One of my favorite things about iOS devices is you can take it out of the box, turn it on and it tells you how to set it up. Once the device has been synced, you literally pick it up and your good to go from the moment you turn it on. The buttons are easy enough to figure out that I knew what every single one did as soon as I got my first iPod Touch (I even figured out the double tap function for the home button)
So, here was my response to the writer and commenters:
It's odd that turning the device on and being told that you can't use it until you hook it up to a real computer, with the latest version of iTunes, is a virtue of the experience. For me, it was a giant let-down.
It has a graphic that neither grandma nor the two-year-old is likely to be able to decipher. They will need familial "tech support" for that.
With regard to their not needing tech support beyond initial set-up, that suggests that they're not doing very advanced things on the iPad. These things would be similarly simple on a pc and would not require any or much input from the family tech.
Have them start putting pictures and songs and videos and documents on the iPad. That's when the calls start coming in - when they have to add things to the pc... to add them to iTunes... to add them to the iPad.
There's something inaccurate or disingenuous about calling a device "magical" (as compared to pc's) when it's very setup and even mildly advanced features REQUIRE the use of that big, scary pc.