Managed to run the gauntlet of an overburded web store, successfully submitting my pre-order for the iPad (3rd generation). While the store was crashing during the onslaught of purchasers I tried backdooring to their phone sales only to discover that they, too, rely upon the website for order entry, and were suffering the same outage. That is impressive dogfooding. Back to hitting F5, eventually making it through the order process error free.
This is the first time I’ve purchased anything from Apple. Ever.
During the Apple II days I had an Atari 400, 800, 800XL, 800XE, Commodore 64 and then 128. During the Mac days I had an Atari ST 512, 1040, 1040 STE, and an Amiga for a time. Then it was onto PCs, from that first Diamond Speedstar 24x equipped 386 that I’d run DJGCC on.
In the smartphone era I’ve gone through Blackberries, Windows Mobile and Android devices. My tablets have all been Android devices.
Of course I’ve used Apple devices, playing with IIe’s, Macs, iPhones and iPads along the way. Always someone else’s, and never enough draw to get one of my own.
The iPad (3rd generation) enticed me enough to put in an order, however.
Firstly there’s that screen. Ignoring any marketing branding, at 2048×1536 that is an impressive amount of information displayed on the surface and exceeds even premium laptops. Every pixel represents a discrete output, so conceptually this device has quadruple the information delivery of the prior generation. Given that my primary complaint with prior iterations of the iPad was the low pixel density and resolution, this eliminates that concern.
Secondly there’s the A5X. With purportedly double the GPU power it might actually fall behind the iPad 2 in fill-rate limited benchmarks (double the GPU power, but then loading it with four times the pixels, might see it posting seemingly unimpressive numbers, though obviously we’ll have to wait and see if they made other architectural improvements to it), but given the considerable lead it still held, it’s still very competitive. Debug leaks
have the device featuring 1GB of RAM which should give plenty of
Thirdly, it’s available almost immediately. One of many things that Apple does right is announcing products on the cusp of their availability. The Asus Transformer Infinity looks compelling, for instance, but when could I realistically buy one In a month Three
months Late summer?
Apple’s competitors all have a terrible tendency to announce products half a year in advance of availability. Samsung seems to have gotten a clue and is holding off any Galaxy S III talk until it is close to an actual global release.
Fourthly, I want the device to test a web project I’ve been working on. Obviously I want to provide a first-class experience for iOS users, so I need to test on an iOS device. That also
provides a nice excuse to justify a flippant purchase. Apple is going to sell crazy numbers of this thing. Seriously crazy. Somehow with each pinnacle of revenue it seems
like they can’t top it, but this release (which only a raving nut could call underwhelming and disappointing. This device is hugely impressive) will keep them on course to being the
first trillion dollar company.
EDIT: Forgot to mention another very compelling reason I decided to purchase one: Garageband. I find my Android 4.0 tablet perfect for Netflix, web browsing, information apps like IMDB and Flixster, and even casual gaming, but it lacks anything remotely comparable to Garageband (even if someone tried there are fundamental audio latency problems with Android EDIT: finally fixed in Android 4.1). I really do think that is the killer app of iOS.