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Businesses Handhelds Apple

Why the Tablet Market is Really the iPad Market 657

Posted by samzenpus
from the price-war-has-started dept.
Hugh Pickens writes writes "James Kendrick writes that after Apple introduced the iPad, companies shifted gears to go after this undiscovered new tablet market but in spite of the number of players in tablets, no company has discovered the magic bullet to knock the iPad off the top of the tablet heap. 'What's happening to the 7-inch tablet market is what happened to the PC market several times. Big name desktop PC OEMs, realizing that consumers didn't care about megahertz and megabytes — yes, that long ago — turned to a price war in order to keep sales buoyant,' writes Adrian Kingsley-Hughes. 'Price becomes the differentiating factor, and this in turns competition into a race to the bottom.' Historically, when a race to the bottom is dictated by the market, it's more a sign of a lack of a market in general. If enough buyers aren't willing to pay enough for a product to make producers a profit, the market is just not sufficient. Price is a metric that most people know and understand because it's nowhere as ethereal or complicated as CPU power or screen resolution. Given a $199 tablet next to another for $299, the $100 difference in the price tag will catch the eye before anything else. But if price is such an important metric, why is the iPad — with its premium price tag — so popular? Simple, it was the first tablet to go mass market, and cumulative sales of around 85 million gives the iPad credibility in the eye on potential buyers. 'So the problem with the Kindle Fire — and the Nexus 7 — is the same problem that's plagued the PC industry. Deep and extreme price cuts give the makers no wriggle room to innovate,' writes Kingsley-Hughes. 'By driving prices down to this level so rapidly, both Amazon and Google have irrevocably harmed the tablet market by creating unrealistic price expectations.'"
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Why the Tablet Market is Really the iPad Market

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  • by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Thursday August 02, 2012 @06:53PM (#40862379) Homepage

    The Nexus 7 is certainly not a "race to the bottom". It has an excellent spec, including a better CPU than the iPad and similar graphics capability. Okay, it doesn't have everything that the iPad has, but it costs a fraction as much and for most people does the same thing (display web pages, email, Facebook, photos etc).

    As for innovation Android itself is innovative, and even on very low end tablets all the features work. Much of the software that makes tablets useful doesn't even run on the tablet anyway, it runs on a server somewhere over the net.

    The tablet market is about to explode with the Nexus 7 and Surface. These are devices that people want - cheap but powerful devices for some casual web browsing, ebook reading and Angry Birds. Apple fanbois are getting nervous.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2012 @06:58PM (#40862421)

    It's actually GOOD. Before the iPad was announced, people were speculating that it would cost $1000, and they thought that was a great price. But then it was introduced at $500. For $500, you get a device you saw on Star Trek 20 years ago... and it is a joy to use.

  • by jaymz666 (34050) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:03PM (#40862473)

    at 500 bucks it's still too expensive. It's the same price as a good windows laptop.

  • by theNAM666 (179776) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:06PM (#40862511)

    Witness this article, referenced elsewhere in /. earlier today:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/if-the-iphone-5-really-looks-like-this-apple-may-be-screwed-2012-7 [businessinsider.com]

    which states:

    "Now that most phones do the same things and work pretty much the same way, the most obvious (and, arguably, important) difference between them is the screen."

    This is hogwash. No tablet comes close to the experience of the iPad; no phone comes close to the effectiveness of the iPhone line. No question-- I'm no fanboy, I think Steve Jobs was a jerk, but Apple simply has done things better.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:07PM (#40862523)

    Apple fanbois are getting nervous? Hardly.

    The iPad is the best tablet for ME. I was into Apple products well before they were popular, because they were better suited to ME. As long as Apple survives as a company and supports my iPad, I'm happy. If Apple is #15 - who cares? I'll still use their products until something better comes along.

    Better to me is definately not specs like CPU, memory, gigahertz, etc..... It's the SOFTWARE, OS and ECOSYSTEM that makes Apple products so much better. Other competitors aren't even close.... for ME. Everyone is different in what they look for and Android geeks need to understand that. There is no big 'conspiracy' why Apple products are winning - shoving 'specs' out is not how you win the Tablet game.... Apple knows what most people want, Android does not.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:07PM (#40862529)

    go look at meritline.com, dealextreme.com, and chinavasion.com: search for 'android' without specifying tablet

    Look at how many devices you get, in how many different formfactors, with how many different featuresets.

