Two geeks watch the Apple announcement

Chris Dunphy (link) and I were 2/3 of the competitive team when we worked together at Palm. We did a chat session this evening watching a replay of the iPad announcement. With Chris's permission, here it is. This won't be of interest to all readers, but I thought some of you might like to see the raw reactions of two geeks watching Apple perform...

Michael Mace: Thought of the day -- this might be Steve's last major new product category launch. Probably is, even if he lives to be 90. Not many more categories for him to attack.
Chris Dunphy: There is still room for an iCar....
Michael Mace: ;-)
Chris Dunphy: That is one old-school industry that is crying out to be reinvented too. It could use his touch.
Chris Dunphy: Steve is looking good.
Chris Dunphy: Largest mobile devices company in the world now.
Michael Mace: Nokia will hate that.
Michael Mace: Entertainment device, as expected.
Chris Dunphy: Netbooks aren't better at anything. *laugh*
Michael Mace: Looks like you'd expect.
Michael Mace: Gee, Steve, the first thing you say is that you can CHANGE THE BACKGROUND PHOTO???? Who cares?
Chris Dunphy: Bigger frame around the screen that I expected.
Michael Mace: Need room for your thumbs to hold it.
Chris Dunphy: I notice it has an appstore. Of course.
Michael Mace: Of course. So far no surprises at all.
Chris Dunphy: The UI looks gorgeous. But again, not a surprise.
Chris Dunphy: If the two-hand typing experience feels good, that will be very nice.
Michael Mace: I am waiting for some sort of paint/draw app...
Michael Mace: Steve is holding back on the big stuff.
Chris Dunphy: Make the news scarce.
Michael Mace: So far the announcement is underwhelming, but I think he is setting us up.
Chris Dunphy: On the other hand... Fewer features, nail the experience is the Apple way.
Chris Dunphy: I am lusting.
Michael Mace: If you weren't, Steve would have utterly failed.
Chris Dunphy: I am guessing it will use the same iPhone / iPod cable to sync / charge. If so - it will be the perfect front-passenger-seat device for while we are nomadic.
Michael Mace: Ahhh, nice!
Chris Dunphy: Particularly once TomTom or Magellan optimizes a navigation app for it. Wow.
Michael Mace: Good point.
Chris Dunphy: I wonder how long until someone comes out with a dash mount....
Michael Mace: You should do it. That could be your new company.
Michael Mace: But beware the lawsuits for distracted driving.
Chris Dunphy: HD playback - screen must be at least 720p?
Michael Mace: Weight is okay, but a bit heavy for reading comfortably.
Chris Dunphy: Custom silicon.
Michael Mace: Woah, their own processor. Wow!
Chris Dunphy: Their own CPU. Sweet.
Chris Dunphy: 64GB of flash. Nice.
Michael Mace: The first part of the announcement that shocked me. I expected their own support chips, but not the CPU.
Michael Mace: Ten hours of battery life is also killer, if it's real.
Michael Mace: That is the payoff for the custom silicon, I believe.
Chris Dunphy: Accelerometer and Compass... But what about GPS?
Michael Mace: Good point.
Chris Dunphy: No camera.
Chris Dunphy: No videoconferencing.
Michael Mace: Bummer.
Chris Dunphy: Ah, AppStore time.
Michael Mace: It's not an info pad, not at all.
Michael Mace: Pixal doubling. Sound familiar?
Chris Dunphy: 100% app combatibilty is a win for the developers.
Michael Mace: Yes, the app compat is critical.
Chris Dunphy: Developers will love this. Great for showing off.
Michael Mace: Nice how the app base gets leveraged to move them into new markets.
Chris Dunphy: New SDK out today. No waiting.
Michael Mace: Microsoft gets lapped today.
Chris Dunphy: Users do NOT need to re-buy their iPhone apps either. Sync and go.
Chris Dunphy: That is hugely appealing - it makes software an investment, not disposable.
Michael Mace: Nice point!
Michael Mace: Apple makes users happy by giving away additional copies of developer apps (being a cynic).
Chris Dunphy: With Palm - if you bought a new device, you often had to shed your old apps. I was trying to fix that....
Michael Mace: Yeah, and those Palm apps were in the same device category. Very bad to break stuff.
Chris Dunphy: Over the past year I have gotten into the habit of reading all my news via the New York Times iPhone app - in bed every morning when I wake up. This so fits the usage model I have for how I want to consume news...
Michael Mace: Nice. Will you still do it when they start charging?
Chris Dunphy: I think so... Depends on the price, and on what else is free.
Michael Mace: Nice, a painting app.
Chris Dunphy: That it syncs between iPhone and iPad is key too.
Chris Dunphy: I am still wondering at the screen resolution. An iPhone pixel doubled is just 640x960. That isn't great.
Michael Mace: They may be doing more than doubling. It would be hard to tell on a projected screen.
Chris Dunphy: It looks like when it is doubled there is still a black frame too.
