Apple’s iPad: What do you think?

Apple introduced its iPad last week with plenty of fanfare. Meanwhile, a lot of “experts” (including my fellow RetailWire panelists and myself) got a chance to weigh in on a device that none of us has actually seen! Here’s my take:

Apple was smart to price the “starter” model of the iPad at $499, considering all the speculation of a $1000 price tag. But chances are good that early-adapters are going to pay hundreds more for the features they want. At the end of the day, I still wonder whether a $299 netbook with a broadband card (and cheaper data plan) will satisfy many potential customers.

I’m sure the iPad is beautifully designed (as with all Apple products) and will fly off the shelves, but I’m surprised by a couple of apparent shortcomings. For example, there is no video camera: Given the ubiquity of Skype and similar programs, this is a major shortcoming in terms of the iPad’s practical use. And aligning with AT&T for 3G connectivity is an odd choice given the controversy over their network problems.

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