Sunday, February 27, 2011

iPad2 and Tablet Influx! - CNN

Updated: March 1st.

Many are awaiting what must be the announcement of the iPad2 March 2nd at 1pmEST in San Francisco. The official Apple invite says “Come see what the year 2011 is all about” with an image peeling away on an iPad.

What are the fair guesses to the iPad 2’s update?

** We definitely know that it will be lighter weight and sleeker. While its only 1.5 lbs, and a half an inch thick Apple will at the least take off a few millimeters. Apple is known for making things smaller on upgraded versions.

** Front and rear facing camera; for taking pics and video chatting

** Larger speaker

** More RAM and processing power.

** It will also likely feature a dual-mode wireless chip for both CDMA and GSM network compatibility.

** We will definitely see a price drop in the original iPad as well just like they dropped the price of the older iPhone models.

** The announcement is today and initially I guessed we’d be about two weeks out for production but Im going to put my over under on Monday for retail availability.

*** We will definitely see a price drop in the original iPad as well just like they dropped the price of the older iPhone models.

***I don’t think we see it come down in size to a 7” screen – Steve Jobs in the past has said that a 10” screen is the minimum for a tablet. However, I think an iPad 3 could loan some flexibility to size - just not this time around.

But I must say as much as rumors of an iPad2 continue, there is still much buzz on talks of an iPad 3 this fall. There has been speculation that an Apple staffer claims the iPad 2 is just a bump up and that the iPad 3 will have all the bells and whistles worth waiting for. This could be great for Apple heading in to holiday but hurt shares right now if announced with the iPad 2. For Apple to announce both each would have to be unique unto themselves.

Tablet Influx

The iPad isn't the first tablet ever on the market – its just to have really nailed the concept and after selling more than 15 million iPads in 9 months and with that said you can completely understand why companies want to be in this space. The problem is there is a lot of noise and a lot of rushing to the market. Believe it or not there is an estimated 85+ tablets on the market and still most people can't name three! To date there has really only been one competitor to the iPad which is the Samsung Galaxy Tab. It has sold over 2 million units since November and is a bit more portable at 7" and under a pound. It runs on Android 2.2 and has front (3MP) and rear facing (1.3MP) cameras and up to 32GB of storage. More notably, Samsung also recently unveiled a 10.1 Galaxy Tab in March with advanced specs including running on Android’s Honeycomb (first Android OS made for tablets) and an 8MP rear camera and 2MP front camera and is additionally lighter than the iPad at 1.3 pounds and touts a dual core processor. No release date or pricing info for the US market at the moment. And update: there is also speculation they will announce an 8.9" Galaxy Tab March 22nd.

Another unit that is highly anticipated is the Motorola Xoom which debuted at the Consumer Electronic Show with much praise and a Best in Show win. The Xoom became available Thursday for $800 or $600 with a two-year Verizon

contract. It has a powerful dual core processor and runs on Android Honeycomb. It has a front facing 2MP camera and a rear 5MP camera with an HD wide display. It will also be free to upgrade to Verizon’s 4G LTE network so fairly “future-proof”.

The Xoom also offers tiers of pricing for the data plan which I think can always be daunting. I asked a Verizon rep what is the average data usage for a tablet user and she noted “Tablets are still relatively new so I don't have an average use but would recommend starting with the least amount of data; you can always move up.” Plans start at $20 per month for 1GB and go up to $80 for 10 GB.

But the big question has the iPad 2 announcement on Wednesday upstaged the Xoom’s retail debut and are consumers waiting it out? I personally don’t think its smart to pick up a Xoom before knowing what the iPad 2 has to offer. Plus its not unreasonable for a price drop for a Xoom with its best competition spoiling the fun as early as a few weeks.

Staying Competitive in the Tablet Marketplace

Interface and price. At the end of the day the iPad has an incredibly simple interface. I call it the "get-it-factor". I always watch as someone picks up an iPad (especially if they aren't tech savvy) and they are able to quickly adapt to the intuitive interface and then they usually want it. Companies need to take cues from that and keep it simple.

And price point is huge. You’re going to have to undercut the iPad to make it a worthwhile purchase. Plus, lets talk about the downside of purchasing from mobile carriers - which many tablets offer. It is undesirable to be signed up for another 2-year contract even if the device is subsidized. (The 7” Galaxy Tab is available at $249.99 with a two-year contract from T-Mobile and the Xoom is $599.99 on Verizon as well with a two-year.) It's hard enough for an individual to commit to renewing a phone contracts let alone hop into another one for a separate device - after all at the rate gadgets are upgrading daily who wants to commit to anything right now.

In emailing with a Verizon rep she did note “If you sign a contract for a data plan for any device but late change the device, you do not incur a penalty by using the new device on the existing plan. Keep in mind that to get a new device you would likely pay full price for the new device. You only get promotional pricing on new contracts.” That is good to know if you ever wanted to swap over to something new.

1 comment:

  1. We have seen images with the rear speaker for sound and video conferencing. Some sites have mentioned the new OS boasting new gestures for getting to home screen and also app switching which may elude to the removal of the home button.

    Looking forward to new OS bringing ability to choose between mute or screen lock with the side switch.



Copyright © 2012 Katie Linendoll