Apple’s iPad Competitors Should Just Give up

| Editorial

Apple’s competitors, companies that make tablets, have had two whole years to gear up, build infrastructure, add to what they’ve done and create an alternative, compelling vision. Instead, they’ve fumbled away opportunity and simply built me-too devices. Now, it’s going to be even tougher.

First of all, what competitors miss is the synergy of Apple. That is, Apple comes out with what is admittedly a ground breaking product, but it’s just a first cut. Competitors somehow get frozen in time and think that they know what the target is. What they forget to do is imagine all the synergistic things that can be developed around their me-too product. As a result, the gulf between Apple and the competing tablets grows and grows.

iPad 3

Image Credit: Apple

Apple makes this very clear to the customer with its marketing. Fairly quickly, customers get the idea that there are important and interesting things they can do with Apple’s latest offerings that the me-too products can’t match. Sales rise in proportion. Apple retail stores become more crowded.

That affects developers as well. While they strain to keep up with the technology, it’s also exhilarating, even exhausting and they’ve stepped up with 200,000 iPad specific apps. Developers make money by keeping up with the jazz surrounding the new iPads and feeding the customer appetite. Tim Cook said today, “This is a key reason why momentum on iPad continues to build and the competitive tablets aren’t gaining traction.”

I am reminded from today’s event that Apple is an expert company on building upon technology in a customer oriented and exciting way, not just advancing hardware specifications. For example, the iPhoto app for the new iPad, amazing new HD games and the 1080p  and iCloud synergy with the new Apple TV. It’s like a virtual tech snowball gobbling up the competition.

Leveraging off technology, building a vision on top of the hardware, and continuously growing the customer appeal is something that competitors just don’t seem to be able to do right now. Perhaps their hearts just aren’t in it anymore.

 

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Comments

davebarnes

I am disappointed.
No 3. No S. Just “the new iPad”.
45 grams heavier.
Why did they even bother with this announcement?

furbies

I am disappointed.
No 3. No S. Just ?the new iPad?.
45 grams heavier.
Why did they even bother with this announcement?

Maybe Apple is crossing the “t"s and dotting the “i"s this time before unveiling the name ?

Can’t wait for iFixit to do it’s teardown on it.

MISTER G

I am disappointed.
No 3. No S. Just ?the new iPad?.
45 grams heavier.
Why did they even bother with this announcement?

What did you want?  “Apple iPad 3 4G LTE HD”?

RonMacGuy

Great write-up, John.  In the past this would have had several TMO regulars jumping in with arguments against and insults to all Apple fans, but given the circumstances today, I suspect they will avoid arguing against.

sflocal

There is a harsh reality for the wannabe tablet makers.  I think they do realize that they cannot compete with the iPad.  They’ve given up that market - not that they were ever really in it to begin with.

They are competing with other Android tablets.  Same OS, but different releases with what is essentially a wasteland of an “ecosystem”.

Until they can cooperate and get a common, cohesive platform together, get the media companies signed up (like iTunes) and get the quality apps that people are willing to pay for, and the developers can trust without the pirates and cheapskates that abound, they will NEVER get to be where they need to be to compete against the 800lb gorilla that is Apple.

Sad part is that they had literally decades to get something going since Apple has only been in the tablet market for 2 years.  It’s downright shameful.

Apple didn’t invent the tablet, but they sure got it right on their first time.

Shame on Android defenders for having such low standards and masquerading it as “Free” and “Open”.  Pfft..

davebarnes

What did you want?  ?Apple iPad 3 4G LTE HD??

Not at all. I wanted the “Apple iPad 3S (now with Turbo X) 4G LTE HD”

CudaBoy

Apple is blowing it big time. As Android continues to kick Apple’s ass thus creating a massive user base it seems Apple forgot why Windows kicked Mac OS ass as well. iPad is too BIG and too expensive for a device that essentially is obsolete in a year. Check out the Premium 7 Nextbook w/Wi-Fi,for $150, check out Kindle Fire. Apple is LATE in getting into the market of what people actually want i.e. a smaller more practical tablet. Of course the Drones will say I’m wrong but we’ll see when we compare say, 1st qtr. sales of new iPad3 vs. ALL Android tablet sales. Anybody want to bet which platform sells more?
This Big Deal announcement should’ve been for a new SMALLER iPad that doubles as the Remote for a new Apple TV but no, it’s the usual incremental “insult the Apple customer with an evolutionary update rendering your current purchase “old” bit.

RonMacGuy

And here come the trolls…

CudaBoy

And here come the trolls?

Hey drone, I was buying Apple computers when you were in diapers. Do you NOT remember why Windows became the #1 OS in the world??

furbies

Apple is blowing it big time.

