Now the iPad is actually on the market and people I know have them and think they are wonderful I have started to look at them a bit more seriously. Buying one might actually be an option.
Just in case you have, in some strange way, missed the hype, here is one of the cool YouTube videos which explain it all:
So this morning, when I mentioned to my boyfriend how much I like the idea of getting one, I was quite surprised by his negative response.
Apparently there are a couple of major flaws in the iPad, the 2 he mentioned immediately were it's incompatibility with Adobe Flash meaning that much of the video content on the web won't display on the iPad, and, MUCH more worryingly the moral question at the moment over the way the iPad factory workers are being treated. I think these things need to be looked at quite separately. . .
Having never seen an iPad in "real life" myself I can only take the word of others on these points but it seems there are lots of technical issues that upsetting people in addition to the problem with Flash - the lack of a camera or stylus, only being able to use one application at a time, no USB port, and so on.
But I'm sure such issues are much better understood and articulated by others so if you haven't already read a load of reviews you might want to check out:
- Phil Bradleys first impressions
- Impressively comprehensive review at UberGizmo
- Guardian PDA blog review
Moral Issues:The second point my bloke made whilst sitting on the sofa with his morning cup of tea was something of a shock, but has evidently attracted quite a bit of recent news coverage so I'm not sure how I missed it. But basically the conditions in the Chinese factories where the iPads, and seemingly various other Apple products, are manufactured are appalling and the pressure of the work and the way employees are treated has led to several suicides amongst the workers.
This leads me to ask myself - are all the technical issues irrelevant when you have to consider the moral ones?
We all know that questionable morals in business are common place and are usually brought to light where huge high profile companies are involved. If McDonalds had not been so huge would they have caught Eric Schlosser's attention and been forced by public pressure to address some of the issues raised?
Apparently by way of reacting to the bad press Apple have now announced that the factory workers will be given a (small) cut of the profits from iPad sales. The high profile of the product is apparently the catalyst for getting the factory conditions addressed, and perhaps support for the iPad after this recent increase in wages could be the right moral choice? Or better still, perhaps a whole load of people writing to Apple expressing commitment to buying the iPad, but only after further improvements have been made, would have a bit of an impact?
Consumer pressure is a powerful thing - perhaps if Apple clean up their act other companies will follow suit and perhaps if pressure is applied in the right places the working conditions, not only the pay, will be addressed.
In the mean time are you put off purchasing an iPad because of the recent news?