“Why Should Somebody Buy This Instead of an iPad?”

Thirteen ways an Apple competitor might answer a really difficult question.

By  |  Monday, June 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm

It’s been fifteen months since the first iPad shipped. Nearly every sizable company that makes anything that looks even sort of like a computer or a phone has rushed into the market that Apple created. Many of these companies haven’t yet shipped the tablets they’ve announced. Still, a critical mass of major iPad alternatives are now here–tablets such as Motorola’s Xoom, RIM’s PlayBook, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1.

And yet no Apple competitor has started selling anything that clearly answers a fundamental question: “Why should somebody buy this instead of an iPad?” Sure, it’s easy to point at specific things that other devices do better (or at least differently) than the iPad, and some of the people reading this article can explain why they chose another tablet and don’t regret the move. (If you’re one of them, please do!) Still, sales figures for tablets show that when consumers compare the iPad to other choices, an overwhelming percentage conclude that the iPad is the best option.

As a reviewer of gizmos, I think that the iPad 2 is easily the best tablet on the market–and that most of the competition so far is too half-baked to be credible. As a lover of competition, though, I’m itching to see other tablets arrive that deserve to do well, too. So that question–”Why would somebody buy this instead of an iPad?”–is stuck in my head. I’ve been trying to figure out how an Apple rival can come up with a tablet that pretty much answers that question for itself. And I’ve come up with thirteen ways it could happen.

Most of these answers aren’t going to lure massive numbers of people away from the iPad all by themselves; it’s pretty clear that it’s unlikely that any one tablet will offer any one thing that lets it grab massive market share from Apple in the immediate future. But if you could ask a tablet why anyone should buy it instead of an iPad, here are the kinds of responses* that would make a difference.

*(Yes, for the purpose of this exercise, tablets can speak.)

1. “I have more and/or better apps.”

The single best thing about the iPad is the amazing quantity and quality of the third-party applications available for it–software that was designed with it in mind and which often isn’t available for other tablets at all. Any manufacturer that had a tablet with more nifty apps than the iPad would have no trouble making the case for it as a viable alternative.

Any examples of other tablets that offer this? No. Not hardly. Nowhere near. And how long would it take for any competitive platform to get there? The real question isn’t when someone will surpass Apple; it’s when someone will have a selection of well-done tablet-optimized software that deserves any description other than “skimpy.”

2. “I have noticeably better hardware.”

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1

There are people who will buy a tablet because it has the fastest-possible dual-core processor, or the largest amount of RAM, or the camera with the highest megapixel count. If that makes them happy, fine. It’s clear, however, that with tablets–even more than PCs–impressive numbers don’t translate directly into the most impressive user experience. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no opportunity for an Apple rival to build a tablet with hardware that’s unquestionably better in ways that matter–something that’s much faster, for instance, or far lighter, or way better in terms of battery life.

Any examples? Not decisively so. Some will argue that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 is there, but Seth Weintraub’s cogent explanation of that tablet’s virtues uses words like “marginally” and “silly” when discussing the Tab’s edge on the iPad 2. I’m still looking for a tablet that blows the iPad away hardwarewise.

3. I have hardware with features Apple doesn’t have.”

Toshiba's Thrive.

The iPad doesn’t have 4G connectivity. Or an SD slot. Or a standard USB connector. Or built-in HDMI. Or a removable battery. These are all things which reasonable people might covet in a tablet, and while I can’t imagine many folks would opt for another tablet over the iPad to get one additional feature, they might be intrigued by a tablet with a critical mass of them.

Any examples? Toshiba’s Thrive, arriving next month, has the SD slot, USB port, HDMI, and removable battery–as befits a Toshiba, it’s the most PC-like Android tablet I’ve seen to date, and among the iPad alternatives with the clearest identity of its own.

4. “I come in a noticeably different size.”

HTC's Flyer.

Steve Jobs may think that 7″ tablets make no sense. A recent survey says that less than fifteen percent of people want one. Still, I’ve run into more than a handful of folks who think it’s a much more pleasing form factor than the iPad and its competitors with screens in the neighborhood of 10 inches. And considering screen size to be a major factor when picking a tablet makes perfect sense, as long as you can find a well-rounded tablet at the size you prefer. (I may be alone on this, but I’m also fascinated by the notion of tablets with much larger screens than the iPad.)

Any examples? I haven’t seen a 7″ tablet that’s knocked my socks off–the PlayBook is a big disappointment, and Android 7-inchers such as HTC’s Flyer aren’t using the tablet-friendly Gingerbread yet. But I don’t see any basic obstacles that will prevent someone, someday from building a really nice, up-to-the-minute 7″ Android tablet.

5. “I have noticeably different software.”

Motorola's Xoom.

Notice that I’m not listing “noticeably better software” as an option here. It’s possible that a tablet will come along at some point with software that’s clearly a great leap forward beyond iOS, in the same way that the iPhone software was clearly a major advance beyond the Palm OS and its rivals. But if anyone’s working on that software right now, they’re managing to keep it a deep secret.

For now, software is subjective, and anyone shopping for a tablet is entitled to prefer one operating system over another based on subtle matters of personal preference. I think Google’s Android 3.1 Honeycomb is quite impressive, and it’s got its own personality; some people are going to enjoy using it more than iOS. I’m also hopeful about HP’s Web OS as seen on the TouchPad. (RIM’s PlayBook tablet OS , on the other hand, needs lots and lots of work to get in the game.)

Any examples? The still-small number of shipping tablets that run Honeycomb offer an experience that’s both different from the iPad 2 and enjoyable.

6. “I have better entertainment services.”

Apple’s iTunes Store is still the planet’s most comprehensive purveyor of digital entertainment, with music, movies, and TV shows that play on the iPad, the iPhone, the iPod Touch, Macs, and PCs, and which can be synced and shuttled from gizmo to gizmo in a variety of ways. If you don’t like iTunes, you can use Netflix or Hulu Plus or Rhapsody or Napster or Rdio or MOG or MLB At Bat or the ABC app or any of numerous other apps.

Any examples? Nope, and Google is just getting its music and movie services off the ground. Along with third-party apps, this is one of the most daunting leads Apple has on the competition. Maybe it’ll be a third party (coughcoughAmazon) who cuts into Apple’s gigantic lead, not a platform provider or hardware maker.

7. ” I cater to a different market.”

Cisco's Cius.

When it comes to building computing devices that consumers covet, Apple has no peers. But consumers aren’t the only prospective tablet buyers. If a tablet maker set out to please a different target market–businesspeople, or a subset of businesspeople–it could focus on things other than Apple’s core competencies. That wouldn’t be easy, but it sounds less scary than trying to out-Apple Apple.

Any examples? RIM would tell you that the “professional-grade” PlayBook is a better tablet for corporate use than the iPad. But (A) in its initial form, it’s so profoundly rough that it doesn’t feel professional at all; and (B) RIM was too undisciplined to truly focus on business use. (The PlayBook comes bundled with games and is being touted on TV as a great entertainment device.)

Perhaps Cisco’s Cius has a shot at being the definitive business tablet. Or perhaps not: it’s made almost no news since it was announced a year ago. Actually, it’s entirely possible that the iPad will be the leading business tablet for years to come, even if that’s a secondary use for it rather than its primary purpose.

8. “My openness and/or flexibility actually pay off.”

The iPad has the best-designed software in the business, but it didn’t get there by providing immense flexibility. Actually, there are shockingly few areas of the software that permit you to fool around with settings to choose a different way of doing things. (One scrawny example: the slider on the side that can be either a mute switch or an orientation lock.) And we all know that the App Store is run the way Apple thinks the App Store should be run, which sometimes means that entire categories of software that some of us would like to get our hands on are verboten. So on paper, at least, a less controlling experience should be an easy route to tablet success.

Any examples? Android is supposed to be that flexible, open mobile operating system, right? We can debate this subject non-stop for the next few months if you’d like–and probably will–but I’ve been continuously disappointed by the degree to which its openness doesn’t translate into enormous benefits to be had as a user of mobile devices. There aren’t enough utilities for tweaking its interface, and there are too few knockout apps in the Android Market which Apple would never approve. I’m still looking for a tablet OS that feels like it provides anything like the degree of freedom I have on a Windows PC or a Mac. (Come to think of it, today’s most customizable mobile operating system may be jailbroken iOS.)

9. “I feature a popular software platform that Apple isn’t going to support–and I do it well.”

I’d rather be forced to smack myself repeatedly in the noggin with a hammer than to be dragged back into the Apple/Adobe Flash maelstrom. But there are people who take their Flash so seriously that they won’t buy a tablet that doesn’t support it. Me, I think they should hold out for a tablet that supports Flash really well–which wouldn’t describe any of the ones I’ve tried so far. (As McCracken’s Third Paradox of the Tablet Market states, by refusing to support Flash and forcing companies to come up with alternative plans, Apple has made the iPad a better platform for Flash-type activities–video and games–than those platforms that do support Flash.)

We also keep hearing that there are big corporations who don’t want to buy iPads because they crave the compatibility and familiarity of Windows-based tablets. But it seems like most of those companies are wisely waiting to see how Windows 8 pans out rather than buying Windows 7 tablets.

Any examples? Any tablet that supports Flash. Which is pretty much all of them except the iPad. And Windows tablets aimed at specialized business uses, such as ones from Fujitsu and  Motion Computing. I reiterate though: if you love Flash and/or Windows so much that you refuse to buy an iPad, the wisest strategy isn’t to buy a different tablet. It’s waiting until Flash and Windows get more mobile-friendly.

10. “I’m meaningfully cheaper.”

Vizio's Via tablet.

Remember when Apple’s then-unannounced tablet was supposed to sell for something like $1000, giving the rest of the industry lots of opportunity to steal its market share by undercutting its price? Instead, the iPad started at $499, a price that other manufacturers have struggled to match, let alone beat. But with tablets, as all things, price is a major issue for plenty of prospective buyers. And one way for an iPad alternative to quickly make its mark would be if it was (A) decent; and (B) substantially cheaper.

Any examples? Well, Toshiba’s Thrive will start at $429, but that’s not that much cheaper, and it’s for a model with 8GB–half of the iPad’s starting capacity. If Vizio’s upcoming tablet goes for $349 at Wal-Mart, it’ll be a better test of the lure of a lowball price.

11. “I have a wild card.”

If a tablet is plain different from the iPad in ways that aren’t otherwise accounted for on this list, it might appeal to at least certain buyers.

Any examples? How about Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color? Setting aside the fact that it goes for half the price of the cheapest iPad, its emphasis on one function–reading– makes it unique among tablets with color screens and app stores.

If you can wait until mid-to-late 2012, all evidence suggests that there will be Windows 8 tablets that are capable of both behaving sort of like an iPad and running full-blown Windows apps. It’s too early to tell if they’ll be any good. But unless Apple comes up with something that’s both an iPad and a Mac in the interim, Microsoft will offer a stark choice, at least.

12. “I’m made by a company that isn’t Apple.”

This may come as an immense shock to you, but there are certain people who just don’t like Apple–for reasons that can be rational, emotional, or some combination thereof. I’m not a missionary, so I don’t have much interest in convincing such reverse fanboys to change their ways. They’ll be happier using a tablet they’re predisposed to like than one they’re predisposed to hate.

