Apple is calling its new tablet computer, the iPad, a "revolution." At electronics stores across the United States, customers lined up before the sun rose April 3, 2010 to get their hands on one. But is the iPad really going to be the future of computing technology?
The sun had barely risen, but the line outside of the Apple store in Bethesda, Maryland already stretched around the block. Apple fans and enthusiasts were eager to finally purchase an iPad, a tablet computer with a touch-screen that Apple claims will "bridge the gap" between a cell phone and a laptop computer.
Ryan Brown was first in line at the Maryland store. He said he believes that the iPad is the "next generation" of computing technology. "I think anything hands-on is going to get [you] really, really into the technology. If you can just manipulate anything with your hands and be a part of it, it makes it a lot more personal," he said.
Matthew Carney said the iPad is a sign of things to come. "I think a lot of the advancements that will come from it, will definitely play a larger role than we probably think now. I don't think it will change everything overnight, don't get me wrong. Will we have more touch-control or touch-interface or that kind of thing? Yes," he said.
The iPad has a touch-screen that is just under 25 centimeters in diagonal. It does not have a mechanical keyboard and weighs less than one kilogram. It allows users to surf the Web, watch video, listen to music, play games or read electronic versions of books. Computer programmers already have created thousands of applications for the iPad that will allow customers to perform many other tasks previously done on regular laptops or on mobile phones.
Still, not everyone is sold on the new device. "Now, is the iPad itself a really great and elegant and beautiful device? Yes! It turns out that it is," said Industry analyst James McQuivey.
But that's not enough to start the revolution that they claim to be starting and that's I think my principal disappointment here. It doesn't give you enough content. It doesn't give you most of the things you want to do online, for example -- Hulu.com, Netflix, because it doesn't support Flash. These are things that Apple has chosen to do that I think hamper its ability to have the impact that it really could have otherwise," he added.
Regardless of whether or not the iPad is the next generation of computing technology, Ryan Brown is just glad to finally have one of his own. "I'm really excited to have it. I've been waiting forever for it," he said.
The iPad's worldwide release is expected later this month.