Okay, after two nap-breaking phone calls and two emails, I'd best get this out of the way. There is no need for the iPad that I can think of. At least in my life.
In fact, Paul Thurrot savaged the product in his blog. Thurrot's a Windows guy but he certainly has more than his share of respect and support for Apple's various platforms. His Windows Weekly show on twit.tv can often be confused with an apple-centric show like macbreak weekly. And, if you look around, you'll see he's not in the minority on this point of view about the iPad. Technologically, it's just an oversized iPod Touch.
I don't own a mobile phone nor any 3G device that serves as a music/video player. Basically, I don't roam much, so I don't need one. And if I DO find myself somewhere outside the cave, my trusty Sony Clie PDA still does everything I need. I can read books on it (happily and even without leaving the house) and I have all kinds of databases that I access regularly ... shopping lists, company passwords, etc. So even if they gave me the high end iPad (which will hit $1200CDN when you add the accessories and service contracts ... before tax), I wouldn't use it. It offers me nothing I don't have here at the Castle of Confusion. And the low-end price-point version can be replaced by a 70 buck video player and a decent smart phone. That'll be about half the price of the entry-level iPad.
That said, and everybody agrees, the things will sell like hot cakes to the Apple Sheep. There's a cachet to having the latest niftiest bright shiny toy. And I'm okay with that.
There will be some benefits that will then accrue to me and mine. First, when v2 of the iPad comes out and corrects the lack of flash video, the lack of a camera, the idiotic non-16x9 ration display, the plan to make just about all the software an extra added cost and the current lack of software especially developed FOR the larger-than-iPod Touch screen (Doubling (really quadrupling) the smaller device's graphics will get old ... and complained about real quick), that's when the device will merit notice for buying. You can't have a v2 until after the first version has come out. Evolution needs time.
Also, the iPad's ability to be an eBook reader introduces more competition into THAT particular field. I was most interested in the iPad in the week's leading up to yesterday as a potential eReader for my mother. It's her turn for a decent birthday present this year and the family has ofted talked about getting her one. I was hoping that a colour-screened iPad would be just the right fit. Although I expected it would cost the better part of a grand to get one. Mom has an iPod Touch now, but finds the screen too small to read on. So, I had my dreams. I think at 1.5 pounds, it's a little heavy for her. So the iPad is out as a solution and we go back to deciding between a Sony product or the international Kindle. BUT, the best part is that pricing on those products will have to drop, albeit not dramatically, because of the new gorilla in the room.
A penny saved...