Analysts: Android & Windows 8 Tablets to Magically Catch iPad

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What is it with some Wall Street analysts? Some of them are really smart. Take Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee. The man is bright, and he and I have a different opinion on something, I have heretofore always respected his opinion, and he’s even been able to change my mind about a couple of things over the years.

Being a person with strong opinions, that’s no mean feat.

There are smart analysts…

Or how about Brian White of Ticonderoga? He is aggressive and a little on the bleeding edge of bulldom when it comes to Apple, but he understands the company, its ecosystem, and its value proposition.

Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Company? He’s one smart puppy, IMNHO. Charles Wolf of Needham & Co? When only a few analysts covered in the late part of the 1990s and early 2000s, and most of them were bears, Mr. Wolf was one of the few who wasn’t saying that Apple had to follow Microsoft and license Mac OS/Mac OS X to other hardware makers in order to survive.

There are many others, of course, smart analysts who are able to understand that Apple’s whole widget business model offers value to consumers, and that there is room for more than one business model in the computer and smartphone markets.

 

The Dunce Cap
And then there are other analysts…

 

On the other hand, there are some analysts who don’t understand Apple. At all. The Mac Observer’s Apple Death Knell Counter is littered wth them, and much of my living over the last 13 years has been made by calling them out and expaining why they are wrong.

Today, it seems to be the tablet market that confounds all but the brightest analysts. Back in March, for instance, Mike Abramsky of RBC predicted that Android will dominate tablets by 2014.

His reasoning was bascially that there will be a bunch of Android tablets at some point, just like there were a bunch of Android smartphones, and that like smartphones, the greater numbers and cheap hardware would trump Apple’s value proposition, allowing it to pass iPad by 2014.

I explained then, and many other times, too, that the tablet market will be more like the MP3 player market, and not like the smartphone market. Apple has overwhelmingly dominated the MP3 player market since it introduced the iPod in 2001.

Analysts like to look at PCs, and now smartphones, for their clues. How it went for PCs must go every other computer-related market seems to be thinking of folks like Mr. Abramsky. They can’t imagine any other paradigm, even though the MP3 player market — the “digital device market” — is the proof in the pudding that the Windows vs. Mac vs. OS/2 vs. BeOS vs. vs. Amiga vs. Unix version of history isn’t the only way that things can work.

And I guess the smartphone market only adds fuel to their limited imagination’s lack of fire. After all, iPhone literally exploded the smartphone market, but plenty of cheap Android devices have gained market share over iPhone the same way that plenty of cheap DOS and Windows boxes took share away from Apple, which had exploded the personal computer market with the Apple ][.

Never mind that Apple’s Mac has been gaining market share for the last six years now — it’s still a small player in the computer market.

To these analysts, it will simply have to be the same way with tablets. What they don’t understand is that tablets aren’t smartphones or computers, where “good enough” and “cheap” create a compelling enough reason for people to buy Apple alternatives.

This is a repeat of my long-stated position, but the short version is that PCs and smartphones each have uses that make them must-haves. Media tablets, however, do not. There’s no killer app yet for tablets except for the experience they offer users, and only Apple has an experience that qualifies as a Killer App.

Amazon and Microsoft might be able to change that, but I don’t think they will (in fact, look for an upcoming piece on why Microsoft is getting it wrong, despite my hopes for a proper iPad competitor from the company)

Keep beating that drum

Today, I found a new analyst — analysts, rather — who have similarly missed the clue train. A team of three analysts from Nomura Equity Research released a 90 page report Thursday that said that Android and Windows 8 are going to (magically) “hit the sweet spot” in 2012 and combine to sell 47 million non-Apple tablets in 2012 and 64 million in 2013.

Their argument is basically a rehash of what Mr. Abramsky said, that cheaper and varied devices will combine to beat Apple’s single device. As an example of just how much they do not understand why people are buying iPads, they say specifically state that pricing and distribution is what will sell all these non-iPads.

From the report, which was obtained by Barron’s (emphasis added by me): “Given limited scope for product differentiation among tablets, we believe competitive pricing and distribution will be key to success for hardware makers.”

Tilting at Windmills

What puts me on tilt about this kind of nonsense are two things. The first is that, as I said, it’s the experience that sells iPads. The second is that Apple is the price leader in media tablets, the same way it was and is in MP3 players with its iPod line.

