Why The iPad Won’t Be Like The iPod

17 Comments

Credit: Engadget

Just ask any upset-minded team this week during the NCAA Tournament: the games don’t end in the first half.

A week after Apple’s second-generation iPad made its debut, it’s pretty clear Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has another winner on its hands. Lines were longer than expected across the country at Apple’s retail stores and supply was short, leading to increased shipping times online. And once you got past all the hoopla, it became clear that the iPad 2 really was a cut above its fledging competitors: clearly a #1 seed going into the tablet tournament against a brand-new Android tablet operating system and devices from RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) and HP (NYSE: HPQ) that have yet to even take the court.

But such an early lead doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed a trip to the finals. After Apple previewed the device two weeks ago, entrepreneur Mark Sigal looked at the state of the tablet market on O’Reilly and argued that not only is Apple well on its way to dominating the market the way it came to dominate the portable music player argument with the iPod, but that it was “running up the score.” (Sigal’s column was highlighted by John Gruber of Daring Fireball earlier this week, who wrote “… count me in with Sigal on the big picture: the iPad is more like the iPod than the iPhone, and that’s bad news for Android.”)

Somewhat surprisingly, Apple has yet to release sales numbers for the iPad 2, so we don’t exactly know what the score is quite yet. There’s little doubt that Apple is out to a big lead, but despite Sigal’s well-argued piece it seems a bit presumptuous to declare the tablet market essentially over basically one year into its existence for one major reason: the tablet, unlike the MP3 player, is a platform for multibillion dollar media and software constituencies that are essential to making the device a hit with consumers.

Sigal makes several excellent points regarding why Android competitors won’t be able to chip away at the iPad the way they did at the iPhone. Unlike the iPhone, Apple has managed to secure iPad sales without required wireless contracts, meaning that carriers have less control over how the iPad is distributed and promoted. Apple’s network of retail stores is unmatched by any would-be tablet competitor. And hardware makers, like Motorola (NYSE: MMI), Samsung, RIM, and HP, are notoriously bad when it comes to their history of innovative and intuitive software development, the true differentiating factor in the modern mobile device and Apple’s greatest strength.

I’d even add a fourth: the iPad defined a category previously unknown to consumers, whereas the iPhone was merely the first smartphone that made the average person–not the traditional smartphone customer, the harried senior executive–pay attention to the concept. The iPhone was really chipping away at well-established brands like the BlackBerry, the Treo, and various Nokia (NYSE: NOK) devices, whereas the iPad didn’t really have a competitor until late last year in the Galaxy Tab, and didn’t have an inspired competitor until Google’s Honeycomb tablet software was ready for Motorola’s Xoom.

But the fact is there is simply too much at stake as the world shifts its computing habits more and more toward mobile devices like tablets for an industry to coalesce around a single player. MP3 players like the iPod didn’t offer other service providers a chance to play atop the device: it was Apple’s smart hardware design choices combined with the breadth and depth of the iTunes Store, rather than software and services running on the device, that made the iPod such a runaway hit. With the notable exception of the iPod Touch (really a phoneless iPhone), iPods didn’t really do anything except play music, videos, and maybe a few rudimentary games.

Tablets, on the other hand, offer enormous opportunities for media companies, game developers, and budding entrepreneurs with ideas no one has thought of yet to build businesses on these devices. They also give carriers–even without contracts–chances to sell more expensive data plans and another lifeline at avoiding their eventual dumb-pipe fates.

It’s true, however, that right now there’s no incentive to spend time building services around Android tablets: those businesses aren’t short-sighted enough in the near term enough to overlook the fact that Apple has both the best device and the most volume. But Apple’s insistence on keeping strict control of its platform tends to rub many of those people the wrong way, and there are still enough people in this business who remember chafing under Microsoft’s dominant thumb in the 1990s. They’re going to want options, and they’re going to want to help at least one other player keep Apple on its toes.

There’s no question that several things need to happen before Apple’s lead is threatened, but it seems unimaginative to say they can’t happen.

First, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and its partners need to find something to set their products apart from the iPad. Whether that’s pricing (the first Android tablets were too expensive), exclusive deals with media companies (like, say, the rights to the NFL’s GameDay package for streaming in a special app), or highlighting areas it already does better than Apple (wireless syncing, for example), the Android crew needs to find a way to replicate the “Droid Does” campaign that turned Android into a household name for phones. They’ll likely be able to find help from partners both among wireless carriers or software/media companies who are looking for an alternative to Apple’s way of doing business.

Second, the software has simply got to get better: even if Google and partners manage to cut extremely compelling deals, like the hypothetical NFL deal, if the software is subpar people just won’t buy the product. But Google operates a very quick iteration machine, releasing Android updates at a rapid-fire pace that made the original G1-era Android phone much more competitive with the iPhone in about a year, and HP’s advantages in areas like notifications may be more interesting on a tablet than on a phone.

Third, some combination of Android, RIM, or HP (to be sure, they won’t all pull this off) has to secure prominent shelf space at places like Best Buy and find a way to incent salespeople to promote their products. This was a huge problem for Palm (NSDQ: PALM) when trying to sell its Pre smartphones in Verizon stores; the salespeople simply didn’t understand or didn’t care about promoting the Pre. On a recent visit to Best Buy, Motorola’s Xoom tablet was buried in the computer department, just about the farthest away from the front door and main aisles as one could get in that department. Even Samsung’s Galaxy Tab got better placement than the iPad, which at least had its own placard next to the Apple-only tables at Best Buy.

To be clear, this is not a recipe for an “iPad killer,” or any of those other tired clichés about how the computer industry is going to evolve. All I’m talking about here is a scenario in which both Apple and other tablet makers fight for market share on the merits of their product, rather than the timing of their entry. It’s very likely that Apple settles once again in a comfortable role as the most profitable vendor in the space with excellent market share, and that’s a spot that would keep the company flush with cash.

For all their bluster, it’s unlikely that Apple executives are taking tablet competitors lightly. The first Android smartphone, the G1, didn’t arrive until October 2008, a year after the formation of the Open Handset Alliance, which itself was only formed about 5 months after the iPhone began shipping in June 2007. The first Android phone to really take off in the market, the Motorola Droid, didn’t arrive until a year after the G1 made its debut. And yet about a year after the original Droid was launched, Android-powered phones had eclipsed the iPhone as measured by market share.

There’s certainly no guarantee the same thing will happen when it comes to tablets, but neither should we all assume Apple has locked up a market that has barely gotten started.

17 Comments

Product categories

@Martin

1. I am in no way trying to be misleading!

2. >”No, Apple sold 20 million iPods last quarter with the iPod touch making up over half of that number. Apple has sold 300 million iPods so far. This is NOT a small market.”

OK, I looked at some numbers and it seems Apple has one high quarter per years that sell ~20M and the rest ~10M/quarter currently = 50 to 80 Million per year currently–I’ll give a wide margin for error. Happy?

300M devices sold over 10 years is NOT a huge market. Nokia sold over 110M smartphones last year alone–that’s just NOKIA. Smartphones sold ~400 million last year alone. While the iPod sells well the market is nowhere near PCs, cell phones, or smartphones and is declining.

3. >>”The original iPod is only an mp3 player.”
It wasn’t? The category is/was DAT not media players or mobile media players. . . at least that’s was what I thought it was.

4. >”Look, if you refuse to include the iPod touch in the Media Player category then where would you put it?”

Ah, there is the category. It isn’t DAT, it’s media player. OK. I’ll go with that for the sake of argument. So, isn’t a smartphone a media player also? Isn’t a tablet a media player also? Isn’t a PC a media player also? Should a device be excluded from a category because it does more? That’s kind of the issue I’m talking about here. How can you exclude devices that doe everything the other devices does but more? Don’t you think an intelligent person would use the device that does more also as a media player as well as it’s other functions? I do.

Again, you are trying to squeeze it into a category and exclude other devices that accomplish the same tasks, aren’t you?

