For years, I've used Apple products as a model of great start experiences. Apple consistently creates an unpacking process that reflects the care and attention to detail found in the product within. Perhaps that's why I was a bit surprised by the iPad's first time experience.
When you first turn the iPad on, all you see is an instruction to connect the device to iTunes -Apple's media management software.
Doing so presents you with a sequence of screens that include the iPad License Agreement (that you must accept), iTunes Account Set-up, Registration, a promotion screen, and finally the ability to set up your device. Most of these steps do little beyond fulfilling Apple's legal and marketing requirements and keeping you from doing what you really want -using your sexy new iPad. The process is a nuisance but it's not the real issue. That honor belongs to the required iTunes update.
In order to use the iPad, you need the latest version of iTunes -version 9.1. Since the software was released just before the iPad was available, it's quite likely that most people attempting to use their iPad for the first time needed to update iTunes.
As you can see in the image below, this adds quite a few steps to the process including three additional license agreements, a 91 MB download, interactions with iTunes, the Web browser, and software installer.
So the complete iPad start experience looks like the image below. That's four license agreements and twenty-one steps before you can experience the future of personal computing yourself. Ouch.