Why the holdouts aren't buying an iPad 3

UPDATED: Apple's pricing is a big factor, but it’s not the only one

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As the Apple-obsessed slice of the technology world awaits today's iPad-next  announcement, I asked my social-media followers these questions:

If you do not own an iPad, or any other tablet, why not? And is there anything that Apple could do or say today that might get you to buy?

Here are some of their answers:

Peter Schmidt, COO at Linear Air, on Google+:

 I have had an iPad twice now, and both times ended up giving it to someone else because I didn't use it hardly at all. I am on my laptop (13" AIr) almost my entire waking day, and when I am not, my iPhone has my back. I think the iPad is terrific, but I don't have time for media consumption or games, and I need an actual computer to get my work done. So only if the iPad 3 came with a time-machine app that would give me enough free time to use it would I buy one.

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Fahad Mustafa, a software engineer at Leading Point, on Google+:

As a developer I can't justify the need for a tablet, here is why:

1. I spend most of my day in front of a laptop.

2. In case I need something on the go my smartphone is more than enough for my needs.

3. You can't do development on a tablet.

However I am considering buying a Windows 8 tablet once they are available (I work with Microsoft technologies). With a keyboard dock and mouse it would replace my laptop.

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Rob Colbert, a programmer who recently left VMWare, on Google+:

Have only used/carried the iPad when assigned by work. To personally own, they'd have to lower the price. It isn't that the device isn't worth what they're charging, it's just not cost justifiable for me in my personal life. I do not have that kind of need for that kind of information/content on-the-go.

For me, my Acer D-255 netbook better suits my needs at a way lower cost. Plus, it does have a hardware keyboard and bluetooth mouse. And, by running Ubuntu on it, it's like a tablet with a keyboard and mouse that does stuff. Bonus: I only spent $250 on it new. Since, I've only added the $12 mouse and $20 carrying case.

The whole thing was less than, what, the iPad's charging cable? And, it runs Flash quite well for YouTube, etc. So, when comparing to the iPad's pricing, I'll stick with this. It does what I need.

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Tony Sandoval, owner/GM of BBE-Tech on Google+:

As long as it is "Apple" branded, it will never be in my possession, whether I could afford it or not.

Quantus Rust on Buzzblog:

Cut me loose from iTunes. I hate that software, and I hate the way you can't do anything with an iToy unless you use iTunes or jailbreak it.

Lower the price. It's hard to take the thing seriously at $500 for the base model when I know the profit margin is so high on the unit and there's similarly specced devices for $100-$200 less. And the price increments are downright insulting. $100 for 16 GB of flash memory?

And on the Network World Facebook page, Yaser Bassad sums it up for the cost-conscious:

"IF the price would be cheaper for a common man......"

I'll add more later.

(OK, it's later, and here's more.)

Dan Wakeman of Ithaca, N.Y., via e-mail:

With four sons, three of them teens, making ends meet is hard enough.  iPads aren't cheap.  While my profession is IT, and the family is well connected at home, we have specifically chosen a lifestyle that does not revolve around continuous connectivity or electronics. 

That said, I'm thinking of suggesting to my wife that we use some of the tax refund for one.  :-) 

Dave DeBaeremaeker, a site reliability engineer, via Google+:

I have a Xoom. I never use it. My son gets to use it in the car to watch videos during long trips. Horrible keyboard experience (no virtual keyboard is ever going to be nearly as good as a physical one), no way to plug things externally into it, small screen. If I want all that I have my phone, otherwise I use my Macbook Air - slightly bigger, slightly more expensive, infinitely more useful.

Not to mention a proper OS that I can actually do something with besides check my email.

If Apple wanted me to buy an iPad then load it with Lion, and give me a slide out keyboard and some USB ports. Then maybe we can talk. Otherwise there are much cheaper options for entertaining my son in the car.

Scott Benson, a presentation designer, gets extremely specific with his wish list, via Google+:

Everything I manage to be able to do on a tablet I can do faster and more efficiently on a laptop. I want it to replace a netbook, not be an entirely new (read "gimped") digital experience. That's what I have my smartphone for.

As for what Apple could do to make me buy one? Work with Adobe to create a portable Lightroom experience for my camera. Not some gimped-ass version of iPhoto or Instagram, mind you, but a professional camera workflow. I'm in the field, and I have a tablet in my bag. When I take a shot with my Eye-fi card in, my tablet wakes up and starts wirelessly receiving the RAW photos as I shoot them. It then starts processing 1:1 previews. Alternatively I can take a regular SD card out and put it into a slot in the tablet to do the same thing. My tablet either has a reasonable-sized SSD in it (128GB would work, 256 would be better), or has an external drive plugged into it that also fits in my bag with a large SSD so it can store a bunch of RAWs.

After I'm done with the shoot, I can thumb through my photos - tag them, chimp them, rotate/crop, adjust white balance or levels, maybe do some sharpening (which I can see on the 1920x1200 or better screen), spot removal and a few other things, and then export to JPEG using presets. After that I can post them to Facebook and G+ straight from the tablet easily. Bonus points if I can tether the tablet to my camera so I can see a large 10" live preview of what I'm shooting and use it as a remote trigger. When I get home, I can plug it into my computer and it will merge the catalog with Lightroom at home and transfer all the RAW files over.

That would make it useful to me.

It's not too late for you to weigh in.

(Update: Seeing how much we're having here, they've taken up the discussion over at HardOCP.)

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