Obviously CudaBoy wasn’t watching the live feed from MacObserver!

Apple sold more iPads last year than any of the desktop PC makers (individually).
That has to count for something.

And comparing the sales of the new iPad against all sales of Android tablets is invalid, considering the differences in the hardware/software features between all the different Android tablet makers

If you were the compare the sales of the iPad vs any other individual tablet (manufacturer) then that would be a valid comparison.

RonMacGuy

It’s a different world, my friend.  But typical for the haters to hang their hats on Windows as proof why Apple is doomed.

So let’s study your comments.  “Apple is blowing it big time.”  Hmm, really?  Do you watch their quarterly results broadcasts?  Do you see their stock price and market capitalization?  “As Android continues to kick Apple’s ass…”  Really?  Have you not seen the latest market share stats for iPhones and iPads?  Again, really?  Then you bring up a nextbook and a fire as competition for the iPad?  Really?  Not even in the same category.  I mean, wow, where have you been?  iPads have brought netbook sales to a grinding halt.  Apple is late getting into the market?  Now you really are just getting silly.  Just because you don’t like the size of the iPad doesn’t mean that Apple needed to release a smaller iPad.  Do some research before posting trollish comments like this.

RonMacGuy

I really love this chart, showing how iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads are growing in sales in a much shorter time frame than Apple’s older products.

Apple’s products sales chart

CudaBoy needs to do some more research.

blad_Rnr

John,Another great article from you. Apple has this market: game, set, match. The difference in the PC world back in the early 80’s was that Apple was not making all of the money then. They never had a huge market share to lose. This time, with their iOS devices, they have the market, for all intents and purposes in terms of profits. The Android tablets are for those who want a cheap device and want to hack it. Also, I’m waiting for an Android phone that can compete with the iPhone 4/S models. They still don’t have the awesome screen that the iPhone 4 has. Now ditto for the new iPad. No one will spend the money to incorporate such a screen at that price point. They will all be pixelated and crappy in comparison. Apple is the king for the next five years. Then wait until the PC market is gone for the most part. Apple will control the entire industry, profit-wise.

CudaBoy

Well, if market share or user base perks your ears up then you will understand where I am coming from. The Windows comparo comes from HOW that OS trumped Macintosh OS and it’s still a valid business argument today since Windows is still the #1 OS.
If you seed the planet with certain devices whether or not said devices are “better” or not than competitors devices, and all those devices run a single OS that eventually outnumbers iOS devices, then you will have a user base that will faithfully buy the NEXT, cheaper and better device (no pun here) right? After the initial head start iOS had in 2010, Apple sales have gone up BUT they’ve been losing market share, and that was before the Kindle Fire and NextBook etc. What WAS 94% Mkt share is now 57% and dropping every quarter.

Then you bring up a nextbook and a fire as competition for the iPad?

  You don’t??? That’s exactly why Kindle and Nextbook market share is growing and iPad is shrinking - do your research. Once the USER BASE of Android boxes is superior -and if you believe in quarterly stats that is what’s happening- then you can produce the “better” competitive hardware. Certainly no PC was a better computer than a Mac but they had the office user base head start which allowed Windows to dominate to this day. To simplify:
Not making a smaller Pad to compete with Android’s steady march is what I mean by “blowing it”. Apple has more money than well, everybody and they will always sell a bunch of iPads, all I’m pointing out is that there is a BIG HOLE in their mobile device catalog - and the Android smaller tabs are exploiting it to the tune of Apple shrinking Tab market share.

Lee Dronick

Maybe not give up, but starting thinking several chess moves ahead of Apple. Easier said than done of course, and then they have to keep financially afloat while skating to where the puck will be. Either that or dream up a product that Apple doesn’t have, but is something we all would want and would buy.

CudaBoy

Apple?s products sales chart

CudaBoy needs to do some more research.

Sales have zero to do with market share.

This time, with their iOS devices, they have the market, for all intents and purposes in terms of profits.

Dumbest thing I ever heard. What does that even mean?
Even when Macs were being outsold by generic Windows boxes a zillion-to-one Apple made more profit on each box than anybody in the biz; always have and always will.
Also,we’re talking tablets here - NOT smartphones, if I included Droid phones the stats would be worse for Apple’s market share.

And comparing the sales of the new iPad against all sales of Android tablets is invalid

Wrong.Tablet sales are tablet sales, market share is market share. If there is a big sucking hole of “need” not being filled, someone will fill it and directly take sales away from the other mfg.and that seems to be what’s happening with Android tabs like Fire and Nextbook. Apple is “blowing it” by not making a direct competitor to any of the smaller Android tabs that are eating market share every day (sorry do your research) Will it hurt Apple? Probably not, maybe - who cares? but it IS billions of d’loaded apps and millions of devices sold that could be Apple’s.

zewazir

@ CudaBoy:
I disagree with your assessment. The only way the new iPad makes the old one “obsolete” is if you are the type of person that MUST have the newest and greatest as soon as it hits the shelves.  For those types of people, it is THEY who are obsoleting their older, perfectly serviceable devices, not Apple.

