Apple iPad accessories delayed, and other Apple news

In a hurry to get your hands on iPad accessories? Better pre-order them fast. The ship dates are slipping, slipping, slipping into the future, according to reports.

First, the iPad case slipped a little bit from April 3 to mid-April. Now, the iPad Keyboard Dock is seeing bigger delays. It was originally set to ship to customers in mid-April, but now Apple is saying May, according to 9to5mac ("Delays hit iPad accessories, more shortages to come?")

And the iPad Camera Kit, for connecting an SD card or digital camera to your iPad, hasn't even appeared in the Apple online store. That's a problem because the iPad doesn't have USB or other standard interfaces, so you'll need the camera kit to connect to your camera.

Third-party vendors have already started a cottage industry of iPad accessories, as they did for the iPhone and iPod, notes The Unofficial Apple Weblog.

Also, Flash support -- or lack of it -- is making iPad news. Will lack of Flash support be a problem? Many Web videos and games on the Web require Flash to run. On the other hand, sites including the Wall Street Journal and NPR are coming out with Flash-free versions, according to All Things Digital. Virgin America is also coming out with non-Flash versions of its home page, although it will use Flash on inside pages, says AppleInsider.com

And here's an interesting tidbit from Kinsey Wilson, head of digital media for NPR, as quoted on AllThingsD:

Wilson says that while iPhone apps are a “very intentional experience”–you load the thing up and seek out specific content–he thinks the iPad will be a “lean back device.” That’s traditionally the distinction multimedia types use to differentiate between a computer and a TV. Intriguing.

Intriguing indeed.

Will the iPad be a "lean-back device"? Physically, I expect it certainly will be. I haven't been hands-on with an iPad yet, but it looks like something most comfortably used on your lap while semi-reclined.

But when media people talk about TV as a "lean back" medium, and the Internet as a "lean forward" medium, they're not just talking about physical posture. They mean that users engage and interact with the Internet, and -- most importantly and horrifyingly from the media exec's perspective -- users navigate away from Web pages.

Whereas with television, you lean back and relax and get hypnotized and just sit and watch TV and take in commercials until you emerge hours later covered in self-loathing and orange Cheetos dust.

Wilson's comments remind me of the very early days of the Web in 1996 so, when I was working for Computerworld and I entertained briefings from a battalion of vendors promising to deliver technology that would rip interactivity out of Web sites and put control of the user experience back in the hands of the publishers, where (the vendors said) the control belonged. That didn't work.

I don't see the iPad as something you use passively, like television. You're holding the thing in your hands, you're going to interact with it.

For that matter, I'm not sure how passive TV is anymore, not since TiVo became popular.

In other Apple news:

iPad orders fell sharply over the weekend after a big opening Friday, according to a report by investment blogger "Deagol," as reported by my colleague Gregg Keizer. Device pre-orders slowed to about 1,000 per hour on Saturday and Sunday, following the 25,000-per-hour pace during the first two hours of Friday, when Apple began taking orders online.

The estimates include pre-orders, not iPads reserved by customers for in-store pickup or large-volume orders placed directly with iPad's sales force by businesses.

Apple is well on its way to meeting Wall Street analyst goals for iPad sales during 2010, Keizer writes.

On the other hand, TheStreet.com says Deagol's estimate is low.

Other Apple news from my colleagues at Computerworld:

Apple hires 'Senior Prototype Engineer' for work on wearable computing. Also: Will the iPad be a wearable computer in 2011?

Mac sales jump nearly 40%, boosted by the fact that year-ago-sales were sluggish. The Unofficial Apple Weblog notes that iPod sales are up as well.

Will textbooks be the killer app for the iPad?

5 features the iPad needs for business

Apple's Mac Mini server 'ideal' for the small office

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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