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And how do you get that stuff on it without being able to plug in a USB drive?

How do you get the text you're reading right now on your computer without being able to plug in a USB drive?

That just means a device for people who have very few technical skills will need a near-constant and perfectly working internet connection to be passably useful.

I would classify myself and quite technically skilled, and I still need a near-constant and perfectly working Internet connection to be passably useful. :P

I'm confused. How does skill level factor into it? And what is wrong with assuming that internet connections are usually available?

Assuming that internet connections are usually available ensures that your device will be utterly useless in many rural areas. In some places around my city, there is no broadband internet available at all, perhaps even when considering offerings from cell phone networks.

There is one place in our city that offers free wifi, and few people are aware of it because they do not advertise it. Our library has computers one can use, but no wifi.

People living in and around major cities may want to pretend that everyone is able to have nearly continuous internet access, but that's not the case. Even assuming one has a smartphone, Edge isn't a pleasant thing to attempt to even browse the internet over.

They have a USB adaptor for loading photos. See http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/

The iTunes stores! It is monopoly at its finest. Apple could eventually half the price if the masses by their books and software and rent or buy their movies all from Apple.

Eventually, there will be an iPad to Apple TV interface, and they can cut out the cable companies too.

Scary now that I think about it.

It is monopoly

In what market and by what definition?

Grandparent is probably thinking along the lines of a local monopoly, analogous to an old company town: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Company_town

The analogy is not perfect, since you can buy mp3s and movies and ebooks from other services. But on iPhones and iPads the barriers to getting content from non-iTunes sources is certainly higher than it otherwise would be on a regular Mac (or any other PC for that matter).

full disclosure: lifelong Apple user

Here's an idea: someone can come along and build something half has good as the iPhone ecosystem. Who's stopping them?

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