OTOH, by bringing in a newer version of iPad with new, better features, Apple keeps moving the goals posts for other tablet makers.  Amazon took a swing with the Kindle Fire, and at best bunted down the third baseline. Everyone else, so far, has been whiffed.  And just when competitors think they got the next (or is that first?) iPad killer lined up, out comes the new iPad, and they’re back to playing catchup before their product even hit the shelves.

Now, I have to say, I like the Kindle that I bought for my wife as a gift.  I am even thinking about getting one for myself.  I agree with you that the 7” format is a nice, comfortable size to deal with - but ONLY as an e-reader.  I also deal with iPads in the elementary schools where I work.  While the 9.7” size is not quite as handy as teh smaller 7”, from a purely carry-the-darn-thing-around aspect, when I am using an iPad for things that the iPad can do that an e-reader was not designed for, I find myself wondering if some of those things - such as using the virtual keyboard - would be nearly as easy on a 7” format.  IMHO, no, they would not. And least not for my sausage-like digits. Size is as much about useability for multiple functions as it is about portability and convenience.

But, going by past performance, I can rest assured that IF Apple sees a good market for a smaller version iPad, they will find a way to fill it that forces those who are currently filling the 7” tablet market to play catchup with the rest of the tablet wannabes.

zewazir

And, BTW, I would hardly call iPad dropping to 58% of the tablet market in January (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2012/01/ipad-tablet-sales-android.html) a sign of Android “kicking” ANYONE’s ass, let alone Apple.

They still have 58% of the tablet market (ie: they are outselling ALL other brands combined!), and just released a brand new version, for which you can practically guarantee people will be camping out on sidewalks in cities across the world this coming March 15.

CudaBoy

I disagree with your assessment. The only way the new iPad makes the old one ?obsolete? is if you are the type of person that MUST have the newest and greatest as soon as it hits the shelves.

Excellent point and I agree with you. Still, Apple tends to release 2.0’s and 3.0’s relatively often and as such makes me wonder and suspect that they could wait and release a blockbuster device without an upgrade every 6 months.There is a pipeline after all, so it seems a planned money grab.
Would’ve been a perfect time for a 7.5” iPad to bury Android, that’s all.

CudaBoy

And, BTW, I would hardly call iPad dropping to 58% of the tablet market in January (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2012/01/ipad-tablet-sales-android.html) a sign of Android ?kicking? ANYONE?s ass, let alone Apple.

But you see the trend. Feb was even worse. And, Apple’s Tab share was in the 90’s only 2 years ago - but a lot of that was because there was no Android.
Make a 7.5” Tab at $200 and that would seal the deal for Apple and against ‘Droid, IMO.
And you really don’t use that virtual keyboard mess, do you?
Really? My ham hocks can’t deal with it!!

zewazir

No 3. No S. Just ?the new iPad?.

I have to admit, I am wondering what they are going to do in the future. Is “The New iPad” temporary?  I mean, they can’t call it “The New iPad” forever.  What happens when the NEXT version comes out?  “The New iPad” becomes the older, decreased-price model and “The Newer Still iPad” is the new model?  When naming models, one needs to look ahead.

zewazir

Would?ve been a perfect time for a 7.5? iPad to bury Android, that?s all.

Except it wouldn’t have.  Tablet competitors come in several sizes.  A 7” MAY have hit Kindle Fire sales, but posibly at the cost of Android 9-10” competitors gaining more ground in that market.

One thing Apple does has done consistently since their rebirth.  They concentrate on a targeted market, and do not let themselves be sidetracked with “well, these guys are doing well selling (smaller/larger/pinker/bluer) models.”

CudaBoy

What happens when the NEXT version comes out?

Well, they can’t call it the “Next Book” !!
How about the New ST Pad?? (newest) d:D

CudaBoy

They concentrate on a targeted market, and do not let themselves be sidetracked with ?well, these guys are doing well selling (smaller/larger/pinker/bluer) models.?

That argument kind of falls flat in light of the iPod and it’s immediate siblings Mini, Shuffle, Nano, etc. 
Seems they covered all bases there even w/o proof in the mkt. that they were ‘needed’. Here, it’s clear a smaller cheaper iPad would kill. I see tabs as only 2 sizes; Apple’s 10” and all the other 7” +/- ones. The market I would concentrate on is the smaller sized ones. Your not losing a customer that wants a bigger pad since he could still get the big iPads. The deal is that right now, every day Apple is losing a larger and larger group of people that are buying the smaller Tabs.

zewazir

but a lot of that was because there was no Android.

