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5/18/2010
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Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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iPad Roundup: No Cash, iPod Killer, Keyboard Upgrade

Lots of interesting headlines today concerning the iPad. First, an Apple Store refused to accept cash for an iPad. Second, analysts think the iPad is starting to cut into iPod sales. And last, an interesting piece of software upgrades the iPad's on-screen keyboard.

Lots of interesting headlines today concerning the iPad. First, an Apple Store refused to accept cash for an iPad. Second, analysts think the iPad is starting to cut into iPod sales. And last, an interesting piece of software upgrades the iPad's on-screen keyboard.No Credit Card, No iPad

A woman was recently told at an Apple Store that her $600 in U.S. currency was no good for buying an iPad. According to Apple, customers must use a credit card or a debit card to purchase the iPad. The store wouldn't allow the woman to buy the iPad with her cash. The woman in question is disabled, lives on a limited income, and doesn't have a credit card.

Apparently, Apple has an official policy in place for purchasing the iPad. A credit card is required, there is a limit of two per person, and you can't use a gift card, either. The reasoning has something to do with Apple's intent to block black market sales of its popular device.

iPad, the iPod Killer

Someone finally developed an iPod killer. Too bad it was Apple. According to Piper Jafray analyst Gene Munster, iPod sales were down more than expected during the month of April (which is when the iPad went on sale). "From the early NPD data, it appears that the iPad has a minimal cannibalization impact on Mac sales, and could be slightly cannibalizing iPod sales," Munster wrote. "Given the ASP (4x) and margin profile of the iPad, we see this as a net positive for Apple's business. Apple has successfully limited the iPad functionality to primarily content consumption, vs. content creation on a Mac. And relative to the iPod, the physical size of an iPad provides a meaningfully different value proposition (portability vs. screen size)."

NPD's data says that iPod sales are down 17% year-over-year when compared to April 2009.

Keyboard Upgrade

Some think the iPad's keyboard works well, others don't. Personally, I find the iPad's keyboard great for thumb use when it is held in portrait orientation. I've also learned to type quite quickly on the fuller keyboard that appears when the iPad is held horizontally.

If neither of these works for you, there's an odd solution available in the Keyboard Upgrade application. The application is a stand-alone text editor that doesn't replace the Apple-made keyboard. It lets users resize, move, and split up the iPad's keyboard to make it easier to use. It costs $1 and is available from the iPhone Apps Store.

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