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Reasons people gave for buying the iPad

Some buyers offer compelling reasons for buying the iPad, while some don't.

Some iPad buyers interviewed on Saturday offered good reasons for buying the new tablet. Some seemed to have no good reason at all.

As mentioned briefly in a post on Saturday, many people flocking to retail outlets offered well-founded reasons for buying Apple's latest mobile gadget. Based on interviews, conducted over the course of Saturday at an Apple Store and two Best Buy stores, here's a list of the most notable responses. (I will provide more in-depth answers than I did Saturday.)

Customers emerging from the Apple Store in Carlsbad, Calif. spoke about why they purchased the iPad.
Customers emerging from the Apple Store in Carlsbad, Calif., spoke about why they purchased the iPad. Brooke Crothers

Reasons buyers cited for buying the iPad:

  • Apps: At the Apple Store in Carlsbad, Calif., a family with a teenage boy explained how apps "explode" on the iPad. The iPod's screen is too small for apps to really strut their stuff, the boy and his father explained. In a sense, they saw it as a larger version of the iPod and iPhone but with vastly more potential.
  • For the computer-averse: A middle-age woman said she saw it as an opportunity for her computer-averse mother to Web surf and e-read. The iPad's finger-centric point-and-flick interface (and conspicuous absence of a mouse and keyboard) offers a more intuitive way to use a computer, she said. (Apple Store.)
  • Didn't have a laptop: A mother who uses desktop computers exclusively for her business said she wanted something mobile because she didn't own a laptop, explaining how she worked in front of four computer screens and wanted a "different" mobile computing device when she stepped away from her workspace. (Apple Store.)
  • Coffee table tablet: A young father said he intended to use the iPad as an adjunct to the coffee table experience. In short, a dedicated device for reading. (Apple Store.)
  • Novelty: A younger man said he wasn't sure what role it would play but nevertheless was intrigued by the iPad's novelty. (Apple Store.)
  • Not a computer, as we know it: A young man wasn't sure how to explain his purchase precisely, but he didn't think of it as buying a computer, like a laptop or desktop. He saw it as something that would lie around his apartment and he would use on the fly. (Apple Store)
  • Impulse buy: Ditto for a middle-aged man at a Best Buy in Yorba Linda, Calif., who also unable to offer a clear reason for the purchase. He played with the iPad for a few minutes then said, "Yeah, I'll take one of these" adding that he found the device "interesting."

Of course, there were plenty of people, who did not intend to buy, driven to stores by the media buzz. And, of course, naysayers. Some negative comments made at Best Buy were centered on the iPad's lack of a camera and the inability of "iPad-ready" Web sites to playback video because they required Adobe's Flash player, which neither the iPad nor iPhone can playback. (See related CNET poll.)