I see that Mary Jo Foley has confessed to buying an iPad and I have to confess that I bought one too. Like Mary Jo, it is my first Apple product ever, and like Mary Jo, so far I love it. Or more accurately, I love it when I can get it away from the rest of the family who love it too. Just a few observations, many of which echo Mary Jo’s:
If I had to sum it up, the iPad is an incredible amount of fun. There may be a business use in there somewhere but I am not looking for it.
I do wonder how Microsoft missed this market. This is what Microsoft’s Origami (aka UMPC) should have been but wasn’t, perhaps because it came down from the PC world instead of up from smartphones. As Mary Jo observes, Microsoft is apparently going to try again with Windows 7 or Windows Embedded "slates", and we’ll have to see if they can break their persistent run of problems in the "gadget space," but a company that not long ago had such a large chunk of the smartphone market should have seen this coming, particularly since they did not have any partners in this market to slow them down.
Wolfgang Gruener has the eulogy for Origami at TG Daily in “The UMPC dies. And no one notices“:
Ok, let’s not be so dramatic. It really depends on your view if the UMPC is actually dead or alive. However, the idea of the Ultra Mobile PC as it was pitched to us in 2006, as an ultra cool and always connected companion that is with us anytime and anywhere, is gone for good. Expect the current UMPC generation to leave the general retail market very soon.
During a recent conversation with Intel, which has been one of the first companies to show UMPC concepts and unveil some prototype devices a little over a year a ago, we learned that the initial concept of the UMPC has failed. While the form factor of the UMPC won’t go away, these devices have been less appealing to the mass market than expected and have been redirected to aim at the business market, for example field technicians who use bulky Tablet PCs today. If Intel has its way, then what once was the mass market UMPC will morph into much smaller and less powerful “mobile Internet devices,” short “MID”.
So, if you have been dreaming about that cool little tablet you can bring on vacation instead of dragging that notebook bag along, continue to dream. While MIDs will be more affordable, come in a smaller package and offer more connectivity options than today’s UMPCs, they will be far less capable in terms of processing power and storage capabilities.
Everyone wanted the product that was misleadingly hyped, but it couldn’t be delivered. There’s much more by following the link including speculation as to whether smartphones actually leave any market room for the the MID.
It looks like the Orgami (AKA UMPC) form factor portable PC sponsored by Microsoft and Intel is getting a second chance – Ina Fried at CNET:
Get ready for Origami take two. While Microsoft’s minitablet effort may not be quite where the software maker had hoped, the project is ready for another cameo.
This spring, Microsoft attracted huge buzz for the Origami prior to its launch, but as details emerged and the products hit the market, they were roundly criticized as overpriced and underpowered.
Next month, at CES, Microsoft will be back with another round of the tiny computers. The latest tablets, code-named Vistagami because of their Windows Vista support, also will come in a wider range of looks, including some models with keyboards. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is expected to mention some of the new devices in his CES keynote as part of a broader discussion of the new types of computers that will be enabled with Vista, including new all-in-one PCs and other esoteric designs.
But it’s unclear whether the new crop of devices will do that much to address the two biggest criticisms of the category: price and battery life.
More details by following the link, but adding Vista or a keyboard isn’t enough in my opinion. The good news is that so far a viral marketing campaign hasn’t been spotted.
Feedback from customers who have bought Samsung Electronics’s Q1 device suggests that a pre-launch teaser campaign by Microsoft might have backfired, a Samsung executive said Monday.
The Q1 went on sale in the U.S. in May and is based on Microsoft’s Origami platform. Microsoft collaborated with Intel to create Origami, which combines a tablet edition of Windows XP with a pen-based tablet computer similar in specification to a laptop computer.
“Feedback has been quite mixed,” said David Steel, vice president of marketing for Samsung’s digital media business, in a briefing with reporters at the company’s headquarters in Suwon, south of Seoul.
Consumers who have encountered the Q1 with no prior knowledge are generally positive about the device while those who read a lot about the Origami platform prior to seeing the Q1 have been more negative, he said.
“Particularly from someone [with prior] understanding of Origami, [they have been] saying ‘We expected this and expected that’ and comparing specification and price with laptop computers,” said Steel.
Of course, that was the pundit reaction too, when the marketing fog had cleared. It’s always tough when the hype writes checks that the product can’t cash.