Any examples? Hey, any tablet not manufactured by Apple is by definition a non-Apple tablet, and therefore more appealing to Apple loathers than the iPad. We’re still be waiting for the definitive iPad alternative, but at the moment, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the strongest contender. It’s certainly the currently-for-sale tablet I’d mention first to if someone asked me to recommend a tablet that wasn’t the iPad.

13. “I have a magical combination of most or all of the above factors.”

What if there was a non-Apple tablet with an abundance of great tablet-optimized apps, top-notch movie and music services, hardware that was both super-sexy and powerful, a wonderfully intuitive and customizable operating system, and several unique features–and it started at $399? It might still find competing with the iPad to be remarkably challenging–but at least nobody would have trouble coming up with reasons why a rational person would buy it.

Any examples? No, not yet. None on the horizon, either. But never say never…

Got any other strategies for how non-Apple tablets can justify their own existence in a way that’s easy for large numbers of people to understand? I’m not asking for anyone to explain how a competitor will trounce the iPad: I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon. I’m just trying to figure out how one other product–or several, or lots of them–will offer something that everyone agrees is a worthy alternative and a solid success.

(The image at the top of this story incorporates a photo by Flickr user ChicagoGeek.)

 
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413 Comments For This Post

  1. John J Volk Says:

    I have a Dell Streak 7 inch tablet. It does everything I want it to do and it's not from that Fruity company. I don't know why the Streak is getting such a bun rep in the reviews. The screen is just as good as my Motorola Droid. The battery life could be better, but that is a non issue with me as I don't travel that much with it. It meets most all your points and is a great Android OS tablet. I just tweeted that I am sick of reviewers of Android OS tablets and then ending the sentence with iPad is the winner!???!!

  2. @scottyabrown Says:

    I didn't buy an iPad 2… for a multitude of reasons. Mostly though, it came down to this: I don't buy something just because everyone else does. I don't own an iPhone, I don't wear American Eagle clothing, my glasses aren't black horn rimmed, and I don't listen to bands that no one has ever heard of before. I tend to purchase things based upon their actual merit… not simply because everyone else has one.

    Peace.

    –Scotty Brown
    –AndroidActivist.org

  3. @KsKnightmare Says:

    I dont see how a Jailbroken iOS has more customizability than Android, with all of Androids keyboard and launcher downloads, not to mention root access, it's a clear winner.

  4. tg9413 Says:

    first, jailbreak for ipad2 is not even out. second, android is easily has way more customize feature than ipad2. Not to mention even with jailbreak, winter board skin tweak is a huge memory sucker while android UI customization comes in natural. third, steve jobs called android tablet copy cat, but look at iOS5 with the new notification thing. It's so android in 2009. I owned an ipad2, love it, it is better than android tablets, but facts are facts. Android is more flexible than ipad in many ways in term of UI customize, and functions. What android lacks is the services, the apps, the whole concept that the tablet is built for user friendly experience instead of pumping iron in spec. But then that's not entirely android's fault. As apple got the power in hand to make adjustment to both software and hardware the way they like it in one unify company. Android on the other hand, regardless how google wants to make it perfect, the manufactures will add in their own stuff and that, along the way, could get tricky.

  5. Tony Says:

    Seems to me like the only other device even in the same orbit as the iPad 2 is the iPad 1. It will be interesting to see if Android tablets advance at the same rate Android phones have.

  6. Philip Says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for not splitting this into multiple pages. It's much appreciated (though amazing that it needs to be)!

  7. @ymala1 Says:

    "…and Android 7-inchers such as HTC’s Flyer aren’t using the tablet-friendly Gingerbread yet. "

    Should read Honeycomb I think. Again, just nitpicking, it's pretty obvious what you meant… unless I'm wrong.

  8. @sj660 Says:

    Number 12 is the only real reason anyone is buying any of the other at the moment.

  9. taul Says:

    Answer is simple.

    I only care for 1 app…THE BROWSER.

    Android 3.1 has a far superior browser. Tabbed browsing and flash are required. That is my short answer :)

  10. Matt May Says:

    I think the nearest contender for #13 would be the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. The 16GB version is $399, comes with cloud storage, desktop screen sharing software, Google Music, HDMI out, and a microSD slot. It also has a $149 keyboard that adds 6.5 hours of battery life (for a total of around 16), 2 USB inputs, and a full SD slot. It's been hard to find since it came out in April, but now it's readily available.

    It's folly to believe that something will challenge the iPad on unit sales, but the Transformer has a number of really useful features that also happen to be unique in the marketplace. Which happens to be why I bought one.

  11. justinfadams Says:

    I would add to this: "I have a retail strategy that allows someone to describe these differences clearly to consumers."

  12. Zac Says:

    Dell streak is so slow. And the apps are so little. Trying to sell it. Using ipad2 now. I use it mostly for gaming and game center gaming with friends that are iPhone user. Means I have more friends to game with. I do like android but the apps is not cool. Like if this app is for a older phone but runs and a big dell. Many space of the screen is not use up. I'm seeing it in a way that if u wanna have fun u still need a ipAd. If u are looking for something not many people using then you can try android. Because I look around in train or train station I see 9/10 people are using apple's. I did want to try something new but I think now is not the time when my dell fails me

  13. kgelner Says:

    Both the original iPad and the iPad 2 had USB and SD reading via the Camera Connection kit.

    The iPad 2 has HDMI out with a video adaptor.

  14. Brian Says:

    "I don't listen to bands that no one has ever heard of before."

    So you only listen to bands that everyone else listens to, then? This seems pretty contradictory.

  15. RawBob Says:

    ScottyBrown says:
    "Mostly though, it came down to this: I don't buy something just because everyone else does…. and I don't listen to bands that no one has ever heard of before."

    So, you'll only listen to bands that everyone else listens to.

    Priceless.

    "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."
    -Y. Berra

  16. @scottyabrown Says:

    I believe that the overwhelming vast majority of iPhone/iPad owners (users) bought their devices based upon successful marketing campaigns and that they are completely ignorant to the differences between iOS, "Droid", WebOS, etc. Do you disagree?

  17. @someToast Says:

    Not from "that Fruity company."

    So you'd be number twelve then.   ; )

  18. Matt May Says:

    So? The Transformer has removable storage and HDMI on the device, for no extra cash. The CCK is $30, and the HDMI cable is $40. So that makes the iPad $170 more expensive for the same amount of storage with those two features. And with two fewer dongles to lose.

  19. @scottyabrown Says:

    Sorry, I don't feed trolls.

  20. Glasman Says:

    “I don’t buy something just because everyone else does… I don’t listen to bands that no one has ever heard of before.”

    So you only listen to bands everyone has heard before in order to be different? Paradox much?

  21. Enjoyed Reading Says:

    Congrats. One of the best tablet comparison articles Ive read. No evident bias. And friendly to iPad and Windows. I use both both, and am happy with each. I'll bet many are in this category too. Still, am very curious about the new tablets and which will be the #13.

  22. kibbles Says:

    sure do. i think most people bought iphones because they worked better than the crap that was on the market. remember, the iphone was one of the first capacitive multi-touch cell phones (first?). the UI and UIX were great, blowing blackberries out of the water. they were so good at what they did that Android reversed course — from a blackberry clone to an iphone clone:
    http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/12/a-visual-tour-

    likewise w/ the ipad — first capacitive touch tablet, worked very well, and as the failed competition has shown, better than the alternatives.

  23. kibbles Says:

    but…you just…did…

  24. David V. Says:

    You're making two assertions.

    (1) "the overwhelming vast majority of iPhone/iPad owners (users) bought their devices based upon successful marketing campaigns"

    I disagree with that estimate. Instead, I believe that most bought their devices because they saw someone else use one and it looked fun and/or easy.

    (2) "they are completely ignorant to the differences between iOS, "Droid", WebOS"

    Maybe. However, several casual (i.e., "non-techie") friends have either switched to iOS or have told me they are planning to do so because their Android device did not turn out as "fun and/or easy" as they perceived iPhones to be. The opposite has not been true (though one "techie" friend switched to an Android device because he disagreed with the rejection by Apple of a certain app submitted to the App Store).

    So while it may be true that most iPhone/iPad users are not deeply aware of the technical differences between different options, I suspect they eventually acquire an intuitive sense of the different experience offered by those devices.

  25. kibbles Says:

    er, what? jailbreaking for ipad2 has been out.

  26. steve s Says:

    I did buy an iPad (not a 2 yet, though) but not because everybody else did. I bought it based on it's actual merit (which is well outlined in this article). I do own an iPhone (3rd one, actually) because it perfectly fits what I want in a smartphone, not because everybody else has one. I may have worn American Eagle clothing before (not sure, actually), but if i did, it was only because it was quality clothing that fit a need of mine. I could care less about wearing a "popular" brand. My glasses are not black horn rimmed either, but that's because I don't like that style. I do definitely listen to bands that no one has ever heard of before, because I like their music. That last one stumped me kinda though, you say you don't buy things just because everybody else does, yet you only listen to music of bands that are popular? That one didn't make a whole lot of sense to me… but whatever, to each his own, I say.

  27. Steve Says:

    But it's a Dell, and battery life could be better? 3 1/2 hours is pathetic.

  28. Pando Says:

    Well, just as you fit the reason #12, my own credo is ABD – anything but Dull, especially with a name with such scatological connotations as the "Streak."

    Fruity company? You do have issues don't you. Are you from Texas?

  29. Pando Says:

    +1

  30. @cyberbooster Says:

    If a competitor put an awesome graphic chip inside the tablet and provide LOTS of GOOD games (not only casual, not only ports from other platform), combining a good OS and standard tools, it could attract more gamers (which usually reccomend products and buy stuff on impulse).

  31. Torin Says:

    When i get a tablet, i want it to be an ACTUAL tablet (i.e. tablet computer) so i look for a full OS like Windows for a tablet. Even though all windows tablets are much more expensive than even the iPad, id like a full experience that's portable enough to take anywhere

  32. Dave Says:

    The flipboard app for the iPad has got to be the best app out there. I own the iPad 2 and tried using a friends view sonic tablet and there is no comparison. I have played with the aver at the local best buy, but for $50 more, the iPad was a no brainer for me.

  33. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    A major point of a tablet is it spends all of it's working time running on batteries. ("MOBILE.") Very few people want to spend the same money as on a 10-inch, 10-hour iPad on a 7-inch (50% of the area) 2-hour (20% of the battery life) Dell Streak. If it works for you, that is great, but you can stop holding your breath for others to agree. In 5 days, an iPad user gets 50 hours of use. To get 50 hours of use from your Dell Streak takes 25 days. Over 2 years, an iPad user gets 7300 hours of use, while a Dell Streak user gets 1460 hours of use. And iPads don't crash, they run PC class native C apps, and so many other advantages.

    So you didn't even come close to why a Streak is better than an iPad.

  34. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha you kill me. You're using Windows and Android and you think that doesn't make you part of a herd?

    Let out a big satisfied moo for us!

    Apple users have stepped out of the generic tech industry where everyone is fed Microsoft and HP and Google and Dell like bushels of hay.

    Hey, there is a new version of Android. Better go buy a new phone!

