iPad for $250

It is the season for resolutions and predictions. Instead I offer questions and metrics. Let’s start with the questions. What do you do with a $250 iPad. Just before Christmas, Amazon cut its basic Kindle to under $100, but I don’t see the first generation being offered by Apple for $250 any time soon. I do wonder what will happen with all those first-gens when the second comes out sometime this year.

I suspect there will be some generational spread, with serious Apple fanatics needing the new-new, they may end up giving their current device to kids, parents, and significant others. I am not one of those who goes out to get the new thing right away; I prefer to let others beta test. I wish I had done the iPad sooner–it’s a great device–but I suspect that the “marketable features” that are required to push many to upgrade won’t be enough for me. That said, if I did upgrade, my current iPad would stay in the family.

But what about all those single Apple fanboys out there. Will we see a flood of second-hand iPads on eBay? A lot of these devices have been sold, and given that they are solid-state devices without a lot of moving parts, I can see how they could have a long useful life beyond their first owners.

Part of this thinking is a result of the sea of iPads I saw installed at the Delta terminal at JFK last week. One use of iPads seems to be obvious: micro-kiosks. With a bit of tweaking, these seem to be the obvious replacement for the public telephone, or for use anywhere you see interactive kiosks now. Museum displays, floor directories, employment forms at Target–you get the idea.

The downside is the nastiness of the screen after being touched frequently. It’s bad enough when it’s my own hands that have caused it. Ick.

And they also seem like the sort of empty control panel for any manner of interesting devices. Yes, hackers love the eees for the same reason: they are cheap and easily interfaced and programmed.

But the eee and similar devices, besides being much cheaper than the iPad, are also much more easily hacked and tweaked. Sure, you can jailbreak your iPad, but–as a couple of students asked me recently–why bother? There isn’t much you can do with it once you do. Many net top devices already have a linux variant installed, and Loading the iPad with something else is not trivial.

That said, there is a great deal that can be done with HTML, javascript, and a good back end. So, if there is a prediction in here, I would say expect to find iPads in unexpected places, and affixed to other stuff.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted 1/11/2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Conductive tablet gloves. 2014’s hottest fashion accessory. You buy a personal pair to be able to interact with all of the halavaisian public tabletry without sharing germs. They come in a variety of styles and colors, from Cyberpunk leather and polystyrene form-fitting foam, to tea cozy crocheted grannygloves. Full hand for outdoor/winter month usage, fingertips only with back of hand support.

    Just like you see everyone with earbuds now, you’ll see everyone sporting their own version of tablet gloves in a variety of cuts and colors, shapes and sizes. They’ll be a fashion statement, and a storage device.

    Combine them with optional basic RFID technology and biometric activation security features, you’ll wear your online identity through a service entitled ‘Fingerprints’. Connects you to your bank account, home address, personal profile, and geolocative updates.

    They’ll start out in the service industries first. Any terminal-based transactions like cash registers or ticket counters can be tabletized, and the recording ability of the glove in tandem with the robust application support on the tablet devices will entice corporate chains to make the initial investment which will bring about market saturation.

    • alex
      Posted 1/11/2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Where’d that NDA go?

  2. adam pacio
    Posted 1/28/2011 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    NDA? If I were interested in developing this idea I would. Otherwise better to release it so someone with the passion for it can have a go. Ideas want to live, why hoard them if you won’t work on them?

    Besides, this way I’ll get the gloves and not have to develop them. Who knows, maybe somebody will give me a free pair someday. That’d be sweet!

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