    They have GPS tablets now for under 100 bucks, some even have 3d acceleration.
    They have PSP style game consoles 75-150 bucks.
    They have tablets with and without hdmi-out, with and without capacitive touch, with and without bluetooth 55-300+ dollars.

    Point? There's plenty of innovation going on in the tablet market, it's not stopped by price, and if you look at the specs in some of the 'cheap' devices, you'll see that you're getting performance comparable to the last generation 'high end' devices with perhaps lower build quality, screen size, or accessories, but some people are willing to trade that in order to be able to play the latest wiz-bang game on it.

    The tablet market is just getting started and anybody who thinks otherwise likely also thinks America is the only country that can innovate.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:08PM (#40862531)

    You have NO clue whatsoever what "race to the bottom" means. It's not about specs FFS!!!
    "Race to the bottom" mean that the price drops to unsustainable lows.

    Just as Google N7 proves. They don't make any profit at all. It's the prime example of "race to the bottom".
    It will kill the non-ipad tablet market. Eventually. Not today, but tomorrow.

    Is N7 innovative hardware wise? No it isn't. It's pretty lame actually. Why? No profits to make, race to the bottom.
    Case closed.

  • Bullpucky. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:09PM (#40862545) Homepage Journal

    'By driving prices down to this level so rapidly, both Amazon and Google have irrevocably harmed the tablet market by creating unrealistic price expectations.'"

    Uh no. By driving prices down to this level so rapidly, both Amazon and Google have irrevocably harmed Apple's ability to dominate the tablet market by creating realistic price expectations. It's only getting cheaper to make tablets. There's literally dozens of different tablet designs available in this price range, see DealExtreme for numerous examples including all the way up to IPS and A10 for $207 or so.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:16PM (#40862601)

    Exactly. The biggest reason that the Nexus 7 is able to undercut the iPad in price is because it's a smaller screen and because Google isn't making a profit on hardware, not because of significantly less features. It's still as every bit capable and more internally, but the smaller screen on a device being sold at near cost is what makes it $200.

    According to financial reports Apple has close to 50% margin on the iPad. That is a lot of dollars to shave off a device price tag, or use to offer superior specs, if you have a different business model or can live with more normal margins.

  • by WarlockD (623872) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:16PM (#40862603)

    Thats not the point of the article. Its because Google and Amazon are subsidizing the cost of their tablets so much that the consumers are expecting other manufactures to do so. Apple can get away with it because of their market presence and the idea that they are a quality product.

    Your right, the Nexus 7 will explode the tablet market but who OTHER than google/Amazon can subsidize the price point to 200 bucks? This is why Dell and other manufacture companies jumped ship. The OEM's sell hardware for a profit, they cannot compete with companies that don't care about the hardware cost when they make up for it on content distribution.

    Hell, this is why Microsoft is giving the finger to all the OEM's when it comes to their tablet. They will either have to subsidize the tablet to make it a "cheaper" alternative OR spend the time (years) to keep it on the market and compete with Apple directly on features and not on price.

    If you want a real example of this, look at the US Cell Phone market. People EXPECT free phones with a contract or pay just a little more for a higher quality phone. However, if you look at Japan or Europe, those same phones are bought at full price for cheaper service.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:23PM (#40862633)

    Keyword: Application Ecosystem

    At this point many don't trust the Android application ecosystem. Just too much malware out there for anyone to come away with anything approaching feelings of safety there. I had an Acer Iconia A100 that I ended up returning (at a big loss) when I realized that the only thing that I used it for was playing solitaire and occasional web browsing. There is no way that I would trust my 11yo son to select or download apps to it, just too risky. The same thing is not true of the Ipad that we have - although he doesn't have the app store password, I'm more that willing to download inexpensive games for him.

    As long as people (not geeks, regular people) don't trust the Android applications ecology, these devices will only be sold on the basis of price, and the race to the bottom will continue (and selling a much more capable device such as the Nexus 7 at the same price as a Kindle Fire doesn't represent any reversal of this trend).

  • by chrb (1083577) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:23PM (#40862643)
    From the article:

    But if price is such an important metric, why is the iPad — with its premium price tag — so popular? Simple, it was the first tablet to go mass market, and cumulative sales of around 85 million gives the iPad credibility in the eye on potential buyers.

    This is just stating the obvious - the iPad has had more sales, because it has been available for longer. If the Nexus 7 had been released in April two years ago (like the iPad), and the iPad were released last month, then the Nexus 7 would have sold more units.

