That said, “just a big iPod Touch” is obviously not true. They are building up new things on top of the iPhone OS. As Andy Ihnatko points out, there is a filesystem after a fashion, and many new interface tricks. To say nothing of the apps that aren’t feasible on a little phone screen but could kill on a 10 incher – think of the live music apps, like mixers, that multitouch and big screens would make awesome.
Finally, the latest trend in iPad commentary is basically, “this gadget isn’t for you, nerd, it’s for your grandma.” While it may be true that the silverhaired set may want it as their only computer, are you nerds really so sure you won’t start drooling when you see Instapaper on the iPad? Tweetie? Aperture? An RSS reader? Don’t we all love our iPhones despite their popularity amongst people who don’t know what the hell an RSS reader is? This thing (and to be perfectly honest my still-awesome $300 netbook) are making me rethink my computer purchases. I might get an iMac next, despite being a strictly laptop kinda guy for the past ten years. I could never afford to have a full desktop and a portable as well, but now I can because the portables are $300-$500, not $2500.
A lot of that is that it will do most of the things you want a second computer for quite well. But a lot of it is the apps. I’ve always loved the Mac’s indie developer community and the great work they produce. Seeing them do their thing on the iPhone has been a great thrill. And despite all the bullshit that Apple dumps on them with the approval process, I’m really excited to see what they do with this whole new device.