Can the iPad live up to the pre-order mania?

29 Mar 2010

As the Apple iPad appears to be flying off the pre-order shelf faster than it can be restocked, causing a delay in shipping for some customers until 12 April, analysts ask if the hype is sustainable.

US Apple fans were able to place pre-orders for the iPad since 27 March, which doesn’t officially go on sale in Apple stores until 3 April, but the sheer amount of pre-orders seem to be more than even Apple had expected.

Will the iPad live up to expectations?

This buildup to the release of the product resembles the hype before the initial revelation of its existence by CEO Steve Jobs back in January at the Apple Special Event, but observers will recall that initial excitement about hoped-for features including video conferencing, Flash support, multitasking and HDMI support left a divided camp, with some critics calling it nothing more than an oversized iPod touch.

Apps will make or break the iPad

Jobs believes that the path laid for the iPad by the 75m strong iPhone and iPod touch user base will ensure its adoption and success, but the New York Times reports that Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says that it’s all down to the apps.

“People are debating the use case for it, and the use case will be largely determined by the apps. A lot of people are still on the fence whether this is a legitimate market or not,” he told the New York Times.

Where users will see the case for buying an iPad, therefore, will be the kind of ones that work best with a large screen real estate and need the extra processor power for increased functionality and desktop syncing.

By Marie Boran

Photo: Apple’s iPad