Apple’s volume and ability to use its enormous cash hoard to secure favorable supplier deals has allowed Apple to CRUSH the competition with the iPad on pricing, and I expect Apple to be able to continue to do so for some time, in part because no other competitor will be able to gain much of a foothold.

That means third party developers are disincentivised from adding to the experience available on other tablet platforms, while other tablet hardware makers will be unable to use their own volumes to even match Apple on prices, let alone beat it

Nevertheless, the analysts wrote that, “While Apple will likely remain a leading player in the tablet market on strong software integration, cloud service and cost advantages, we expect the competitive landscape to change in 2012.”

I ask you, what’s going to change in the competitive landscape in 2012? Will Apple suddenly have less money to secure great component pricing? Will Apple stop raising the bar with its hardware designs, giving the competition time to catch up?

It’s nonsense. The only thing that wil change the competitive landscape will be Google or the Android platform as a whole being able to get their act together with tablets, or maybe Microsoft entering the market with their own experience-driven tablet platform.

Ain’t neither gonna happen, to toss in some vernacular.

About Microsoft, the analysts wrote, “We expect Windows 8 on ARM could provide new growth opportunities for hardware makers. If Microsoft Windows 8 becomes a popular OS for tablets, we believe product standardization will become the norm for tablets, following a similar process as PC commoditization throughout the 1990s.”

As I’ve already noted, this is just flat-out wrong. It’s wrong. It’s wrong. It’s wrong.

It’s a 90-page report, meaning that there’s a lot more to it than my three little quotes, but those quotes show that the analysts who created the report don’t understand the market,which makes the rest of the report moot.

And some of those smart analysts I mentioned agree with me.

Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies Associates told Marketwatch that the report, “is a little too optimistic,” and does not put enough weight on “the value of Apple’s already established ecosystem.”

Right on, Mr. Kay.

Brian White of Ticonderoga added, “There is no one that can deliver the vertically integrated digital ecosystem [that Apple currently has.] They make the hardware and the software, so they can control the experience. And all their products talk to each other. No else can do this.”

Ditto, good sir.

In conclusion

I’ll conclude by repeating: The iPad will dominate the tablet market the same it dominated the MP3 player market with the iPod. For tablets, experience is the only thing that creates a desire to have a media tablet, and no other platform can offer an experience.

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Comments

mlanger

I agree with you but I would like to add that if Android/Motorola/Microsoft are playing “catch up” to Apple—as they most likely are trying to do—who knows what Apple may have developed by 2012 or 2013? That’s what being a market LEADER is all about.

Apple’s success in these products is due primarily to their ability to innovate—which they’ve always had. Imagination, innovation, excellent design, attention to detail, great user experience—that’s why people buy Apple products. Who knows what “magical” (couldn’t resist) next generation tablet Apple will come up with while everyone else is trying to catch up?

And thanks for the Death Knell link. I’m sure I’ll enjoy reading that.

Bryan Chaffin

Most welcome, mlanger. Thanks for the comment. smile

John Molloy

I tend to agree. The competition think that to win you just need to keep adding specs to a product, which is a throwback to the PC era, not the post PC one.

What none of them have grokked is that the iPad is not a computer. It’s an appliance. The vast majority of stuff Apple left off, they left off to make the experience easier for the user.

There is no tablet market. There is only an iPad market and so far no one else apart from Apple is delivering that.

The illusion that Android “won” by selling lots of phones was hidden by the greed of the carriers to sell, something, anything, if they didn’t have an iPhone to sell. Which meant the carriers paid for them and brought them in at silly prices just to keep hold of more customers for the next two years. The problem is that that is not how the tablet market works. People are already tied to a contract. The carriers have made their money and their customers have already spent theirs. There can be no double dipping. Some will try to sell contracts that cover say everything but that isn’t going to get the me-too tablets to a price people are prepared to pay.

The iPad market is very different and, as you say Bryan, much more like the MP3 market than the Android fans realize.

Microsoft just seem to be barking up the same tree. Time and again. Getting a PC into a tablet didn’t work the first time. Or the second. Or any time over the 10 years they were trying to sell it. Only the iPad cracked the market. We’re definitely going to have a very interesting rest of the year, and next year will be even more exciting.

Nemo

Nice piece Bryan.  To your observations about Apple’s advantages as the lowest cost producer, with vast wealth to do deals, great industrial design, the great and unique ability to integrate hardware and software to produce an unparalleled user’s experience, and an unparallelled ecosystem, let me add Apple’s IP, specifically its patents, its utility patents in hardware and software and its design patents.  Taken together Apple’s IP will also prove to be a great obstacle to competitors being able to offer the experience of Apple’s iPad, or being able to offer that experience at a competitive price. 