Exactly. It’s hard to make a valid comparison between current market and two years ago.  Two years ago, everyone was bellyaching about Apple not jumping into the netbook market. So Apple comes out with the netbook killer, iPad, which not only jerked the rug out from under the entire netbook market, but COMPLETELY redefined what a “Tablet” device is.  In short, the iPad had ZERO competition.

So, of COURSE the numbers are going to degrade as other personal electronics companies come out with their version of a tablet device. But,as I said, Apple, in the meantime, dos not let the market stand still.  Each version of the iPad has moved the goal posts forward.  I don’t expect Apple to redefine the market with each improvement, but they ARE keeping the competition off balance and playing catchup.

And one thing to recognize: this is NOT the same Apple corporation that allowed Microsoft to corner the market back in the 80s. Apple may end up dropping to below 50% of the Tablet market.But I have no doubt Apple will still be defining the market for years to come. Perhaps, struggling a bit to keep ahead, instead of obliterating competition, will be the factor that keeps the innovation coming.

When is the last time we saw something really new in the MP3 player market? Could that be because iPod is TOO dominate?

zewazir

The market I would concentrate on is the smaller sized ones.

In which case you’d be concentrating is the smaler portion of the tablet market.  A random survey of 50 tablet models, and disregarding the laptop hybrids, I came out with 28 models 9.5”-11”, and only 12 models 7-8”.

Seems the majority of the tablet market disagrees that a 7” model is a must….

CudaBoy

Seems the majority of the tablet market disagrees that a 7? model is a must?.

How would you know when Amazon does not release sales figures for Kindle and Fire? I know they are in the millions sold, and based on Android initializations plus App sales it must be growing at the expense of Apple’s mkt. share. I believe Apple WILL come out with a cheaper smaller Pad if for no other reason than they CAN, and why not get a piece of those millions of smaller tabs being sold? Check it: http://www.nextbookusa.com/videos/myvideo/premium7/
And these are being sold at Big Lots and on end caps of grocery stores. I am not putting down the iPad at all, I’m saying I wish today was a bow shot over the heads of the smaller Pad market, and it ain’t.

John Molloy

Hey drone, I was buying Apple computers when you were in diapers. Do you NOT remember why Windows became the #1 OS in the world??

I am fed up with morons like this claiming that because they once bought a Mac they think they own the opinions of why it will fail.

Windows became the #1 os because Apple at the time was run by a sugar water salesman who knew nothing about technology and a collection of bean counters.

Apple sales have gone up BUT they?ve been losing market share, and that was before the Kindle Fire and NextBook etc. What WAS 94% Mkt share is now 57% and dropping every quarter.

Maybe losing market share, but unlike the Microsoft win that you refer to, they are still making almost ALL the money. BTW you do know that Apple actually picked UP market share in the phone market last quarter? You know, the one that Android was “winning”.

Would?ve been a perfect time for a 7.5? iPad to bury Android, that?s all.

Hmmm. Apple doesn’t need that market. Care to explain how hacking features (Microphone, camera(s)) from a device to hit a price point (199) and STILL lose money is a win?

Thankfully you are not running Apple you are hitting the usual talking points and demonstrating that you have no understanding why people buy these things.

How would you know when Amazon does not release sales figures for Kindle and Fire? I know they are in the millions sold

But then, how would you? That is the point. Amazon have a product built to sell you stuff. Apple have a product that people actually use and make money on.

Android initializations

The word Google uses is “Activations” and the Fire is not included. But they don’t spin tablets off either.

You should stop digging and start doing some research. You seem to think that today’s announcement was a death knell for Apple.

You are wrong.

CudaBoy

I am fed up with morons like this claiming that because they once bought a Mac they think they own the opinions of why it will fail.

Windows became the #1 os because Apple at the time was run by a sugar water salesman who knew nothing about technology and a collection of bean counters.

Do your research nitwit.You are so wrong I won’t even explain.  Jobs was in charge when the OS wars were lost. Jobs admitted it himself.

You should stop digging and start doing some research. You seem to think that today?s announcement was a death knell for Apple.

Where did I say that? Drones can’t read?

Maybe losing market share, but unlike the Microsoft win that you refer to, they are still making almost ALL the money. BTW you do know that Apple actually picked UP market share in the phone market last quarter?

I don’t recall this post having ANYTHING to do with phones, again - can you read or all drones stupid?

Hmmm. Apple doesn?t need that market.

