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.