Mike Elgan: Why we need a real ‘iPad Killer’ – and quick

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“I’ll say it as plainly as I can: The iPhone, iPod touch and iPad succeed mainly because of their user interface,” Mike Elgan writes for Datamation.

“No, it’s not because of Apple hype, fanboy delusion, media gullibility, dirty tricks or anything else,” Elgan writes. “Apple’s multi-touch user interfaces are appealing to use for reasons most users, reviewers, bloggers and journalists don’t fully understand.”

“Apple does understand,” Elgan writes. “The company knows how, why, when and where to combine multi-touch, physics and gestures and an enormous repertoire of user interface design elements into something simple and exhilarating to use. They know this because they’ve been working on the problem full-time for seven years, guided by some very clear design sensibilities.”

“Any ‘iPad Killer’ will have to at least approximate the interface sophistication of the iPad itself,” Elgan writes. “So far, nobody has come even close. Quite the contrary. Competitors thus far have demonstrated a conspicuous lack of emphasis on user interface design. And that’s why they fail.”

Elgan writes, “Apple has probably sold 2 million iPads already, and it hasn’t even starting selling it internationally. If somebody doesn’t do something quick, the iPad will become the new Microsoft Office — the standard we’ll never be able to get rid of… iPads will remain three times more expensive than rivals, and still win almost all the customers.”

MacDailyNews Take: Like iPods? Like Macs? Like iPhones? Neither of which are “three times more expensive than rivals,” Mike. Comparable rivals, not junk with stripped down features, shoddy build quality, horrible user interfaces, etc. Why would you want to “get rid of” something that’s elegant and works for people? Answer: You wouldn’t if you’re thinking clearly and/or didn’t irrationally hate Apple.

Elgan continues, “The future looks grim for real competition in the fast-growing touch tablet market. An iPad killer — or even a serious competitor — is possible. But it had better happen soon — before it’s too late.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Go for it.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Zane V.” for the heads up.]


  1. “The future looks grim for real competition in the fast-growing touch tablet market. An iPad killer — or even a serious competitor — is possible. But it had better happen soon — before it’s too late.”

    It’s already too late.

  2. The author does have a chip on his shoulders against Apple. His whole article is a cry for someone besides Apple to build a tablet. Why cry about it Mike? If you don’t like the iPad, simple solution – don’t get one. Plenty of the people commenting on your site say the iPad is nothing more than a netbook without a keyboard. Why don’t you get one of those? Problem solved. That will leave more iPads for the people who truly value design, thoughtfulness, and a stable OS – or at least those who have microwaves and blenders.

  3. ???Before its too late??

    What the hell does that mean? Humanity as we know it will end? The earth will stop rotating on its axis? The ozone layer will dissipate and we will all be irradiated to death by cosmic rays? Microsoft will never be able to compete with a BSOD tablet that weighs 10 lbs and has 1 hour of battery life with a monthly fee that must be paid directly into MS coffers in order for us to upgrade our software whether we want to or not?

    Guess which one Elgan is thinking of??????

  4. Its already over. Game, set, match. Once the iPad sucks all the profit away from netbooks, the PC industry will implode. The government may have to bail out Microsoft to keep support coming for all their those gov’t windows computers.

  5. So, he’s saying that the competition will be selling tablet computers, for $166? Right. They can’t even hit Apple’s $500 price point. Not to mention Apple flat out saying they could be flexible with the pricing.

  6. @Lurker_PC: Nah. The reviewer just doesn’t want anyone else to buy one. He is begging people not to buy the iPad… buy anything but the iPad… but he can’t take that too far since there is a huge lack of viable alternatives.

    I personally find it hysterical when people berate Apple on “lack of choice” and then demand people stop buying their products. You should promote choice by denying it to those who would choose?


  7. I like competition. When someone actually builds something better than Apple, It will be unbelievable and fantastic, and I’ll be happy to buy it. Eventually, someone will! Probably not in my lifetime, but someday.

  8. Apple has been working on a touch user interface for more than 7 years. Also many other technologies. Look at the patent history. Apple truly explores many user interface possibilities and approaches. They passionately care about the end user experience. This is what no other company can seem to grasp (literally).

  9. Bring on the competition. Nothing breeds better products & services than good competition.

    “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
    – Steve Jobs

  10. I was at a breakfast meeting this morning, and had to stop to show off the iPad 8 times to different customers that were walking by and were just mesmerized by me doing a presentation with it in keynote.

    It was a bit of a hassle, but still fun to show off.

    The thing is simply an addiction to the human brain. Apple is going to make a fortune off of this thing.

  11. too much protesting here..

    The issue with iPad, IPhone etc. is not about dominant standards its about competition that drives improvement.

    We have all seen the partial reviews and tech specs of the HP slate -which now seems to have been pulled. It had cameras and USB slots and all sorts of interface connectivity that the iPad doesn’t. We can only surmise that it fell on the software / interface stakes and was pulled – then surprise, surprise HP buys Palm – we can only guess that this is for it’s OS skills.

    No, the iPad as we know has the hardware engineering on the case to take a camera but at the last, SJ decided it didn’t need it to sell like hot cakes ( plus possible upload/download video bandwith issues). So what ? so SJ doesn’t hae a competitor on his heels for at least 9 months to a year and he can ride the ‘upgrade/ speed-bump’ path to generate a second sales wave when the first wave subsides. The trouble is, its a bit like DeBeers, they control the diamond market and you take only from what choice they are prepared to offer because they have the luxury of setting the market.

    Ultimately the choice of do I wait for rev. 2 to be released with a Camera and micro SD slot possibly added or do I buy now. and the problem is it looks like Rev 2 is someway off because there is no-one close in the interface stakes. My rev 1 is on order.

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