Apple has just begun its infringement lawsuits to enforce its intellectual property rights against those that it alleges have infringed on its IP.  But if Apple is substantially successful in the most important of those lawsuits, not only will the iPad’s competitive position be extremely difficult to assail on that basis alone, Android phones will also be required to either abandon the use of certain crucial technologies or pay Apple a royalty that Android OEMs, with their razor thin margins, can’t afford.  Certainly, Google won’t pay to license Apple’s tech, assuming of course that a court orders Apple to license, for surely Apple, being victorious, won’t otherwise consent to license its tech.

And, of course, this doesn’t consider what will happen to the Android ecosystem if Oracle and Microsoft are successful in their respective infringement actions against Android.  Microsoft, even without suing, has already had some notable success in negotiating substantial royalties from Android OEMs.

So, to say the least, the predictions of Android’s success or of Microsoft’s success in either tablets or even smartphones is premature.

Smart enough to not be an analyst

I was so hoping that someone who had the balls to use the little girl phrase “missed the clue train” would actually be on that train, but sadly not.

The day tablets come into their own is the day the people stop thinking of them as media tablets, and start thinking of them as productivity enhancers.  My schedule, my email, my gps, my documents, and everything else I need while moving through my working day is currently on my Android tablet…  Even though Android is barely able to do what a productivity tablet needs to do.

That’s why neither iPad nor Android will end up the market leaders of tablets, while they’re busy trying to be glorified mobile dvd players some smart cookie at Blackberry or Microsoft or somewhere else will put together an OS which people who aren’t between the ages of 12 and 21 will want.

Dorje Sylas

What is the core function of a tablet? Well cleally Apple didn’t quite know when they put it forward as a consumption device. Hopefully they are learning otherwise.

I would like to purpose a new metaphor for tablets. Instead of File Systems think Personal Library. Now if you think this means just consumption let me point out the basic componet of a library… paper. Yes paper can have writing on it, but it can also be blank. More or less anything you can do with paper you should be able to do with a tablet ( not quite there there yet but close). If your table isn’t good paper don’t even bother bringing it to market.

Now the reason of the Personal Library metaphor is the way iOS currently manages information. It binds sheets into “books” (read Apps) and doesn’t like unbinding them. It’s hard to shift individual sheets around. Apple’s take in the Libary is also a highly controlled one. They only want new books and sheets to come added very specific ways. It rarely allows for material to be “checked out”. This makes it highly organized and insures quality “materials” but has it’s disadvantages.

Currently the other styles of “Library” out there only offer a looser method for brining in material. Most dont have books but Stacks of unbound but related paper (that the user says are related), which makes it easy to shift stuff about. It is also easier to get “sheets” out (USB, SD card,  ad-hock wifi, etc.). This is their only real advantage.

If and when the curators at Apple let us to more shuffling of paper between books and other peoples librairies (with the smooth polish they keep) then the other Tablet makers are going to really be up the creak. What they aren’t facing is that they aren’t good Paper. iOS and the tools(apps) made for it is downright assume paper.

Bryan Chaffin

That?s why neither iPad nor Android will end up the market leaders of tablets, while they?re busy trying to be glorified mobile dvd players some smart cookie at Blackberry or Microsoft or somewhere else will put together an OS which people who aren?t between the ages of 12 and 21 will want.

You, sir, have left me, Bryan “Mr. Verbose” Chaffin, speechless.

Bryan Chaffin

No, wait, wait, I have it: One night at a seedy bar in downtown Houston, a caricature of 1995 met a caricature of 2005. They started drinking together and got to talking and laughing about that joke of a company, Apple. Both of them had some very poignant things to say about the company, each comfortably assured that Apple just didn’t get it.

Needless to say, they hit it off. 2005 started flirting, and 1995 was drinking hard, and then with both of them hammered, they stumbled out into the dark and dank alley.

Well, one thing led to another and nine months later, they gave birth to arguments that would then be made by “Smart enough to not be an analyst” today.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

The test for me with tablets is when people stop buying high-end aftermarket car stereos and instead by a tuner with a good amp and an aux input for tablet audio. But that’s my pre-Carmageddon SoCal freeway bias shining through.

