Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The iCouldhavehadabettername

As had been expected for a while, this morning marked the unveiling of Apple's long-awaited new tablet computer. And while there's been a lot of talk about the positives and negatives of such a device, a lot of people have been homing in on the name: the iPad.

This wasn't what a lot of people were expecting, at least from what I've been reading the past few weeks; the usual guesses seemed to be along the lines of the iTablet or the iTab. I can see Apple's logic in continuing the use of the "i(Monosyllabic word)" idea, since it's been with them from the beginning: iMac, iBook, iPod, iPhone. But iPad seems to have laid an iEgg with some observers.

I'm not sure they could have pleased everybody here, as they seem to have had a limited selection of cool iNames for something of this nature. The word iTab (and its longer sibling iTablet) sound too much like pharmaceuticals, but iPad sounds like, well, a feminine hygiene product. Is that really where they wanted to go with this? The name just seems to be overripe for parody (and yes, the parodies have already begun). And does anyone else wonder how this will all go over in the New England area? If you say "iPod" with a thick Boston accent, doesn't it sound too much like "iPad" to avoid massive confusion?

But I guess the big thing for me right now is that, for the first time in a while, Apple has come out with something that I'm not looking to buy right away. I owned one of the original teal-colored fishbowl iMacs (and mine was a great replacement for my previous computer, which I eventually dubbed the "MacAbacus"; it was pretty much an email reader on which I could also do word processing and play Tetris, while loading even the most rudimental webpage took several minutes). I didn't get an iPod right away, but it was always on my proverbial list (the thought of being able to listen to music on plane trips without carrying around my Discman, a big wallet of CDs and an army of AA batteries was appealing from the start). The MacBook Pro on which I type this was also acquired fairly soon after the line was launched, and i got my iPhone rather soon after the contract on my previous phone ran out.

But the iPad? My initial response is simply, "Meh." But I'm not sure that it's a matter of being disinterested in this product as much as it is simply having no need at the moment for the entire genre. My MacBook does certain things well, and my iPhone does certain things well; some of those things (email, certain websites, listening to music) even overlap. I don't read books or newspapers online (and if I did, I'd also have to check out the Kindle and the Nook), so I'm not seeing where this fits into my life at the moment.

Your mileage, of course, may very. Did you greet this announcement with a smile or a shrug? Tell me why in the comments.

UPDATE: I didn't realize it when I wrote this post, but I guess I've been enjoying my iPad nano for a while now. LOL.

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