription. I understand why Apple is offering a 3G model, but 3G pricing is an issue.
3. We need Flash
What good is a tablet that can be used to surf the Web if Flash isn't supported? Yes, Apple wants to protect us from all those Flash security issues, but in the process, it's also limiting access to many major sites across the Web. Apple should offer Flash support before the iPad hits store shelves.
4. Displaying iPhone apps
Some customers might be disappointed when they start adding their favorite iPhone applications to the iPad, since many apps won't fit the iPad's screen. Apps need to be full-screen on the iPad. If they're not, the experience of using the device will be diminished. That's a result that Apple simply doesn't need as it attempts to make its iPad a viable alternative to so many other tablets on the market.