Michael Mace: Now the beef.
Chris Dunphy: The print world gets reinvented.
Chris Dunphy: "Stand on Amazon's shoulders"
Michael Mace: Or on their faces.
Chris Dunphy: Either way - crushing them.
Chris Dunphy: Cherie: "I might actually get into reading books again."
Chris Dunphy: Indeed. I feel the same.
Chris Dunphy: The iPad is a Kindle killer. It is also Kindle compatible - thanks to the iPhone Kindle app. I wonder if Amazon regrets that now??
Michael Mace: No, they want to run the bookstore for everyone. If anything, they should have been pushing the app harder.
Chris Dunphy: True.
Michael Mace: The key is the terms for the bookstore. Haven't heard that yet.
Michael Mace: It's not a given that Apple's bookstore will be better than Amazon's. They have a long head start.
Michael Mace: The killer vs. Kindle, though, is that you can do both books and other forms of media. What I want to see is the video store.
Chris Dunphy: Yep. And books in color.
Michael Mace: Hmmmmmmm. iWork for the tablet.
Chris Dunphy: They are using ePub as a format for ebooks. Is that open? What is the DRM?
Chris Dunphy: I expected iWork browsing / viewing on the iPad... But if they turn it into a productivity tool....
Michael Mace: Except a tablet pretending to be a PC is a bad PC. Have they rethought the usage paradigm?
Michael Mace: Presentations make more sense than WP and spresdsheet.
Michael Mace: I wonder if it has video out? If so, it could be a really nice presentation device.
Chris Dunphy: This is a great oportunity to break people from the old Word / Excel UI paradigms.
Chris Dunphy: On a tablet, people won't have any expectations of things working a different way.
Chris Dunphy: No filesystem confusion.
Chris Dunphy: If iWork can be done using the SDK.... Imagine what other developers will be able to do. Serious apps indeed.
Michael Mace: Yup.
Michael Mace: If you accept that on-screen keyboard is acceptable, you can make it into a PC.
Chris Dunphy: A PC without the baggage of the past.
Michael Mace: uh-huh.
Chris Dunphy: I wonder if they will let apps out of the sandbox.
Michael Mace: If they want to replace PCs, they need to.
Chris Dunphy: Having every app in a silo is very limiting for more advanced functionality.
Michael Mace: Maybe this is more about killing Windows than about creating a new category.
Michael Mace: How much is Steve a creature of his background and past experiences?
Chris Dunphy: Needs multitasking.... But multitasking done right.
Michael Mace: I mean, really, a spreadsheet for a tablet. The app that lends itself least to a touchscreen.
Chris Dunphy: Though - having a spreadsheet you can interact with on a tablet is huge for people doing work on the go.
Michael Mace: Sure, like Docs to Go.
Chris Dunphy: Even if "work" is just tracking stats in your garden.
Chris Dunphy: With a screen big enough to interact with.
Michael Mace: Not going into the garden with a $700 device.
Chris Dunphy: *laugh*
Michael Mace: If they are looking to kill netbooks, they need productivity apps. Have to replace them.
Chris Dunphy: Live life!
Michael Mace: $9.99 each GUTS the Office business model.
Michael Mace: Charge a bunch for the hardware and give away the apps.
Michael Mace: But also reduces developer incentives to do serious apps.
Chris Dunphy: Connect to a projector...
Michael Mace: This feels more and more like a flanking move to kill the PC.
Chris Dunphy: I wonder if that will work for media playback too.
Chris Dunphy: I can see a 27" desktop version of this.
Michael Mace: Some models with 3G and some without. Okay.
Michael Mace: 250 megs a month? That is a joke for video.
Michael Mace: Unlimited plan for $29 is better, but what is the limit?
Michael Mace: On ATT?? They do not have the bandwidth to handle that.
Michael Mace: Yeah, no wonder they throw in free WiFi.
Michael Mace: No contract = no subsidy.
Chris Dunphy: No subsidy = not carrier locked??
Michael Mace: Unlocked device, nice.
Michael Mace: But you will easily overrun your data plan if you use a lot of video.
Chris Dunphy: $29 for unlimited is cheap.
Chris Dunphy: 250MB is the email and browsing plan.
Michael Mace: But what's the hidden limit? You know there will be one.
Chris Dunphy: $30 is media consumption.
Chris Dunphy: There isn't on the iPhone.
Michael Mace: This will encourage much more video-watching by users.
Michael Mace: I am disappointed -- I expected a media store, not just a bookstore.
Chris Dunphy: "allmost all" - Not 100% compatible?
Michael Mace: Something will break. Always happens.
Michael Mace: Don't want liability.
Chris Dunphy: True
Michael Mace: I think Apple planted the $1,000 price rumor.
Chris Dunphy: Yep
Michael Mace: Ahh, okay, $499 is about right.
Chris Dunphy: $499
Chris Dunphy: Want.