>”In the smartphone category? In that case, the iPhone/iPod touch installed base absolutely destroys Android and gets within coo-ee of the current quarterly unit sales for all Android smartphones and tablets.”

Install base certainly is well ahead of Android and since they’ve been around for. . . what 8 years longer I would expect that. And iOS devices are behind current sales of Android smartphones–only smartphones ;)

However, iOS devices in that case are still WAY behind all non-iOS “media players” or devices that do at least “media player” functions–that’s my point. . . think about Symbian devices that can play music, show photos, play apps, etc. . . ;)

“Or would you put it into the tablet category? In that case last quarter Apple sold 7 million iPads and 10 million iPod touches and absolutely decimated all other tablet competition (even more than they have already). It also means Apple has been dominating the tablet market since 2007 and Apple’s tablet products are already well into 4 years of market dominance and thus demonstrating they are absolutely following the iPod’s success in obliterating the competition.”

Again, it seems you are intent on trying to define a “category” in which Apple’s device can be seen as dominating while ignoring all the other devices that would fit into that category–if iOS devices fit that category then Symbian and blackberry seem to fit as well. . . just to mention two. And as we’ve just covered iOS devices don’t come close to non-iOS devices that do similar things–play music, show pictures, run apps, etc. . . There’s the catch–it’s one company’s (Apple) line of devices against all others = total market share & total install base.

I understand how Apple fans want a specified “category” in which an Apple device seems to rule supreme and “decimate the competition” but that’s my whole point. You have to arbitrarily define a category while ignoring how devices are actually used by consumers and exclude devices that DO MORE than the device in that category. IMO it’s more important to look at how consumers are purchasing and using these “computer devices” as a whole.

The whole argument is just stupid imo. If it makes you feel better to define a category so Apple has a leading market share, go for it!!! Knock your socks off!

On this one I’ll side with the Apple fans, and I’m sure Steve Jobs, that say profits are more important. Profits are far more important to Apple than market share imo. I doubt they would give up 50% profits to have 80% of any market. Don’t you ;)

Thus the basis of my “argument,” categories are irrelevant and arbitrarily defined in the first place. It’s more important to see how consumers are using these devices as many will be happy with a “pad” device for all their needs while other will be happy with a laptop, etc. . . and ultimately what’s important for a company is PROFITS, and if they maintain high profits and are solvent with a vibrant ecosystem who really cares about market percentages?

While I may not be an “Apple fan” I give them high marks for being able to maintain high profits relative to other computer hardware/software companies regardless of their market share. I think fans that get caught up in market percentages, defining categories to see an Apple product “dominate and decimate the competition” are lost in competition and have lost the plot completely.

But hey. . . whatever works for you ;)

I’ll stick with the idea that it’s all “one big pool” and all companies are trying to get as much money from users that are going to purchaser from that pool in order to maintain a “healthy company.”

Martin Hill

http://moconews.net/article/419-why-the-ipad-wont-be-like-the-ipod/

@product categories said “I’m a little confused about the definitions being used for these product categories.”

You’re more than confused, you’re misleading.

>”If we do that then why aren’t we including all other devices that are “mobile mp3 players?””

Yes, better include automobiles too as most can now play MP3s and they are mobile too.

>”The iPod sell what 10M/quarter?”

No, Apple sold 20 million iPods last quarter with the iPod touch making up over half of that number. Apple has sold 300 million iPods so far. This is NOT a small market.

>”The original iPod is only an mp3 player.”

Are you stuck back in 2001 or something? The iPod (and competing media players) have displayed photos, played video, played games for years before the iPod touch came on the scene.

Look, if you refuse to include the iPod touch in the Media Player category then where would you put it? In the smartphone category? In that case, the iPhone/iPod touch installed base absolutely destroys Android and gets within coo-ee of the current quarterly unit sales for all Android smartphones and tablets.

Or would you put it into the tablet category? In that case last quarter Apple sold 7 million iPads and 10 million iPod touches and absolutely decimated all other tablet competition (even more than they have already). It also means Apple has been dominating the tablet market since 2007 and Apple’s tablet products are already well into 4 years of market dominance and thus demonstrating they are absolutely following the iPod’s success in obliterating the competition.

