Will the iPad be your show-maker or your show-stopper?

As the iPad formally launches today in the UK – as well as in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland – expect your TV news to be full of images of queues at Apple stores in all of those countries.

If you use Twitter, you can expect an overwhelming number of tweets from people with “I got an iPad!” or similar throughout much of the day, too. The key word “ipad” isn’t yet a trending topic on Twitter but I bet it will be soon.

In short, you’ll have a hard time escaping news, commentary and opinion about iPad today. Another PR coup for Apple.

In spite of almost irresistible self-pressure, I’m not getting an iPad. Well, at least not yet. I had the pleasure of spending almost a week with one last week, thanks to the FT. The showstopper for me is simply that too many websites I would visit on the device run video that doesn’t work on the iPad – Apple won’t allow Adobe Flash on the iPad.

The BBC News website is one of those. It’s one of the few websites I actually do visit as opposed to only consuming news, etc, in my RSS reader. The prime reason is for the video content, both recorded and live.

None of it works on an iPad.

Still, that’s doesn’t seem to be an issue for many people. It is for me, though, until either Apple and Adobe sort themselves out or until services like the BBC offer video website content in a format that does work on Apple’s platforms and that doesn’t only require an app to make it all work.

Or until hell freezes over, whichever comes first.

All that said, I would imagine that the iPad will be a show maker for the vast majority of purchasers as plenty of video on the web is available in formats that do work on Apple mobile devices. Look at YouTube, for instance.

And see what’s likely to happen with the iPad in the workplace if the iPhone experience is any indicator, according to AT&T.

Four out of 10 sales of the iPhone are made to enterprise users. When the iPhone came out, what most people heard in the first year from ‘07 to ‘08 was oh my God, it’s not BlackBerry secure. This is not going to work on the enterprise space. […] enterprises today view the iPhone as a mobile computer. It happens to have a voice application on it. But what’s important is what you can do with it, and the way you can mobilize workforces, and specific parts of your workforce, not the entire workforce.

Yep, I reckon iPad will be a show-maker for millions of people, Adobe Flash or not.

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