JonGl

The day tablets come into their own is the day the people stop thinking of them as media tablets, and start thinking of them as productivity enhancers.

Yeah, all those pilots, doctors, educators, repair people, and who knows in what other professions do tend to use the iPad just for consumin’. Oh, and iCloud is also about consumin’ them Numbers, Pages, GarageBand, Keynote and other documents…

Yeah, Apple and everybody’s totally missing the boat on productivity there. Glad we have Blackberry to put email on a tablet—oh wait, they forgot that—and contacts—or did they forget that too? Well, certainly these other tablets have these things?

(sorry for the sarcasm, but I just found it so difficult to reply seriously…)

Linked Account

Thank you Bryan! Finally there is someone here on internet who has the courage to say that most of these “Analysts” are talking nonsense and they are just hallucinating. The point is that: to understand a market we should understand the product and what do people want from that product. These “analysts”, most of them, doesn’t have any clue about iPad and tablets. They don’t know what are conditions that developers are facing with in developing Apps for tablets…. They even do NOT understand what is the difference between an OS and a device, since they are always comparing iPhone/iPad with Android!!!! As a software developer (Java/ iOS/ OS X), I am really disappointed that there are “analysts” who are “analyzing” this major and doesn’t know the basic things about computers/ Apps/ platforms. Most of them haven’t heard even a word about “Human-computer interaction” which plays a significant role in all apple softwares/products.

Ross Edwards

when people stop buying high-end aftermarket car stereos and instead by a tuner with a good amp and an aux input for tablet audio

OK, well, two things.

1. Most car stereos have audio-in now, and many take USB flash drives.  The stock unit in my Odyssey has one and even a nice little notch where the iPod sits. (warning: I may have just tipped my hand that I drive a Dadmobile and not a more “macho” vehicle).  And even if I don’t want to plug anything in, it reads MP3 CDRs.

2. That said, I would LOVE for there to be an Apple iCarStereo right now.  Something with built-in iPod sync (over wifi while parked in the garage), navigation, and so on.  They could charge half a grand for it and I’d pay it.  That’s how bad, overall, car stereo design is right now… even from the better manufacturers.  I care about this WAY more than an Apple TV set.  I don’t watch TV all the time, but I have to commute five days a week.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

2. That said, I would LOVE for there to be an Apple iCarStereo right now.? Something with built-in iPod sync (over wifi while parked in the garage), navigation, and so on.? They could charge half a grand for it and I?d pay it.? That?s how bad, overall, car stereo design is right now? even from the better manufacturers.? I care about this WAY more than an Apple TV set.? I don?t watch TV all the time, but I have to commute five days a week.

If pride didn’t get in your way, you could pick up a Barnes & Noble Nook Color ($250) or an “apad” (Android 2.3, 7” capacitative touch, $160-ish, Google apps included) from ebay and do just what you describe. It’s a little home-brewish right now, but there’s some great stuff. Toss in a 3G card or a car MyFi and you’re gold.

John Elberling

yes any analyst who writes “given limited scope for product differentiation among tablets” plainly does not grasp what consumer ecosystems are and why they are important.

Android actually succeeds because in fact Google does offer the best communication/information ecosystem with all its integrated cloud services. sure, cheap helps too, but give them credit for what they’ve done best.

tablets are instead more about content and doing things (i would think nearly all tablet owners already have a smartphone). and Apple has the best hardware/software ecosystem by far for that - which it keeps improving rapidly. hence the success of the iPad.

the other key product differentiation is Apple’s Just Works for dummies approach vs. everyone else’s focus on bells and whistles for techies. us dummies outnumber the techies by far.

so viewing the tablet market - or even the smartphone market - as just a commodity market is really, really dumb. “analysts” indeed.

as an aside, to think that MS can really break into this market with some touch friendly version of Windows is simply laughable. Windows essence is complexity, but everything else is moving towards simplification - especially tablets. Lots of luck, MS. and oh, how is Windows Phone 7 doing?

Richard Sims

The problem with analysts is that there are so many of them seeking prominence and income for their companies that they are in competition, and thereby they try to out-do each other. Their most egregious excess is in boldly predicting the future. It’s well known that humans have an atrocious track record in trying to predict the future - and yet analysts keep right on pretending that they can. Whenever I read an analysis article and come upon some prediction of the future, I stop reading, and discount that analyst. If analysts stuck to what they are supposed to be doing - analyzing facts - instead of traipsing off into the ether, they would maintain credibility, and their writings would be worth reading.

weatherc

“...iPhone literally exploded the smartphone market…”

So does this mean that the iPhone blew up it’s competitors’ phones somehow? Or were the competitors’ headquarters demolished using iPhones?

