Apple iPad: A Heat Seeking Missile Aimed at Netbooks

Apple (AAPL) has unveiled its iPad tablet and almost instantly the debate began: Is this device a computer or a mobile device? Is it an e-reader or light laptop? Where does the iPad fit? Is this tablet really different? Apple likes those questions since the iPad is one device aimed at two markets—e-readers and netbooks.

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Simply put, boxing the iPad into a strict definition just doesn’t work. In some respects, netbooks and e-readers are designed for the same tasks: Reading, web content and light use. Apple CEO Steve Jobs appears to be targeting both with the iPad.

Consider Jobs’ unveiling on Wednesday (Techmeme):

Jobs said the iPad is “more intimate than a laptop and more capable than a smartphone.”

Sounds like a netbook rival. But then Jobs uncorks the Amazon… More