Apple’s iPad – is it just a glorified smartphone?

January 29th, 2010 | by Oo Gin Lee

I was just gushing down a bowl of extremely salty French Onion soup at TGIF near the Marriot Grand Hotel in Moscow where I am staying when I saw Jobs flashing the iPad in some Russian news channel. That was enough for me to spend the next 90 minutes watching Job’s keynote.

Two things struck me from the iPads launch today:

  1. Apple is really going into a closed lock-down system.

    The iPad will be utilising Apple’s new 1GHz processor (Apple now totally owns the hardware and the OS).

    It also launched iWorks (competitor to MS Office) for US$9.99 for each of the spreadsheet, presentation and word processor software (called numbers, keynote and something else I cant remember) It also launched iBooks – an e-book reader and store.  With App Store and iTunes Music Store,  now Apple also owns the software and services platform.

    Apple struck a deal with AT&T for adding 3G at US$29.99 per month for unlimited access. So like the iPhone, you are stuck again with a specific telco. And my guess is the two will work together to lock-in consumers and share the money.

    It looks like the Apple way is increasingly becoming a closed, lock-down system. I dont like lock-down systems and it sure makes Microsoft (who only controlled the OS and the apps and tried with the browser) look like an angel in comparison.

  2. Is the iPad simply a glorified smartphone?

    Yes, it did look cool watching Jobs spin the thing round, but what exactly is the Apple 1GHz processor? Early rumours are swirling that it is simply one of the many 1GHz ARM processors (ARM licences its processor tech to people like Nvidia and Qualcomm to make smartphone processors) around. The same architecture that powers the Google Nexus One smartphone. But can it be powerful enough to support a mini-laptop? In case you are still wondering why the iPad does not support the ability to run multiple apps at the same time, perhaps this is the answer!

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