With All the iDol Worship, I'm Already Sick of the iPad

Don Tennant

Steve Jobs and his cronies at Apple blew it when they named the iPad. They should have called it the "iDol," because it's a false god if ever there was one.

 

The iPad isn't even on the shelves yet, and I'm already sick of it. The ridiculous iPad-worship has gone so far over the top that it's being heralded as a "savior," as if we should all be wearing white ascension robes when its long-awaited coming finally happens.

 

Congregations of the Apple faithful are practically fainting in ecstasy as the pundits preach from their pulpits about how the iPad will save them and their industries from the hell-fires of obsolescence.

 

The trumpet-blasts began with conjecture that the iPad will be the savior of newspapers, magazines and books. As the fervor grew, we heard that the entire publishing profession will be saved! But wait! Yes, even the advertising industry will be saved! Alas! All of media as we know it will be saved!

 

Amid the clamor, other industries began clinging to the iPad's flowing robes. The comics industry will be saved!. The video game industry, too! Hark! Web design will also meet its savior!


 

I can just picture Jobs cackling in delight, as once again we've come under the spell of a product that we desperately hope will change our sad, pathetic lives. The iPad will save no industry and no profession. The very suggestion that it possibly could shows just how far out of touch with reality we've allowed Apple's marketing machine to bring us.



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Apr 1, 2010 1:20 AM Guest Guest  says:

Maybe Apple wouldn't consent to sending him a demo unit and now he's mad

Apple is a business, and ALL businesses have one purpose - SELL something. Marketing of some sort is ALWAYS a required ingredient to a business successfully maintaining a market.

Apple may not be so golden to so many were Microsoft not around...it seems everyone loves to bring the most successful ANYTHING down from the top...and in it's place...their chosen underdog. Once that position has been replaced guess what? New top dog and new target and the process starts all over again.

The author appears to simply be upset about something very obvious...how can a single product save so many verticals when those verticals are not really going to do anything other than produce on new media? The Wall Street Journal will be selling their subscriptions at the same exact rate as their print subscriptions...magazines will be doing the same...so if no one is buying it now why would an $800+ device make these subscriptions any more enticing.

Lets wait an see where this goes...it's going to be interesting.

I for one applaud any business who successfully markets their products with character and integrity. More power to them. I am a fan of success not Apple and not Microsoft and not anything or anyone or any company...just good old fashioned hard work and success.

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Apr 1, 2010 1:32 AM Stephen Wolfe Stephen Wolfe  says: in response to Margarita

You guys have missed Don's point completely.  He is talking on how much we have minimalized humankind itself by thinking technology can 'save' us - 'save' us from whatever is the blight of the day.

Steve

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Apr 1, 2010 2:04 AM Peter Peter  says: in response to Stephen Wolfe

I agree with Steve, he may not agree with what I have to say: The Apple Marketing Machine has successfully brainwashed the 20 and 30 something generation. The reality is that anything branded 'I' is inferior in functionality and usefulness. Just asked the business community who had the dump their iPhones and get back into Blackberry's and other smart phones..iPad, SheMi Pad, what's wrong with using your Laptop..Oh wait, let's pay twice and buy an Apple Laptop with one third of  the speed and functionality of similarly priced laptops..Marketing! Marketing! Marketing! If I could only buy a franchise selling Apple crap!

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Apr 1, 2010 2:11 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Stephen Wolfe

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Apr 1, 2010 2:16 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Peter

I personally have no problem with the technology. I just have a problem with the schtick and the fact that we allow ourselves to be taken in by it.

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Apr 1, 2010 2:28 AM Will Will  says:

Apple is not trying to 'save' anything.

Unbeknown to most readers here, there is a big market for e-books.  People are flocking for tablet style reading, that's why Kindle saved Amazon and Sony jumped on the bandwagon.

Apple is trying to make a better tablet.  Just like the kindle, but with the Apple touch; vivid graphics, internet, video and of course music, in a simple easy to use interface.  They are not reinventing the wheel, they are selling their brand of rims.

If you think Apple even intended to 'save' anything then you lost the point.  Apple is only making a product that appeals to that specific customer base, just like the iPhone intended to be a phone with an iPod until all the mainstream success.  If anyone is disappointed because it doesn't stand to the hype, then blame yourselves because you hyped it up in the first place.

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Apr 1, 2010 2:31 AM Graeme Graeme  says:

Couldn't have said it better myself!

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Apr 1, 2010 4:11 AM Pat Pat  says: in response to Craig

Yep, I am not a fan, but give me two years...I said the same thing about the iTouch and now I love mine.

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Apr 1, 2010 11:06 AM Craig Craig  says:

Amen to that!

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Apr 1, 2010 11:07 AM Robert McDonald Robert McDonald  says:

Who is calling the pot black.  This is a religious piece without any substance or backup.  Why was this even published?

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Apr 1, 2010 11:20 AM Dwayne Dwayne  says:

As far as I can tell, the only reason why this was posted was to draw people to the blog by using the hype behind an Apple product. Then write about how far above that hype the writer is. In effect using what he claims to resent for his own benefit. This worked in drawing me here, since I'm trying to get actual information on this product and was disappointed at the shallowness of the commentary.

Brilliant... sneaky, but brilliant.

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Apr 1, 2010 11:27 AM Lyle Millander Lyle Millander  says:

As are many blogs, this is mostly opinion, not reporting. Mr. Tennant is sick of hearing about the iPad and has a venue, and the right, to vent. It's up to the reader to consider the source and confirm facts as necessary. Fortunately, we're all free to have our opinions.Currently, Piper Jaffray estimates 900k unit sales for the June quarter and 2.7 million units for calendar 2010. If these numbers pan out, it may not necessarily mean that any particular industry will be 'saved.' However, there's an opportunity here for the savvy media company to enhance their revenue stream.Simply looking at the success of the iPhone and its App Store provides some insights into the potential. Smart media businesses will asses the iPad, it's market, and the marketability of their product on the platform. Ignoring the iPad completely because you're tired of hearing about it sounds like cutting off one's nose to spite the face.

