I just have watched the Apple iPad announcement and I have to say that I am quite impressed by the Apple marketing team. Before the film I could not think of a good use case for a oversized iPod, but after the film I have to say that Apple greatly refined the use case of the netbooks as a second PC.
Instead of putting an ordinary OS into a differently shaped device, like Microsoft is seemingly doing with the Slate, Apple adjusted the OS to the new use case.
If you have a much smaller screen and a much smaller keyboard, like you have on netbooks, you don’t want to write long articles or aim for the tiny buttons of ordinary user interfaces. Instead one should of a netbook like a playback device, which only requires rudimentary interaction.
As apple is great at streamlining stuff, they simply left out the keyboard and used a modified version of the iPhone OS, which is optimized for easy usage and – voilla here comes the computer you actually want to use in your living room, to quickly peek on facebook or your mail inbox.
But there are two big disadvantages that come with using the iPhone OS. First it is stripped down to much; there is no multitasking and no system clipboard which takes a lot of the convenience you have when using a real OS.
And second you are again locked-in by apple. If you use the iPad, you are also more or less forced to use iTunes for your music, iBook Store for your eBook and the AppStore if you want new Software.
Of course you might be able to Jailbreak the device and use third-party software but this will be nowhere as convenient as using the defaults. This is Apples Achilles heel and where Maemo can triumph.
With Maemo you basically have a full-fledged Linux with a easy to use UI. You have multitasking, you have a system clipboard and most importantly you have an open software repository – and all of this very well integrated in the UI.
You can freely choose your email provide, your music player and even the format you save your music in. And even though Nokia does not support OGG by default, the open nature of the OS allows it to be just as integrated as everything else.
Actually Nokia only has to build a Internet Tablet with the size of the iPad…