Apple's iPad - A Day in the Life of a New Product Launch

I've just returned from Apple's launch of the new iPad. Am exhausted from the anticipation and the intensity of the event. For a full analysis of the iPad, please check out the blog posts from my colleagues James McQuivey and Charles Golvin. See yesterday's blog. They were really dead on with their comments. I'm sure they'll post more today.

I was there so I got to touch the big iPod Touch-esque iPad. Curved edges. Not too heavy. Great video resolution - if there is HD video. (Watching full screen low resolution YouTube clips posted by European soccer fans - average). Baseball isn't my thing, but the MLB app with integrated video - looked sweet.

- Browsing - good.

- Photos - I like taking photos and I like slide shows so this was one of my favorite features - the iLife-esque photo slidesshows with music. For me as a photographer, this would be more about showing photos than creating the slide shows on the device - fun way to share with friends. Apple - if you're listening - next on my wishlist is iLife photo editing on one of these devices. I want to travel with this device, transfer photos from my fat Nikon to this, delete, edit and then sync back to my computer at home so I can then sync to my Apple TV ... could you see a mini-iLife for $9.99 for this device please?

I have two other use cases for new portable multi-media devices: Facebook and Scrabble. Facebook experience? Ok, but there is potential. No camera so I'm not creating on this device - more consuming and reacting to posts of friends. Scrabble? This was cool. I LOVE Scrabble on the iPhone even better than the original board game. I can absolutely imagine playing head to head with friends and passing this around on a plane or even at home. A little small to be a table-top game board, but it has potential for more than racing and shooter games targeted at men.

Typing? Apple taught me to type on a touchscreen. My hands were a bit small for the portrait format. I could see posting small things - like Facebook updates. I'd have to move to the keyboard probably to create a document. {They wrapped text around a giraffe's neck in a document ... this was impresssive to me for some reason.)

Here's a few photos under the "Day in the Life" theme -

This is my bengal Beckham before the event. He's hoping the new tablet will have a larger form factor than the mini and be even warmer when plugged in. Hard to squeeze his 14 lb body on to either the Mac Mini or Apple TV - he wants something bigger.

Beck on mini

 This is the line to get in before the doors open - I've been to rock concerts where I felt safer. Happy not to be small on this day. I had to leverage all of the body checking skills I learned with years of playing ice hockey to both get in the door and get a seat. Even Gavin Newsom - our mayor - got a worse seat. No favorites from Apple. Guy behind me in line to demo was President of a multi-billion dollar media company.

Outside

This is inside Yerba Buena. Steve is sitting in the chair. Gives the impression that this is a device one would use at home. Will be interesting to see the advertising that Apple eventually does - how and where they show people using the device. You can also see the "glow" of laptop screens everywhere. A wireless connection? Oh my gosh ... press fighting over the limited bits of bandwidth. No amount of bandwidth could have satisfied the appetite of this crowd. From my perspective, AT&T held up today ... I tweeted with no problem.

Inside

These guys (below) brought their own bandwidth - good idea.
 

Apple sat trucks

This is obviously Steve Jobs. Walt Mossberg has his back to me. Walt had been standing, but then he sat on the table to see how well he could type with the device in his lap. We happened to be demo'ing iPads near one another when suddenly camera flashes started going and someone stepped on my foot. I looked up to see the one and only Steve Jobs not a meter away from me. (As a one time EE, this is one of the reasons I live in the Bay Area as do my techie friends ... to be at the "center of it" so to speak. He's one of our idols and to see him up close and in person ....) Walt was asking questions I wouldn't dare ask ... maybe when I'm Walt's age and have his following, I will have more courage.

Steve

The conversation? I'll paraphrase ... this is not the actual dialogue.

Walt: "Steve, you're looking good."

Steve: "Thank you. And thank you for coming."

(I'm trying to get Walt MossPuppet images out of my head - damn you CG)

Walt: "So, Steve, like what is up with this name, 'iPad'?"

Steve: "It goes with the series of devices." More dialogue here and then basically, "Can you spell 'iPod'?" I'm thinking, "yeah, he's got a point." Steve and Apple can create a category, create a name, create demand - doesn't matter what it is called.

Walt: "So, tell me why I am discarding a perfectly good Kindle whereby the connectivity is bundled with the content for this more expensive device ... and by the way, how much do the books cost because you didn't say?"

Steve: "First, you can read this in the dark." I thought, good point. re Pricing ... Steve didn't say, but he's shown in the past he can deliver the volume it takes to get good pricing. I'm not worried, but will leave that analysis to my colleague James McQuivey. See his latest post.