I am milking the iPad news as much as possible, but this is the end. Every innovation crushes one or two old industry, and iPad is no exception. Who will be declared obsolete?
It is the first obvious group of victims. The problem with netbooks is that they are not better at doing anything compared with iPad. Even the price point, the biggest advantage they have had so far, is eroding due to iPad's US$499 offer at the entry level. Even its most expensive model costs less than $900. High-end netbooks cost around $1,000. It is clear who the winner will be.
Kindle and its followers
The only advantage Kindle has over iPad is its incredible battery duration (1 week against iPad's maximum 10 hours). I personally have been a book person for my whole life, and I will buy an iPad over Kindle. It is because iPad allows me to distract. I cannot sustain my concentration over an hour just by reading a book. Sometimes I need to take a break, jot my notes down, and search for relevant information on the web – and iPad allows me to do them all.
Portable video player
Remember the DVD players with small LCD screen? They are all going to die. Bad news for Asian electronic industries clunking out those exotic players. Good news for frequent travelers who finally have a portable device with which they can spend the torturous time on the plane.
Digital photo frame
iPad does not have an SD card slot nor USB memory. But does it matter with iPad's 16GB or more storage? Besides, as my friend says, it is "a nice experience to view something/someone in the bed." Power-connected photo frames cannot do that, even if some of them can play videos and connect to the Internet.
Apple's own products cannot be spared from the coming tsunami either. Macbook Air is essentially an iPad with slightly larger screen and full-size keyboard. Unfortunately the keyboard is not detachable, the screen is not touch-sensitive, and the battery dies after a couple of hours. In hindsight, Macbook Air will be remembered as a necessary experiment to move toward the iPad. (I volunteered myself to become a guinea pig. Only that I did not know.)
Phone support representatives at Apple
How do we separately pronounce iPod, iPad, and eye pad? Apple will be seeing the situation described in this skit from the classic movie Airplane! Millions of times – enough to kill several support representatives out of exhaustion.