By Harry McCracken | Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 9:57 am
The one place where the JooJoo has an obvious advantage over the iPad–for some people–is in screen real estate. It’s got a 12-inch display, versus the 9.7-incher on the iPad. So much else is so wrong with the JooJoo that a roomy screen can’t begin to compensate. But it got me thinking: Do we need iPads in different sizes and form factors? And could Apple already be thinking about the iPad as the beginning of a line of devices rather than a one-size-fits-all gadget?
It’s not surprising that the iPhone only comes in one form factor. Rumors about an iPhone Mini have been floating out there for eons, but with the iPhone 3G priced at $99, there may not be a slot for it Apple’s lineup. And a larger iPhone might well be too…large.
But the basic ideas behind the iPad are different, and more fungible. Some people might want an iPad that’s a bit smaller. Some might prefer one that’s a lot bigger. You’re going to be able to buy a keyboard dock that turns the iPad into a pseudodesktop, but maybe some folks would buy a real iPad desktop with a big screen. Or one (dare I say it?) in a clamshell case with a physical keyboard. (Okay, I don’t see Apple ever making a clamshell iPad–but if it did, there are people who’d buy one.)
Yes, yes–you don’t want a computer based on the iPad’s version of iPhone OS as your only desktop…or maybe at all just yet. But if the iPhone OS keeps improving at the same rate it has since Apple unveiled it a little over three years ago, there’s no reason why it might not be a plausible general-purpose operating system, capable of powering general-purpose computers. I don’t think it’s completely nuts to wonder if it’ll become Apple’s primary OS, available on devices of all sorts and sizes, while the Mac sticks around as a legacy item.
And even if most of this doesn’t happen, I wonder if Apple will make iPads in another size or two. Me, I might be interested in a JooJoo-sized version.
Here’s a crude, ugly mockup of an iPad Desk:
Does any of this make any sense at all, or am I suffering from a temporary bout of Irrational iPad Exuberance?