Why I Didn't Buy an iPad 2By Dave Sobel | Print
Apple's iPad 2 went on sale Friday, but I wasn't waiting in line to buy one, even though my love for Apple products is no secret. Here's why.
No, I didn’t get in line for an iPad 2.
I usually get a lot of heat for my love of Apple products. My friend Richard Tubb even just poked fun at me on Facebook when he bought his first Macbook that I shouldn’t be laughing at him across the Atlantic. My Apple history is pretty long. I’ve had G3, G4, and G5 Macs before moving to Intel Macs. I owned a 13-inch MacBook, a 15-inch MacBook Pro (my current larger laptop), two different Intel Mac Pro towers. I owned an original iPhone, an iPhone 3GS (which is still in use as my UK Mobile), and my iPhone 4. I bought an iPad WiFi which once my preordered iPad 3G arrived became my wife’s iPad. She’s had a G4, her current still-in-production G5, and a MacBook.
We own a Time Capsule, an AirPort Extreme, an Apple TV, and I carry an AirPort Express in my laptop bag. To say we’re Apple users is probably something of an understatement.
For my Microsoft friends, I always remind about a few details. First, my entire corporate infrastructure is Windows Server 2008 (both RTM and R2), with Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint pulling us all together. Every Mac has a Windows 7 license within VMWare Fusion (as well as Office 2010), and every Mac also has a copy of Office 2011 for Mac. On top of all that, I have a pair of Alienware PCs. My Aurora is my beast of a gaming PC, and this blog is being written on my Alienware M11x, which is my new little 11-inch laptop running Windows 7. We also have a Windows Home Server at home which is the heart of the network, and an Xbox 360 with Kinect. I’m a shill for both companies.
But back to the Apple gear. I like to believe that while I’m a fan of Apple’s gear, I’m not a "prophet" for the Cult of Mac. I don’t push my choices on others, often recommend Windows, and almost exclusively recommend Windows in business. My philosophy is "the right tool for the right job", and for me, I work best with a combination of tools.
And thus, I’m passing on the iPad 2 right now. I love my iPad. I pre-ordered happily and since buying it, it’s with me daily. I’ve taken trips without my laptop because of the iPad, linked it to my corporate network and run ConnectWise on it. I carry it around my office as my notebook, I carry it with me in the field for meetings, and I use it on the couch continually.
But despite the "revolutionary" tag, there isn’t enough of a difference between my current iPad and an iPad 2 today to make me buy it. I bought iPhone 4’s for my wife and I thinking we would use video calling, and with the exception of the one time we tested it, we’ve never used it. I don’t see myself using my iPad as a camera, and since I’m not anticipating using it for video conferences, the cameras aren’t enticing me.
Smaller? It’s not like I’ve complained that my iPad is bulky.
Faster processors? This is the one feature that gave me pause. I don’t complain that my iPad is slow. It’s solid, usable, and reliable. Perhaps I’ll see applications that will require this, but I’m used to the fact that there will always be a faster device. Every few months, a new, faster machine comes along. If you have to own every one, you’ll go bankrupt.
The data plan gave me pause. iPad 2 lists only AT&T’s new data plans, and since I activated my iPad 3G during the short period AT&T offered unlimited data, I have the flat-fee data plan. It’s unclear if I can transfer this to a new device. (To be fair, I haven’t asked. ) Unlimited data is important to me – I’m grandfathered in on my iPhones, my Verizon MiFi, and my iPad. Like a good managed service, I’m happy to pay a single price to not think about data. Since that option isn’t available, it gives me pause.
So there we are. I didn’t see an overwhelming reason to buy one. If I didn’t own an iPad already, I’d be buying an iPad 2. The device is a clear winner, yet again.
But like all technology, there will always be a new, better one. Buy your laptop, there will be a new one. Buy your TV, there will be a new one. And buy your iPad, there will be a new one. I’m passing on this particular generation.
I’ll probably end up buying the iPhone 5 this summer instead.
Dave Sobel is CEO of Evolve Technologies, a Virginia-based solution provider, and is regular contributor to Channel Insider.