Apple's new iPad: Must-have, or meh?
Six prominent technophiles tell how they think the tablet computer will fare.
Apple Inc. stormed back into consumer electronics in 2001 with its iPod music player, then solidified its reputation as the coolest, most forward-thinking tech company with the iPhone in 2007. The landmark devices have generated an estimated $60 billion in sales, and the halo effect helped revive Apple's personal computer business. ¶ Now Apple is about to light the fuse on the latest technological smart bomb: its iPad tablet computer that goes on sale Saturday. ¶ The touch-screen iPad is being billed as a device that will change the way consumers interact with computers and the Internet, an all-in-one media reader that many think will breathe new life into newspapers, books and magazines. ¶ But when hopes are high, products can be short-circuited by their own hype. Remember Newton, Apple's first stab at tablet computing that arrived -- and flopped -- a decade before its time? Or the much-hyped but now little-seen Segway scooter, which Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs himself reportedly said would be as big as the personal computer? We polled a handful of prominent technophiles about how they thought the iPad would fare.