Sunday 21 January 2018

iPad 2: Apple's competitors making a mistake, say analysts

Shane Richmond

Apple is ahead of the competition again with the iPad 2, say analysts, but competitors who want to catch up are wrong to focus on hardware.

Steve Jobs, launching Apple’s iPad 2 last night, found time for a few digs at the competition.

He said: “While others have been scrambling to copy the first generation iPad, we’re launching iPad 2, which moves the bar far ahead of the competition and will likely cause them to go back to the drawing boards yet again.”

Analysts seem to broadly agree with Jobs’ assessment, though perhaps not in such emphatic terms.

Adam Leach, of Ovum, said: “In such a fast moving market Apple is forced to release new versions of its hardware to stay ahead.

"Apple clearly had first mover advantage, however, its competitors have been hot on its heels with a slew of tablet devices from big brand vendors such as Samsung, Motorola, HP, HTC and RIM, all of which have announced tablet devices which aim to replicate the Apple experience, which is notoriously difficult to match.”

Sarah Rotman Epps, of Forrester Research, said: The competing products we’ve seen announced so far from Motorola, RIM, HP, and others, while impressive, have fatally flawed price and distribution strategies. For now, Apple still defines the tablet market, with a product consumers will desire at a price that’s hard to beat.”

Carolina Milanesi, of Gartner, quoted in the Guardian, said: "Competitors are making the same mistake that mobile vendors made with their response to iPhone: they are making the battle about hardware, and with tablets this is even less the case than it was for smartphones. What you are empowered to do with your tablet makes the difference.”

Not every analyst was positive about the iPad 2, however. Computerworld rounded up a few of the sceptics, including Jack Gold, who said: "I don't see this as heads above the competition, especially the Xoom, right now.

"Apple fans who want the latest will buy this or upgrade, but I don't see any overwhelmingly compelling capabilities that would make people sitting on the tablet fence go out and buy one."

Stephen Baker, of NPD Group, said: "It seemed like this time, everyone knew everything ahead of time," said Baker. "It's all incremental. But there are only so many ways you can surprisingly change things."

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