Michael Mace: Bu that will be a stripped model.
Chris Dunphy: True.
Chris Dunphy: How much for 64GB.
Chris Dunphy: Ah - 3G is a lot.
Michael Mace: Yup, no subsidy for the 3G hardware.
Michael Mace: That's okay. They still hit the right price boundary (barely).
Chris Dunphy: 60 days.
Chris Dunphy: I bet there is at least $100 price drop for Christmas.
Michael Mace: Keyboard dock. Yes, this is about killing PCs.
Chris Dunphy: It is cheaper than the iPhone at launch.
Michael Mace: Yeah, and remember they needed to cut the price after they ate through the early adopters.
Chris Dunphy: Yep.
Michael Mace: But this is OK. It's a PC replacement, not a phone.
Chris Dunphy: Same plan this time.
Michael Mace: After all these years, it is still about killing Redmond.
Chris Dunphy: Does the keyboard dock go flat - that is an awkward shape to carry with you...
Michael Mace: You'll get third party stuff like Stowaway.
Michael Mace: They are reinventing the PC around touch. That's what this is.
Michael Mace: I picture Khan on the bridge of the ship, cursing at Kirk. Except Kirk's not getting away.
Michael Mace: To think that Microsoft tried to do this nine years ago, and blew it.
Chris Dunphy: It will be really interesting to dissect the SDK... If the SDK and apps are designed to scale up to higher resolutions, we will know for sure.
Michael Mace: I will be shocked if they are not.
Chris Dunphy: Ryan Block: "Yeah, you know, this video does a pretty good job of putting this stuff in perspective. iPad is pretty amazing — there, I said it."
Michael Mace: Suck-up.
Chris Dunphy: I need to see the video feed.
Michael Mace: He is misreading things about the third category. This isn't -- it's the eventual successor to the PC.
Chris Dunphy: The PC survives.... It just goes back to being a workstation for high end.
Michael Mace: Diminishing market over time.
Michael Mace: Just like laptops are displacing desktops. It's a continuum, but Apple has refreshed the restof the hardware base.
Michael Mace: But the market for PC apps is now officially trashed. The top price for a major app is $9.99
Michael Mace: How does an a big software company survive in that world? They don't.
Chris Dunphy: They keep selling to the workstation crowd that pays big bank.
Michael Mace: Except as a high-end professional app. On PC equivalent of workstations.
Chris Dunphy: A focused announcement - no new laptops, no iPhone OS 4.0....
Michael Mace: Yup. Wise of them, I think.
Chris Dunphy: Some big unanswered questions... Multitaksing? GPS? Filesystem / apps sharing data?
Michael Mace: Yup.
Chris Dunphy: HD video out?
Chris Dunphy: No "one more thing"....
Michael Mace: Bummer.
Chris Dunphy: " The AT&T network access can be purchased -- or canceled -- at any time directly from the iPad."
Chris Dunphy: The network is a big dumb pipe, with an on/off switch.
Chris Dunphy: I wonder if you get billed via iTunes. *laugh*
Michael Mace: Actually, a narrow dumb pipe.
Michael Mace: The wireless network cannot handle what millions of these devices will do to it.
Chris Dunphy: Accelerate WiMax and LTE deployments.
Michael Mace: Not enough.
Chris Dunphy: "I consider not supporting flash a feature, not a bug."
Michael Mace: Was the Flash quote from Steve?
Chris Dunphy: No - me.
Chris Dunphy: (In a Facebook thread)
Michael Mace: I can't imagine they can keep Flash and Java out now. It'll cripple them as a PC replacement.
Chris Dunphy: I think they will - for at least a year.
Chris Dunphy: Flash and Java = slow and crashy.
Chris Dunphy: And they want to control the runtime. Just like the iPhone.
Chris Dunphy: It is a walled garden still.
Chris Dunphy: Apple is the gatekeeper.
Chris Dunphy: You know - this is going to be head-to-head with Chrome OS.
Chris Dunphy: I can see a future play out just like the phone market.... The iPad dominates the high-end, and Googles Chrome OS powers the army of low-end.
Chris Dunphy: Microsoft is the one who gets left out.
Chris Dunphy: Watching the UI in action.... Nice.
Chris Dunphy: It's running iPhone OS 3.2.
Chris Dunphy: Wow - not even a 4.0 number jump.
Chris Dunphy: I wonder what is coming in 4.0 then. Interesting.
Chris Dunphy: The iPad could get a major upgrade come summer. Right after the competition starts chasing after where they are today.
Michael Mace: It will get harder and harder for them to keep all versions of the OS in sync.
Chris Dunphy: It will work with standard bluetooth keyboards. Score.
Chris Dunphy: Not much to keep in sync if the iPad and iPhone use the same OS.
Chris Dunphy: Good job for them accomplishing that.
Michael Mace: I guess you just have to design for the full range of hardware you'll be running on. It is more to test, though.