In these days following Apple’s iPad announcement many people have pointed out the flaws in the iPad. Gizmodo and Lifehacker both have good lists of glaring flaws with the device that will definitely impact it’s adoption and usefulness.
Announcing all the details 60 days before they have a shipping product gives Apple the opportunity to make some quick changes to the design and price point based on public reaction but it also gives competitors an opportunity to catch up faster, and there seems like a lot of folks are moving in the low cost tablet direction.
My money is still on Google. Apple has left the door wide open for Google to swoop in and steal this new market segment Apple just defined. It also looks like I’m not the only one who agree’s with this theory, see what the Android Guys say. But only time will tell if Google thinks it’s a smart move and has willing partners, for example it looks like HTC is ditching the idea of a tablet and refocusing on Android phones. Now that they know what the iPad will feature, will they get re-interested or back-off? It will be fun to watch.
Here’s the line up of potential competitors. Photo credit Gizmodo.
Today Apple announced the iPad, which is essentially a cross between a tablet computer and an iPhone. It appears to have a super easy-to-use interface and the expected sexy wrapper. It is most certainly a new class of device and should be a success; but it’s NOT the Amazon Kindle or netbook killer it was expected to be simply due to the price.
The price will range from $499 to $829. Kindles cost $259 and netbooks typically range in price from $300 to $500. Had Apple found a way to offer a version in the sub-$400 range I think they could have dominated this market.
Defending Apple’s Price Point
The iPad will be a far more capable device than any ebook reader or netbook for at least a year or two. So I can understand their reasoning for pricing it between low cost Macs and netbooks. My guess is that they are hoping buyers will agree that the added value justifies the added cost… but I’ll stick to my guns in saying that they could have cornered the market on this segment with a slightly lower price.
The other major competitor for them will be Google Chrome based tablets, (more here). In fact Google seems to be quickly becoming Apple’s and Microsoft’s biggest competitor on multiple fronts from hardware, to operating systems, to mobile devices.
In the end my money is on Google, not because they have a superior product, but because they have a superior business model and approach. They also seem to get that quality + low price will always beat top quality + premium pricing. Sad but true.
For those of you salivating over the prospect of owning a new Apple iPad you’ll need to get a sponge and mop up your keyboard because it will be some time before it hits store shelves.
It looks like Google is quickly charging into many realms outside internet technology. The Google Nexus One is well positioned to move the mighty iPhone out of the way and now Google is getting into the Energy game too with the start-up of a green utility company. Their operating system Google Chrome must be sending shivers up the spines of the executives at Microsoft. What’s next… a bank?
Apple is rumored to be announcing their new tablet device on January 26, 2010, but have you noticed all the buzz about the tablet market heating up. For example, Google has been rumored to be working with HTC on the hardware for a Google Chrome based tablet and Freelance Semiconductor will reveal their new tablet any time now.
When the iPhone was launched it took competitors 1-2 years to catch up with viable competitors. Today the market is filled with great smart phones but the lead Apple gained early on will keep them in a strong position in that segment for quite some time.
But the tablet market appears to be a different animal. Unless Apple has something truly mind-blowing and low-cost to show the world on the 26th I suspect it’s not going to make the impact the iPhone did just three years ago today when it was initially announced.
Will the Apple tablet be another leapfrog like the iPhone or will Apple get lapped by the strong competition making their new tablet a relative failure like the Apple TV? I guess we’ll have to see… but in any event I would highly recommend avoiding limited devices like the Kindle since we’re about to see the emergence of a large number of low-cost tablet based computers.