Sifting through the noise about the iPad this morning, I’ve come across a few expressions of puzzlement over the camera connector accessories. Warner scratched his head about this too when he covered the accessories yesterday. Certainly we can all see why the iPad should have included a built-in SD slot and/or USB port, but I’m not about to argue that this was a design fail either.
For one, slates always suffer from a limited number of ports, and the iPad isn’t the only tablet without USB. Second, ports add bulk. My old Electrovaya SC500 is loaded with ports and has roughly the same footprint as the iPad, but it’s a thick brick. There’s always a balance to be struck with this. Finally, the camera connector isn’t actually new. It’s just an update of the old camera connector for iPod. Nothing that mysterious here.
A more intriguing question is whether Eye-Fi can or will step in to nullify the need for a physical camera connection. Eye-Fi has a working relationship with Apple, presumably positive, making a card specifically for the Apple Store. They have an iPhone app that adds a (slight) degree of Eye-Fi functionality to the iPhone. They are definitely positioned to create an iPad app that allows wireless transfer from an Eye-Fi card to the iPad or to the web through the iPad. If that happens, we can forget all about the iPad camera connector, just as most of us forgot about the iPod camera connector.