Sorry, that’s just one of my vocabulary pet peeves, but I agreed with the analysis in the article. Carry on…

weatherc

And, of course, I had to go and type “it’s” as a possessive when describing the iPhone blowing up its competitors. Grammar nazi fail. Blast.

kevinolive

Good article but I’m a little puzzled by the conclusion.  Won’t the iPad dominate the tablet market rather than the smartphone market?  Granted, there’s apps that let you use an iPad like a phone but…

jimothy

Thanks, Bryan, for another good piece and for calling out the dunce analysts. However, may I suggest you re-read the first sentence of your conclusion? I have a feeling that’s not quite what you intended to write.

wab95

Excellent analysis, Bryan.

Very little to add here, other than to opine (and it is just that, an opinion) that I believe there actually is a tablet market, not just an iPad market.

The problem for Apple’s competitors is that, not unlike the iPhone, Apple have defined that market with the iPad, and no one has been able to offer a compelling alternative, merely convincing copies of Apple’s model. Sure, there are minor differences between OSes and hardware, but the fundamental template, specifically a streamlined OS designed for an ultraportalbe (and not a desktop OS squeezed into a tablet) that facilitates media consumption but services productivity - all on a touch interface - that is Apple’s model and everyone but everyone is rushing to imitate.

This rush to imitate, and hoping it brings parity if not dominance, ignores basic human behaviour which psychologists, social scientists and marketing professionals (many of whom come from the social sciences) have known for years, the majority of people want the genuine article and not the imitation, if it is accessible to them. This is where pundits like Abramsky and the gang of three from NER fly into the powerlines. Ignore observed human behaviour at your peril.

Thus, the iPad defines the tablet market, at least today. And unless someone can come up with a compelling alternative, not just a spec-heavy derivation on the theme, the iPad will define the market tomorrow.

Until Apple redefine it. Again.

One final thought; there is, and will likely always be, a market for imitations, for a variety of reasons, particularly cost. But these are different markets, different demographics and in some cases, even different phenomena. Caveat emptor.

JoiseyPaul

Great article and I have to say that the analysts don’t get the cool factor of Apple products.  Simple and elegant design is cool and consumers are way into being cool.  Now that it is a social phenomenon, we see (and have been seeing for a while now) a lot of acceleration for Apple products in every market they have a presence.  This is one of the reasons the iPod did, and continues to, DOMINATE the MP3 player market.  People were afraid of Apple products because 90 to 95% of the computers out there were Windows. Now that the Halo effect has opened the eyes of the consumer, watch Apple’s market share of computers to continue to grow and retain dominance in their other markets.  Consumers do outnumber geeks…

PS weatherc, since you brought up grammar (BTW I hate these conversations in the comments on technical stuff) it’s is NOT possessive.  It is the contraction for it is.  the possessive of it is its. Please try to refrain from being a grammar nazi.  We all use our language to convey ideas.  Slavish adherence to rules keep Windows in business (CFO’s adhere to their IT depts. rules, slavishly.  Its a natural.)

wab95

If I can add one truly final thought to this thread (at least from me), it is this:

The concept that one company should dominate a market (i.e. north of 90%), and that this is a desirable and healthy state of affairs for either the industry, consumers, or even the company, is both dated and misguided and ignores recent history (and not just in the tech industry).

Anyone who values the goods and services of a given industry should also value and wish for a competitive market to keep those products coming and affordable. As an Apple client, I sincerely hope that Google, MS, and HP can bring it on. I don’t see RIM on the field.

Lee Dronick

PS weatherc, since you brought up grammar (BTW I hate these conversations in the comments on technical stuff) it?s is NOT possessive.? It is the contraction for it is.? the possessive of it is its. Please try to refrain from being a grammar nazi.? We all use our language to convey ideas.

I can get in a grammar snit now and then, but I try and be civil about it. Anyway a few days ago I was searching for a quote about art when I found this one and added it to my collection.

“Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied. Even the interpretation and use of words involves a process of free creation.”
Noam Chomsky

weatherc

PS weatherc, since you brought up grammar (BTW I hate these conversations in the comments on technical stuff) it?s is NOT possessive.  It is the contraction for it is.  the possessive of it is its. Please try to refrain from being a grammar nazi.  We all use our language to convey ideas.