-Mart

Product categories

I’m a little confused about the definitions being used for these product categories.

The original iPod is only an mp3 player. The iPod Touch is much more of a mobile computing device (app player) or a smartphone without the carrier radio. How can we include sales of the iPod touch in mp3 sales and then argue that the iPad is like the iPod because of the iPod touch?

If we do that then why aren’t we including all other devices that are “mobile mp3 players?” Feature phones, smartphones, pmp, etc. . . . When those are added to the mp3 market the iPod isn’t really much of a blip at all.
1 billion cell phones sold per year. How many can play music out of that? I would guess at least 50% if not a lot more. The iPod sell what 10M/quarter?

So, people want to say that the iPod is a market “leader” but they are then only including the types of mp3 players that they want to include? In other words, let’s define a market in which an Apple product will be the market leader because of how that product market is defined Vs how devices are actually used and how things have evolved over time?!?!?!?!?!

I don’t know. . . I don’t know a single iPod owner these days. I used to see them around a lot more, now I see people using their phones as mp3 players.

On that grounds alone I think the argument for the iPod and market leadership is very very faulty. In other words the strictly defined DAT (mp3 player) category is really dead for the most part.

That would be similar to defining this new “iPad market” as, a device that does not have a keyboard, screen is less than 10″ but larger than 9″, cannot in any circumstance use a mouse, has limited multitasking capabilities, is multitouch capable, and must use a desktop client to purchase apps & content.

Well, yeah. . . with that definition the iPad will forever be the market leader of that category.

The argument for the iPad being like the iPod is faulty for many reasons however, what we are ignoring most of all is how devices are utilized by the general public and defining product categories rather arbitrarily rather than on how the public uses them. While devices do more and more they will replace other devices. No doubt that as smartphones become more powerful we will see more Motorola Atrix type devices that will dock to power all of our computing needs–should that device then be categorized only as a smartphone?

As technology advances the lines between product categories is blurred more and more. Soon we will have a wider range of form factors to accomplish the same tasks we would have used a PC for just a few years ago, at which point we have to realize that a PC is just a “computing tool” and the “form factor” of that computing tool is irrelevant–it’s the tasks that it can do that are relevant.

So. . . in the end, many companies will still compete with many different form factors and platforms that all will do pretty much the same things. Apple will no doubt retain their faithful followers and continue to make large profits however, to think that a single form factor from Apple will dominate all “computing form factors” is a massive stretch and we are no where near that today–as pointed out by other commenters the iPad sales number are in the teens while other computing form factors are in the hundreds of millions. Apple’s dominance will only take place if we artificially define a category that suits an Apple product and ignores real world use of other products.

What can the iPad do that I can’t do on a PC, a tablet PC, a smartphone, an iPod touch, an Android PMP, etc ????

Premature

OK. . . so let me get this right.
Apple is selling a few products at a decent clip with a high profit margin = $$$$!
The iPod has a significant market share after years.
The iPhone was going to dominate the world but that seems to have gone south, but it still sells well and makes a good profit.
The iPad has sold well for it’s first year and most likely will continue to sell well at least to Apple fans.

Apple wants to call the iPad a “post-pc” device but it needs a PC and therefore it lives in the PC world and does. . . well, many things PCs do.

So, is the claim that the iPad will dominate computer sales? Is it that people will stop buying computers and only buy tablets? Are business no longer going to need the “heavy lifting” of computers and suddenly the iPad (a consumption device according to Apple) is some how now going to be able to take care of all those business needs?

Or is the argument that the “pad” is a new category all together and the iPad will continue to hold a leading share of this “new” non-PC market? Let’s face it. . . it’s not a “tablet” according to what the PC world has been putting out. . . while very similar there are some differences–a tablet is a full PC running a full PC OS while a “pad” is not. . . at least at this point in time. I’m sure things will change.

If it’s the former. . . well, the iPad has to sell a few hundred million more per year to even be considered the market leader for computers.