What? Guess they didn’t NEED the P.C.market either right? They didn’t “need” the MP3 market but they conquered it with many different sized and featured iPods.
So, they don’t “need” the millions of people that are buying Android tabs (and it is in the millions) ?? Good thing YOU aren’t running Apple, you’ve shown your ignorance over and over in your post.
You don’t like my take on the 3rd iPad in about a year? Fine. But I’m not rambling on with fan-boy baloney like you. Facts bear me out, so suck it. What will you say when Apple comes out with a smaller Pad??

You seem to think that today?s announcement was a death knell for Apple.


More of your genius deductions? Wrong. Guess what? The Newton failed miserably - look it up, it was Apple’s tablet that came out before you were born. The 20th Anniversary Mac was an embarrassing mess of a failure. At that time the fastest Mac OS box on the planet was built by PowerComputing - a dual processor when Apple didn’t even offer one. Apple survived a boatload of failed devices - countless Quadras, Performas, Centris’, & even the Macintosh TV and no, Apple survived. They survived by all but abandoning computers in favor of mobile toys - Phones, Pods and Pads. But, the LESSONS are still there.
Damn, when I joined this forum when it first appeared we were concerned for REAL that Apple would go belly up in the computing world. We felt like the little abused guys and big bad Redmond was the eternal “enemy”. Now, since Apple came up with some non computer toys they are doing exceedingly well, but the fanboys and clones on this site remind me of the Windoze honks Mac guys used to hate.

Dean Lewis

Wow. Can we dial it back a bit in here? smile

I think everyone has missed the point that Apple doesn’t care about being #1 anymore. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, he put the Microsoft stuff behind and said they didn’t have to be #1, they just had to make sure they were the best. Best is debatable, but we Mac users understand that to be the experience—the whole widget, so it’s been called.

It’s nice to be #1, and Apple has hit it twice now with iPod and iPad, but they are very aware that upstarts will erode the big numbers. However, again, they are about the integrated experience, and thus this time we see a Retina display, a better camera, and a host of improved software that, frankly, made me grin ear to ear. I think Leo Laporte nailed it when he said they are emphasizing the “post PC era” meme because they truly are moving the iPad from a consumption to a creation device.

Even with the iPod examples, the Mini and Shuffle didn’t come out until 3 years after the first iPod. The Nano replaced the Mini eventually, coming out in 2005. And those other versions have substantially changed over time: big or small or rectangular or square or screen or no screen or camera or not. Much more erratic than the original iPod which has had a steadier progression to Touch.

So, given that, we’re still within the time frame of releasing a different size iPad, if they choose to do so. Personally, I think they have plenty of time. The only real competition people are buzzing about is Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and that is still a consumption device. A slight aside: Amazon is still taking a modest hit on every sale—they expect their profits to come from the media you buy for it. It’s underpriced to move. Apple likes their profit. But, bringing this aside more to topic, people are willing to pay these prices for the whole widget. Moving this whole widget to creation over Amazon’s currently consumption whole widget is significant.

The real competition heats up at the end of the year and in next year with the release of Windows 8. Microsoft has really thought out the tablet interface and will be offering a real difference from Apple iOS and Google Android. I like the look and feel of it so far, and it’s going to be interesting to see if the apps appear for it and what tablets running it cost.

It may be worth it to release a 7” iPad at that point in order to steal some sales from other 7” tablets, mainly those that will be updating in order to compete with coming Windows 8 tablets. But right now, I don’t think the competition from 7"ers is enough. People are really making a choice between Kindles for reading or the Kindle Fire or iPad for the ecosystems. Even accounting for slowdowns, there are still almost 16 million iPads out there compared to 4 million Fires, and that’s including people who even have both.

So, yeah, I’m not convinced Apple needs a 7” iPad yet.

(Personally, I don’t want a 7” tablet. My failing eyes want the larger tablet. But that’s, of course, just me.)

CudaBoy

there are still almost 16 million iPads out there compared to 4 million Fires, and that?s including people who even have both.

So, yeah, I?m not convinced Apple needs a 7? iPad yet.

Well said. My point is that Tabs seem to be falling into two sizes “big” and “smaller”, and smaller doesn’t relegate to being e-book reader only. See my link above for the Next pad.  Apple has no smaller and cheaper Tab. That’s millions of sales that Apple could get. I started this thread response because I’m sick of thread headlines that inflame for no reason (Martellaro) especially when the market share is SHRINKING vis a vis iOS vs Android. Dial back the thread subject lines JM. Martellaro’s stupid subject title reminds me of the guy that scores a touchdown and goes bananas with a celebration only to be scolded by his coach “act like you’ve been there, rookie”

CudaBoy

Even accounting for slowdowns, there are still almost 16 million iPads out there compared to 4 million Fires, and that?s including people who even have both.