    By driving prices down to this level so rapidly, both Amazon and Google have irrevocably harmed the tablet market by creating unrealistic price expectations.

    This is not true. Did Nokia irrevocably harm the phone market by constantly driving down the price of a phone until it hit a low of $19? [theinquirer.net] Did Asus irrevocably harm the laptop market by releasing the first cheap netbook? Did Dell harm the PC market by pursuing lower and lower prices? Sure, you could argue that, or you could argue that cheaper technology expands the market - by making it accessible to people on a lower income. Cell phones are cheaper now than ever before, but the market has expanded so that 5.2 billion people now have cell phones, and the total market is still growing (two years ago revenue from phone sales passed $1 trillion [consultantvalueadded.com] and revenue from associated mobile services like calls etc. is also about $1 trillion).

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:38PM (#40862739)

    Apple fanbois are getting nervous.

    I don't see why. Every time Apple gets a kick in the butt their devices get new features. I seriously doubt we'd have the Notification Center right now if it weren't for Android. Even an Apple fan would have to see that.

  • It's a Veblen good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Intropy (2009018) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:44PM (#40862817)

    "why is the iPad — with its premium price tag — so popular? Simple," It's not because "it was the first tablet to go mass market, and cumulative sales of around 85 million gives the iPad credibility in the eye on potential buyers" as the author states. There were tablets on the mass market long before the iPad showed up. It's because the iPad is a Veblen good. Peoples' preference for it increases as its price goes up because the higher price confers a greater status on having it.

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:45PM (#40862819)

    From TFA:

    why is the iPad so popular? Simple, it was the first tablet to go mass market

    This is nonsense. I have used both iPads and Androids, and the iPad is far easier to learn and use. Apple did many, many things right. And they were NOT first to market a tablet. Many, many people tried to make a successful tablet before the iPad. I have a drawer full of their failures.

    Oh, and before anyone calls me an Apple fanboi, let me assure you that while I have respect for their products, I hate Apple as a company. But I am forced to use their products because I am married to an Apple fangoil.

  • by schlesinm (934723) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:45PM (#40862827) Homepage

    No tablet comes close to the experience of the iPad; no phone comes close to the effectiveness of the iPhone line. No question-- I'm no fanboy

    It's only taken the iPhone 2 years to catch up partially with the features which sold me on the far better Android platform (yes I'm am now an Android fanboy) with things like a useful notification bar, multitasking, or home screen widgets, and even now what I don't miss is paying 99c for every bloody app no matter how basic.

    There's a difference between features and experiences. Users care more about the overall experience a lot more than a set of features. They are even willing to go without features if they like the experience.

  • by peragrin (659227) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:46PM (#40862833)

    Because customizing takes time away from product and usability testing.

    There are some features in UI's which shouldn't be messed about with. It is also why android ports of iOS apps generally are easier to use and behave better than android only apps.

    Yes android has better features than iOS. Linux has better features than windows 7. Guess which ones sell more?

    Having a feature means nothing if using it is to complicated.

  • by aaronb1138 (2035478) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:55PM (#40862913)

    It's called the Apple cycle [google.com] for a reason....

    I'm thinking about taking some spare cash and putting a ridiculous short option on Apple stock for the next 12-18 months. Only part that makes it high risk is the capricious nature of jurists in Apples' many lawsuits and their currently health cash reserves. Might be 24-36 months until we are looking at the desperate Apple of the 90's again, but it will happen.

  • by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Thursday August 02, 2012 @08:05PM (#40863003) Journal

    There is no big 'conspiracy' why Apple products are winning...

    Apple products are winning?

    ...shoving 'specs' out is not how you win the Tablet game....

    Oh, you're referring to tablets, good, because there are more Android phones out there than there are iPhones; Samsung, alone, sells twice as many Android phones as Apple does iPhones.

    ...Apple knows what most people want, Android does not.

    Apple knows what Apple fans want; by and far, in the iOS vs. Android war you seem to think is being fought, people want Android, by sales numbers. Further, Android doesn't know what anyone wants, but Google's apparently got a decent idea, as do Morotola, HP, Acer, Archos, Sony, HTC, LG, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Samsung. By and far, these companies outsell Apple and it's not because Apple knows better than they do what their customers want.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @08:09PM (#40863041) Journal

    The tablet market is about to explode with the Nexus 7 and Surface. These are devices that people want - cheap but powerful devices for some casual web browsing, ebook reading and Angry Birds.

