Apple’s iPad Competitors Should Just Give up

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.