Of course I’m not talking about just the Kindle Fire - there are and will be a TON of competitors sneaking away profits from Apple. Sylvania, Next, Samsung to name a few are already on it.
If I were Apple, I would coordinate the release of their inevitable smaller, cheaper iPad to the release of a real Apple TV within a year from now. The smaller Pad would be the remote required for the iTV as well as a standalone Pad.

Dean Lewis

I need to revise that bit you quoted, CudaBoy: that was 16 million iPads vs 4 million new Fires that are out there according to Q4 sales reports (or estimates since Amazon doesn’t fully report). I wrote it wrong.

Luckily the edit doesn’t affect your quoting it, I think.

CudaBoy

I wrote it wrong.

from one Dean(Finch) to another, I understood your point.

ctopher

Where’s the “race to the bottom” argument? Where’s the “BMW is better than the more popular Chevy” argument?

Apple has been successful because they don’t worship the almighty market share. They stay focused on their few products and engineer them to the nth degree. I’m sure they’re reusing a ton of fixtures, tooling and manufacturing processes for the new iPad that they’ve been using since the first iPad. They say profitable and lean.

But they also do their homework and look to what could be next. They’re not going to come out with several different shapes and sizes, they’ll leave that to others. They are too busy doing 2 things and doing them well. 1) Understanding and optimizing their supply chain, and not messing it up with too may SKUs and 2) R&D.

You can’t be all thing to all people.

As to different sizes and shapes for iPods? All music plays on all players. You don’t have to rewrite your song for an iPod nano. Also, like Amazon, the iPod was their to sell iTunes music. Worked pretty well for a long time, but that time has passed. Apple knows it.

zewazir

How would you know when Amazon does not release sales figures for Kindle and Fire?

I don’t give a rat’s butt about kindle sales figures.  What I said was I did a random sample of 50 tablet devices, and 80% most of them are in the same size range as the iPad.  That’s 50 different model tablet devices, not sales market share. But it seems to me if the 7” market were all that important, more electronics manufacturers who are into the tablet device market would be making 7” devices.  They are not.  The majority of tablets are in the 10” range, while the majority of 7” devices are more e-readers than true tablet devices.

You have market share on the brain. Jobs and Apple gave up up caring about market share a long time ago - it’s a boogie. iPhone, which is the acknowledged industry leader in smartphones and the item which sets the standard for the market, is a minority market share, yet Apple is selling them like hotcakes, making tons of money from them, and in turn, Apple share holders have made a mint off their holding, which have more than doubled in value in less than 2 years. Apple has already proven with the iPhone they don’t need to dominate market share to dominate a market.  And, from the looks of things, they are proving it again with the iPad.

All this talk of impending doom because market share is dropping IS so much droppings.  So, you want a 7” iPad.  Well, Apple obviously does not see a need to enter that market (least at this time). And I personally agree, because my experience is that a 7” tablet, while a very good size (convenience, weight, etc.) for an e-reader would not cut it as a full-blown tablet device. And it seems many, many people - to include iPad competitors making 4 10” models for every 7” model, tend to agree with that assessment.

John Martellaro

Seeking market share for computers, now, is like seeking market share for VCRs. Apple has the market share they want: tablets.

Oh, and by the way, just a reminder to be polite out there.

wab95

John:

I realise that this came out some days ago, but I am only now catching up on my TMO reading.

I think you make an important point that I would just like to underscore; an iPad release, as impressive as the upgrade might be, is not just about the hardware, it’s the whole package of which the hardware is an integral part. This is where the spec-meisters go off-target, and are often left flummoxed and floundering to explain why another spec-superior device didn’t prove to be the iPad-killer they had predicted it would be.

The upgrade is nice and the iPad beautiful, but it’s the supportive systems, of which the iPad is but an effect modifier in a larger ecosystem that gives it its power to attract clients like no other tablet. Some among the competition have yet to figure this out; those that have (Google, Amazon, Microsoft - okay - not yet but coming) know they have their work cut out for them, and Apple are giving no quarter.

That leads to another point, discussed at length by numerous commenters above, about form factor (7” tablets). Not to re-stir that pot, but to put it in context, at least in my confessedly non-professional and unsolicited opinion.

I do not see a compelling reason for Apple to create an alternative form factor for the iPad at this time. They’re selling every device they can mint faster than they can get them onto shelves - literally. Demand is florid if not insatiable. The fact that there are more competing tablets out there than at iPad’s first launch, thereby diminishing the total fraction of tablet sales comprised by iPad (ergo apparent decrease in marketshare), misses the point that the iPad is a juggernaut that is, at once, defining then dominating in both profits and mindshare, the entire tablet industry. Apple’s total iPad unit sales continue to soar. As Scotty would say, ?Captain, we?re givin? er all she?s got!?. Hardly an argument to diversify at this stage.

