As someone who has been involved in the computer industry for 15 years, I will let you guys in on a little secret: I have never bought hardware from Apple. Seriously.
The thing is this: I don’t like how Steve Jobs tightly controls the hardware. For example, with an iPhone...what if I want to install an application that isn’t part of Steve Jobs’ walled garden (The iPhone application store?). Well, I can’t unless I break in to (“jailbreak”) my own iPhone.
I’m sorry, but I shouldn’t have to do something that voids the warranty of my product and risks bricking it just to download and run an application on it.
My Nokia 5310 has one thing going for it: I can download and put any J2ME (Java for mobiles) game or application on it and it runs like a charm. I have a nice Spanish-English dictionary, for example, and didn’t have to pay a dime for it. Ditto with the open-source games I have on my phone.
As for the iPad, my question is this: What does an iPad have that a netbook doesn’t have? Like a netbook, the iPad doesn’t fit in my pocket. Unlike a netbook, the iPad doesn’t have a real keyboard and costs twice as much. With a standard under-$300 Dell Mini 10, unlike an iPad, I can run all of the applications I run on Windows, including a full C and *NIX-like development environment. If I don’t like Windows, I can run Linux. Or even MacOS X...wait, take that back, Apple made a change to the latest Snow Leopard kernel so it won’t boot on an Atom processor.
Who besides Apple would be able to get away with deliberately disabling their software on hardware customers want to run it on?