I can't be the only one underwhelmed by Apple's announcement of the iPad Air. Right?
I remember when Apple was a company that put innovation first. I remember when the company made solutions to problems consumers didn't even know they had, and thus the iPod, iPhone and iPad were born.
But now the company's hardware seems to be lagging, and they don't seem to be keeping up with the tablet market.
Instead of paying attention to the legitimate complaints users tend to have about the iPad and making sure the iPad Air fixed those problems, Apple just gives us a thinner, lighter tablet when the iPad is already one of the thinnest and lightest available.
The kicker is the iPad Air's price: Beginning at $499 and getting as high as $929. And since it's thin and seemingly fragile — and since it's pricey — people will want to protect their investment by buying a case.
Other than helping the accessories market, what problem does a slimmer, lighter iPad solve? Why not eliminate the need for a case altogether by making the iPad Air water-resistant, drop-resistant and equipped with internal shock protection? Do that, and Apple has a tablet that's, hardware-wise, ahead of the game.
For the asking price, Apple could at least give customers the option of expandable memory, which would make the iPad that much more enticing. It seems apparent there's a demand for this option since there's a 128GB model of the iPad Air. Alas, this wouldn't completely fit the company's desire to have everyone in the cloud, which opens up more revenue opportunities for Apple.
Apple's software has always been the hero of the company. When it's paired with its hardware, the devices Apple gives us are easy and smooth to use. But it's about time the iPad become a workhorse rather than a plaything, and the first step to that could be a version of iOS that introduces a file management system. Looking at the minor upgrades to the iPad Air, and realizing it comes at a premium price, Apple gives customers very little reason to upgrade.
Tablets will eventually surpass the notebook, and those tablets will need to be able to provide the tools customers need to do certain things. In other words, the tablet needs to shift from a gadget we use to consume to a tool we use to create.
And for $500 to $1,000, you'd think Apple would create an iPad that fulfills those needs. If they did, the company would be on its way to becoming an innovator again.