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More iPad shortcomings: no T-Mobile, no widescreen

updated 02:00 pm EST, Thu January 28, 2010

Also lacks ports of rival machines

The first-generation iPad has a variety of gaps in its hardware and software, observers note. Aside from lacking enterprise features, the tablet is also incompatible with T-Mobile, the only other GSM-based carrier in the US after AT&T. The iPad supports 850, 1,900 and 2,100MHz 3G bands, which while compatible with many worldwide networks excludes T-Mobile's 1,700MHz band. For the same reason, the device does not support Canada's Wind Mobile.

Analysts with DisplaySearch remark that while the iPad uses a high-quality IPS display, with LED backlighting and an oleophobic coating, Apple has gone an odd route in using a 4:3 ratio. Virtually all notebooks, TVs and computer monitors are now widescreen, whether in 16:9 or 16:10 dimensions. The iPad's predecessor, the iPhone, is also a widescreen product. Apple may be trying to bridge a gap between the needs of books, games, newspapers and video, the analysts point out.

The iPad is further deficient in terms of slots and ports, mainly when compared to rival tablets and netbooks. The system has just a single USB connection, normally reserved for a dock; this prevents people from using a second peripheral at the same time, and also limits cables to those formatted for Apple's 30-pin format. SD cards can only be read with an external reader, and its microSIM slot will prevent existing iPhone SIM cards from being shared.

iBooks should meanwhile be exclusive to the US for the near future. The app and store are unmentioned on the Canadian and Australian iPad websites, and only the Australian site has a disclaimer on the subject. The situation is likely similar to that of the iTunes Store, for which companies must negotiate region-by-region to sell music and video. iBooks will probably open to more countries in time.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Parky

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Stop it

    Stop comparing to other devices, it is not a NetBook or a Laptop or a Phone.
    It is it's own device.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Screen is fine

    It's a multi-use device, not a portable DVD player. The screen ratio is fine.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    barely first-gen quality

    I wouldn't even give this version of the iPad the benefit of a "first-generation" description.
    Standing next to every other device out there - including Apple's own iPhone and lowest-end MacBook - it is falls short of what a 2010 Apple product should be. Back in 2007 this would be an acceptable iPad 1.0. Three years later this qualifies more as an ugly-duckling product in Apple's family of mobile devices.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Widescreen is good for only one thing (unless its huge) and that is watching movies. But isn't that what a TV is for? Why should one secondary use dictate the design as a whole? The browsing experience on a 13" widescreen is like visiting the Louvre with a letterbox strapped to your face, you're forever tilting and scrolling. Apple have it bang on that the browsing experience is a vertical rather than horizontal experience (ahem!). Wide screens only become useful when they're large, 24" or greater, where you can have 2 up layouts at life size and so forth. Personally, I have a 4x3 22" CRT (still the best for Photoshop) and a 24" 16:10 WUXGA widescreen LCD side by side that have almost identical dot pitches. So I have space, proportion and colour accuracy. It just proves that a single display can't be all things to all people. I congratulate Apple for making the right decision on the iPad.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Feathers gets it

    Exactly. For most of the other functionality, the screen is perfectly designed for it.

  1. bazaarsoft

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Another media outlet gets it wrong

    It's amazing how many media outlets are just plain getting it wrong. Here's the only one so far that gets it:

    >The iPad is further deficient in terms of slots and ports, mainly when compared to rival tablets and netbooks.

    And, boy, they are really selling extremely well. Oh, wait...

  1. Xinnix

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I wish

    I wish Andre the giant were still alive.
    Because I'd pay to see him hold it up to his face!

    I'm surprised that it doesn't look better then a Giant iPhone.

    But Dissing T-Mobile...... Priceless-!!

  1. wmsey

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Apple has gone an odd route in using a 4:3 ratio. Virtually all notebooks, TVs and computer monitors are now widescreen, whether in 16:9 or 16:10 dimensions."

    Virtually all notebooks, TV's (well all TV's) and computer monitors display content in a fixed, horizontal orientation. As an experiment, hold your notebook with the screen (and attached keyboard) with the screen oriented vertically (so the whole thing is rotated 90 degrees.) Now, type. Now, take you 46" HDTV and carefully rotate it 90 degrees - oh, never mind.

    16:9 works fine horizontally but had Apple (or future tablet makers) chosen this aspect ratio for a device that has no fixed orientation the devices would be nearly worthless when displaying most vertical info. Books for instance.

    The iPhone / iTouch are likewise not 16:9 displays.

    In devices that have no fixed orientation, the more square the better.

  1. martini

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Even more clueless...

    Any "analyst" or "journalist" who mentions "enterprise features" or "rival products" or "widescreen" doesn't have a clue what this product is about or the demographic it is targeting.

  1. lysolman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Title Fail!

    The iPad supports quadband GSM.

    It supports T-Mobile on its EDGE network.

    Just because it doesn't have 3G on T-Mobile doesn't mean it don't work.

    f*****' A!

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