  35. @therealjorge Says:

    Not that I wholeheartedly agree with Scotty or anything, but I think it's a little silly to crucify him for his contradiction rather than actually address his point. Most people DO get the iPhone simply because everyone else is doing it. It IS the trendy device to have, and most people who get one can't actually list legitimate reasons for why they think it is the best. Is this really such a big deal? Of course not.

    Consumers want products that are easy to use with little effort, and that is what iOS products bring to them. Apple makes quality hardware, combines it with user-friendly software and offers a remarkably comprehensive ecosystem. They get a crapload of apps at their disposal, along with easy integration with itunes. Since most people don't need much more than that, you can't blame them for jumping on the bandwagon, even if there is allegedly a better product out there.

    Let's also give the most viable contender some credit, though. For people who care about customization and control, and want to be able to utilize services that aren't necessarily created for integration with Apple products, Android is a great option. And there are a number of Android devices that actually exceed the hardware qualifications of iOS products. It is also perfectly reasonable to contend that you can do much more with Android software over iOS. Why? Because YOU CAN. But most people (particularly tablet buyers), will always choose convenience and ease-of-use over power.

    I use both, and I love both. I realize that I am a rare breed of human that is capable of objectively seeing the value of both, rather than mindlessly hating one for the other, so I'm really wasting my time with this comment. But I couldn't help myself.

    Anyway, regarding the article: Your thesis is ridiculous. There are already some great options for Android tablets out there. Tablets that are definitely good enough for someone to actually choose them over an iPad, depending on what they are looking for. And I'm sure Blackberry (whose first entry was very disappointing), Microsoft and HP will all end up releasing some excellent options in the near future to join the party. iPad might be a great device, but it is by no means the end-all option for 100% of the tablet consumers.

  36. booka Says:

    But it also means that with the Transformer you might pay for features that you don’t need. Example: You bought it for the SD and HDMI, but you never need the two USB. But you did have to pay for it nonetheless.

    With accessories you always pay for extra features only when you really need them, albeit a higher premium price.

  37. Rob Berends Says:

    But when that finally happens, Apple is already ahead of them again with the next-gen iPad.
    Don't forget that battery life is one of the most important things!

  38. Rob Koehler Says:

    Way to capture the spirit of his post fox news style

  39. Mike Says:

    Have you seen you guys puffin browser? It runs all the content of flash and it shows full browser button like sky fire and it show video smooth like baby bottom. And it only cost .99 cents. The most importantly, it plays hulu for free just like your desktop computer does!!

  40. Nick T Says:

    A high density screen would be a clear way to stand out from the crowd too, though I have no idea how soon this will be viable. That is the first and only feature that will make me consider a tablet other than my iPad 2. A light, 10" tablet with high-res screen and Kindle store support… c'mon Amazon… can you do it?

  41. John Says:

    Handwriting recognition would be a reason to consider another tablet, and I own an iPad. As a physician, the ability to fill out documentation cleanly on the fly and keep it digital would be a complete game-changer.

  42. cmh Says:

    I must be missing something. I finally broke down and ordered an iPad2 and I don't get what is so great about a tablet except for browsing and apps on a larger screen. And I also don't even get what is so great about apps, I guess games are good on the go. Way too overpriced imho.

  43. Fanfoot Says:

    There are screen sizes other than 7" and 10". To me a bigger screen IS better in many ways, but one of the big problems with the iPad is that its simply too heavy. Perhaps a 9" screen would get the device to a weight that would be more comfortable to use one handed for long periods of time. Surprised its taking so long to see any other sizes attempted.

    I do think most people would expect that a smaller screen should translate to a lower cost though. And that's one of the areas a lot of devices are failing at now–they have a smaller screen but they still cost the same. I'm sure most people don't understand why that is.

    You left out the whole digitizer/pen thing. At the very least there appear to be a lot of internet trolls who really really want a tablet that can capture handwriting, and handle drawing applications and so forth, which means they have to support something better than a capacitive pen/sausage. Something more precise in particular. I think its obvious now that they can't NOT do a capacitive finger-friendly interface too, but there's a set of people who claim to want this. The HTC Flyer is clearly an attempt at appealing to these people, though it looks like it doesn't do the sort of palm rejection stuff you'd need for this to work well so it may not be the last attempt in this space.

    I agree with somebody above that games COULD be a separate target market. Its going to be interesting to see how well the Sony Xperia Play sells as that could be a big hint how that approach to this market is going to go. Built by a big game company that can come up with exclusive titles. Dual analog sticks, buttons etc that hard core gamers expect etc. Its not like Apple's Game Center has some unassailable lead for competitive or multi-player gaming for example. Certainly an area Sony or Microsoft could leverage.

    There's also the possibility that some other approach to 'typing' could succeed. Now that Apple has embraced the split keyboard there's not a lot of options left, but some kind of slide out keyboard that you can at least use when the device is on a flat surface to bang out content more quickly than a touch screen keyboard could convince some people. Or hey, maybe voice input. Or even just a tablet that has a nice dock/keyboard option that is really portable or something.

    How about leveraging partnerships with others or with other hardware? A tablet that works as a TV screen inside or maybe even outside the home when you've got a Samsung or Toshiba TV for example. Without needing a Slingbox or anything, and simple enough for an average user to set up. A tablet

  44. @dominocollege Says:

    So you buy crap on purpose?

  45. @dominocollege Says:

    As I told Harry on Twitter, this list is similar to a list I read in the 1990's on ways to stop Michael Jordan. The iPad is a rare product that is not only the most popular product in its field, its also the best product in its field. If you disagree with that, that would also be similar to disagreeing that Michael Jordan was the best player in the NBA in the 1990s. It would make you stupid to say so. I'm really gasped by those who won't buy something because its from Apple. That they'd intentionally buy an inferior product out of sheer principle. Your loss I say.

  46. Jimmy Says:

    Another possibility: they come out with a new business model – free w/ contact, rent them, or perhaps sell them to groups who will lend them as part of another service – airlines, restaurants, coffee shops, doctor offices, etc

  47. Chris Says:

    I think the idea that someone buys something because it's trendy is misleading. There are too many decisions to be made in the world, so we have to look for cues as to what to do. One great cue is what other people are doing. For someone who is technologically inclined, you might take the time to figure out an option that works best for you. But, for the majority of the people, relying on the majority is a good clue. The same applies to restaurants, cars, cities, and almost anything else you can think of. And it plays out everywhere. It's not a bad thing, it just is. So, when the differences are hard to see, you just rely on the majority. This, by the way, works in google's favor in search, and works in Microsoft's favor in operating systems and business software. It doesn't mean people are trying to be "cool" and are thus "lame". It just means they needed a reference point.

    Secondly, John is totally right about handwriting. Being able to write on a tablet like you can write on paper would be incredible. Adding handwriting recognition to that would be even more incredible. Right now, I carry a paper notebook because nothing is better for taking notes. Being able to take those notes on my ipad would be awesome. Shoot, look at all the buzz that vaporware tablet thing a ma jigger created a few months back. Importantly, I'm not talking about writing big on a screen, I'm talking about being able to write finely enough to use virtual college ruled paper. Like a real pen.

  48. @WaterEarthFire Says:

    The Apple fanboys are really trollbaiting Android users today. Just read a similar article from Apple fanboy Clayton Morris over at Fox News.

    I got an Asus Transformer because the hardware is significantly different than the iPad. I like features like voice search, widgets, I like the laptop dock, the 16 hour battery life, the keyboard shortcuts, the $400 price tag, SD card expansion, USB ports & compatibility with USB mice and devices, Google Talk video chat, etc.

    Honeycomb still needs a lot of work, but I can say definitively the person who wrote this article knows absolutely nothing about Android tablets and is scared to death of them. I see here an Apple fanboy who's worried that the fate of iPad is the same as iPhone. Apple can't take on the entire tech sector by itself and win. They can win small short term victories, but in the long term they will end up with nothing more than a niche the same as Mac, the same as iPhone.

  49. Ken Says:

    I have an HTC Flyer and wouldn't even consider an iPad.

    First of all, I use Linux as my primary and only desktop environment, so in general, Apple products are out. If I plug my HTC Flyer or my Android smartphone, a T-Mobile G2, into my computer, they show up as USB mass storage devices. I can do fun stuff and write Android apps entirely in Linux, using a first-class environment. A 32g SD card fits my music and if it didn't, Subsonic would stream it — no Amazon or Apple account necessary.

    I'm also somewhat anti-Apple, but not religiously so. Apple has an amazing culture of beautiful design and outstanding elegance, but it's also openly hostile to the Open Source community, and I respect Google's somewhat more pragmatic, but often also open, approach. Furthermore, in a lot of underlying technical areas, Android is simply a superior operating system — Intents and Content Providers in particular provide a level of sophistication that iOS can't even dream of.

    I can see and understand that for a lot of consumers, an iPad makes a lot of sense. That's mostly because Apple's user experience is great, and there are a lot of great apps for the iPad. But I tend to view my purchase less in terms of an appliance and more as a general purpose computer. In terms of being a general purpose computer suitable for tinkering and expansion, the iPad is a terrible bet — possibly the worst tablet on the market.

  50. Eric Says:

    I chose a Honeycomb Android Tablet from Acer over the ipad 2. My wife already had an ipad so I thought why not get something different. I have a Droid X that I like alot and quite a few apps that scale really well on the talet, especially games. So far I really like it and haven’t regretted my choice.

  51. Victor Panlilio Says:

    “Being able to write on a tablet like you can write on paper would be incredible”

    http://www.wacom.com/en/Products/BambooStylus/Bam

    You’re welcome.

  52. Glenn Blinckmann Says:

    I have a Xoom, am happy with it, and don’t *think* I’m crazy…. I like the better choices in a more open platform. Here is an example: I keep my corporate email on my tablet, yet I don’t want to password protect and encrypt my device. Touchdown for Honeycomb tablets lets me do that, while only password protecting and encrypting my corporate data. This app would never be allowed on iOS. You would get an integrated experience, or nothing.

  53. Victor Panlilio Says:

    “Apple has an amazing culture of beautiful design and outstanding elegance, but it’s also openly hostile to the Open Source community”

    Really?

    http://www.webkit.org/

  54. Gromit1704 Says:

    Send it back then. I bought an iPad 12 months ago, and I definitely get it.

  55. Ken Says:

    First of all, WebKit is a fork of KHTML, which has a GPL2 license. Had Apple not released WebKit under a compatible license, they would be guilty of copyright infringement, so their hands were tied. Their mere compliance with the terms of the GPL2 is not compelling.

    More importantly is Apple's overall stance. They argued before the Library of Congress that jailbreaking your iPhone should be a criminal act and that distribution information about how to do it should be prosecuted. They control a good chunk of the MPEG-LA group and are actively trying to prevent video from becoming part of the open web by instead pushing the patent-encumbered H.264 format.

    Perhaps worst of all, the App Store terms of service expressly prohibit Open Source software (see VNC's removal for an example). I believe this fact actually puts them in direct violation with regard to webkit, since webkit-based applications must be freely distributable, but KHTML's developers haven't taken up the issue.

    But yes, Apple is a plainly anti-Open Source company. Google is pragmatic about it, but they seem to support Open Source software as long as it doesn't interfere with their business plans.

  56. Ken Says:

    Evernote on the HTC Flyer has handwriting recognition, but only in that application, and only for search. Also, it's not very good. Handwriting recognition is just not a technology that's ever matured enough to be useful, and I doubt that's going to change anytime in the future.