If it’s the later. . . well, it is the leader right now of this “new market.” So, no real argument there.

Will the iPad continue to be the leader of this new “pad” market? Well, I think it’s very speculative at this point to say one way or the other. Since the iPad is more or less the first popular “pad” device we don’t really have much comparison, thus the debate is mute till we have a little data to go on. . . and competition. I think by the end of the second quarter of 2011 we will have decent indicators to tell whether or not it can maintain over 50% of the market share.

If I were a betting man I would say it wont hold that much within a year from now. Why? The shitty Samsung 7″ Galaxy Tab that’s really a blown up phone took a good bite out of the iPad’s market leading share. And that thing was bloody expensive. How many reasonably priced pad devices will we see over the next four months? ~10?

. . . let’s revisit in six months ;)

melci

@iPod sales declining,
No, the entire dedicated media player market is now slowly declining – the iPod is maintaining it’s overwhelming share of that market as it has done for the last decade. That is the point.

Also, sales of the more expensive iPod touch are actually *increasing* significantly each quarter with that mini-iPad now making up over 50% of iPod sales.

Apple now sells a third as many iPod touches (10 million) as all Android manufacturers sell Android tablets and smartphones put together (32.7 million).

That is market dominance and something which the iPad is copying blow by blow.

-Mart

unhinged

@Android Honeycomb FTW: Such logical inconsistency in your arguments that it’s hard to know where to begin to correct you.

Let’s start with ‘The argument that it will be “different this time” is laughable’ which is followed two paragraphs later by ‘Furthermore, anyone who thinks that numerous other hardware and software companies (MS, Google, Asus, Acer, HP, Dell, MSI, ZTE, Toshiba, Sony, etc. . . ) are going to sit around and do nothing like they pretty much did with MP3 players have lost their freakin’ mind.’

So, it’s “laughable” that Apple has learned the lesson of the PC era but not that all these other companies have supposedly learned the lesson of “MP3 players”?

Next up, ‘Computer technology is moving to the mobile arena and companies have looked at the tablet for decades with lust. Archos has been putting out good tablets way before Apple–the iPad is nothing more than a knockoff of an Archos tablet.’ (note that this comment follows ‘Let’s look at numbers of devices sold:
~400M PCs/year
~400M smartphones/year
~1Billion cell phones/year
15M iPad?!?!?!? Yeah, it looks like they have everything sewn-up! LMAO!)

So, a tablet that has in less than 12 months sold more units than _all previous tablet sales combined_ over a period of at least a decade… is (a) not really doing much by the way of sales and (b) representing a market that manufacturers “lust” for.

As for the iPad being a “knockoff of an Archos tablet” – well, it seems strange to me that the Archos is not a household name the way the iPad is. Maybe there’s some difference between the two and the iPad is perceived as being better by more of the people who make the purchasing decisions? I seem to recall another situation like that… oh yeah, Windows was a knockoff of MacOS and it outsold the Apple product. There was definitely a difference between those two products, and the market voted with dollars, just like the market is doing now.

‘Sure, Google has things to overcome if they want Android to succeed in this area however, Microsoft will release a new OS that will unify all devices from phone to desktop and leverage THE largest software and hardware ecosystem in the word–it dwarfs anything and everything Apple has.’

Hmm. Apple has something I can buy _now_ or I can wait for Google to “overcome” its “things” or for Microsoft to spend a decade (based on historical evidence) improving its product to the point where it can compete. Apple already has an OS that unifies every device from phone to desktop, so if that’s a desirable outcome for me as a user, why would I wait for someone else’s product(s)? Wouldn’t those other providers similarly want me to buy _their_ products exclusively? (What’s that? I’m buying different hardware from different manufacturers? But my benefit comes from the software being the same? Then why do I care who the hardware manufacturer is?)

‘And Google will begin a massive push with cloud services for books, music, content, etc. Any device will have access from anywhere–that will beat iTunes and no one has every really tried to beat iTunes till now.’

[jaw drops] Seriously?

‘Only a delusional Apple Fanboi would think that Apple will control a majority of the most lucrative tech markets.’

