iPad2 is out, do the others matter?

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In case you guys haven’t heard Steve Jobs and company have laid out the plans for 2011, or as some might simply say, the iPad2.  There is a slimmer form factor, lighter, dual core A5 processor, front and rear cameras, and a new color, white!  A lot of people might not find these upgrades to be a big deal, but I think they are noteworthy.  The XOOM outclasses it in most areas, especially with pure power, but it has been pretty choppy at best crashing throughout the day.  It will of course be better as time goes on.  Google likes to release beta products after all.  But that won’t matter, the iPad2 will, and I will tell you why.

HP, Android, Windows, and RIM are all releasing excellent tablets this year.  They will all have plenty of horsepower and have excellent hardware through and through.  RIM is coming out with the 7″ tablet, HP the 9.7″, XOOM has a 10.1″ and Asus is releasing a Windows tablet at a full 12 inches!  All pretty impressive stuff.  All dual core, blazing speed and good software.  Unfortunately it just doesn’t matter.

This is simply because of timing.  The iPad2 is launching in a little over a week, and worldwide by the end of the month.  The original iPad has been on the  market for about 1 year.  Of course we all know Motorola just launched the XOOM last Thursday, and now we all know why.  They rushed it into the market before it was ready (flash, 4G, memory card) so they can beat out the iPad2.  Do you ever think to wonder why?  Ever heard of an iPod?  The rest of the tablets don’t have a specific release date.  The Touchpad is coming in “the summer.” while Samsung, Asus, Toshiba and others have merely said they will be coming soon.  Nothing specific.  Nothing definite.  Oh, and the Playbook has no timetable and will be tied to the Blackberry phone.  Tough sell.

The iPod still commands over 70% of the MP3 player market.  They launched with a bang, advertising everywhere and giving users a sense of “gotta have it.”  Heck, we have a website dedicated to showing off other media players.  They were basically the leaders of the touchscreen phone market.  The iPhone came out swinging and Android has finally caught up, but nobody else has.  Now when we see the tablet market, the iPad was out a full year before anyone else.  I’m discounting the Galaxy Tab because, well  Google discounted it.  Now Apple is launching the iPad2 with one real competitor which has a half baked OS as well as half baked hardware capabilities.  Apple commands over 75% of the tablet market right now.  And they’re adding a second one to the mix, all while discounting the original down to $350 (refurbished).  Insane.

I have always been, and always will be a big believer in choice.  It’s great for competition and great for the consumer.  I just don’t understand why all of the other companies are so far behind.  They have the hardware, and that’s not what I’m talking about.  They just don’t have the whole package, and that’s something that Apple has had a lot of recently.


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Allen Schmidt

Allen is a former contributing editor at Nothing But Tablets, which was merged with Pocketables in 2012.

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