    No-one knows how much exactly Surface will cost, but all signs point at it being at least not any cheaper than the "equivalent" (i.e. same storage size) iPad. And the main attraction that it offers is certainly not casual web browsing & ebook reading, but rather the ability to run full-fledged Windows apps when you need to, especially Office - which is why it comes with that keyboard cover in the first place. So it's pretty much the exact opposite of what you claim.

  • by aaronb1138 (2035478) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @08:10PM (#40863053)

    Apple tablets are made with the same shoddy parts. Every statistical analysis of the iPod and iPhone has shown equal failure rates due to defect as the rest of the consumer electronics market, excluding HDD based iPods which were significantly higher than other consumer portables. The iPad hasn't been out long enough for the number gathers to have anything significant yet as far as internal parts failures. Several consumer advocacy groups have shown significantly though that poor design decisions until the iPhone 4 and iPad 3 have contributed to a high screen damage rate among iDevices not seen in other portables.

    The Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, and Nook Color are durable as well. All three take a standing fall vastly better than any model iPad with respect to damage and repairs costs.

    $500 + apps + vendor lock in / ecosystem + 3/4G (for many) is a perfectly good price for the upper 25% consumer incomes in the US. I already addressed this.

    For the other 50% of the consumer market with a disposable income sufficient to invest in small electronics, it becomes a more significant issue for a device which is for entertainment. For them, $200-300 for a device they will need to replace every 12-24 months (similar cycle required for all iDevices) is significantly more reasonable and leaves room for a better array of apps and services with which to take advantage of the device. Consider the number of people who bought the Kindle Fire for $200 and promptly spent $50-200 on e-books within the first 6 months of ownership. For the bottom 25%, it's not a viable option for those with the wisdom to manage their finances.

  • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @08:14PM (#40863087)

    It's just a repeat of what happened in the smartphone market, and, a long time ago, in the PC market.

    Apple introduced a new product, captured a gigantic portion of the market they essentially created, then their marketshare slipped in response to competition from others. But despite the marketshare slip, Apple still makes most of the profits.

    Microsoft taught everyone to worship marketshare because they used theirs to bully everyone into buying their other products. Apple seems to know that marketshare doesn't matter so long as you're still raking in money. They'd much rather sell half or a quarter of the devices at a nice profit than three quarters of the devices at a loss.

  • by frist (1441971) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @08:32PM (#40863241)

    Background: Not an apple fanboi. Owned no apple products other than a $1500 used Mac Lisa that VPI forced the CS class to buy back in the day because they had a version of Uniplus Sys V for it...

    I've owned C64, Amigas, now a bunch of PCs that have various versions of Windows and Linux starting with Windows 3.1 and Linux 1.0 (4 floppies for a distro, I miss that).

    I went to the store to look at the Transformer and some other android tablets after checking out a friend's. All the Android tablets were so-so. I'd have to sideload Netflix on most of them. The displays were ok. They had an apple section so I said "what the heck, let me check out this iPad thing".

    Looked at an iPad (3rd gen, retina display). Wow. It just worked so well, the display was unbelievable. Everything was super smooth. Reading docs on it was amazing. It made the Android tabs look terrible. There was just no comparison. I went back over to the Android tabs and gave them another shot. There was just no going back anymore.

    I bought a 3rd gen iPad, came back for a 2nd for the kids the next day. I tried an iPad 2 for the kids, no good, 1024x768, could not use it after using the retina display (2048x1535), so exchanged that one for a 2nd new 3rd gen iPad. Definitely worth the extra $150.

    I keep an eye on the Android tablets, They're starting to come out with 1920x1080 res devices now, still no comparison.

    I borrowed a mac mini to try out Xcode (you have to develop iOS aps on a mac). I had tried the android SDK, not too impressed, and the nightmare of managing all the different platforms is no fun (I have to do that at work). I actually liked OS X. Nothing like the crappy OS 9 and prior. A BSD-based desktop OS - imagine that. A Linux-like desktop that is actually good.

    I've been eyeing the Macbook Pro w/retina display... 2880x1800 in a 15" package. To run Windows and Linux because I have to.

    If I could extricate myself from the Windows / Linux ecosystem that I write software for I would, but I can't, too many PCs, too many ties. I have to write windows and linux software. Windows 8 holds nothing for me, current distros of linux are going in the wrong direction with their insane UIs (activities? really?). But OS X is nice. Too bad the mac desktop/laptop hardware is so expensive and limited, and I can't use a phone w/out a slider keyboard.