Or, you know, someone who looks at the profits and sales figures Apple is reporting today and for the last few years. Opinions don’t really come off looking correct if the facts are considered objectively. Apple already has a majority share of the $1000+ PC market, a majority share of the digital music player market and a majority share of the tablet market that manufacturers “lust” after.

‘The price doesn’t matter! It’s the need and use of the product that matters.’ – ooh, quick! I have a computer you can buy for $500 and a similar computer you can buy for $1000 – which one are you going to choose?

‘The world doesn’t need or want luxury items.’ Uh…

‘They need and want highly usable items and that isn’t the iPad! Android Honeycomb however will prove to be highly usable and productive, and if Android can’t do it MS will step in and HP will be knocking at the door with WebOS all the time.’

And your proof for these claims is…???

‘/RANT’ Stunningly accurate. This is a RANT, not a series of logically consistent arguments.

Historical performance is not a perfect indicator of future performance, but it beats any other reliable measure that we have. Apple, over the last decade, has executed a long-term plan that has gained them real and intangible benefits. Android has changed rapidly to follow (let’s be honest here) what Apple is doing, and has also executed well. But it’s chasing advertising dollars, not consumer dollars and right now the consumer is spending those dollars on Apple products.

iPod sales declining

uh. . . Apple fans claiming that the iPad is just like the iPod (original or iPod Touch) do realize that iPod sales are declining. . . don’t they?

So, they hope the iPad will rise to what. . . ~40M sales and then decline? Yeah, I can see that.
In other words, it will never reach the popularity of netbooks (~60M/year). . .?!?!?!
Great argument there guys!

Yeah, that sounds about right for a “market leading device” from Apple.

Of course. . . other computer and “post-pc era” devices from other companies will sell well over ~400M/year.

Regardless of the iPad’s “market share” it’s just a small fish in a big ocean.

melci

Of course the iPad is just like the iPod – the iPad is just a big iPod Touch isn’t it?

Tom Krazit says: “With the notable exception of the iPod touch (really a phoneless iPhone), iPods didn’t really do anything except play music, videos, and maybe a few rudimentary games.”

Right there you have proved your thesis wrong. The iPod touch is the exception to the iPod line – it is just like the iPad running the vast majority of the 350,000 apps in the app store,

Next Krazit says: “Tablets, on the other hand, offer enormous opportunities for media companies, game developers, and budding entrepreneurs with ideas no one has thought of yet to build businesses on these devices.”

Well guess what, the iPod touch is all that and more.

So, we have proved the iPad is just like the iPod touch.

Well, guess what the iPod touch represented more than 50% of iPod sales last quarter according to Apple so that means it is mostly due to the iPod touch that Apple rules the media player market with 80% market share and yes, the iPad last quarter captured around 80% market share.

Guess what – it looks like the iPad is just like the iPod. QED

-Mart

Respighifan

RIM will handle itself just fine in this competitive environment. With TAT and QNX and a new slew of products this year, RIM will most certainly surprise the nay-sayers like Goldman-Sachs who seem to have a personal vendetta against RIM for some reason…

David Lemieux

In the end what counts is: are enough people making money? Android outsold iOS therefore more money must have been made by Android developers than iOS developers, right? Also, those who made Android devices must have made more money than Apple, right? Consumers must be saving money getting an Android device rather than a similarly equipped Apple device, right?

Up in Canada the problem is even worse as we have 3 year contracts. I recently pointed out to a friend at work who claimed to save over 60$ by NOT buying the iPhone that when we factor in a 3 year contract he saved all of (60$/36=1.66$) per month or 42 cents per week or 6 cents a day. When I asked him “would you have paid 6 cents a day to have a bigger and better screen, faster processor, GREAT camera both front and back (he has back only and it’s crap), fast processor, 16G instead of 2G and thinner / sturdier phone?”, he answered “yep!”.

