Don’t buy an iPad today

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The “magical and revolutionary” $499 iPad hits the Apple store today, and with beans has got to side with Fast Company writer Gina Trapani’s caution that you should not run out and buy an iPad just yet.

Trapani’s first point goes to the fact that first-gen Apple products unapologetically come to market in a sometimes half-baked fashion. She points to the early iPhone adopters who felt burned by spending $500-$600 on a product whose price dip was inversely proportional to its performance improvement, to the point where as of this writing, Trapani notes, the iPhone “3G is now on sale for a measly $100, one fifth of the price of the first generation’s cheapest model.”

She goes on to say very eloquently that “next year’s iPad will be faster, cheaper, less buggy, and have better apps and worthy competitors. Let all the deep-pocketed Jobs apostles be your canaries into the iPad coalmine.”

Trapani’s other salient point perhaps goes against the grain of folks who buy gadgets for the sake of having gadgets, but she suggests quite frankly that “you don’t know if you need an iPad yet. If you’ve already got a smartphone and a laptop, the gap in your workflow that the iPad might fill isn’t obvious, and discerning consumers only absorb gadgets that fulfill a need.”

If you all are too young to remember the debut of the first Mac, withbeans.com’s technology correspondent does, because he dropped three grand on the Mac 512K in the early ‘80s, only to watch the Mac Plus come out a few months later. This is what’s classically referred to as “planned obsolescence,” and we’re not afraid to say that Apple is famous for it. So watch out for that little trick, too.

What do you think, dear withbeans readers? Are you inclined to wait to buy your iPad, or in your world is it okay to have a new gadget just because?

Image source: Apple

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