iPad, OK. But how do you carry it?
Apple would have people believe its iPad tablet is the ultimate in mobile computing, but its large screen makes pocketing impossible.
Satchel? European men's carry-all? Man-purse? Murse?
How would you carry your iPad? Apple CEO Steve Jobs began Wednesday's event at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco by emphasizing his company's commitment to mobile devices: "We're the largest mobile device company in the world," he told the assembled press.
Well, no one would argue that the iPad isn't mobile. It's certainly very light, and terribly thin. But it packs a 9.7-inch screen (diagonally measured) in a package that trims the tape at 9.56 by 7.47 inches. Do us a favor: stand up and imagine cramming something that size into your pants pocket. Something tells us you're having a little trouble (and don't be cute and say you're wearing cargo pants – everyone knows no one wears those anymore.)
But seriously. The vision Apple has pitched to the world is one of the iPad always at hand. Sure, it would fit just fine in your carry-on, and slip discretely into a briefcase. But we're mobile people, right? We're not always carrying around baggage. A smart phone makes the quick walk to Starbucks in your pocket, and connects to the WiFi when you get there. But an iPad? Maybe it's an overreaction, but aren't we all going to look like clipboard-wielding camp counselors trying to carry this thing around with us?
The iPhone and its smart phone brethren spawned a whole industry of accessories. "According to Michael Morgan of ABI Research, the global market for 'carrying accessories' – a category that includes belt-clip holsters, leather sleeves, and silicone sheaths, among other products – has grown to $2.1 billion per year," Slate wrote late last year. Laptops owners know the routine as well: buy laptop, buy case, buy screen protector, buy bag.
What will we see for the iPad? Will more companies follow Scottevest's lead, putting out clothes with built-in hidden pockets for gadgets? (And more importantly, will typical style-conscious Apple customers buy them?) Or will men resort to always wearing a sportcoat and awkwardly cram an iPad into a side pocket?
Let us hear what you think. Leave a comment in the field below, and be sure to check out our other iPad coverage. As always, stay up to date on what we're up to by following us on Twitter – We're @CSMHorizonsBlog.