SO the iPad 2 is finally here, unveiled by Steve Jobs who, if you believe some of the more hyperbolic reports, may have risen from the dead to show it off in San Francisco last week.
Geeks flocked to BBC studios for the live link-up to the event; so many geeks that there was nowhere for them to sit. They spewed into the aisles, glazed expressions fixed on the giant screen, awaiting the appearance of their messiah. Almost everyone had a Mac perched on their knees, raising the question of why Apple even bothers to hold these events when they are so obviously preaching to the converted.
“It’s Just. So... Cool, ” Jobs drooled as the tablet flashed up behind him. People whooped. Jobs shook his head in apparent disbelief at what he’d created, wide eyed, like an old man who had just discovered a dirty picture of his first girlfriend.
The new iPad is thin, sleek, impossibly curvy – it’s the unobtainable supermodel of the gadget world. If it came with a set of plug-in genitalia, human procreation would cease overnight, replaced by a dull, obsessive digital onanism. It even comes with a bendy magnetic cover that wipes the screen clean for you. (The “smart cover” is made from polyurethane, which, we’re reliably informed, is the same material they use to make spacesuits. SPACESUITS. Presumably astronauts can now check their Twitter feed while carrying out maintenence work on the outside of their spacecraft.)
No rivals had caught up with the first generation iPad and now Apple has shifted the goalposts even further over the horizon.
But having the best product in the market isn’t enough. Like a spoilt only-child the iPad seems to crave impossible levels of praise.
In a promotional video, one man says the it will “change the way doctors practice medicine”. Another claims it can improve childrens' grades by “50 or 60 per cent”. If it had lasted a few minutes longer the generically handsome people would probably have told us the iPad has build an underwater city to rival Atlantis.
With Jobs likely to hand over the chief executive role to Tim Cook soon and design maestro Jonny Ive hankering for a move back to the UK, this could be one of the last launches by the dream-team behind every product from the iMac to the iPod.
Despite the occasional bout of verbal diarrhoea the part of the Apple marketing department, the iPad 2 would make a fitting swansong.