10 reasons the iPad could fail catastrophically

No multitasking

This one’s a little puzzling, but early reports from Apple’s unveiling event confirm that the iPad won’t be able to run multiple Apps at a time; in order to open a new one, you’ll have to close the old one first. While we’re willing to bet that doesn’t mean you can’t listen to music while, say, reading a book – a functionality the iPhone already offers – it does mean you can’t run a streaming music service while working on a document, or quickly alternate between Web browsing and editing images in Brushes, which kind of limits the iPad’s appeal as a “do-everything” device.

Above: Three things? At the same time? Why would you ever want to do that?

No webcam or texting

One of the most obvious – and exciting – potential uses for the iPad is as a videoconferencing device. With the optional 3G connectivity, a portable tablet that enables you to speak with people face to face over Skype is exactly the sort of thing that could completely revolutionize how people talk on the phone. Which makes it all the more puzzling that Apple opted not to include a webcam, or any kind of camera at all, in the first-generation iPad.

Above: No video chat anytime soon, sorry

If early reports are to be believed, you can’t even use the thing to send text messages. That’s a missed opportunity, and if Apple is considering including all that stuff in a future version of the iPad, well, that’s just one more reason not to buy this one. Not that it’d do you much good anyway, though, seeing as…

Its 3G service is exclusive to AT&T

Do you like dropped connections, sudden outages and entire swaths of the country being off-limits to 3G access? Then you’ll love Apple’s exclusivity deal with AT&T, a carrier whose 3G network has been inspiring seemingly endless complaints over the past several months. While we don’t like to play favorites with companies, it looks like the maps in those Verizon ads are accurate; just take a look at AT&T’s own map of its nationwide 3G coverage if you need proof:

Above: Composite image made from here

What that means is that unless you live in one of the blue areas above, the iPad’s 3G functionality will be completely useless to you. And even if you do, you can expect to run up against the same coverage problems and dead zones that have been plaguing AT&T’s cell-phone customers for a while now.

Its storage space kind of sucks

Another thing holding back the games (and other software, for that matter) is that it has to be small enough to accommodate the iPad’s relatively stingy storage space. 16, 32 or 64GB might seem like a lot when you’re thinking about music and iBooks, but introduce videos, games and Apps, and it’s going to fill up quickly. With that in mind, you can expect Apps to continue being relatively small – and therefore relatively uncomplicated – for the foreseeable future. And you can expect to continually run out of space anyway.

No Flash

This is a biggie. The lack of Flash functionality (YouTube excepted) is one of the worst things about web browsing on the iPhone/iPod Touch, and leaving it out of the iPad severely limits its appeal as a web-browsing device. It won’t be able to run Hulu or any other Flash video service, Flash games will be off-limits and even sites like this one will look like a mess of missing plug-ins.

Above: Get used to seeing this a lot
The worst part of this is that it reportedly stems from an apparent inability on the parts of Apple and Adobe to come to an agreement over a special version of Flash for the iPhone OS (workarounds notwithstanding); the devices could run Flash, if only the companies involved were willing to play ball with each other and give their customers what they want. Until then, it looks like web browsing on the iPad will be an incomplete experience.

Jan 28, 2010

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  • twocows - October 6, 2010 8:14 a.m.

    What a hoot! I'd leave the punditry to those that really know best: the 4.5 million buyers of the iPad.
  • deokishiisu - October 6, 2010 2:17 a.m.

    It's funny how many people are hating on the iPad because someone hates on it already. I own one, and I can honestly say it's one of the best products I own, the best money I've spent in a while. I browse the web, and it's THE ONLY way I check my email. I updated to the 4.2 beta, and I can multitask no problem. The games, sure, they're pretty and everything, but seriously, there's no controller. Get real, there's gotta be a limit on how good a game can be, and no controller is sure a limiting factor. But sure as hell, these games are at a pretty damn high limit. The web browsing... Just fucking jailbreak already. Who wants to live in a world without freedom of apps? No one, so jailbreak. My iPad handled flash BEAUTIFULLY on 3.2 when I jailbroke it. Half of you saying it sucks have never touched one. Once you own one for a while, you will love it. The apps, your music, the speakers, the screen, the weight compared to.. say, a laptop, the portability, and you'll even love the multi-touch keyboard. It's perfect for typing on. If you still type with two fingers, no biggie. I type with about four and can type the same speed as on my Logitech G11. I haven't touched my laptop in months. Oh yeah, and the games? They're fast as hell. Faster than any disc.
  • Bugmenot - October 5, 2010 7:32 p.m.

