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Time is Also Money

April 8, 2010 7:27:11.412

Phillip Greenspun notes that a "vanilla pc (netbook) can be had for the same price as the lowest end iPad, and has a lot more in the capability department:

During a discussion today about potential iPad sales, a friend and I got distracted by reflecting on the tremendous value delivered by a vanilla PC. Over on the Dell Web site right now, a basic 15″ laptop costs $499 and includes 320 GB of hard drive and 3 GB of RAM

However, it also has a lot more in the "personal administration" department. Plenty of my daughter's friends have PCs, bought instead of Macs for price reasons. These are all non tech folks; they are also constantly beset by problems - printers that don't work, virus infections, and then lost data due to their (mostly inept) attempts at cleanup.

This is where the phrase "time is money" comes to mind, and it's where I part company with people like Cory Doctorow who decry the iPad for not being a hackable device. Here's the thing: most people neither want or need a hackable device. What they want is a device that disappears into the background and lets them get work done. Most Apple products achieve that far, far better than their market competition

Does that mean that the iPad will win? No, because - like the PC space - price does matter. I stopped worrying about price at the point where I realized that my time had more value, but there are people for whom the differential is far more significant. I get that; I'm just (happily) not in that camp anymore

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posted by James Robertson

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