And by the way, Apple are no longer, if ever they were since SJ’s return, in competition with anyone; other companies are in competition with Apple in order to maintain profitability and relevance. Apple is shaping the industry writ large, and the competition is doing all it can to adapt and compete. Instead, Apple are competing with themselves to draw clients into a relationship in building a future, an interaction in which Apple make the products, and the clients and developers, respond with uses Apple never dreamt of, which in turn feeds into further product and service development. To do so, Apple have to do more than make sales, they have to inspire an active and responsive user base.

I suggest, rather that if Apple decide to make other tablet form factors, specifically a 7” tablet, they will do so only if it satisfies three conditions:

1) It addresses a specific market (need) that Apple feel is integral to the future they are trying build, and adds to the ecosystem they are developing. 

2) They can optimise the user experience for that market (or need) in a way that distinguishes not only their product, but takes the user experience where it was trying to go.

3) They can do all of the above without haemorrhaging profit.

For now, I think that Apple can only hope and pray that the refreshed iPad can be as ?disappointing? as was the iPhone 4S, maybe even more so.

CudaBoy

I do not see a compelling reason for Apple to create an alternative form factor for the iPad at this time.

So, you want a 7? iPad.  Well, Apple obviously does not see a need to enter that market (least at this time).

So, yeah, I?m not convinced Apple needs a 7? iPad yet.

Seems I’m right after all. Apple agrees with me. Now, Mr. Martellaro, who is playing catch-up? Who is the “me too” company now? (regarding smaller Tablets)

wab95

Seems I?m right after all. Apple agrees with me. Now, Mr. Martellaro, who is playing catch-up?

You may be, CudaBoy, at least insofar as what Apple may be planning to do in future. Granted, the device is not out yet, nor has even been acknowledged by Apple, but so too are John and several others who, for quite some time now, have consistently predicted that Apple will eventually release a 7.X” iPad. 

I stand by my statement above, however, that I see ‘no compelling reason’ at this time. The pre-release sales performance of the 3rd generation iPad bears that out, at least in my view. Apple are having no problems selling the device they currently make.

As I’ve admitted previously, it will not surprise me one way or another if Apple do or do not make a 7” tablet. However, I maintain that the three conditions I list above will also be satisfied, should they do so. Indeed, this is not unlike, and if fact is consistent with, Apple’s response to the netbook. What Apple are rumoured to be working on, when and if it is released, will not be playing catch up, but defining what a 7X” tablet should be. As a full-featured device with the same aspect ratio as the original iPad, and competitively priced, It will become the new standard that others will have to meet to remain competitive in that space.

CudaBoy

What Apple are rumoured to be working on, when and if it is released, will not be playing catch up, but defining what a 7X? tablet should be. As a full-featured device with the same aspect ratio as the original iPad, and competitively priced, It will become the new standard that others will have to meet to remain competitive in that space.

Nice spin. I get killed for wishing Apple’s 3rd iPad was 7.x” one to compete with a market that sells millions of units.
Now I’m proven right that Apple was on it all along and I still get crap? Nice. That’s why I kill drones for free.
Dude, Apple has not and will never even “catch up” to the Kindle unless they adopt “electronic paper” and decide to make a cheap yet superior e-reader that is readable in sunlight.Oh, you don’t care about reading? Then we have the Fire for a couple hundred. That’s the key, you mention competitive pricing, that’s a tough one since Apple is playing catch up in a market that has a bunch of great tabs under $200

RonMacGuy

I get killed for

...

Nobody is attempting to “kill you” CudaBoy.  We perhaps chastised you for saying such troll-like, not-so-bright things as “Apple is blowing it big time” and “As Android continues to kick Apple?s ass” and “it seems Apple forgot why Windows kicked Mac OS ass as well” and “iPad is too BIG and too expensive for a device that essentially is obsolete in a year” and “Apple is LATE in getting into the market of what people actually want i.e. a smaller more practical tablet” and “Of course the Drones will say I?m wrong” and should I go on?

The so-called “Drones” are not the only ones saying you are wrong.  To say Apple is blowing it big-time because they are not rushing to bring something to market is ludicrous.  All of the complete failures of ~10” ‘iPad Killers’ were rushed to market with bugs and issues and didn’t put a dent in the iPad’s market share of the tablet market that Apple created.  And, if Apple does create a ~7” tablet I assure you that unlike all of the other garbage out there, Apple will actually make money on it, and a lot of it.  Profitability is life-sustaining, not market share, as Apple’s stock price is demonstrating right now.

