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Why I won't buy an iPad (but I don't really care whether or not you do)

Apr 2, 2010 • Karen

A response to Cory Doctorow's post on the iPad.

The reasons he lists are all reasonable reasons to not buy an iPad. Like Cory, I don't need a computer-like appliance. That's also why I don't own an iPhone or a Wii or a Kindle. (Also, I'm poor.)

But just because *I* don't need it doesn't mean that I think it's ethically dubious for someone else to. Yes, you're opting into Apple's walled garden. Yes, you'll never be able to hack the device or install your own stuff on it or replace the battery yourself. But if you're fine with all that, if your needs match what the iPad appliance offers, go ahead and purchase one. Especially if you already own a "real computer" (which is pretty likely, and something a lot of criticisms along these lines seem to miss). No one argues that purchasing a car with closed-source software embedded in it or a stylish, no-screws toaster is akin to investing in blood diamonds.

So why all the hate on the iPad? My guess is misplaced expectations. Critics expect a "real computer" and howl that it isn't one. That's frankly like whining about how the Eee PC sucks for running Photoshop. Those who want it and will buy it have different expectations.