  57. Gromit1704 Says:

    Did you mean VNC's removal. There are plenty VNC apps. Did you mean VLC? That was removed by the Software developer, not by Apple.

  58. Ken Says:

    Sorry, yes, VLC, not VNC. :o

    VLC is GPL-licensed. The GPL requires that derivative work be freely distributable (among other things). Nothing on the iOS App Store is freely distributable, so Open Source Initiative's original definition, Open Source software is prohibited on the iOS App Store.

  59. Gromit1704 Says:

    'The iPhone is nothing more than a niche' – and you whinge about trollbaiting!

  60. Ryan Says:

    No it hasn't.

  61. Gromit1704 Says:

    Thankfully, I got VLC before it was removed. Apple would clearly like VLC to be in the appstore, or else they wouldn't have accepted it in the first place. It is an app that adds functionality to the iPad, enabling it to play more video formats, so iPad users want it. Its removal came after a Nokia employee objected to his code being used in the iOS app and he asked for its removal.

    // However, trouble started because of the licensing terms of the AppStore which was incompatible with GPL. The VLC developer and the FSF notified Apple of the licensing conflict and asked Apple to change the license or remove the app.

    Unfortunately, this whole escapade is a direct result of one man’s (Rémi Denis-Courmont) misguided crusade… a man who, (perhaps) coincidentally, is an employee of Nokia, one of Apple’s competitors in the mobile space. Note the VideoLAN mission: “VideoLAN is a project and a non-profit organization, composed of volunteers, developing and promoting free multimedia solutions.”

    ____________________________________________________________________
    The Nokia employee did not attempt to achieve an amicable solution, instead he went straight to getting VLC removed from the Apple App Store. 2 months later, on January 7, Apple finally removed VLC for iOS.

    Announcing the removal, Rémi Denis-Courmont wrote this on Planet VideoLAN: “At last, Apple has removed VLC media player from its application store. Thus the incompatibility between the GNU General Public License and the AppStore terms of use is resolved – the hard way. This end should not have come to a surprise to anyone, given the precedents.“ //

    It does seem like madness that a distribution channel for VLC has been closed by the VLC community itself. With Nokia being a competitor to Apple, one wonders if the objection was entirely on ethical reasons.

  62. Michael Says:

    July 1 is the kickoff of the HP Touchpad. WebOS blows iOs away. Touchpad has multi tasking cards all other tablets dream of (an idea that Blackberry tried to imitate). Touchpad has touch to share, none of the others have anything similiar. Touchpad also sycs to the HP phones. Imagine how cool it would be if someone called or sent a text to your iPhone and you could answer on your iPad if that was the device closer to you…..guess what the Touchpad can do if you have a veer or Pre3. Look a little closer at the HP Touchpad, it is going to be a game changer. If only HP had the branding that Apple had…

  63. Ken Says:

    VLC's removal from the App Store was hardly the work of a lone developer who exerted his copyright claim to maliciously harm a competitor of his employers'. Take a look at the thread on their mailing list:
    http://mailman.videolan.org/pipermail/vlc-devel/2

    And even if it were only one of the developers, the complaint would stand. Copyright is copyright and you're obliged to obey it even if you think an author's demand is unnecessary.

    About your comment of, "[Rémi Denis-Courmont and other VLC developers] did not attempt to achieve an amicable solution": They did. They asked first that the App Store TOS be updated to allow for the distribution of GPL software, and only failing that, that the VLC fork be removed.

    Apple could have simply updated their terms of service to allow users to copy applications as long as those applications are freely copyable. Android allows for this, and an application can include in its metadata whether the user should be able to copy it between devices.

    Rather than adjust an unreasonable clause in the iOS TOS, Apple decided to remove VLC, and presumably any other GPL-based applications, on a case-by-case basis.

    You can't really get more anti-Open Source than having a contract clause that prohibits users from redistributing software, regardless of the copyright terms of that software.

    I'm sorry but Apple selected itself as an enemy of the Open Source community, which is unfortunate, because they've actually contributed some great code.

  64. Gromit1704 Says:

    One of those situations when everybody loses. Apple users lose (unless like me you got VLC before it was pulled) and VLC lose because it's great Media Player is not on millions of gadgets that should have it.
    We could argue till the cows come home whether Apple is an enemy of Open Source. What is clear from this, is that DRM enables Apple to put far more content in its store, and that content drives iDevice sales. And given the choice of jepordising that or support open source principles, Apple followed the money, which any commercial company in its position would have done.

  65. James Says:

    Droid's are for losers.

  66. Gromit1704 Says:

    WebOS does look very nice, and I hope the iPad does get some worthy competition. But,I am having difficulty in seeing the point of Touch to Share. I certainly don't think it is the killer app, or in turn that that function will make it the iPad killer. I have seen the demos and I can think of very few instances where it would be useful. So if I get a phone call, I can answer it on the tablet. Why would I want to do that? Or, if I am looking at something on the massive screen, I can pair it with a phone and I or my friends can look at it on a postage stamp size screen instead? Don't get it?

  67. Richard Says:

    Yes, but you don't *need* to root to customise an Android device, whereas you *must* jailbreak to customise an iOS device.

  68. Laurent Says:

    Apple has been contributing to many open source projects, including the WebKit engine that power the browser from your pragmatic, open Google. And as opposed to Google, it doesn't have "favorite" or "blessed" partner that can have access to the "open" source before all the other players…

  69. Jim Nichols Says:

    I'm not a sheep, but I'm not going to NOT buy something because everyone else is and I don't buy something because everyone else is.

  70. MACK Says:

    #14 'I have base of fanboys who spend all their time degrading other competitor's products'

  71. Walt French Says:

    “I can do fun stuff and write Android apps entirely in Linux, using a first-class environment.”

    Linux is a programming language? Who knew? Or maybe you mean some shell language scripts? Oooh, I'm so impressed!

    And from somebody who's written over 150 programs: quite a few of 'em were fun, good challenges; almost all were very useful. But the little amount of coding (based on open-source C codebase) that I've done in Apple's XCode is every bit as good because it's a great development environment, especially for $5 and the quality of programs that it emits. Apple's recommended LLVM spits out code that's a couple of times better than GCC's, so my stuff runs quite a bit better. (Yes, YMMV if you aren't doing math-intensive stuff that I favor.)

  72. Walt French Says:

    “Their mere compliance with the terms of the GPL2 is not compelling.”

    Yes, I, for one, would be MUCH MORE IMPRESSED if Apple were to run roughshod over all the license agreements that mere mortals have to follow. Thanks for pointing out how Apple is such a wimp— REAL OSS devotees steal code and republish it however they see fit, eh?

    PS: Apple is perfectly big enough to have started a completely independent browser project if they wanted. They KEEP developing WebKit. It IS an open-source project but NOBODY claims that Apple is not its biggest proponent, despite it powering WebOS, Android's browser and a whole host of other competitors.

  73. Walt French Says:

    John, thanks for pointing out the truth to the original post: lots of us have irrational love/hate deals; it's human nature.

    It doesn't mean that any of us would like the Android 1.6 that it came with, nor want to be janitors finding, compiling and testing some alternate OS that the manufacturer and carrier don't give a rat's ass about supporting. Nor that any apps besides maybe the browser are designed to work well in this format that even Google refuses to claim is any good.

    Next time you post, you might wonder whether you're making yourself look smart … or otherwise. But I'm glad you have fun with the little battery-burner.

  74. Walt French Says:

    Aww, this was just too easy. You sure @Scotty isn't your straight man to set up your posts?

  75. Walt French Says:

    I don't NOT NOT buy something just because others are not avoiding it because it's too popular… I think.

  76. Walt French Says:

    Why not list all the devices that don't have to be rooted to customize them? I understand many of them (at least in the US, as your spelling suggests you're elsewhere) are locked down by the carriers.

    “Open” is simply Google's marketing term. Yes, the Android Open Source Project is open, but phones for sale DO NOT have it installed, and some, like the kerfuffle with the HTC Desire shows, require an Act of God to make them upgradable.

    In case you were visiting Mars during December, Google announced that Andy Rubin would be vetting ALL future Android products to make sure they conformed to Google's sense of quality; that's the “one man, one company” in control of your internet access that you might have heard about.

    So yes, SOME Androids, anyway, need to be rooted; some even require bypassing hardware locks that're trickier than Apple's soft locks.

  77. Walt French Says:

    @Matt, help me understand why a tablet, an otherwise highly-mobile device, wants you to have a cable tethering it to your TV. If you want your 1080P on a big screen, (does the ASUS even do that?), why not use a cheapo laptop or some little desktop machine? What's the allure of having a highly mobile tablet that you plug in before you can use it?

  78. Walt French Says:

    @CyberBooster, that's right. But Xoom already got spanked trying to do just that.

    High-performance ARM graphics is expensive— IIRC, nVidia spent a half billion developing Tegra 2 — so it depends on a high-volume bunch of devices before it can make enough money to pay for the next gen of chips.

    If you can paint the picture how somebody bootstraps themselves in this environment, I'd love to hear it. Seriously!

  79. Walt French Says:

    @Fanfoot, @Torin is just making excuses. What he wants is not unreasonable. Except for the fact that he, like Microsoft, hasn't thought out the implications.

    Win8 looks to be a monstrous turd, baking in all sorts of awful compromises. Example: you're using Excel on your desktop with a mouse+keyboard plugged in or on BlueTooth. You unplug and put it into your bag, then reopen at the park where you have no wifi or 3g.

    What happens to the backup file on your network hard disk? Does the screen automagically change to get rid of the teensy little icons and menus, into something you can handle with your fat fingers? When you get in wifi range, does it automatically synchronize it back to your office net? If you start up MobileWord or whatever, when you plug in your mouse will you suddenly see all the detail menus?

    Yes, the old tablet/laptops were awful. My wife hated hers and returned it for something that didn't die in 2 hours nor weigh a ton. Some day, somebody will figure this out. I suspect that someday was last week, and somebody is Apple.

  80. Walt French Says:

    Less friendly to Win than you think, because I don't see Win8 hitting more than one or two of these points.

    Anybody who's read The Innovator's Dilemma or even just read the Wikipedia page on Technological Disruption knows that incumbents ALMOST ALWAYS try to show how their old-design products can do all the new features. But they get utterly bogged down in the Frankenstein (Frankenslate!) that results.

    Innovator's Dilemma has dozens of industry examples over decades. I'd be happy to hear of situations where a major technological breakthrough (in tablets: touchscreens, high-capacity batteries, cheap CPU power, an [ahem!] complete+rich OS) has been captured by an incumbent manufacturer, who threw away all his old stuff (software) and succeeded.

  81. Walt French Says:

    Just read a survey that Americans spend more time RUNNING MOBILE APPS than desktop apps. That's definitely not me; I work 9+ hours a day on a 4-monitor desktop and then move to a laptop in the evenings.

    But I get it: my wife's drawing program, a Chinese-English dictionary for students, scrabble with the kids, NetNewsWire (a great RSS reader), video/photo editing, etc. You can't do these half as well (if at all) thru a browser window, and some of 'em are pretty compromised on a small screen.

    And maybe the fact that I'm in apps (Excel, NNW, mail, games) on my laptop reinforces the idea: APPS ROCK!

