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My iPad Journey - The First Days

March 31, 2010, 2:32 p.m.
Lance Wilson, Research Director

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Well, I did it. On March 12, 2010, I ordered my iPad. I had been preparing for this for some time as I had sold my laptop (I hate them) and was looking for some type of a device that was easy to use, easy to type on, easy to see and easy to carry. I do simple (and easy) things; email, an occasional peek at the Internet, and office-type chores such as Word and Excel. That's pretty much it. Hopefully, the iPad can do what I need it to do. Over the next few weeks I will be recounting only my personal experiences with the device and I will not add generalizations on the iPad as there are many analysts who are already doing a good job of covering that part of the networked device universe. Let's dive in. It's March 12 at 8:30 AM. I expect that the Apple web-site will be backed up for hours as tens of thousands of people rush in their iPad orders. To my surprise, my on-line order process sailed through without delay. After ordering the iPad I had a follow-up question. Will the iPad be delivered on April 3 or is that the day that it ships? There is a chat function in the on-line Apple store and I clicked away hoping to get a speedy response. To my surprise, within five seconds (and I am not kidding here) someone came on and answered my question: the iPad will be delivered on April 3 if you have Saturday delivery in your area. Fifteen minutes later another question popped into my head. How will the iWork suite be made available for the iPad? I hit the chat button one more time and again, within a few seconds, someone was ready to answer my question. iWork for the iPad will be divided up into individual modules and sold for $10 each on the App store within iTunes. These apps will be available concurrently with the iPad's delivery, So far so good, and all in all, it was a painless process. Apple had prepared well. It's now March 29 and I visit the Apple web site to check on my order. The order status page says my order is being prepared for shipment. Good News. The next day, yesterday March 30, and I receive an email from Apple. It says that my order has shipped. To my surprise my iPad is being shipped directly from China to my house. I had a daylight nightmare of hundreds of thousand of iPads all trying to clear customs on both sides of the Pacific with goverment employees with little rubber stamps going through piles of iPads one at time. How will my iPad ever reach me by April 3? On the UPS tracking page there was an unknown term, at least to me, that said World Ease. I searched the UPS site to find out what the World Ease service is. It essentially allows a company to ship packages to multiple recipients within a country or the European Union (EU) as one shipment that clears customs as a single transaction. Ah ha, perhaps my iPad will arrive on time.