Regular readers of this blog [you’re confident? – Ed] will be only too aware that I’ve not exactly been longing to get my hands on Apple’s slate computer. Blogs like ‘The 10 biggest iPad disappointments‘ and ‘I joined the queue for an iPad, but not to buy one‘, should give you some idea of how highly I rate the thing.
Apple of course is not the sort of company that takes the rough with the smooth when it comes to press coverage, so it’s no surprise that once I made it clear I had no intention of bigging up their device for them – they’ve got an army of fans and Steven Fry to do that for them anyhow – they made sure I wasn’t at the launch event, am not invited to join press conferences and sure as hell would never be offered a test version to have a play with. So far, so Apple.
Hot on the heels of ‘Antennagate’ (the name given to the fact that the iPhone 4 has antenna problems that Apple told everyone was because they were holding it wrong, before arguing that most smart phones have similar problems, and finally admitting a fault does exist and giving away free ‘bumper cases’) comes news that Apple is being sued in the US by an iPad punter who says he can’t use the thing in the sun without it overheating and shutting down.
The suit is seeking class-action status and asks for unspecified damages because the device, "overheats so quickly under common weather conditions". The suit says Apple’s iPad "does not live up to the reasonable consumer’s expectations created by Apple". Sounds a bit like the third generation iPod which, it has been reported, doesn’t like the tiniest hint of sweat, even though it was marketed as something you could take to the gym.
I doubt this is unlikely to slow down the sale of Apple’s shiny tablet computer, which has been literally flying off the shelves all over the world. But the fact that it seems the iPad can overheat on even a relatively cool New York day doesn’t bode well for those who live in warmer climes.
The whole point of this thing is its portability, remember: now we find it’s ultra portable, as long as you don’t plan on using it in the sunshine. So forget about using that slick e-book application on the thing on holiday, unless you’re planning on staying in your room for two weeks. This news has got to be good for dedicated e-readers like the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader, which not only don’t seem to have had any complaints of overheating, but have a better display for reading books anyhow.
One thing is for sure, Apple’s maniacal leader Steve Jobs must be seriously pissed off right now. He brings the world these "magical" devices and all people do is complain: a mobile phone that’s rubbish when you actually want to make a call, and now a tablet computer that doesn’t like sunshine? These are just meaningless, irrelevant, details!
Before I sign off, I bring you a picture someone sent me that compares the iPad with an HP Compaq slate from 2003. It’s not a completely fair comparison – note it doesn’t compare weight or battery life – but then again, I don’t remember any stories about Compaq slates overheating in the sun, either.