Charlie Rose sat down with David Carr (The New York Times) and invited Walt Mossberg (Wall Street Journal) and Michael Arrington (TechCrunch) to discuss Apple’s iPad. I’ve jotted down some notes from the almost 24-minute show (paraphrased):
Mossberg: The key thing is the services and software. Feels great in the hand and wicked fast. There’s a big hurdle: the first time Steve Jobs will need to market for this size. When Steve Jobs said $499, I was amazed. There is a weakness: no webcam. No video chatting and it is a shame that it doesn’t have it. Google, Mozilla and Apple are supporting HTML5 and moving away from Flash. iPod touch has sold like hotcakes and many use them for gaming, without Flash. Hulu could certainly do its videos without Flash. Consumers don’t care about formats they just want to watch the video. Amazon will not be standing still. Jobs is gambling that you’ll need just 10 hours and then recharge at the end of the day. Amazon can certainly build an iPad-like device with a LCD. There is a chance that Apple will cut the price based on whether internal sales projections match actual sales. Steve Jobs is not a market research driven guy. He tries to figure what people don’t know what they want yet and then do it in a beautiful way and make them want it. He is not shying away from big bold risks: Apple, Pixar. That’s how he operates as a business guy.
Arrington: Personally I think people are going to love this. I think Apple will make plenty of money on the iPad. Probably sell millions in the first year. I don’t like that it doesn’t support Flash. This device is perfect for watching videos on Hulu. Without Flash you can’t watch movies or play games. I think we are at least a good two years away from having a HTML5 version of Hulu. Magazines will be introduced, absolutely. HP, Dell and something else from Amazon in addition to Apple’s iPad will be available by the end of the year. I want something like this on the airplane. Apple has a long-standing relationship with AT&T. I wish Apple would have offered an unlocked version like the Nexus One. Steves has had a couple of mis-steps including the Apple TV. Apple will likely need to quickly develop the next iteration of the iPad. The timing is right for a device like the iPad: low-power high-performance chips combined with large-screen capacitive technology makes this type of device possible.
Carr: The gadget disappears. It’s all about the software. There are two killer apps. One is gaming and the other is books. I don’t think many users will purchase the $499 version. There is no multitasking so you’re not inundated with stuff: you can lean back and experience it. This will be a more viral gadget than most because it is so large. Embedded multimedia in publications are great. The month-to-month service is an indication that Apple is aware of users’ dissatisfaction with AT&T.
Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber pointed out Carr’s comment on the iPad’s hardware disappearing so you’re immersed in the software. Carr’s exact words:
One thing you have to understand about this gadget is that the gadget disappears pretty quickly. You’re looking into pure software.
I might also add that if the display was terrible no matter how good the software there is little chance you’d get immersed. Gruber then shares his experience with the Nexus One:
An Android gadget never disappears.
I absolutely agree. The experience on the Nexus One, so far, is not as intuitive, smooth, or immersive compared to the iPhone. But, the experience using an iPhone would be significantly enhanced if it had the superb OLED display used in the Nexus One.