    But for the tablet experience, I wouldn't trade the retina display iPads for any android tablets. There's just no comparison.

  • by PeanutButterBreath (1224570) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @08:38PM (#40863301)

    There's a difference between features and experiences.

    Sure. Features can be objectively defined and compared. "Experience" is utterly subjective. Seriously, what does "overall experience" mean, unless you break it down to the combination of features that you are really describing?

    If a user's "experience" is enhanced by a lack of features, it is because their requirements are more narrow, or they are intimidated by options, or both.

    NTTAWWT. I have an iPod Touch. I didn't even think I wanted such a device over a netbook, but a friend was upgrading and I ended up with it. I like the "experience". But I can actually tell you why. It has very few features and options, but those that are present are basically what I need for my very limited requirements when using such a device (casual web browsing, alarm clock, shallow gaming).

  • by dirkmitt (2699433) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @08:43PM (#40863339)

    I'm one person who bought a tablet, knowing that it was going to be more expensive than an available iPad at the time. Why? Because I disagree with monopolies. And one reason fw I don't like monopolies, is my belief that competition must always be allowed to exist in some form.

    So while I admit that Apple did invent the tablet computer in its present form, I don't think that this makes them the owner of all tablets.

    I know that this entire comment is counter to what was originally posted, but that's how I see it, and one trend which I've looked upon with disdain, is how strongly Apple enthusiasts forget this idea, just like Microsoft enthusiasts had often forgotten it. The concept against either monopoly was the same, except that many Apple followers see _themselves_ as The Winners now... (*)

    And I'm very satisfied with my Android tablet, without wanting to become another advertisement for one particular brand.

    *) It also fits into my greater philosophy, that Capitalist Societies need to be lead and managed, and should not be left to run themselves. And one failure of recent self-proclaimed Capitalists has been, not to engage in enough anti-trust action.

    What this tends to do is prove their insincerity, not that they truly believe in Capitalism, as if to say "Too much wanting to make Capitalism work is a bad thing. Watching Capitalism defeat itself is a good thing."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2012 @08:54PM (#40863425)

    ... consumers get in their heads that iPad is the standard, and the others are knock-offs.

    If consumers get this, what makes is it so difficult for geeks to grok it?

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@[ ]u.org ['bea' in gap]> on Thursday August 02, 2012 @08:54PM (#40863429)

    Think you have it. The big clue is that almost every iPhone cover has an opening for the logo. Almost no cover for an Android phone does that. That says that displaying the logo is considered to be very important. To be seen with it might not be as important has actually having it, but it certainly seems to be A factor in the buying decision process.

  • by steveha (103154) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @09:08PM (#40863527) Homepage

    So why do [tablets] cost so much more?

    Because Apple enjoys making a 40% margin [forbes.com] on tablets, and Apple's customers don't mind paying it. Then Android competitors have (I think) set their prices using iPad prices as a guide.

    The iPad is still selling for about three reasons: Apple has been milking their first-mover advantage, Apple has done a great job on the user experience, and the iPad hardware is excellent quality. This has been enough, especially given the problems in the Android tablets until about this year or so.

    But now, with Jellybean, Android is a great tablet experience. Some folks will say it still doesn't match the iPad, but it's way better than before. Now, quality tablets are here, at attractive price points.

    I love my Nexus 7 tablet. It's everything I want in a tablet. (Well, I guess I'd like HDMI and a card reader, but I really haven't needed them.) Do I wish I had spent twice as much for an iPad 2? No, I really don't.

    I can see the day coming when more Android tablets are sold than Apple tablets, in a replay of what happened in the smartphone market.

    steveha

  • by Dixie_Flatline (5077) <vincent,jan,goh&gmail,com> on Thursday August 02, 2012 @09:36PM (#40863731) Homepage

    Your analysis is needlessly insulting and, frankly, wrong as near as I can tell.

    I make video games for a living. I've worked on triple-A Xbox (original and 360) titles as a programmer. I've got a decent math background, more than a passing interest in physics, climate science, etc., etc. I don't really feel it's necessary to divulge all my credentials, but I'm trying to make the point that I'm not just some random idiot. I was a pro Unix sysadmin in University to help pay for school. I ran my own Slackware and FreeBSD mail servers.

