Mobile
Commentary
1/28/2010
11:25 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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Apple's iPad To Nickel And Dime Customers

Apple is ruthless with its product pricing. It charges the maximum price it can get for a given product...and still leaves out essential ingredients, forcing customers to buy over-priced accessories. The iPad is no different.

Apple is ruthless with its product pricing. It charges the maximum price it can get for a given product...and still leaves out essential ingredients, forcing customers to buy over-priced accessories. The iPad is no different."Necessary accessories" tick me off. They are the common things you expect a product to ship with, but don't. Case in point, my brother received an Apple iPod Touch as a Christmas gift. The iPod Touch came with Apple earphones, a USB cable and some paperwork. Notice anything missing? If you said "charger", you'd be right. Want a charger so you can actually use your $200+ gift? That'll cost extra. Ridiculous.

Apple has done something similar with its iPad. First, as I noted yesterday, the device doesn't include a camera. That means if you want to load up your own images on there, you have to sync it with a computer.

...Or...Wait for it...

You can buy the iPad Camera Connection Kit! Yes, Apple is going to charge extra for a kit that will allow photogs to plug their cameras into the device to sync photos. There's a simple fix that Apple could have chosen that would have solved two problems at once: SD or microSD card support. Not only would such a port have allowed built-in and easier transfer of user content, it also could have served as additional user storage for media, such as movies or music. Oh, right, Apple wouldn't want to cannibalize sales of the 64GB version of the iPad, which costs $200 more than the base version...

Want to charge the iPad anywhere other than the floor? Feel free to buy the iPad Dock, which will hold up the iPad nice and neat.

Last, if you want to use a physical keyboard with the iPad, go ahead and cough up an extra $70 for the iPad Keyboard Dock. The iPad Keyboard Dock will -- *gasp* -- let you charge the iPad and type at the same time! This is great! Alternately, you can buy the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard, which will let you type, but won't hold the iPad up.

But none of this is a surprise, right? Apple customers are used to being treated this way. As long as you budget about an extra $100 on top of the sale price of the iPad, you'll be all set.

For the latest Apple tablet news, opinion and conversation, be sure to check out InformationWeek's Special Report: Tablet Wars -- Can Apple Three-peat?

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