iPad: Multi-User or Multi-Purchase?

Following the launch, I had wondered how iPad would handle “user switching” in Mail. The answer is: it doesn’t. This will be highly disturbing to the many who loved the idea of a “family iPad” that would be used all over the house.

The article brings up a fair point, and one I’ve heard from others. There are many who’d like the iPad to support multiple users, like a Mac.

I’m not sure in what direction Apple will go, but it’s clear for now the iPad is considered a mobile and personal device, like the iPhone and iPod touch.

I agree with those that think the iPad would be a good family device, but Apple’s larger strategy might be simply to make them affordable. If they get the price down to $399, my family could have them for $1,200, the same price as a low-end MacBook Pro, and there’s no sharing.

There’s also a level of customization in separate devices a single laptop cannot provide. Do you get lots of RAM, storage, etc. for the one geek even though the others don’t need it? In the end a family may spend the same amount, but they each have customized devices they don’t need to share.