Speaking Seriously About the iPad

In January this year, I wrote about why the iPad matters. There, I pointed that a lot of changes would come to the digital world since it appeared.

Recently, the iPad was officially launched in Brazil. Now you don’t need to import it and pay huge taxes for it; you can go to a local shop and buy it, paying the huge taxes for it.

There is only one problem with it: All reviews that people post here about it are translations of American articles, saying how awesome the new iBook Store is, how now you don’t need to carry books around, how you can easily watch your favourite TV series on Hulu and get movies from Netflix, buy the soundtrack of the movie or the new album of your favourite artist on iTunes Store… In short, all the good things about having a slim notebook where you won’t type much.

The problem is: Nothing of this is available here in Brazil. So, in the end, the iPad is nothing but a huge iPod Touch. And when you point that, people get pissed.

I mentioned that on Twitter to someone that posted a translated article from IT World (I think, can’t really remember right now) which mentioned all those good services you can access but are only available in very selected places of the planet. Their answer? “The iPad is an awesome device and people that say it’s a huge iPod never used it or don’t like it ;)” (yes, smiley face and all.)

First of all, I used it already. My aunt have one and I’m still trying to figure out how she uses it. I like the bigger virtual keyboard compared to the iPod Touch, and the huge screen to check websites, but that’s it — exactly what a bigger iPod Touch would do. Second, if you read my original post, yes, I do like the iPad because what it means. So neither points were valid, to start with. But this guy had to defend how awesome the device was, doesn’t he?

That’s when I pointed that a small netbook would do the same, for much less money ’cause, in the end, all you have is internet access to read the local newspaper online. And any device with connectivity would suffice, including a recent iPod Touch (as long as you have a wifi around) or even an iPone 3GS, which would do much more than the iPad for around the same price.

So no, it’s not that I don’t like the iPad or never used it. The problem is the tiny minded people with money that don’t want to share their things with the world and put geological barriers on a bondariless technology. And while those barriers are still up, the iPad would be just a huge iPod Touch on everywhere except the USA.

PS: Just one thing: I used the iTunes Store in Australia and as a digital distribution system, it’s awesome. The problem is that you get crippled versions of most albums instead of the full thing. One example is the soundtrack of “Across the Universe”. I bought it from iTunes Store Australia, only to find a few minutes later that the American version have 5 or 6 tracks more. So the barrier is still there.