    Want more laughs, do a search for why the iPod will fail and why the iPhone will fail. Particularly where Steve Balmer claims the iPhone will loose to Nokia and windows mobile. Fun. It is funny how profoundly wrong the screechers are, time and time again.
  • VaughnSC - October 5, 2010 7:01 p.m.

    This as a riot! I'm bookmarking this page so I can look at it whenever I need a laugh.
  • iProtestant - October 5, 2010 5:17 p.m.

    great article bro! keep it up!
  • Jabbe - October 5, 2010 4:47 p.m.'s some advice business execs. If you ever want to know if a product will fail or succees, just go to any gaming/tech forum and look at the comments. If the majority of comments say one thing, the exact opposite will occur.
  • johnsondoeberg - October 5, 2010 4:34 p.m. 8.25 million sold by the end of this year. It sure turned out to be a spectacular failure. Just like that iPod nobody bought.
  • DictionarySoup - October 5, 2010 4:20 p.m.

    This article and comments are funny. Especially now.
  • Styrophoamicus - February 1, 2010 11:17 p.m.

    Great article! I personally think the iPad is basically apple's version of the PSPGo: a revamped version of an existing product (c'mon, the iPad is just a blown up iPhone) with a ridiculous price and no new functionality
  • aperson789 - January 31, 2010 12:52 a.m.

    People keep saying its just a giant ipod touch, they obviously barely know about it! Plus these arnt that good reasons except the FLASH part but I still think its going to be good.
  • Dolan88fan - January 30, 2010 10:16 p.m.

    wootw blackberry ftw
  • DirkSteele1 - January 30, 2010 5:36 p.m.

    Agreed. As soon as the announcement was made I said to a colleague at work that this is the first product mistake Apple has made in a long time. Those who worship at the alter of Apple will no doubt be early adopters, but those of us who are not fanboys will struggle to see the point I think.
  • mentalityljs - January 30, 2010 12:21 a.m.

    Wow, what an absolute pile of shit. Wouldn't such a device, who's main target is business-oriented people, be capable of at least HALF the features it's currently lacking? WOW Apple, what the fuck what your sales pitch on THIS one? That users can ALMOST enjoy features they've been using for the past 5-10 years? What a fucking joke! My '99 Blazer has more features than this piece of scam! And that's all it'll ever be, is a fucking scam. Corporate America penny pinching it's most loyal customers once again. Go fuck yourself Steve Jobs, and take the rest of Apple with you!
  • NanoElite666 - January 29, 2010 10:54 p.m.

    Yeah, I think I'll save my money for the 6,237 bouncy balls.
  • Yeager1122 - January 29, 2010 9:12 p.m.

    Just more reasons i dont want this.
  • MacGyver1138 - January 29, 2010 9:06 p.m.

    I don't see what niche this is even trying to fill. It's not a tablet, but it's not a smart phone. It's some middle ground that I don't think anyone was asking to be filled. Other than people who think this looks cool, and a few people that will use it for artistic purposes, I think this will fail.
  • Auritom - January 29, 2010 8:50 p.m.

    So basically, Apple are incapable of releasing a good first version of a product. You'll have to wait until about version 5 of the iPad to even start seeing some benefits to purchasing it. God I'm glad I'm not one of the many fools who are brainwashed into buying this crap.
  • rainesagefan - January 29, 2010 8:50 p.m.

    but with the new ipad you can download proctection for up to a 1000 periods
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - January 29, 2010 7:37 p.m.

    @jmcgrotty: I found them on Amazon in bags of 250 for $19.50, which works out to 7.8 cents apiece. So yes, massive bulk. But that'd be the way to go if you were for some reason trying to buy more than 6,000 of the things, don't you think?
  • Xeacons - January 29, 2010 7:27 p.m.

    So all we can pray for is an iPhone with Verizon when the contract with AT&T expires this summer (please oh please oh please)!

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