When you buy an iPod, you’re most likely going to listen to music on it. When you buy the iphone, you’ll make calls, text, do a little web browsing—sure, you’ll have your favorite apps, but the basic things you do on it won’t be much different from what I’ll be doing.
But when you buy an iPad, all bets are off. Because, it seems, the iPad is a different device to every user.
At least, that’s what I discovered talking to the people lined up at the Apple store in Palo Alto, Calif., on iPad opening day (see video). For some, it’s a game player. For others, it’s a Netflix viewer, or an ebook reader. For others, it’s a travel accessory. And for a few, it’s, finally, an iTouch big enough for the vision impaired. And, of course, this spring, it’s the current geek status symbol.
Tekla S. Perry is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., she's been covering the people, companies, and technology that make Silicon Valley a special place for more than 40 years. An IEEE member, she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.