APPLE iPad, the company’s new tablet offering , will be released on April 3 and I have a couple of friends who have preordered it through some friends in the US. As of this writing, it has been reported that there are already over 190,000 preorders for the iPad. When they started to accept preorders at the start of this month, they were getting thousands per hour. Now it has slackened a bit, but they still get over 5,000 per day.

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The iPad isn’t as great as many predicted and there are many who say it is just an oversized iPhone without a cell signal or an iTouch. But nevertheless, the Apple brand is strong and buying interest is very evident. That is the importance of having a strong brand.

There are many reasons why people are getting the iPad. According to a ComScore survey of 2,176 Internet users, 50 percent plan to get it to surf the web while 48 percent said they want to use it for email.

Of the number, 38 percent said they want to use it to listen to music, 37 percent to read books and 36 percent to watch videos. Thirty-five percent said they plan to use it to store and view photos. Ironically, only 26 percent said they will use it to download applications from the Apple App Store.

One thing that is said to be going for Apple is its decision to use the iPhone operating system (OS) on the iPad.

Thus while it is still a single user OS (you cannot run multiple applications at the same time, the iPad has access to over 100,000 mini apps developed for the iPhone.

If I were to get one, that would be my primary purpose.

However, it is understandable that many people might not get too excited about it. An application written and designed for a three-inch screen would not function properly or look nice in a 9.7-inch screen.

An example of this would be my son’s GameBoy programs. While there are emulators that allow these programs to be run on the PC, it did not look nice when the screed was stretched.

Meanwhile, in his first major policy statement on intellectual property rights, US President Barack Obama was described to be very aggressive in protecting it. According to Obama, “Innovation and creativity of the American people are our number one greatest asset and are essential to our prosperity, and we want to be sure that someone can’t just steal the idea and duplicate it with cheaper inputs and labor.”

Intellectual property now accounts for 20 percent of US gross domestic product and nearly 40 percent of US economic growth. However, its software, music and film sector are all suffering from worldwide piracy and many music and movie labels are planning layoffs.

In his speech, Obama said that while there is nothing wrong with people copying US culture and technology, they want to make sure it is licensed and that businesses are getting paid properly. He is reported to have instructed the US trade representatives to do everything to crack down on piracy, including negotiating proper protections with various governments and agencies.