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Should You Buy the Apple iPad or Wait?

With Apple’s April 3 launch date for the iPad just around the corner, and preorders quickly piling up, consumers who have been eying Steve Jobs’ latest wonder device since February are quickly needing to choose: Should I buy now, or wait to see how it pans out?

The vast majority of you will wait, a large number will buy, and a significant percentage of buyers will be sorry they did. For those on the fence, I’ve got some thoughts.

Those Who Clearly Shouldn’t Wait

There are a few of us, and I include myself, that get a big kick out of having something no one else has. I’m one of the few that has the large Kindle, and people regularly ask me if it is an iPad, and then want to know more about the Kindle. The attention is kind of fun, and I’m perfectly happy to chat with strangers on technology.

If you really love to have something that no one else has, then you are likely on the short list of folks that should preorder an iPad, or anything else that is hot in the technology segment.

Those Who Should Wait A Bit

If it really upsets you to pay too much for something, then you likely should wait, because Apple is likely to reduce the price of the iPad (we won’t know for a few weeks after launch). Realize that you can actually get a 46-inch, brand new LCD TV for the price of one of these. I just got a Scepter myself from Wal-Mart and, for me that was a better value. If a lot of folks come to the same conclusion, much like they did with the initial iPhone, Apple will have to lower the price a lot, and you’ll be glad you waited.

Typically, first-generation products suffer from initial problems. Other than price, the iPhone had issues with AT&T to turning on the service for the first generation, battery issues with the second, and some initial (I think livable) issues with the third generation. If you don’t like dealing with long wait times for service and generally need to make service calls, you’ll want to wait until after the first wave. On high-demand products like this, any problems can overwhelm service organizations, and it may take a couple of weeks for them to get ahead of the problem.

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