iPad vs PlayBook: Who Cares?

Why all the cultic frenzy around Apple’s iPad – and the badmouthing of RIM's new PlayBook? They’re just expensive tools.

Apple iPad vs RIM PlayBook: Who Cares?
Seriously, folks, the media-hyped iPad-PlayBook “frenzy” is stupid.

Why all the cultic frenzy around Apple’s iPad – and the badmouthing of RIM’s new PlayBook? They’re just expensive tools.

I’m mystified at the press – and electronics fanboys – reaction to this week’s release of the Research in Motion (RIM) PlayBook tablet.

The universal story seems to be that there were no overnight lineups to buy the PlayBook, or stampedes to the electronics stores, so the launch must have been a failure. The real failure was probably in the eyes of the media, which weren’t able to get pictures of crazed fans lining up to get their hands on one.

It all sounds like a case of gadgetry horse racing, egged on by the media and stock analysts. By that I mean everyone sees the launch of every new gadget as a race between competitors for the largest and fastest sale, and of course, the largest revenues.

Who cares who’s going to win?
Seriously, folks, this kind of frenzy is stupid. Yes, the Playbook and the iPad are both tablet computers, and yes they are competing for the hearts and minds of gadget enthusiasts. But is this kind of competition really going to affect your life?
The iPad was the “first” to release a tablet, although people seem to forget that Microsoft had one a few years ago that bombed. Since then it’s generated a cult-like following, with gadget freaks hanging on every utterance from the Apple tower in San Francisco and insisting it’s the greatest innovation since the invention of electricity.
Since I generally subscribe to the Groucho Marx rule of cults – I won’t belong to any club that will have someone like me (meaning just anybody) as a member – I’ve never been mesmerized by whatever voodoo Steve Jobs uses on people.
Neither am I all agiggle and waiting with bated breath for the Galaxy Tab or any one of the other 950 or however many tablets are being released this year.  
To me, they’re all simply tools. Just like computers. Just like telephones. Just like electric drills. Nobody builds a religion around an electric drill. They just drill holes with it.
I know, much of this frenzy is being driven by bloggers and other media who want to conduct search engine optimization by injecting the names iPad2, PlayBook, iPhone4, Blackberry Torch, and various other examples of keyword stuffing into all copy (like I have just done).
But I don’t care. Despite all the hoo-haw about releases of the Playbooks, the iPads, the Thingies, or whatever they’re calling the next one, I’m not getting excited.
They’ve barely started, but I’m already sick of these latest gadget wars.