  82. Walt French Says:

    Take a look at the New Yorker magazine: many of its recent covers were done on an iPad. The most recent one I saw was by a very respected artist, David Hockney (using Brushes, an $8 app).

    Ditto, Square works fine without a stylus. I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice to have one. Just that if the tablet is responsive enough (many Androids have NOT been), you can do very nicely with your fingers (which you never lose).

  83. Greggio_f Says:

    No mention of something like the Asus Transformer? I can see that as having a USP and it’s cheaper (at least before the cost of the keyboard and competitive with keyboard)

  84. Johan Says:

    @walt: you can change quite a lot of things without rooting. Want a different launcher or keyboard just install one from Android Market.

  85. Shahid Says:

    The writer of this article is a die hard apple fan I strongly disagree with him even though I'm writing this from my iPad 2. Android is much more superior than iOS. It has tons of features which might come in future on iOS 10 or iOS 11. The user experience as well in honeycomb is amazing. I would switch to android when I buy next tablet.

  86. Rob Berends Says:

    W8 is in beta for at least 1,5 years.. so it's not even fair to compare them now… The iPad is only out for 1 year, can you imagine where it's at 1,5 years from now!?

  87. Nicholas DeAngelo Says:

    I have the Asus See Pad Transformer to and it is wonderful. It has better resolution then the Crapple iPad2. The Transformers resolution is: 1280 x 800-pixel which is 720p HD, which the Crapple iPad2 does not have a HD resolution screen. The HDMI out is so I can play my movies on the 1080p HDMI TV when I travel. Again the Crapple iPad2 can not do this unless you are lucky to stay at a motel that has a Crapple TV, there are none.

    I use to have a Crapple iPad2, but I got rid of it because it was a piece of crap. I had return it to Crapple 4 times in 2 months because it would overheat, and each time Crapple gave me a new Crapple iPad2 that would overheat. I also had the Crapple iPhone 3g, 3gs, and 4g and I had to return each one of them multiple times for verius problems: 3g-5 times, 3gs-4 times, and 4g-4 times. I never had to return my Android Tablet or Android Phone. Crapple makes nothing but crappy products.

  88. Matt Johnston Says:

    People don't buy iPhones or iPads just because someone else has them, they buy them because they want to do the same things as other people who have them. Whether it's the latest itertion of Angry Birds or the great fun playing with GarageBand, they buy the iPad for the software, not just to be down with the cool kids.

    To suggest otherwise is not only elitist but blind to the realities. I haven't yet parted with cash for an Android tablet because you CAN NOT do as much with it as you can with an iPad. I am keen to see the first viable contender for the iPad and I will have no hesitation in plonking down my hard-earned for it. But at the moment, there is no viable contender.

    The point of the article was: why buy this when you can get an iPad for the same or less money and it does more.

    Nothing anyone has said here has changed that. You may want to defend your own purchase but that's extremely subjective. (and, for the record, Scotty – who runs Android Activist – can hardly be said to be objective)

  89. kyerussell Says:

    Some people just don't care. Marketing matters to consumers, and Apple does it well.

  90. kyerussell Says:

    You've honestly missed the point of this entire stream of comments.

  91. Maarten Says:

    How about the Archos tablets? I thought they were selling remarkably cheaper than Apple's ipads?

  92. Devin Says:

    While the Archos price point is nice, I find the quality to be a bit subpar. We picked one an Archos 70 for a family trip down to Florida and the Bahamas. It was nice to be able to play some cartoons for my 1.5 year old on the plane and kept him busy with a few games. My wife still uses to this day to stream Pandora and check her email.

    However, the screen quality and "overall feel" is pretty shoddy. I'm comparing it to a Samsung Tab that I picked up last year and the difference is night and day. I would not recommend an Archos to anyone as it stands right now. It's not a good thing when the whole back of your device bends in when you press down on the screen.

    I would recommend the Tab. Even though it doesn't have Honeycomb, I still think it's a solid device for web-browsing, apps, and music (although the speakers aren't as nice as the Archos).

  93. Gary Says:

    I think number 12 really does have some legs. The cool kids will actively search out other brands once everyone in the neighbourhood has an iPad – simply to be different. Despite something being a superior product and having once been the must have item, I think that certain undercurrents will sway some kids away from asking for iPad. I cannot say which manufacturer will do it or how they’ll position themselves as the next big thing but it is destined to happen. While iPad is still unobtainable for a lot of people (i.e. it is still priced too high) it will remain desirable. But having seen the Samsung 10.1″ I was very impressed with its build quality, thinness and overall performance (battery still not as good as iPad though).

  94. Jeromy Evans Says:

    #11 wildcard: foldable / slideout screen. It fits in a pocket or handbag but extends to 10 or more inches for a tablet experience.

  95. Rick Hurst Says:

    Something that was missing – a bit niche maybe, but.. "I can run a full OS so that developers, designers and other users of niche software can use their full software stack on me instead of a laptop". I'd certainly consider buying a tablet that doubles up as a full laptop for when I need to do some work on the road, or even full time hooked up to a keyboard/ mouse/ monitor. Meanwhile tablets are just not useful enough to me, and i'm eyeing up the macbook air..

  96. Johnny Says:

    So you purchased a device that you never tried before? Why? I spend over $100 and I better be able to use it before I buy. At $500 I better be able to use it like I would if I bought it.

  97. Johnny Says:

    People keep saying that marketing is why people buy iPads. Marketing doesn't make you buy anything. It makes you try something. When people see an ad for iPad showing what the tablet does, people say, "that's interesting; I should go try one out." They don't go out and just buy it. So yes Apple's marketing is good and leads people to an Apple store to try it. Then the device will sell if the person likes the experience.

    Compare that to the a Verizon ad for one of the android tablets. Man says to himself, "How can I convince my wife to get this tablet." The sales person says, "She will love the dual core Tegra2 chipset to stream movies from the Android Marketplace."

    Apple also has the retail outlet to allow people to try. Other manufactures don't have this. They have retail partners to handle that for them. Why is that a problem. Two times I have gone into a big box chain to try a XOOM. Both times (different stores) the XOOM wasn't working. I asked one of the blue shirt wearing sales people, if he had another to try. He told me that they don't have anymore display models. I laughed and said they sold that well they don't have any in stock. He explained that they have plenty to sell, just no display models. Why? Is that how you sell a product. No. I would bet that you would not see a dead iPad on the floor at an Apple store. Is it because iPads never die. No. But an Apple employee would never allow a dead ipad on the floor for a considerable amount of time.

  98. Infi Says:

    How about "I’m in stock"?

  99. StilgarISCA Says:

    I bought a tablet recently. I would not consider myself an Apple fanboy, but I did end up getting a refurbished first gen iPad for $350. I had considered getting an Android tablet (I own an Android Phone), but looking around at the Android Tablets from people at work, I decided to go with an iPad.

    Several people I work with have the Acer Iconia, ASUS Transformer, Samsung Galaxies and 1st/2nd gen iPads. When they were showing me how "cool" their devices were, I witnessed several crashes…the Transformer seemed to have problems playing some You Tube videos. When I asked if they were going to be able to get Android upgrades quickly, they didn't know. The fragmentation of Android is a problem for me on my phone and I don't want those same problems on my tablet. I know that when Apple releases a new version of iOS I will be able to download it and use it without having to wait for a special ROM from my device manufacturer.

    I do not regret my decision at all. I've shown people some of the apps I've bought for my iPad and they'll say, "Ooh, that is cool, I wonder if there's an Android version?" Nope. Today I pointed out to a coworker that Peggle is Amazon's Free Android App of the day and it's a must-have game. He went to the Amazon marketplace and his Android tablet is not compatible.

  100. ruthuja Says:

    There is only one reason I want to but have not bought an iPAD; that is I want to be ablle to read a book sitting outside in my varanda on a sunny day as ell as read in bed without a light on. I can´t do that with the iPAD or any other reader for that matter. I am waiting for some one to solve this. Apple are you hearing?

  101. @WendyMerritt Says:

    I'm was raised a Microsoft gal. When the iPhone came out I tried really hard to not like it. I failed. I am on my third one now. When the iPad came out I tried super hard to hate it and make fun of it. Once again, I failed. I had one within a couple months and am grieving the fact that I cannot afford the second one…yet. I entered college as an adult and what do they require? I have to use a Mac for my course work. I hate to say it, but I failed for a third time (it's a good time this isn't a three strikes you're out scenario! lol). I now own a MacBook Pro. I still use several Microsoft PC's for work because there is some things Microsoft does really well, but I do love me some Apple.

    Only a fool would try and deny the excellence that is Apple.

  102. SAS25 Says:

    Your reason #11 is the biggest answer:
    - The Kindle and Nook eReaders have been successful at the low end of the market as single purpose devices. If they continue to add features and keep the price low, they should continue to do well.
    - Windows 8 will make tablets just a different PC form factor (ie. one with an optional bluetooth keyboard or keyboard dock). This will enable users to buy a single device that acts as both a PC and a tablet, thus eliminating the need for purchasing a second device. For cash strapped consumers – this could be a very compelling reason to choose a Win 8 device over an iPad.

  103. Scott Wickham Says:

    Filesystem and SD cards.

    Example: On Ipad you get – Safari can't download this filetype when you try to download an ebooks form the web. With andriod no jailbreak needed for basic functionality.

  104. sethrob Says:

    Great article. Certainly people will find reasons to buy non-iPad tablets, and those tablets will likely be adequate and in some ways better than an iPad. But it is hard to beat the mass appeal of the iPad, and with Apple continuing to play to its strengths, it looks like that have a good run in front of them.

  105. David H Dennis Says:

    You must be a touch out of date. The iMessage feature in iOS 5.0 lets you receive and reply to texts on all your iOS devices. It's not perfect (as far as I can tell) since it only works when the device on the other end runs iOS, but it's definitely a big advance over the status quo.

    I liked the Pre's operating system and hated the hardware – the keyboard was absolutely miserable, among other things. I signed up as a developer and found the platform surprisingly difficult to use – it may be HTML and JavaScript, but their libraries and frameworks were unusual and poorly documented. Hopefully they will do better with the tablet.

    D

  106. Jordan Says:

    These tablets may be cheaper, but the quality doesn’t meet the iPad’s quality.

  107. GQB Says:

    Wow… the emotional maturity of people replying to this article is staggering.
    That's the most childish reason for not buying (or buying something) I've ever heard from an adult.

  108. Marlon Stevenson Says:

    I like the cater to a different demographic one. I think there should be a tablet for education in elem, middle, and high school that is durable, but not child looking. Just because it's for children doesn't mean it has to appear like a Fischer-Price toy. Tablets should try a variety of designs, so they can settle on the best one. I think the best way to make an iPad competitor is to just keep making tablets. Sure, it's expensive, but if they produce on demand rather than mass produce they can absorb negligible costs. A tablet that transforms into another device would be great and one that has an ecosystem that it works well with. It docks to a special bookbag, it has a wall mount, a special cover, etc. and some of these items come bundled with the tablet. Absorb the cost and create this Apple like eco system. In the long run, the profit from the peripheral gadgets will more than offset the initial cost you absorbed.

