Wow. Just….wow. Even the haters have to admit that the amount of speculation about the iPad after it was announced is nothing short of astonishing. Just a few short days have brought word (or rumors) of front facing camera cutouts, software calls for video chat (both full screen and in a window overlay – basic multi-tasking anyone?), the ability to put 6 icons in the dock, the ability to save downloaded files, and more. All of these beg the question: WTF?
If some/all of these things are already baked in, why didn’t Steve announce them during the keynote? I can come up with four plausible answers:
1) The features/functionality are not yet polished enough to be considered ready to show. We know Steve is a perfectionist, and we know that no iPads will ship for 60 days or so. That gives Apple’s team a fair amount of time to polish these features and introduce them in time for the actual product launch.
1a) Some of these features/functionality will be introduced as part of a larger OS overhaul which would presumably bring far broader updates. Yup, I’m talking OS 4.0 here. Even if 4.0 were 100% ready now, think of it this way: 4.0 – especially if it does bring true multi-tasking – will require us all to learn something new and interact with our iPhones, iPod Touches, and finally our iPads in very new and perhaps very different ways. Maybe even mindblowing-ly different.
Stay with me here.
So maybe, just maybe, Steve wanted to introduce the iPad with “only” OS 3.x to make it as familiar to us – upon introduction – as possible; to let our minds spin over the iPad’s hardware, the software tweaks, and the possibilities alone. And then, at a later date – possibly even before the iPad goes on sale, we’ll get word of another big Apple announcement: a show dedicated entirely to OS 4.0 which of course would be available on the iPad at launch.
2) These features and functionality, in particular the camera, would come in a future model which for whatever reason Steve decided to hold back from us for the RevA model.
3) These features/functionality relate more to the next version of the iPhone, and of course are baked into the OS since the same code underpins both platforms.
Whatever the case, all of this leaves some sizzle on the table for down the road. Rev B in a year? Additional (minor) features for launch to re-ignite enthusiasm? OS4.0 sometime between now and launch?
Personally I’m going with #1A above. The more I think about it, the more likely it seems.
What do you think?