Four reasons why I won’t be clinging onto the edge of my seat for Wednesday’s Apple event

This Wednesday 27th January 2009, Steve Jobs will allegedly unveil the latest Apple creation, another step in the future of personal computing and, according to him, it will be “the most important thing I’ve ever done“.  And it’s fair to say the media are interested too with rumours flying across the blogosphere like propositions on the eve of Armageddon.  Now, I like gadgets as much as the next man, perhaps more, but something within me can’t quite get beyond “curious” to “rabid” as most of the Apple fanboys seem to be this week.  Searching deep within my device-addled soul, I found four reasons why…

1. It can’t live up to they hype
Can it?  There’s been so much talk about what this device will be able to do (a new medium for news, playing games, cure cancer, turn back time) and how many industries it’s going to save (publishing, television, pigeon racing) that it can’t do ALL of that.  Surely.  Remember all the excitement over Google Wave (granted Apple doesn’t really share the same ideas on ‘beta’) and how quickly that faded away when we could actually play with it?  In fact, I’ll bet that on first look the Apple device will probably seem like something of a disappointment.

2. Whatever it is, I won’t be able to afford one.
Now this is just a sad fact of my personal situation than a commentary on the device itself but at a reported price of $1000 I, and many others, will simply not be able to join in on the big Apple party this week.  Prices will come down over time and eventually I might get a job that will give me such a disposable income but at least for now it’s not a £100 iPod nano – it’s a long term investment.

3. Version 1.0s are never that good.
Remember the first generation iPod?  Here’s a picture to remind you.  It wasn’t that great.  I mean, it had decent functionality and a fair amount of memory but it wasn’t the ubiquitous device that it has since become.  What about the iPhone?  Yes, it was revolutionary in its form and function but it was only a year later when the second version rolled around and Apple opened its doors to external developers and 3rd party apps that it really became the breakthrough device that it now is.  My point here is that it takes time to develop these products, to build the ecosystem and to work out all the rough edges.  The iTablet 1.0 cannot escape this fact.

4. I’m still figuring out my iPhone
I think if I got another gadget right now it would just be overwhelming.  I’m still working through the thousands of permutations of different possible functions for my phone.  For example, I just spent £1.19 to turn it into a fully-functional DAB radio, £1.79 to turn it into a fully-functioning remote control for any application on my Mac (and ultimately TV) and 59p to measure and control my sleep patterns ensuring I achieve maximum sleep quality every night.  What else can be done with an iTablet that can’t be done with the iPhone?

Of course, I’ll still be tuning in to find out what it is.  And maybe I’ll be suitably blown away, who knows, maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised and be able to afford one.  I officially lay down the gauntlet to Cupertino to surprise me.  But to quote Great Expectations itself:

“Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.”

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