Apple generally deserves their reputation for having well designed products which are pleasant and easy to use. The iPhone and iPad seem particularly attractive. Here's why you might want to avoid these products, especially the iPad.
Apple has been denying apps and content from lots of people. Recently they denied an iPhone app because it 'ridicules public figures'. The app was written by a political cartoonist who just won the Pulitzer prize! details
Apple just removed an app MIT designed at MIT for teaching kids how software works. The reason? The kids could write simple programs by moving around visual building blocks. Apple won't allow any content on the iPhone or iPad which doesn't go through their store, and this means you can't make any software yourself on your own device! details
Apple is currently committed to ensuring that users of their new mobile platforms are restricted to being passive consumers of approved content. I'm amazed that Steve Jobs wants this to be his legacy!
These kinds of restrictions were less of a problem on special-purpose devices like the original iPod. Now that Apple is positioning the iPhone/iPad ecosystem to be the main computing and communications platform for the general public these restrictions should be unacceptable.
Other mobile platforms are rapidly adopting everything nice about the iPhone and iPad without their limitations. Apple's main competitor at this time is the Google Android Platform .Android smartphones are available from most mobile carriers. There are also a number of upcoming Android touchpads.
Please note that the Macintosh platform does not have any of these problems. While I prefer the Gnu/Linux platform, the Macintosh platform is just as powerful and more user friendly, although it may be less secure. See my article Choosing an Operating System for more details.
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