-Lyle Millander

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Apr 1, 2010 11:45 AM Margarita Margarita  says:

You don't like the iPad because of the success of Apple's marketing? Not very useful information to me....

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Apr 2, 2010 1:39 AM Abubakar bullo Abubakar bullo  says:

wE HAVE REDUCED the Keyboard and we are heading a Screen or Display free computer etc..We must embrace the Idea of the product so that we could move further..

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Apr 2, 2010 2:26 AM Tom McIntosh Tom McIntosh  says: in response to Abubakar bullo

This is just another Tennant rant as he fills up his column.  I don't hear Apple claiming to save anything but I do see them giving the thoughtful people that produce media content the chance to use another medium to distribute their product. 

Just saw where Dell and HP are looking at pulling their small netbooks.  Hopefully the iPad will succeed where these appear to have failed.

The iPad is not a replacement for any existing computing systems.  It is an alternative and will succeed or fail based on the consumers, not some pseudo techy.

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Apr 2, 2010 9:47 AM Kevin Peters Kevin Peters  says:

I must start by saying that I have used Apple products since before the Macintosh. (I still have my Apple IIc with external floppy drive, color monitor, and yes mono-chrome monitor, printer, and all the software.)

I have to agree with Don. The iPad is an over-sized iTouch or iPhone. Blah, blah, blah from Apple with this product.  I have an iTouch, which was given to me as a gift. I find it to be a waste of money and time. It is a glorified mp3 player and picture album. I don't care for the playback quality for the music. It lacks depth! Wow, I have pictures, however on a small screen. Where is the magnifying glass?

So, now here comes the iPad. Dave Letterman had one on his show last night. When I saw it I laughed thinking that it is nothing more that an over-sized iTouch. Great for my pictures, now. There are less expensive digital picture frames on the market that work very well. eBooks? There are less expensive devices that work very well. mp3? I have an iTouch which really doesn't turn me on.

Eight years ago I was using a Compaq tablet PC that impressed me more than the iPad, even today. It did everything that I would want from a tablet, i.e. iPad, and more at the time, which was as I said eight years ago.  Put a new processor in the Compaq tablet, even as it was eight years ago, (hell, just give me one fresh in the box) and I would rather have that technology today than the iPad.

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Apr 3, 2010 4:04 AM Steve (not Jobs) Steve (not Jobs)  says:

For goodness sake Don, you certainly have become shrill since you left Computerworld.  Do you not see that everything you rail against here is a product of the non-stop yammering over the past year from your fellow pundits and journalists?  You guys have been incessantly speculating about the "Apple table" since long before Apple even announced they were releasing such a product.  Unless you think Steve Jobs' "reality distortion field" is actually a real telekinetic force with which he subjugates the masses then I don't see how you lay the blame at the feet of Apple marketing.

By the way, did you get rid of your iPhone yet?  After those articles from a few weeks ago, it's either get rid of it or be a self-rightous hypocrite.  No insult intended, really.  Just wondering.

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Apr 3, 2010 12:50 PM Parma Vic Parma Vic  says:

The people who are buying this will be happy with their iPads. I have an iPhone 3GS (32 MB) and i like the thing for use around the house AND as a cell phone.

The first hurdle for this product is the number of iPhones and iTouches people already have. You really don't NEED an iPad just yet.

The second hurdle is that if you DO own an iPhone or Touch, you know the limitations of the iPad. I have the iPhone and would love something in the iPads form-factor that was able to do something more in terms of productivity. But let's face it, the iPad is meant to be a device that enables people to consume media content.

It's like my high-speed internet hook-up - I pay ~$50 per month for it and content providers want even more from me for there stuff. I'm already paying $50 a month to get on the internet, that's my budget Rupert Murdock. Get creative or cut some deals with my service provider.

The same thing for the iPad - If I pay $500-$850 for one, I sure as hell won't be forking out $20 to the WSJ, NYT, or Newsday (seriously, I have to pay for THAT content Mr. Murdock? I live in Parma, OH, not Long Island). Cut an exclusive deal with Apple and make an app for the iPad that allows your content to be viewed at no cost to the end user and make money off advertisement. Figure it out.

But as for the iDol worship as Don Tennant points out - we've all been deluged with rumor stories, tech pundits opinions about an Apple tablet for over a year and there was no way of getting away from them if you wanted to visit tech news sites. Apple would have foolish NOT to release the iPad!

It wasn't Apple doing the hype up until late January 2010.

So Mr. Tennant has every right to be sick of hearing about this thing. I'm sick about hearing about it.

But Apple did nothing wrong here. If people were hype the next coming of Apple for over a year, and doing a great deal of hyping/marketing and apple tablet, then it only makes sense for Apple to finally make a tablet and get over with it. Then market it and make a killing off of it. Who can blame them?

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Apr 4, 2010 12:59 PM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Steve (not Jobs)

The intent wasn't to be shrill, but to spark a discussion to which you've made a valuable contribution. I still have my iPhone, and have no plans to get rid of it -- I can't afford the financial hit that would entail. As I've said, I therefore don't have a good response to the hypocrite charge, but I'll have to plead not-guilty to the self-righteous thing. I have a lot of faults, but that's not one of them.

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Apr 6, 2010 10:20 AM Steve (not Jobs) Steve (not Jobs)  says: in response to Don Tennant

Mission accomplished on sparking discussion.

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