The iPad’s value comes from ease of use, thoughtful addition of features and a useful library of apps. Add to that this very important thing, where do you go when you have issues with your moto, samsung or BB tablet? A telco? Do you like your telco? In Canada most people would answer NO! to the last question. But if you have an iPad, the answer is “Chez Apple!” where the service is generally great and helpful.

pxlated

Android Honeycomb FTW & Shri Yaja made my day – Laughing hysterically.

Shri Yaja

There was a big hype on sales on Ipad 1. Long lines and ifands camp[ing out. haha. Still Kinect beat it hands down without any lines and all the media dramas. It is production planning and shipping. Apple just relies on hyped marketing. If MS or Google android comes wiht what Apple releases as a prodcut, the media will nit pcik them like edges are not round, no cameras, no hdmi. Just note it down, in the final quarter of 2014, Iphone share will be less than 10 percent in the global market and all ipads will be out sold by the other products. Reason is apple selling the iproducts with less features and behind curve tech components.

dsect

Actually, it’s your buggy Andr-iOS and nasty Zume that people don’t want. I predict that within a year Google tosses Andr-iOS completely (it’s a cost center, not a profit center), and your non-Apple junk will only be useful as landfill.

Android Honeycomb FTW

Apple and Apple fans want to say they have won the game when the game hasn’t even started–this is exactly what Apple did with the Mac. How did that turn out Apple fans?

Let’s look at numbers of devices sold:
~400M PCs/year
~400M smartphones/year
~1Billion cell phones/year
15M iPad?!?!?!? Yeah, it looks like they have everything sewn-up! LMAO!

The argument that it will be “different this time” is laughable and the argument that the iPad is more similar to the iPod is even more laughable. Only a delusional Apple fan can work those arguments into some semblance of logic. . .

Apple is one company putting out one product and they are very closed and overly controlling even non tech people when asked about Apple know that they are over controlling and they just don’t want it. Apple pushes away more people than it attracts with all its shenanigans.

Furthermore, anyone who thinks that numerous other hardware and software companies (MS, Google, Asus, Acer, HP, Dell, MSI, ZTE, Toshiba, Sony, etc. . . ) are going to sit around and do nothing like they pretty much did with MP3 players have lost their freakin’ mind. Computer technology is moving to the mobile arena and companies have looked at the tablet for decades with lust. Archos has been putting out good tablets way before Apple–the iPad is nothing more than a knockoff of an Archos tablet.

This is a market that companies will not ignore or give a half hearted attempt to dominate. They will do whatever is necessary to dominate–that kind of effort was not seen in the MP3 market. And when you have tens of companies advertising to the public it creates a dominant mind share. They just needed a platform to get behind and they have it now.

Sure, Google has things to overcome if they want Android to succeed in this area however, Microsoft will release a new OS that will unify all devices from phone to desktop and leverage THE largest software and hardware ecosystem in the word–it dwarfs anything and everything Apple has.

And Google will begin a massive push with cloud services for books, music, content, etc. Any device will have access from anywhere–that will beat iTunes and no one has every really tried to beat iTunes till now.

Only a delusional Apple Fanboi would think that Apple will control a majority of the most lucrative tech markets. The MP3 player is no where near as lucrative as the PC, phone, and tablet markets. Even Apple claims they make no real money off iTunes music and iPod sales have never reached 100M/year and it’s a cheap toy that everyone can buy & use–children to adults with no tech ability whatsoever, and it still didn’t reach the numbers. It’s never even sold near 1/10th of what cell phones are selling at or a quarter of what PCs & smartphones sell at. The price doesn’t matter! It’s the need and use of the product that matters. People need and want computer type devices. An iPod is just a toy that most of the world doesn’t care about and never will–they are luxury items which is what Apple sells the most of. A PC or smartphone are highly usable items for the entire world. Thus the massive sales and increase in sales. The world doesn’t need or want luxury items. They need and want highly usable items and that isn’t the iPad! Android Honeycomb however will prove to be highly usable and productive, and if Android can’t do it MS will step in and HP will be knocking at the door with WebOS all the time.

/RANT

Keep dreaming apple fans. . .. cause it ain’t gonna happin!

quietstorms

Your article doesn’t really state why it won’t be like the iPod, but rather, how it could not end up like the iPod.