  109. Charles Hood Says:

    I'm an iPad fan, but if I had to pick the best alternative I would go with the Nook Color. It's cheap and ultimately hackable. It's almost impossible to brick the darn thing because you can boot off the micro SD card. The CyanogenMod firmware turns it into a formidable little tablet, and yes, it runs Flash.

  110. Ken Says:

    Actually, the HTC Flyer does have palm rejection. I've been using it since the day my pre-order came in, and here's how it works:

    If the stylus is near the screen (I'd say within an inch or so), any capacitive input is ignored. You can hold the stylus tip near the screen and tap away with your fingers and nothing happens. If the stylus is far away from the screen, capacitive input is accepted normally.

    It generally works well, especially if you decisively rest your palm on the screen ready-to-write. If, on the other hand, you rest the back of your palm on the screen while holding the stylus up in the air, as if to begin writing in the future (this is a habit of mine), the stylus is too far away from the screen and the Flyer brings up a touch keyboard.

    There might be some solution to this. Maybe the stylus could itself detect whether it's being held by a human, although that could present problems of its own. Either way, the Flyer uses the same N-Trig technology that other tablets use, and I understand its palm rejection is essentially the same as other tablets' palm rejection.

  111. Ken Says:

    I agree with you, although it's worth pointing out that Apple could have simply updated their TOS and only enabled DRM for apps that request it. Google is on the DRM bandwagon too, but only when apps request it.

  112. Tim Says:

    Distribution model freedom is a differentiator, though important in the B2B space not consumer. If you're a corporation who wants to release an app to your suppliers, partners, licensees, contractors, etc. you're not permitted to use the Enterprise program. That's for employees only. You can't use AdHoc because that's limited to 99 devices. Your only option is AppStore and available to all-comers. If you're publishing an app that includes proprietary info, pricing, etc. you have limited options in the iOS ecosystem.

    You can distribute outside the Android Market without limitations if you want. This distribution flexibility is a strong plus for an Android based tablet. I haven't worked with the other tablet ecosystems so I'm not sure if this applies.

  113. Ken Says:

    I've got CM7 on a Nook Color and yeah, it's nifty. I really like how they didn't try to stop you from hacking it and how the Nook Color is pretty much unbrickable. In messing around with it, I even corrupted the basic partition table on the internal storage and was still able to recover it. You couldn't say that about most Android devices.

    I like gadgets that work like general purpose computers, where the hardware does what you say, and no matter how corrupt the software is, you can always boot off external media to fix it.

    Having said that, there's not really anyway the hardware on a Nook Color can compete with the iPad 2 or most of the Android tablets out there.

  114. Rudy Says:

    Exactly. Don't leave it to the clueless carrier and Best Buy drones to explain your iPad-killer product.

  115. @rdjacks88 Says:

    @Nicholas no need to really call apple products crapple. I mean I am in no way an apple fanboy only ever used one apple product and that was years ago. I do agree the asus transformer is a great product honeycomb may not have matured enough to be an OS that can really be used as a secondary computing device let alone a primary one for the masses. However Asus got the hardware pretty down pack I mean I havent seen a single tablet out there that can be used like this.

    Wish the person that wrote this article mention that genius, I mean you talk about the xoom (the first android tablet made with 3.0) and the new galaxy tab. Isn't there some other ones in the middle like the Asus Transformer and Acer Iconia both of which you can find priced at $399. I mean what is it about Taiwanese based companies, next thing you know MSI will make one price at that or lower.

  116. Alan Says:

    I think that is what Apple has done…early tests showed iPad2 graphics beating the NVidia Tegra 2 by something like 4x or 5x. The App store has the LOTS of GOOD games.

  117. Alan Says:

    I'll take it off your hands for $300.

  118. Alan Says:

    There is an interesting Hertz/Avis thing going on right now in tablets. Apple is trying to convince those that don't think they need a tablet that they need one (and an Apple one at that). Every other company is trying to convince those that have decided to get an iPad that they should get their tablet instead.

  119. Youclay Says:

    A tablet focused and optimized for streaming movies/Tv, e.g. Hulu, with pre-subscribed Hulu Plus, still might fill an niche that Apple hasnt hit. Like the kindle of tv, integrated with Facebook, for reviewing flicks, etc..

  120. Paul Angell Says:

    If someone would sell water that was wetter, better, cheaper, cleaner, freer, etc…I bet that would kick waters ASS!!!

  121. Lazlow St. Pierre Says:

    Apple will be delighted if the iPad has the same fate as the iPhone. Apple have less something 5% of the total mobile phone market in terms of devices sold (I'm including the total dumb phones like the cheap Nokias), yet are making 50% of the total profits of the mobile phone hardware business. They are in this game to make money, and they are succeeding spectacularly at that.

    Market share is only of relevance if it translates directly into profits. It's one of those things that fanboys like to boast about.

    The average person who buys an iPad, iPhone, Droid, Galaxy Tab, etc. doesn't give two hoots about any of that. It's just the kind of fanboy bickering and gloating that wastes space on the internet.

    We have this absolutely magnificent technology at affordable prices today. Devices that we couldn't have dreamed of 20 years ago. And people are buying them and going on line to bitch about people who bought the rival's version because they think it's no good, or gloating about how much units of their device company X sold.

    It's just sad.

  122. paul Says:

    As an iPad 2 owner, there’s one “killer feature” that would make me drop it and buy another company’s tablet: the ability to easily transfer files to and from a computer. I mean, connect the tablet to any computer via a standard USB cable or bluetooth, and the computer sees the tablet like an external hard drive, with a sensible file structure that lets me find, organize, and transfer files.

  123. Rosswell Says:

    Apple customer service is legendary. They don't pass the buck. People are frequently just given a new item on-the-spot.

    My boss ordered the wrong Mac keyboard. I called 1 800 SOS APPL and within 10 minutes the person said they would overnight me the right keyboard free and no return expected of the old one. They did.

    So reason #14 or whatever should be the legendary, single-source, native English-speaking, customer service.

  124. Matt Says:

    Brand recognition, aggressive, high-quality advertising, stylish design, and first-to-market status are all HUGE influencers on consumers; I would guess that a majority of consumers think of their decision as "buying an iPad" not as "choosing a tablet". The above factors render a critical, objective analysis of one's own needs moot for many people and so an Android or BlackBerry based tablet may not even enter their thinking.

    I own a Moto Xoom (WiFi) and love it. Android's cusomizability guided my decision to purchase a handset based on it (Nexus One) which made an iPad a less-than-appealing option for my tablet because of interoperability considerations. I imagine most people don't really care about customization as much as I do, though, and value stability and ease-of-use more highly; in those areas, the iPad probably does have a meaninful lead which reinforces the 4 factors above.

  125. Ken Says:

    That would be pretty much any Android tablet, or a PlayBook. iOS is unique in not showing up like a USB thumb drive when plugged in.

  126. @Jeffington Says:

    This is really an indictment of the marketing teams behind Android-based products. Across their products, Apple has a clear marketing message whereas Android-based products don't answer the "Why this?" question. The only notable exception was the "Droid Does" campaign. The Droid did become the best-selling Android phone. While it wasn't cause and effect, it helped.

    Good marketing can answer "Why this?" even if there is nothing substantially better about their product. Apple products have strong customer loyalty based on their merits, but they do a better job positioning their products than any other company in the industry.

  127. @jasondunn Says:

    I don't understand why Mr. McCraken didn't list the Asus Eee PC Transformer as a tablet that's "meaningfully cheaper". In Canada the 32 GB model is $499. The 32 GB iPad is $619. That's a 20% price difference, which to mean is meaningful. If I hadn't already bought an iPad 2, I think I'd have gone for the Transformer – not only is it cheaper, it has the keyboard add-on which boosts battery life and offers significantly enhanced functionality that costs you more out of pocket on the iPad 2. I think the Transformer comes closest to offering unique advantages over the iPad 2. I suggest you try one out Mr. McCracken. :-)

  128. Walt French Says:

    I looked at RIM's (BlackBerry's) stock price today; they are back to 2006 levels, IIRC, after having shot up to 4X that. Just a few years ago they were an interesting little pager company, then the Must-Have device for Wall Street and other 7-digit earners; today they are subjects of takeover rumors.

    We have indeed seen several revolutions in mobile computers in the last 5 years. Each one has become harder to crack into, because each new entrant puts up barriers to competitors that utterly re-write the rules: Apple with its huge media/app/economies-of-scale and Google with its ability to give away or even subsidize the platform (in order to exploit its monopoly in selling users' eyeballs to advertisers).

    How can a Playbook or TouchPad break into those markets? Harry has listed a couple of ways that new entrants could break the old rules and get in the game. There may be other ways. (I envision niches such as warehouse or restaurant/cafe devices with different industrial design.) But frankly, the efforts to date by Asus, Samsung and others suggest that real breakthroughs will come only after the current gen designs satiate the existing market, and new niches can open up.

  129. Walt French Says:

    “I'm not going to switch computing environments because the iPad is a better value for most consumers.”

    Fair's fair; I have MY acquired tastes, such as the very smoky Islay Scotch I'm enjoying now, too. Most people, if they ever thought to try it, would hate it.

    I just meant to highlight that just because somebody's a propeller-beanie nerd, s/he still can have lots of fine choices for devices.

    BTW, my coding projects are in plain old C; XCode supports it just fine and that was the OSS that I started with. Since I'm doing very unix-style command-line programs there's no need for me to learn yet another programming language, or frameworks that are irrelevant to me.

  130. thefakejorge Says:

    "I use both, and I love both. I realize that I am a rare breed of human that is capable of objectively seeing the value of both, rather than mindlessly hating one for the other, so I'm really wasting my time with this comment. "

    Thanks for filling us in, Jorge. The rest of us didn't know we were zombies. Where are the bandages? I think my arm is about to fall off.

  131. commenter Says:

    This is something HP/Palm should be able to deliver on, if they felt the market was there. Palm's gesture system worked very well. Throw in modern text correction and it would be really robust. But actual handwriting recognition isn't something I see enough demand for to invest in the development required for a usable product.

  132. pacificstorm Says:

    So, in a nutshell, no what what, you’d still stick to Apple. No matter of the iPad is so yesterday’s (has been) technology, as long it’s got an Apple logo on it, you will still swear by it. Man, join the 21st Century and not the medieval times. is this what you call blind love, and loyalty to a product? You need to get out more methinks. :)

  133. Commenter Says:

    Windows 8 strikes me as a huge gamble with bad odds. While the tablet side of things look promising, the demos I've seen appear to be a nightmare for traditional PC work use. Nothing there looks like it would enable devs to transfer existing apps without a massive rework of their UIs, at minimum, and quite likely a complete rewrite.

    My bet is that Win 8 rolls out in '14 and looks a lot more like Win 7 than the demos. If MS is clever, they'll take the Win 8 UI features and make a phone/tablet specific OS, like Apple has done with iOS and start migrating features between the desktop and mobile platforms as the features become useful/supportable on the other platform.

    Right now, Win 8 looks like a super cool animated flying car. Excellent to dream about, but completely forgetting that the two had seriously different functionality.