    I'm typing this on an iPad. It's not because it's so simple it saves me from myself, it's because it's so simple it saves me any extra hassle. It's a good environment. I get things done on my iPad. I use it more than I was expecting to, to the point where I don't feel it terribly necessary to sit at my desktop machine more than a couple times a week.

    Having my own servers opened my eyes to the tyranny of choice. I think Linux and BSD are great, but I spent just as much time obsessively fiddling with things as anything. Different window managers, new browsers, random command line tools...none of which objectively added to my productivity.

    And that's what studies find, too. You can offer users choices that make them feel subjectively better and more productive while having the opposite effect. Users don't always know what they want or need. Sometimes you have to give them just one thing that works really well and leave it at that. I could design a door a thousand different ways, and 950 of them would be terrible. (Don't believe me? Read "The Design of Everyday Things". You'll never look at a door the same again.) Why would I give people the choice of a zillion bad doors? I should just give them one or two really good ones.

    iPads are popular because they fulfil their function very well. Don't sit and bash on both Apple and Apple users for a well designed product and the desire to use a well designed product. I won't cast aspersions on Android tablets; I'm sure many of them are also quite good. But all you're doing here is calling names and vaguely dressing up some Apple hate.

  • by quacking duck (607555) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @09:48PM (#40863813)

    Handwriting or not, a good stylus is essential to the tablet "experience". Jobs was unimaginably wrong on that one. Here's hoping that future tablets take a cue from the Galaxy Note. I'd bet that good stylus product from Microsoft or RIM could easily take-out a second-rate tablet like iPad.

    I wish I could be as "unimaginably wrong" as Jobs was on that one. I imagine that I could retire on the profits from a day or two of iPad sales.

    10+ years of tablets and PDAs with this "essential" stylus, and it never, ever took off with consumers. It wasn't just cost, business people rarely used them to get "real work" done, and swivel tablets were used in laptop mode more often than not.

    Of course, a stylus is better suited to things where pixel-precision is needed, and maybe the next generation of non-iPad tablets will give styluses another go, now that users have experienced the limitations of touchscreen-only devices. But to claim Jobs was "unimaginably wrong" and that a stylus is "essential" to the tablet experience flies in the face of reality.

  • by macs4all (973270) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:44PM (#40864171)

    Exactly. The biggest reason that the Nexus 7 is able to undercut the iPad in price is because it's a smaller screen and because Google isn't making a profit on hardware, not because of significantly less features. It's still as every bit capable and more internally, but the smaller screen on a device being sold at near cost is what makes it $200.

    According to financial reports Apple has close to 50% margin on the iPad. That is a lot of dollars to shave off a device price tag, or use to offer superior specs, if you have a different business model or can live with more normal margins.

    If Apple is making 50% margin on the iPad, then why has no one else been able to come close to the specs for even 25% less money?

  • by jbolden (176878) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:46PM (#40864187) Homepage

    Let's not beat around the bush here. iOS offers a very watered-down featureset so non-tech saavy people don't have trouble with it

    That's actually not true. iOS offers a watered-down featureset because Steve jobs wanted iOS devices to be secondary not primary devices. As he said from the day he got back to Apple, "Good design is not about saying 'yes' to everything, it's about saying 'no' to most things and only doing the best".

    With the iPod the goal was to make a fantastic MP3 player, that's it. No radio, no disk storage.... Other features were added slowly and carefully once the music player aspects were in place.

    With the iPhone the goal was to get the core aspects of the interface:
    -- high speed web rendering engine
    -- capacitive touchscreen
    -- animation based visual cues
    perfect. Apps were only added later and reluctantly.

    With Android the goal was to create a version of Linux with a good mobile interface. The goals have always been totally different. They look far more similar than they should because Apple's design was so inspiring. But its not about Apple people being stupid. Its about Apple viewing iOS devices more like the WebOS interface on my printer than a full featured mini-computer.

  • by Fjandr (66656) on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:24AM (#40864663) Homepage Journal

    This is one killer application I have yet to see gain traction, but I think it's inevitable. Personally, the only considerable use I'd give to a tablet myself would be for quick and easy access to reference material. The ease of accessing information from digital documentation is on par or superior to print in almost every respect. The only downside of note is the ability to flip-browse through a large bound printed volume to find a place cue, and the benefits of digital searching alone far outweigh that drawback on balance.

    I see cheap(er) tablets beginning to gain a prevalence in applications where quick access to otherwise cumbersome reference documentation would be a serious boon. They could have an absolutely staggering effect on productivity if equipped and deployed sanely.

