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.