  134. Harshavardhan Says:

    Even Apple didn’t have the right applications when it started out. I checked out a few of the applications offered on HP webos. Most of them are targetted towards the cloud and corporate crowd. I see HP targetting the HTC crowd for corporates while also targetting the cloud people. (Even apple realizes that and has started icloud) Now the question arises – Cloud is being pushed majorly by HP because they are already confident about their cloud services offerings. And with the 300 + applications so far, how many would people need. As someone from the Apple users states, hardly 20-30. With the multitasking and super integration towards cloud printing, it is definitely a much better offering than Apple’s at the price.

  135. R Lloyd Says:

    Why do you think MS hasnt thought through this? with the file handeling Isnt this EXACTLY what happens with a laptop already?

    Re switching from mobile/tablet to classic view whihc is your second complaint isnt this the whole point of Windows 8? that its baked into the operating system, to do exactly this? and wouldnt you expect the company that makes office to see this as a wonderfull opertunity to sell everyone a brand new version of office?

  136. AnnetteFord Says:

    motion computing's CL900 is the tablet for clinicians + other mobile professions such as engineers to enable us to get on with the jobs we were trained to do instead of having to learn to work a different way. I'm a visiting OT + chose it because:
    . < $2000 all up
    . lightweight
    . disinfectable + robust
    . large screen
    . docking station to enable quick charging and use of standard keyboard, usb etc
    . mobile internet access
    . converts handwriting to text + learns to get even better at this the more I use it
    . zoom in/out with two point finger touch or scroll/select with one finger (like ipad) and/or write/draw/select with fine point stylus
    . stylus is tethered + has a hinged case on the side of the tablet to rest it during consultation or lock it away protected when not in use
    . switch between handwriting with stylus and on screen keyboard mode with one click
    . screen is readable in bright sunlight
    . can take photos, draw on/label photo using stylus, link to patient file
    . fax or email (ie order prescribed items, send reports) from patients home or bedside, instantly
    . demonstrate all kinds of educational and resource material to the patient, including zooming text or images for those with low vision
    . access to every proforma you will ever need at the patient's bedside on your tablet
    . get more real work done instead of re-writing patients' demographic details over and over again for each proforma you have to fill in
    .keep record for klms, claimable hours, invoicing, receipting, professional development/accreditation activities etc all in one place, conveniently linked and automatically tallied in spreadsheet

    Annette Ford, occupational therapist

  137. Psy Says:

    "There aren’t enough utilities for tweaking its interface…"

    The single most ridiculous statement regarding the Android platform I've ever read. There is a staggering amount of UI-related customisations, launchers/skins on the market and that's before you begin to include the massive variety of widgets which allow the android homescreens to be something a little more interesting and functional than a collection of app icons. iOS is really nice on a phone with limited screen real estate but it really fails to make the most of larger screen sizes in the way android does. With regards to hardware variety, it would be quicker to list the android tablets that don't have HDMI and SD slots as most manufacturers are savvy enough to realise these are minimum requirements. Not entirely sure why you decided to single out the Toshiba Thrive, especially as you describe it as being "PC-like", which is a daft comparison as there should be nothing PC-like about a tablet (a highly customisable device is not PC-like, it's just a good device).

  138. The_Heraclitus Says:

    Reason to buy… Android won't be adding a "feature" that will disable video cam if you are at an event Apple doesn't want you to video? http://www.newsmax.com/US/Apple-iPhone-Concert-vi

  139. Ash Says:

    A little self obsessed with your decision making? You explain nothing here about what "merit" the android tablets have. Or maybe you don't own a tablet?

    It's possible that a large number of people buy the iPad because everyone has it, but not everyone. A lot of them probably buy them because it DOES have merit. For reasons explained in this article the iPad is still the best tablet out there (on average, as everyone has their own personal use cases and needs).

    I just kinda find it annoying that you have to go on talking about how "smart" you (think you) are rather than talking about what "merit" you believe the android tablets actually have. Bring something to the table. I'm sick of you haters out there that constantly bash what's popular. Sure some people are mainstream whores. But some of those mainstream things are actually good!

    Btw, I don't own an iPad or a Tablet because I don't have any use for either just yet. But when I do need one I'll do my research and choose one that suits me. I won't dismiss any of them the way you seem to dismiss things. Maybe you don't do this, but your comment sure makes you sound like you do.

  140. Site7000 Says:

    javascript:%20IDCNavReply('IDCNavOpenIDReply');%20showSignupOpenIDReply();What a load of crap. For the 26 years I've been using Macs and PCs, the Apple-hater's mantra was that Macs were inferior because Windows outsold them 10-to-1. "Just that simple, dude!" Now that iPhones and iPads (not to mention Macs) are kicking serious ass, they are inferior because everyone is buying them and, horrors, you can't get under the hood anymore (been there, done that, massive pointless time suck). Instead of spending a day a week wrestling with the OS, I'm getting my work done faster and easier and laughing at your dumb ass. YOU are the sheep. Just that simple.

  141. @rtigs Says:

    If you truly bought things based on their merit, then you would not have an Android tablet right now and instead would own an iPad. Anyone with experience with BOTH platforms knows this.

    Android may be able to refine their OS to eventually provide a similar user experience to that of an iPad, however it is not there yet. Honeycomb 3.0 was absolutely terrible and seemed more like an alpha or beta release, rather than a prod release for the masses. The release of 3.1 is MUCH better than 3.0 however there is still significant room for improvement (especially compared to iOS).

    "Sorry, I don't feed trolls."
    Then who feeds you day in and day out? Your mommy I'll assume?

  142. danone Says:

    Try to play any 1080p with an ipad…

  143. MAX Says:

    The Acer Iconia A100 & A101 are going to be amazing. The specs are great and it's a 7 inch tablet that is coming in at $349.00 and running honeycomb! It has all the right connections and slots and it's got a great screen! That is what i am getting and i will be able to use it everywhere because it will fit in my pocket! That is the only reason i haven't bought an Ipad2! Because it's too big! I want versatility! Heed my word people: 7 INCH TABLETS WILL START TO TAKE OVER THE MARKET SO FAST IT'S GOING TO SCARE APPLE!

  144. magloire Says:

    I bough an Acer Iconia A500, because I couldn't get an iPad 64GB 3G/Wifi it seams that nobody get that in stock in my country.
    Speech recognition is in standard in Honeycomb, I can find mostly the same kind of applications, I can play any 1080p MKV via the USB port, and I can extend my memory via microSD cards. The Acer is cheaper as well.
    In fact it just depends what you need to do with your tablet, why should I need the iPad ?

  145. The_Heraclitus Says:

    Just bought the same model. Better cam than iPad and more versatile. Cheaper too.

    By the beginning – mid '13, Android will own the tablet mkt even more than they own the smart phone mkt.

  146. burtie Says:

    Flytouch 3. 'Nuff said.

  147. Marty Says:

    If you're typing on an iPad 2 you've had it for 2-3 months at most. There were android tablets available when you bought it, why didn't you get one of those? I call BS.

  148. rand Says:

    and who cares we will all just stream with i0s5

  149. Shahid Says:

    Can you rest your palm on the screen? Does the writing get converted to searchable text? Is the tip of the stylus narrow like a pencil? These are things I am looking for – so far, Tablet PC looks like the best option, for better or worse.

  150. Andy8400 Says:

    Interesting article but you left out two technologies that might sway a buyer from Apple: 1. Useful and specific mobile print drivers for wifi printers, and 2. A breakthrough design that would allow for better outside viewing, ie, one with the attributes of an iPad and a Kindle (perhaps a 2 screen solution – one in front and one in back, at least until a single screen solution could be found). Thanks, andy8400 (Sent from my iPad!).

  151. Alfred Says:

    My issue is price…and I think the original article really glosses over that topic. Sorry $700 + for 3G connectivity is ridiculous. And the experience doesn't justify it. Make a tablet for the people, Mr. Jobs. A $300 3G tablet. I dont want free…I just dont want to break the bank to have to get one.

  152. iPad repair Says:

    There are a lot of apps avaiable on the internet for dowanloading in your ipad.

  153. Chris Says:

    I think an option which can understand gestics without touching the pad, would be a very nice feature and could be the great difference.

  154. open source fanboy Says:

    very, very simple.

    "I am not intentionally limited"

    Perhaps the same as your #8 above ("My openness and/or flexibility actually pay off."), but the point is different. In fact, from a consumer marketing message standpoint, the message should be,

    "I can serve as a viable laptop replacement"

    Everyone who doesn't own an Ipad, or who does own an IPad, but never uses it (most of the IPad owners that I know, including myself, sad to say) understands that the IPad was intentionally limited so as to not cannibalize laptop sales. Who actually buys the argument that it's for "media consumption, not creation"? That's BS and we all know it. Many, if not most, people who have bought IPads (though not most who care enough to comment, so don't try to disprove me by saying you love yours) don't want a Laptop and an IPad. No one wants a giant IPhone.

    We want:
    1) a tablet that allows for great, easy access to usb peripherals,
    2) keyboards suitable for writing reports on,
    3) a touchscreen capable of doing subtle photoshop work on with a wacom stylus (or at least using a plugin wacom bamboo pad).
    4) easy ability to install whatever we want from any source that we can get, without having to register or tell anyone what we installed
    5) ability to shut off features selectively
    6) ease of installing a different operating software or multiple OSs if we chose

    Now I admit that the competition is also limited, but it's not intentional, and the benefit of the android OS is that if you want to take a risk (sure it is a risk) on it that it will take off as they want, these features can be added down the line without buying a whole new tablet (as long as you have a USB port and enough power to do the job) Google seems Hell-bent on ChromeOS, but a cloud based OS is stupid because we don't all live in Seoul or Beijing and we won't be able to access our applications and data anywhere we go for free. We need a hardware based system even if there are some cloud based components. So, if Google can stop with it's computer scientist fantasy and put more the power of their business behind android, they could do this easily.

    I own an IPad and a Xoom. both are wastes of money. However, I do keep the Xoom with me and use it a bit more, since it's easy to set up a virtual desktop with my desktop computer and use it with the keyboard case to do some standard word processing remotely when I'm away from my desk. It also has handwriting recognition which is OK, and has some native apps for creation. The IPad2 is better from a hardware standpoint, but it's potential is not met, since it's still limited and I don't need it. It's a great toy for a kid or someone with a lot of spare time, but not for someone who works for a living.

  155. open source fanboy Says:

    sorry, but this app doesn't work nearly 1% as well as a real wacom tablet, which is itself only 90% as good as writing as paper.

    Now personally, I'd rather have the touchscreen technology of a Cintiq tablet then the multi-touch finger optimized technology of all the tablets on the market today, but the ability to blend them both is just not quite there yet. the Bamboo pad (not the app) blends multi-touch and stylus input well, but has no integrated screen like the Cintiq.

    The answer will not come with the current hardware. Not for someone who needs to REALLY use it, instead of just playing with an app while they're looking for a job.

  156. open source fanboy Says:

    but that would put it in direct competition with the IPad, and how could they create a bigger base before selling any? I'm sure it would work if it could be done, since IPad users love this feature, but it just seems like an impossible chicken-or-egg scenario.

  157. open source fanboy Says:

    EXACTLY, and not niche at all! The market for a fully functional tablet is MUCH BIGGER than the market for people who want to carry a tablet AND a laptop. Everyone I know who doesn't own one and asks me about my Ipad and Xoom say, "can I replace my laptop with it"

    I tell them to wait at least one year.