  • by bondsbw (888959) on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:46AM (#40864751)

    No, "us" Linux folks were waiting 10 years for a real alternative to Windows and IE and the like. We got that, it's called Apple and Firefox and Chrome. Hey look, OS X is UNIX... even better!

    Now we have some real competition to Microsoft. That's all I wanted, someone to light a fire under Microsoft to do the right thing in terms of better security and better stability and open standards (well, they aren't perfect there, but better). Microsoft still controls the PC market, but Apple is gaining while keeping fairly solid control in the tablet market. But Google is gaining there, and Microsoft will be a major player very soon. Google controls the phone world, but barely with Apple close behind. We are living in the age that could go down in history as the glory days of personal computing devices.

    Nobody can ignore the others, they all have to bring something to the table or be left behind. And that is how consumers win.

  • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Friday August 03, 2012 @03:18AM (#40865329)

    ...shoving 'specs' out is not how you win the Tablet game....

    Oh, you're referring to tablets, good, because there are more Android phones out there than there are iPhones; Samsung, alone, sells twice as many Android phones as Apple does iPhones.

    That's kind of what this thread is all about... tablets. Don't skin him alive over staying on topic.

    ...Apple knows what most people want, Android does not.

    Apple knows what Apple fans want; by and far, in the iOS vs. Android war you seem to think is being fought, people want Android, by sales numbers. Further, Android doesn't know what anyone wants, but Google's apparently got a decent idea, as do Morotola, HP, Acer, Archos, Sony, HTC, LG, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Samsung. By and far, these companies outsell Apple and it's not because Apple knows better than they do what their customers want.

    So everybody who buys Apple products is an evil Apple fanboy? A poor unfortunate and unenlightened heretic who has not seen fit to convert too the true religion which is Google Androidsimn? After all it couldn't possibly be that some random consumer who's never thought about Apple or Microsoft as heretical religious organisations would go out and buy their products simply because they like them and not because they have been 'evangelized'. You really need to learn to relax. People buy what they like, end of story. Sometimes they buy Apple devices sometimes they buy Android devices and sometimes (Ghasp!) they even buy Microsoft devices because that's the product they like.

  • by rbrausse (1319883) on Friday August 03, 2012 @03:36AM (#40865425)

    If consumers get this, what makes is it so difficult for geeks to grok it?

    There's a German word for this: Fachidiot [literally profession idiot]. The idea is that sometimes professionals are thinking to specific - they loose the ability to think outside the box.

    The whole iPad vs Galaxy Tab mess could be based on this: The argument is mostly about extremly tight details without context. Sure, a side-by-side image is similar, but your typical consumer sees also the bigger picture; like typical orientation of the device, look-and-feel of applications, price tag and description in the shop, ...

  • by nyctopterus (717502) on Friday August 03, 2012 @03:53AM (#40865493) Homepage

    Handwriting or not, a good stylus is essential to the tablet "experience". Jobs was unimaginably wrong on that one. Here's hoping that future tablets take a cue from the Galaxy Note. I'd bet that good stylus product from Microsoft or RIM could easily take-out a second-rate tablet like iPad.

    And here we have all of Slashdot's delusions about want-the-fuck-is-going-on wrapped up in a neat little paragraph. As the previous reply pointed out, reality says the exact opposite thing you do. What the hell do you think is going on in the world? (Good god, I bet you're gong to say "marketing"...)

    I say this as someone that wants a (pressure sensitive) stylus for an iPad!

  • nope (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Friday August 03, 2012 @05:05AM (#40865779) Homepage Journal

    why is the iPad so popular? Simple, it was the first tablet to go mass market,

    No, you idiot, that is not only not the reason, it's also wrong. There have been many, many attempts at the tablet market before, many of whom were intended and manufactured for the mass market, except that the market left them on the shelves.

    The iPad is so popular because it simply works. Your little kid can pick it up and use it. And your grandma. And your uncle John who hasn't seen a computer since he was sent to prison 12 years ago.

    Also, it has a cool factor.

    It's not the first. It's just the first that actually works. And it still offers more than all the competitors. Not necessarily "more" in the geek categories nobody really cares about (memory, CPU power and other stuff that you can spend an hour explaining to your non-geek friends), but more in the categories that matter to normal people. And that's why they're still being bought as fast as they roll off the production lines.

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. -- E. Hubbard

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