A personal point of view on the iPad: it's a nice toy, but it doesn't seem like an essential tool.
I got my iPad in the US, a while before the UK launch, so I've been using it for a few weeks now. I loved it when I got it, but now I've had time to live with it and consider how useful it really is. This is just my opinion as a user and, of course, as Nokia is an important client, my views may be biased.
It's great for:
- surfing the web
- using as a video/music player
- looking at photos (The Guardian Eyewitness app is fantastic)
- updating/checking social networking sites
- carrying between meetings in the office so you can check your email and diary on the hoof
It's not great for:
- making / reading documents
- typing anything longer than a couple of lines. (For example, it would be too much of a pain to type this post on the iPad. And the predictive text is infuriating - why should a machine know better than me what word I'm thinking of?)
- anything fiddly - cutting pasting, editing, etc
- the 3G connectivity just doesn't seem to work as well as my Nokia E72 - the iPad is much, much slower to find a connection.
- using on the bus (because you feel like a twat).
- camera (still or video)
- ability to make phone calls
So, all this means that despite my loving the iPad for its feel and look, I find that it doesn't replace either my phone or my laptop. There are things they can do (things that I actually need) that the iPad simply can't. So it becomes just a third thing to carry around, and as the novelty wears off, I'm finding that I carry it around less.
Perhaps I'm missing the point and the iPad isn't meant to replace the phone or the laptop, but until its functionality is extended, it feels to me like an interim product.
Having said that my kids still love it and fight to get their hands on it. There's something about the form factor and interface that they find magical and fascinating. They're the consumers of the future so maybe it's me that's out of step here.