This morning at 7:30 AM, I stopped what I was doing and logged onto the Apple site using my iPhone. I zipped into the Apple store and pre-ordered my iPad, a 32g Wi-Fi model.
Sure, I thought about joining the club and camping out overnight at the Apple store on April 2nd (with hundreds of other dorks!) so I could get mine sooner. But alas... I chose to simply sit on my porch all day long on April 3rd and wait for the Fedex truck.
Apple's device has been called the, "Most eagerly awaited tablet since Moses delivered the Ten Commandments". I have to say, it's been awhile since I've been this excited about a new product release. So why and I so pumped about the iPad? Simple... for me, I believe it is a game changer.
There are three aspects of a Apple tablet product that I believe will change things. First, portability. I always travel with my laptop. Over the years I graduated from a Treo to an iPhone (like jumping from kindergarten to grad school!) and still a laptop is a must have for most business travelers. The iPad will fit perfectly size-wise between a phone and a laptop. Throw in a portable keyboard and poof, you have a computer well-suited for business travel. It will be ideal for everything from email and spreadsheets to games and movies, all in a compact, portable size. Secondly, the newspaper and magazine industry should be thrilled that they will soon be able to distribute their content digitally. I know Amazon has the Kindle and numerous others have e-readers that do this now. But Apple has figured out how to digitally dominate music and they will do the same with "print'. I wrote recently about the "Future of Newspapers" and noted that this is an industry in transition. The seemingly easy to read iPad will make newspaper content more relevant, timely and easier to access. It also will launch the micro-payment industry.
Finally, the iPad will set the bar significantly higher for entry laptops. I imagine that these devices will become staples for students (the textbook possibilites are enormous), older folks who want the simplicity of an Apple product for a low price and travelers. The idea of being able to do the "basics" (email, video, music, pictures) all in one $500 device has mass market appeal.
I really didn't see the need for 3g... I will always have my iPhone with me and Wi-Fi is pretty ubiquitous between Starbucks, hotels, airports and even some airplanes. Plus I am already paying AT&T for 3g access and don't want to fork out more.
So if you are looking for me on April 3rd... I'll curled up in the corner of my porch, waiting for my iPad :)