Ahem:

And, of course, I had to go and type ?it?s? as a possessive when describing the iPhone blowing up its competitors. Grammar nazi fail. Blast.

And I don’t normally point out issues like this, but the use of the word “literally” here isn’t just a typo. “Literally” doesn’t work here. It bothers me because people use it the way it was used here all the time, but it doesn’t mean what is intended by those using it. If the iPhone literally exploded something, someone would be in jail.

N8nnc

I can’t resist opening my pie-hole (pie-fingers?) and chime in on “iPhone literally demolished the smartphone marketplace”. The thing being demolished is a market, not phones. If we imagine a physical (say, farmer’s market [or should that be farmers’ market?]) being demolished, we would see it one moment functioning as it historically has, then later being in a very different state. Some vendors are gone, others have changed their wares. The amount of change indicates the degree of demolition.

Having said all that, I can’t think of any case of “figurative demolition”. A better word choice IMHO would be “utterly demolished”.

Jedakiah

The more I read your article the more I though “this guy might be able to convince me”. I’m impressed with your reasoning. The iPod parable is particularly enlightening.

The current-gen tablet are all about media consumption. When people come into my store looking for a tablet, most are looking for a quality experience not features.

That said, experience is not the only reason I’ve seen people shop for tablets. Many want a useful computer that is more portable than a laptop. Something they can hold in their hand while giving a presentation, or do work on while waiting in line, etc. There is a huge market for this in the corporate and personal sectors. And most of the people I have helped who are looking for this are waiting on a better tablet to come along.

Provided it runs fast and snappy, when Windows 8 brings a touch optimized version of Windows to ARM, it will carve out a massive share of the market. Business and home users alike, who are looking for their tablet to be more useful and don’t care about the coolness factor or experience are going to flock to Windows 8. IT departments that won’t have to completely rewrite their corporate software are going to push hard for Windows tablets.

My only hope is that Android also survives the tablet war. After all competition is a good thing and who doesn’t love the benefits of open-source?

Paul Goodwin

Very good article. And lots of good points in some of the discussion too.  Nothing new to add. Bryan’s point about Apple’s cost control and the similarities to the iPod are spot on. The ecosystem for the iPod ( a lot of music), ease of use, the price, and the cool factor combined to “own” the music player market. As stated, the IP already in place, and the new technologies in OS and hardware will likely outpace the other platforms. IMO the other guys will be making cheap imitations and there will be plenty of people that will buy whatever is cheapest, never understanding what they could have had.

Paul Goodwin

Oh yeah. I forgot to mention the dunces. Way to rip ‘em. We’ll never run out of them. 90 pages of BS that they knew some other dunces would believe. Regardless of what the future sales volumes of the other tablets are relative to the iPad, one thing we do have data on. Apple knows how to make profit on their sales.

Nathan

Reeks of biased. Have some fucking integrity and report a real article for a change. Stop spouting crap like “APPLE WILL RULE THE WORLD, MICROSOFT IS DOOMED! DOOOOOMED!” Retards like you have been saying that since the 80’s, and jeez, MS is still around. Look at that.

Brian

I demo the Samsung Galaxy at BB.  Frankly, it’s just as good as the IPad—-not only to me, but to a majority of the BB employees.  Don’t get me wrong—-the IPad is a great product that will sell in huge numbers.  But here is what I see on a daily basis—-a customer comes in and buys the tablet based upon the phone they are currently using.  So in my opinion, the tablet market will follow very closely the smartphone market.  If you own an Android phone, there is a very good chance you will buy an Android tablet.  If you own a IPhone, you will buy an IPad.  I see it every day, and with so many Android phones out there it is only a matter of time before the total number of Android Tablets outsells the IPad.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@Brian… Quite an astute and unsurprising (though not obvious) observation. Post that in the Apple Finance Board forums and see if they accuse you of buggering rabbits grin.

Bryan Chaffin

Reeks of biased. Have some fucking integrity and report a real article for a change. Stop spouting crap like ?APPLE WILL RULE THE WORLD, MICROSOFT IS DOOMED! DOOOOOMED!? Retards like you have been saying that since the 80?s, and jeez, MS is still around. Look at that.

Where to begin? How about with this: Being called a “retard” by someone too stupid to discern an opinion piece (labeled as such) from a news article is rich, to say the least.

Next, someone who has read precisely one of my articles then offering me advice on what to do “for a change” is just as precious.

