Is the iPad kosher for Passover? That's one of the questions David Letterman predicted people will ponder as they wait in line for Apple's latest toy on Saturday.
The CBS Late Show funnyman had a field day with his version of beta testing with the tablet computer on Thursday, flipping through photos, accidentally switching it off, licking it, and joking that you have to coat your fingers with magnetic dust to use its touchscreen. Letterman also suggested a lead apron to protect from all the radiation.
'What Is It?'
"You're not buying an unnecessary electronic device," said Letterman as he viewed random photos of children stored on his iPad. "You're buying a family."
Also on the Top Ten List of questions to ask while waiting for an iPad were three different incarnations of "what the hell is this thing?", perhaps tying into real public confusion about where it fits into the consumer market. The groundbreaking device straddles the MP3, electronic reader, and netbook computer genres.
"If people are waiting online for it already, they don't care what it does," said pop culture commentator Paula Edgar. "The buzz is out there and the price point is much lower than people expected. They know it does what an iPod does, but it's bigger and with more functionality."
On the same night over at Comedy Central, The Colbert Report's Stephen Colbert, who said he sold one of his kidneys to get the device, showed off a supposedly little-known app that allows the iPad to make salsa.
It's all money in the bank for Apple, which enjoyed months of free publicity leading up to the iPad's January launch with endless speculation about the size, nature and name of the product, making it the most eagerly awaited tablet since Moses delivered the Ten Commandments.
"Apple, the brand, is definitely a part of pop culture," said consumer-devices analyst Avi Greengart of Current Analysis. "There was a whole Simpson's episode about Lisa's desire for a Mapple myPod and myPhone."
An Apple MacBook was also prominently placed on the HBO comedy Sex And The City as the lead character, Carrie Bradshaw, typed her advice column.
Greengart said it would be surprising if Apple hadn't given Letterman and Colbert iPads.
"Product placement ahead of a significant product launch is a tactic that pretty much every consumer-oriented product vendor tries," he said. Nokia does a particularly good job of seeding music videos with its products."
Edgar said that while middle class, mostly white Americans will likely be the early adopters of the iPad, "in diverse communities people are going to wait and see what kind of glitches there are and whether there is any kind of price drop, which probably won't happen for six months to a year."
But she said that, ultimately, those on tighter budgets might still choose the more expensive iPad over a Kindle e-reader that is half the price "because it does more."
Posted: 2010-04-03 @ 9:24am PT
OK SJ. If you're gonna do it, do it right the first time. Release an iPad with the full functionality of a laptop & make it at least as big as your laptop screen. I know, I know, doesn't follow the capitalist formula, but hey at least in a couple of years when everyone upgrades to what they really want we'll have a lot more E-cycle material. Yay!