  158. open source fanboy Says:

    yes, but what you are explaining is POS marketing. This is something that Apple clearly does better than anyone else in retail electronics. Those stupid PC commercials where they put a PC store in your house are almost proof on how much the competition just doesn't get basic sales and marketing tactics. The fact that I don't even know what brand they're for shows how bad they are but besides that, and besides the fact that they're annoying, the idea displays cluelessness, since they're building an apple store for PCs (which doesn't exist) inside someone's home, which is where commercials get already. The basic premise of marketing is to understand your customer. The 4 P's are Product (OK, all tech companies get this), Price (easy to understand), Promotions (OK), and PLACE.
    Place is where the consumers are, and more importantly where they make buying decisions. That's where you have to be with your message. Tech-heads make decisions online after looking at specs, but most consumers, anyone with a brain knows, make complicated decisions at a store. You are absolutely right that this is Apple's secret to their current success, but it IS marketing.

    The other secret to their success is Adobe who saved them (not Steve Jobs) from certain failure in the mid 90's by optimizing the best suite of creative software for the Mac Platform. Adobe was the only thing that kept those boxes moving. What am I saying (aside from Apple should be nice to Adobe?) Content moves product. I think the app store is overblown with lots of duplicate products that work poorly and a lack of killer apps, but they're using those sheer numbers to move product, and the fact that Google can't properly incentivize app developers to take advantage of a the greater programming potential.

  159. open source fanboy Says:

    Do Apple lovers have nothing better to do than search the internet for slightly negative comments about Apple products and inundate them with thumb downs? Do you get some kind of strange perverse pleasure from this? And then you get all defensive and talk about how Apple sells so many products. 90% of the "anti-apple" comments include the phrase "I own Apple products myself, and can see how the I(whatever) is a great product for many people and that it has a very nice user experience" And you still feel the need to attack and say that "anti-apple" people are just jealous or social outcasts, or some other nonsense. Like we're trying to insult you personally for choosing to buy an Apple product.

    Please, a product is a product. try being a devotee of something a little bit more interesting that doesn't just want your money. How about a hobby like gardening or painting?

  160. open source fanboy Says:

    Hey, look at that! My first negative comment only 1 minute after I posted!

  161. open source fanboy Says:

    Also, the marketing that some people (anti-apple folks are a minority!) have a knee-jerk negative reaction to is not the successful POS sales and marketing efforts of Apple, which are truly good business, but the fact that Apple (who has enough money for all the advertising they need) gets some kind of strange preferential treatment by all the real media (and by real, I mean media that has a meaningful reach into the full consumer base – i.e. NOT tech blogs!) where they:

    1) never question ANYTHING Apple says
    2) ALWAYS base the story on how great Apple is
    3) Put these stories on the FRONT PAGE of MAJOR media outlets as if it's real news and not a press release

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  162. Joe Says:

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    Dell streak is so slow. And the apps are so little. Trying to sell it. Using ipad2 now. I use it mostly for gaming and game center gaming with friends that are iPhone user. Means I have more friends to game with. I do like android but the apps is not cool. Like if this app is for a older phone but runs and a big dell. Many space of the screen is not use up. I'm seeing it in a way that if u wanna have fun u still need a ipAd. If u are looking for something not many people using then you can try android. Because I look around in train or train station I see 9/10 people are using apple's. I did want to try something new but I think now is not the time when my dell fails me Non Profit Debt Consolidation | Design Magazine | ACH

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  321. john Says:

    One point 1: all of those nifty apps? Here is the list I just pulled off of my iPad featured as "new and nifty":
    X is fo X-Ray : $7.99 -Ooh! Sounds compelling. A real productivity enhancer there.
    Another Monster at Elmo's: $0.99 — another gotta have
    CityVille Holidaytown – Free. A real brain enhancer there. At least its free
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    I think that speaks volumes if that is what Apple has to recommend. The one real productive app I had – the native Goolge eBooks app, was taken away by the censors of the Cupertino Politburo. It exists as a web app (but see later comment). As a consumer I lost on that one big — and what more will Apple take away from me to disable my device and me as a consumer. I'm only glad my work paid for my iPad and I didn't buy it.

    In truth, I was excited when I first got my iPad. I knew little about it but thought this was going to be great for video chatting like Google's video chat, being able to easily look up reference material and print it out while catching some TV at the same time, record and organize spoken notes, write notes for later reference, etc. Most of this isn't possible or is just too painful given the crappy keyboard interface (yeah, yeah, the old tired but true argument that tablets are more devices for consuming then producing).

    The truth is the iPad and, I would have to admit, most tablets (except perhaps for the ASUS transformer prime) are mostly toys. Great bricks for playing games or watching movies or TV episodes. I find web surfing lacking, with Apple's abismal browser performance and javascript performance (and Steve Jobs wanted you to believe he supported the dynamic richness of HTML5 — yeah right). Even as an eReader, it was just too heavy to be reading in comparison to the (now $79 Kindle) and its glossy interface just to annoying to make e-reading a book truly enjoyable.

    If you think the iPad is the next wave of great productivity devices — go to your local coffee shop and see how many folks are pecking away at netbooks or even laptops, and how many are pecking away on the iPad.

  322. Deendid Says:

    You left out the whole digitizer/pen thing. At the very least there appear to be a lot of internet trolls who really really want a tablet that can capture handwriting, and handle drawing applications and so forth, which means they have to support something better than a capacitive pen/sausage. Something more precise in particular. I think its obvious now that they can't NOT do a capacitive finger-friendly interface too, but there's a set of people who claim to want this. The HTC Flyer is clearly an attempt at appealing to these people, though it looks like it doesn't do the sort of palm rejection stuff you'd need for this to work well so it may not be the last attempt in this space.

    I agree with somebody above that games COULD be a separate target market. Its going to be interesting to see how well the Sony Xperia Play sells as that could be a big hint how that approach to this market is going to go. Built by a big game company that can come up with exclusive titles. Dual analog sticks, buttons etc that hard core gamers expect etc. Its not like Apple's Game Center has some unassailable lead for competitive car insurance estimator or multi-player gaming for example. Certainly an area Sony or Microsoft could leverage.

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  326. Elizabeth Says:

    I have an iPhone because work makes me. I have an android tablet because I didn't want to pay all that money for an iPad. I SHOULD HAVE PAID. The android system is confusing and unstable and why can't I even get a single game on this thing? Seriously? You people put up with this inferior product and LIKE it? I am not an apple fan. Hate the company. Will definitely upgrade to iPad and a decent system and speed. No questions.

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  330. Nick Says:

    You didn't read the Seth Weintraub article at all did you Harry McCracken?
    In the article he says the words marginal and silly in reference to the Samsung galaxy tab. HOWEVER the article doesn't use them in reference to the technical hardware as you imply. He says the device is "marginally thinner" than the iPad, and calls the camera on the tablet silly, because it's silly to take a picture with a 8+ inch device. What other tablet has a camera….hmmmm is it the iPad?
    How about this. The iPad is marginally thicker than the samsung galaxy tab, and also has a silly camera.
    This review is the fox news of tech blogs. You only hear what you want to hear and you make stuff seem like it is the way you wanted to hear it.

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  335. Hitonijun Says:

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  337. Dave Says:

    I still prefer and android over the apple software, so I will stick with a tablet instead of switching to an ipad.

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  349. Michael Says:

    I chose an iPad two. It's made in America, all of the components are pretty much made by the same company which is apple, and it is environmentally friendly. At the very least you're giving Americans jobs instead of the Japanese or Chinese. And, of course on top of that, it's a quality product.

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  352. Friv Says:

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  353. Angry Birds Game Says:

    Umm. We have an ASUS Android pad last summer with a detachable keyboard that is very nice. You should mention it. It is very well engineered and the interface is pretty good, though the tablet concept is clearly a work in progress. I have used Apple products since 1980 with VisiCalc and the Apple II. I have found their closed system strategy to be a constant irritation — a feeling that is only eclipsed by MS shenanigans over the years. Peoples' willingness to let these vendors channel their desires and preferences is only sustained by the constant introduction of new bells and whistles. In the end, they fail to satisfy. MS seems to be running out of stupid pet tricks to keep the ball rolling. I don't know if Google will satisfy in the end, but I do believe that openness and substantially higher levels of functionality will ultimately win out.

  354. Kizi Says:

    Right now I am using a very cheap netbook I purchased as a stopgap when my macbook died. For the past fifteen years I have owned macs exclusively, and I still love them, but I have had two macbooks die on me in the last four years. My old ibook still runs great, but it can't keep up. Anyway, I have actually come to like the netbook and have put off purchasing a new laptop or tablet. The trade-off is that the screen size doesn't handle some programs very well. The benefits include light weight, convenient size and a physical keyboard. With the addition of some open source things like Open Office, I find that I can do what I need to do for very little money. I also like the stand-up screen. I have used an iPad a few times and many of the things I would need to do require sitting it upright and attaching a keyboard. I had an iPhone for awhile but I didn't like it, except as a music player. Even so, I generally prefer purchasing mp3's over iTunes material because I can transfer those things easier.

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  356. Moshi Monsters Says:

    I didn't want an iPad because it's overpriced, too controlled, doesn't have Flash, and doesn't have USB ports.

    I also just didn't want to buy an Apple product. They make neat gadgets but that company has an authoritarian streak I want nothing to do with.

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    I hope RIM gets it's act together, as it's a REALLY nice piece of hardware and deserves more software support from RIM. If it gets that it could really be a contender and take a nice chunk of the market.

  357. Y8 Games Says:

    I think the main problem in this whole field is that all the other companies are trying to imitate, get the 'better than iPad' thing out. Before the iPad there was really no market for tablets, Windows tablets were terrible, and most of them were useless devices. My iPad I have to say gets used rarely now days, I'm mostly either on my laptop or phone (Dell Streak 5).

    Apple sat down and took a fairly dead device, and made it desirable and useable by thinking little different to most – remember the ridicule before it came out? A big phone which can't phone? Remember Microsoft laughing at it? Now they're all trying to copy it.

    What they should do is sit down and say "Right, people don't like laptops because of 'x', people don't like tablets because of 'y', how can we get a new take on this and create a new device type which, interface and working wise resolves the don't like issues".

    None of the other companies are taking risks like Apple did. The iPad could have bombed just as easily as it flew, look at Apple's innovations in the past.

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  377. benjamin moore Says:

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  378. fernsehermitinternet Says:

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  408. Annika4 Says:

    I’m so torn. I would like a tablet that has Adobe flash, and can read epub. I also want it to access the most free apps it can, especially apps for speech therapy for my son’s Apraxia of Speech /Sensory Integration Disorder (his therapist uses her ipad with him). Autism apps would be ok too since they both have similar learning issues. One major issue would be price. I really can’t afford much, but if it’ll help my son learn to become a self sufficient productive member of society, I’ll make the sacrifice. So far I tried the really cheap ematic & Pandigital. It couldn’t take the heavy use and kept crashing (Pandigital). The ematic was nothing more than a glorified ereader even though it was touted as a tablet. The only good thing is that by owning it (for a brief period, I returned them) I discovered the “daily paper” app which I really liked. I just ordered a BlackBerry PlayBook 7.0″ Touchscreen 64GB Tablet. I got it for $284.29 and 4% cash back from Shopathome.com. We’ll see how it goes when it gets here.

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