By the way, your troll comments quoted above were all in your first post!!  I must admit, I’ve been too busy to keep up with the additional onslaught of trolling.  But hey, it’s a free world!!  There have been others like you on TMO that have criticized and predicted Apple’s failure in the past, and ironically few of them still post here.  They have embarrassed themselves with such epic misses of predictions that they rarely show their faces anymore.  But if you want to have intelligent debate on Apple and the markets that they dabble in, then we are all ears!!

grin

CudaBoy

By the way, your troll comments quoted above were all in your first post!!

I merely responded to a troll-like inflamatory subject headline from Martellaro. Then I went tit for tat with the drones - and I will again anytime the drones start puking corporate spew without facts to back them up.
Apple obviously knows I’m right if they are coming in LATE with a “me too” in the 7.x” tab range.
I also suppose the shrinking market share of iOS devices (you know-all that garbage as you say must’ve bothered the bean counters) had something to do with Apple covering this more practical size range. We didn’t need the THIRD iPad in a year.5 IMO since as you say Apple aced the big size Pad market.
I saw a need, mentioned it and Apple concurred.
I do accept your apology, so keep on keepin’ on!!

RonMacGuy

Nice redirection and avoidance, CudaBoy.  You are just so cute!!  You remind of a young Bosco.  It’s been fun.

CudaBoy

You remind of a young Bosco.

Droppin’ the B word on me? Shweet. he joined about 6mos after me. Where is ol’Brad?

RonMacGuy

Where is ol?Brad?

Yes, where is ol’ Brad? Sad story really. You see, people started holding him accountable for the nasty stuff he was saying about Apple and Apple fans, and his predictions of Apple doom and gloom. Then, when his predictions failed, we called him on it. Now he pretty much ignores most of us. He posts on occasion, but not very often.

He was saying silly things (kind of like what you are saying, except he sounded much more intelligent about it) like “the declining and mostly irrelevant iPad” right when the Motorola xoom and Samsung galaxy tabs were coming out, as if full-sized android tablets were going to destroy iPad market share. Never happened obviously, so now those who could not compete in the full-sized tablet market (i.e. everyone) are making cheaper mini tablets and hoping that Apple stays away from that market so they have a chance to make some money. He would say that “in about a year” iPhone would be 10% market share and that iPad would be 40% market share and that no one liked the “walled garden” of Apple products. So, “in about a year” a bunch of us started quoting his comments so he started ignoring us. But that gave us all a pretty good laugh really.

CudaBoy

He was saying silly things (kind of like what you are saying

Was Brad correct? Last count I’m 2 for 2 against the drones. As far as I know this is the second time I was lambasted by the drones only to be totally vindicated; the first had to do with me predicting ocular control of objects on a GUI. Man, the sycophants jumped all over me for that far-fetched idea. I won’t tell you how that worked out but you can check the patent research & filings of Apple.
You see Ron, Apple used to be a computer company and as such we hard core Apple Computer fans were in denial when Apple basically gave up on computing and became a toy company like Sony. Guys like Brad didn’t see it that way and would assume that these phones and other gimmicks would go away and Apple would get back to computing someday but he didn’t realize that people didn’t so much care about real computing anymore and the next generation of kids basically grew up with MP3 players, smart phones and tablets not knowing a bit from a byte. I got it. That’s why you won’t find many posts from me over the past few years one way or another; the “Sony” Apple was and is as Brad would say - “irrelevant"to me but I don’t care what others like. Should ALL competitors just Give Up as Martellaro put it? Should they give up the way Apple did in the computing world?? Really?? All those cheap small and big tab makers should give up even though their market share gains as Apple loses? Really? It’s those fanboy sycophant headlines and utter devotion to Apple’s hubris that brought me out from my cave. You will never hear me spout doom and gloom about the new Sony Apple - it is so far beyond what matters in my life. A small tablet has been intriguing me and the Kindle w/electronic paper still has no equal, that and the Fire are beautiful devices despite your ignorant rant. I thought hmmm Apple is losing share in this particular niche BIG TIME (there I go again) since I see well reviewed sub $200 tablets all over town (L.A.) even in grocery stores end caps. I thought “this would be a good time” for Apple to shut down that little market with an announcement of a smaller tablet - instead we get the 3rd expensive BIG tablet, same too big, not easy to carry but easy to break format. Then I read John’s baloney suggesting ALL competitors should just give up?? Not on my watch. Obviously it’s those competitors that forced Apple to enter this size form factor party. Apple agreed with me and saw a need, period. Jobs obviously agreed as well. You won’t hear from me again until either drones push me over the edge again or the iPadlet Nano comes out and retails for more than $230. Guess I got the last laugh again this time.

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