I don't know how this wasn't spotted before...
Look at Apple's main 'hero' shot of the iPad and what do you notice? Yes it's a big iPod touch, but as Wired points out if you look more closely you'll notice there are certain core apps missing, namely: Stocks, Calculator, Clock, Weather and Voice Memos. But why is perhaps the most interesting aspect.
Acclaimed blog Daring Fireball claims to know the answer and it is a surprisingly superficial one: they look ugly on the larger 9.7in display.
"It’s not that Apple couldn’t just create bigger versions of these apps and have them run on the iPad," blog owner John Gruber explains. "It wasn’t a technical problem, it was a design problem. There were, internally to Apple (of course), versions of these apps (or at least some of them) with upscaled iPad-sized graphics, but otherwise the same UI and layout as the iPhone versions. Ends up that just blowing up iPhone apps to fill the iPad screen looks and feels weird, even if you use higher-resolution graphics so that nothing looks pixelated. So they were scrapped by you-know-who."
Destroying key functionality for the sake of looks? Well, if any company would choose that route...
Of course this is something few have considered. A calculator on a netbook is a little window, on the iPad it fills the entire 9.7in 1024 x 768 screen and will have buttons the size of Oreos. In fact it would look rather comical, like a giant cartoon calendar made by Acme.
The irony in all this is Apple is letting existing App Store apps run on the iPad, many of which will look ridiculous (users have the option to run them in a 3.5in rectangle, turning the rest of the screen blank - but this is equally silly). So it appears to be just Cupertino which doesn't have the ego to let its applications look anything less than perfect.
Ultimately I expect this all to be solved in time, but the controversies (and lampooning) of the iPad don't look set to disappear any time soon. In the meantime, probably best you don't watch this official Apple iPad introductory video with YouTube's new captioning option turned on...
In related news it seems most companies are determined to try and capitalise on the uneasy early steps of the iPad, and Hewlett Packard is doing it better than most.
It has released a new video in conjunction with Adobe, showing off the full Flash and Air capabilities of its impending Slate. It should be noted at that a) this is pretty obvious given the tablet runs Windows 7, but b) it has a point...
Daring Fireball Blog
Apple ad video subtitles