Dissecting your reasoning:

1. “Somewhat surprisingly, Apple has yet to release sales numbers for the iPad 2, so we don’t exactly know what the score is quite yet.”

I think we know enough. It’s been a week since it’s been released and there are long lines for the iPad.

2. “Unlike the iPhone, Apple has managed to secure iPad sales without required wireless contracts, meaning that carriers have less control over how the iPad is distributed and promoted.”

This is why it’s not the same as the smartphone market.

3. “But Apple’s insistence on keeping strict control of its platform tends to rub many of those people the wrong way, and there are still enough people in this business who remember chafing under Microsoft’s dominant thumb in the 1990s. They’re going to want options, and they’re going to want to help at least one other player keep Apple on its toes.”

This is true but many of these developers are small teams and they will go to where the money is first and think idealistically second. Instagram, for example, is developing an app for Andoid but it has been months since it’s release for iOS (similar to the way the Mac is treated). Android, as a platform, hasn’t shown that it can make money for devs other than through ads.

4. “…like, say, the rights to the NFL’s GameDay package for streaming in a special app…”

Doesn’t DirectTV have exclusive right to the NFL through 2014?

5. “…the Android crew needs to find a way to replicate the “Droid Does” campaign that turned Android into a household name for phones. They’ll likely be able to find help from partners both among wireless carriers…”

I have a hard time believing this would be very successful. Verizon created the ‘Droid Does’ campaign because they didn’t have the iPhone and they wanted to stop current customers from jumping ship. Even if they did these ads, they surely aren’t going to stop promoting that they have the iPad.

6. “The software has simply got to get better.”

It will get better but the bigger issue is that they don’t have apps that can compete with the aesthetics of iWork, GarageBand & iMovie. That is the kind of software that sells a device. Though Google has Maps, I’d suspect people are more interested in that for a phone and not necessarily a tablet.

I hope there is some good competition but it’s a bad signal for other companies that there are long lines a week after release. I’ve never seen a product in such demand.

Ira in L.A.

Android is apparently difficult to stabilize, at least that’s what I get from the stories accompanying the release of some Flash yesterday for Android. As W.S. Mossberg himself said, Android tabs all crashed on him. This doesn’t help the impression. And as Toni said, Android is a fragmented offering presenting challenges in the implementation.
Read all about it:
http://wereport.com

wired-4058

Take away the free ones the android’s marketshare lose out to the iPhone.

But then comparing an OS to a phone, you got to be kidding me.

jfutral

Your first point is a big point, probably THE point. I would say even that is just part of a bigger problem for the whole Android ecosystem of parts providers. They aren’t creating anything to compete, only copying something successful. They can’t be seen as simply the alternative or just like iPad but more of it. iPad shouldn’t even be a comparison. They can’t keep up with the person making the rules.

And secondly (and really these two points are it) they have to do so consistently. Apple didn’t just come out with the iPad and change everything. Apple had iPod, THEN iPhone, THEN iPad. And all this came out of a consistent culture of development since Jobs return (consider the iMac and iBook). With that kind of track record marketing becomes less about making ONE product a break away, but becomes this foundation that can be built upon without re-doing the same leg work each time.

The problem with the “Droid does” campaign, is n one has built on that since. And actually the “Droid” itself is now technological ancient history. To use that as a foundation would be like build a new bridge on a crumbling foundation. “Droid what? Oh, yeah, that was that thing-a-ma-bob that came out how long ago?” Apple doesn’t just market A product, they market a way of life that is accomplished through a series of products. Each product is responsible for one part of a larger puzzle. No redundancy.

The iPhone/Android phone comparison is still in flux. Android has caught up and may have a slight lead, but hardly “over taken” (in the sense of dominating) yet. And even then it is only by cobbling together the meager efforts of a multitude of handset makers can any substantial competition be demonstrated. Outside of RIM domestically, and Nokia internationally, there is no single iPhone competitor. Only a culmination of bit players, and all of them followers, no innovators, so our first point is out of play.

Joe

Comments are closed.