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From China: The ultimate wish list for iPad “killers”

Posted in From China by xding78 on June 27, 2010

Original article: 练就iPAD“杀手”之“葵花宝典”

Three millions in 80 days, again Jobs showed the world Apple’s charm. Despite all the critics before it’s launch and the apparent shortcomings, iPad is still the hottest product as well as topic.

As a Chinese when I enjoy using iPad what keeps me ponder is how to design/develop products just as hip as iPad? More over design and develop products truly for Chinese users, I’d call those products the iPad killers.

Let’s talk about the wish list for a iPad killer.


No. 1: Smaller screen and lighter

However much I love iPad, I have to admit the 700 gram iPad is too heavy and big for Chinese people. Almost always after 5 minutes holding iPad in the palm I have to lay it on a supporter. In my opinion as a handheld device it’s definitely oversized; the 10 inch screen is more than necessary. Perhaps for Chinese people 7 inch would have been enough. Not only 7 inch would be enough for internet browsing but also that it would have been much easier to held in the palm. Plus reducing the size would also make iPad more drop-proof.


No. 2: Bigger RAM, the bigger the better

I believe everyone who has used iPad must feel frustrated about the screen flickering in some extend. 256MB perhaps works fine for websites that are focused on texted-based information. However, Chinese website are mostly multimedia enriched. 256MB for such websites is far beyond enough. Even if iPad would have a 512MB RAM, it’s still not enough for rendering images/videos/animations at the same time.


No. 3: Support Flash

Although many popular Chinese video uploading/sharing websites have launched iPad-friendly section, the number of iPad-friendly videos is too small for Chinese users to have a taste of the iPad video experience.Zero Flash support perhaps will be the biggest pain of Chinese iPad users. After using iPad for one month, I personally feel no video support is the absolute key to iPad experience. Maybe Jobs believes in Europe or in the U.S. supporting MPEG4 or H.264 is more than enough it’s definitely definitely not enough in China.

[Remarks from Xinrong: Chinese users in the post-YouTube time have already happily adopted many Chinese based video services. What fascinates me is that videos shared on the Chinese websites and those on YouTube are like from two isolated worlds. I rarely see any overlaps. I’ve personally tried to upload my videos twice on both Youtube and 优酷网. I stopped doing so after a while because uploading videos once is painful enough. The Chinese video sharing websites are almost 100% Flash based. Perhaps it will change but I don’t see why except for that iPad doesn’t support Flash. If iPad would be a huge success in China perhaps things will start to change in China.]

No. 4: Single-Hand Operation

iBook is absolutely beautiful [Remarks from Xinrong: I am using iBook on iPhone and still LOVE it], however, when I use iBook on iPad I am not so enchanted. The reason is very simple. It’s not comfortable to use. Yes it’s important to be beautiful and fancy in case of Apple but I would definitely not trade comfort for style in case of reading. Reading books on iPad the oversized screen and overweight body is not even the worst. The worst is that I have to use two hands to operate. It’s definitely an experience killer since I’m so used to single-hand operation.

No. 5: A satisfying Chinese input

It’s very possible that Jobs consider the current Chinese input on iPad is good. However, can you imagine confirming even a comma when typing? The UI of iPad Chinese input is obviously different from that of many already popular Chinese input applications. The direct result is that the Chinese users have to adapt to the not-so-great iPad Chinese input. It’s at least very very uncomfortable. Because when you use different devices you have to remember the specific word combinations different devices provides. Try to imagine that you have to switch between a US-International keyboard and a French keyboard regularly…


[Remarks from Xinrong: It’s quite hard to imagine if you have never used Chinese input; I understand completely because I have had many bad experiences over many different Chinese input methods.]


No. 6: Price, price & price

500 bucks is perhaps a piece of cake for western people; it’s also affordable for the hard-core Apple fan in China. However, it’s way to high for common Chinese people. The high price of iPhone is more acceptable because first of all, it’s still a mobile phone. It’s a necessity in modern urban life. Secondly, iPhone is something that you could use to show off in front of friends of in public. So, in case of iPad, the lower price the better. It probably should be lower than 1000 RMB.

[Remarks from Xinrong: In principle I agree but 1000 RMB is too low]