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!


  1. beagle puppy says:

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  2. Chi-Loong says:

    You know, only Steve Jobs can sell this thing and make it sexy cool new to the Apple fanbois. Sorry Apple fans, gotta call it like I see it — tablets have been around for a *long* time, and *only* because it’s Apple (and Steve) does the whole world sit up and take notice.

    Mashable did an excellent write-up of what’s missing from iPad.

    And at what cost? Lowest end is US$499 for Wi-Fi and 16GB? And no storage SD slot? No USB?

    What WOULD I want this for?

    It’s not an eBook reader like the Kindle, which does one thing well — let me read books on e-ink, good battery life, there’s an easy bookstore marketplace for download, priced right for this specific function.

    It’s not a smartphone, which already allows me to surf the net, get YouTube videos, have mapping aps, etc. Btw, there’s no GPS on the iPad. And oh, my smartphone can actually place calls and sms.

    It’s not a netbook, which would allow me to do far more and would cost roughly the same if not cheaper (depends on which version of the iPad you want). A netbook would allow me to video-chat (there’s no camera on iPad), the amount of storage is piddling when compared to netbooks.

    I’ll pass.

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