Thirdly, numbnut, I’m the guy who said that Microsoft is one of two companies that has the possibility of competing with iPad (Amazon is the other). I even linked to the opinion piece in which I said that in this article.

Fourthly, concluding that in this piece I am saying that Microsoft is “doomed” is mindbogglingly bizarre.

Lastly, who in the heck has been saying “since the 80’s [sic]” that Microsoft is doomed? A few may have said that in the 80s, but since the 80s?

I strongly suggest that you think slowly and clearly about all those clear walls around you before you start lobbing the “retard” stone in the future.

archimedes

I would say that Music and Drawing applications are “killer apps” for tablets because mutitouch provides such a fantastic user experience compared to tweaking knobs and faders, and drawing directly on a screen (see Wacom’s Cintiq) is vastly superior to drawing on a laptop screen with a mouse, trackpad or external graphics tablet. Unfortunately the iPad doesn’t have good, pressure-sensitive styli (yet?), but drawing on it is still a great experience and much cheaper than a Cintiq.

So, if you’re a musician or an artist, the iPad offers compelling benefits that you don’t get on a laptop or desktop PC.

On an unrelated note regarding “retards,” you might want to check out Lauren Potter’s ad and comments at http://r-word.org

Nick

Microsoft and Andriod are providing great user experiences too. There is lots of inovation going on in the market and a lot of loyal developers in each camp. MS still has > 90% of the PC market. Thats comes with a lot of developers and creative people. WP7 is providing great touch based user experience. Google has a huge following too. Why does one think that only Apple platform can provide this Tablet experiance?

JonGl

Microsoft and Andriod are providing great user experiences too. There is lots of inovation going on in the market and a lot of loyal developers in each camp. MS still has > 90% of the PC market. Thats comes with a lot of developers and creative people. WP7 is providing great touch based user experience. Google has a huge following too. Why does one think that only Apple platform can provide this Tablet experiance?

A couple points. First of all, if you will recall, from the beginning, the Macintosh was considered a better “computer experience”, but that didn’t exactly help it overtake Microsoft in terms of market share did it? In fact, the Macintosh never even reached 10% of the installed base. Great innovation and user experience are not the end-all in this market, obviously.

If not that, then, what? Infrastructure plays a huge role. In Microsoft’s case, it was IT entrenchment, as well as the enormous clone market. Macs were terribly uncompetitively priced in comparison.

Today, the roles are reversed—Apple has the infrastructure as well as the price advantage. I just saw recently where if people could pay $250 or less for a tablet, they would buy it over an iPad, but it took that low to get truly significant numbers for other tablets (and it was $100 below Apple’s price before the numbers started going up appreciably IIRC).

Another problem is that a lot of that “innovation” that is happening is simply adding in things that the pundits say they want, but which don’t seem to be important to everyday customers. Throwing in a MicroUSB or MicroSD card reader, and people yawn. The interfaces of the competition seem to be an example of how much to be and look like the iPad as possible. Sure, Microsoft’s own phone interface is unique for the phone, but cramming Windows 7 onto a tablet is innovation? Sorry, but the competition really isn’t there yet to do more than whittle around the edges. I’m not one to never say never, as I think there is one potential competitor who has the potential to do it, but they’ll do it with Android (and, I will add, I think they are gearing up to do it already) and that’s Amazon. But even then, I don’t see Apple being toppled as the biggest player for a long time to come…

Bryan Chaffin

Microsoft and Andriod are providing great user experiences too. There is lots of inovation going on in the market and a lot of loyal developers in each camp. MS still has > 90% of the PC market. Thats comes with a lot of developers and creative people. WP7 is providing great touch based user experience. Google has a huge following too. Why does one think that only Apple platform can provide this Tablet experiance?

Great question, Nick.  I pointed to this in the full column, but it bears repeating here: A couple of months ago, I wrote a column called Ony Two Companies Can Compete with iPad: Amazon & Microsoft.

In that piece, I argued that both companies have the assets and infrastructure that JonGL referenced in the post above to create that experience.

In other words, I think those two companies could create this experience thing that I’ve been going on about, but I doubt that either actually will.

In fact, after the Microsoft’s World Partner Conference where COO Kevin Turner talked about the key to Windows 8 being to offer the same OS on tablets, PCS, and everything else, I’m taking them out of the running for media tablets.

I just don’t think they get it, even with all of Apple’s success staring them in the face.

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