Apple’s iPad stands alone, lacking real competition

“Where is the iPad’s competition?” Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols writes for Computerworld. “By this time, I’d expected to see some real comers gunning for Apple’s iPad tablet. Hasn’t happened.”

“The first problem was that everyone underestimated just how popular the iPad would be,” Vaughan-Nichols writes. “Almost no one had their manufacturing ducks in a row. Even now you can see OEMs struggling with basic design issues. Will tablets with 7-in. displays sell? Maybe. Maybe not.”

Vaughan-Nichols writes, “So, for the time being, or at least through the 2010 holiday season, the iPad rules. Sometime in 2011, we’ll start seeing real competition, but not this year. I still think that the Android Linux models will be the first to give the iPad a real race. Unlike the other possible contenders, the Android Linux community already has a large group of application programmers ready and able to develop tablet apps, just as Apple does. But for now, it’s still an iPad world.”

Full article here.

22 Comments

  1. Can they not see? The iPhone with all the same abilities stole market share quickly and changed the smart phones forever.
    Here comes the iPad with a usable screen, native pages/keynote/numbers, and all the support of the developer with new or reworked apps. All they can say is it will bomb!? Surprised everyone!?

    Wow, yet they say Apple needs competition? I think the industry has too much of that from Apple.

    Two tech companies like Apple- could they handle them?

    Leave to the end user to guide the way when a great choice is revealed!

  2. There will definitely android copies. Sure they’ll suck.
    Their biggest problem will be pricing. No discounts and no lockouts for the iPad for distributors like the iPhone in the us.

  3. @Burning Zeppelin…

    well the tech world gave up on trying to emulate the iPods success, they are still trying to come up a genuine iPhone competitor without have to resort to BOGO…

    a whole year to try and copy what has been in the works since the newton pad? we are talking at least 10 years of development in secrecy.

    what company out there can even offer a hardware/software tablet like the iPad…no one right… and not for at least another year.

    then who is going to be able to compete with price? no one…
    that’s why.. the industry will have to eventually concede the consumer tablet race to apple as they did the PMPs…

  4. @BurningZeppelin – Apple has a lot of “little” things down, or at least, things that can be taken for granted in an Apple product. Such as aluminum and glass machining and manufacturing, battery tech, and an apparent monopoly on 9.7″ screens. People usually concentrate on how fast it is or how many apps it has, but these things all work together to make an amazing product.

    The best a competitor can hope for is a plastic case and smaller or larger screen. Steve was right about the apps, too. The software isn’t just going to “happen.” With that in mind, even a complete hardware copy won’t cut it.

  5. @BurningZeppelin
    “I wonder how hard is it to copy iPad? Why would it take a whole year just to copy this little computer. Seriously…”

    My guess (and it is only a guess) is that there’s more to the A4 chip inside the iPad than ‘meets the eye.’ I think competitors are having a very hard time trying to duplicate the iPad’s instant ON feature and its 10 hour battery life.

    If this was easy to do, I think some competitor would have used an off-the-shelf CPU chip and have done it already. If a competitor can’t go out on the market now and purchase one, what other option do they have?

    Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

  6. Having some problems with the the iPad iOS 4.2 beta 3. Everything works fine, except Safari often crashes Springboard when trying to handle arguments passed through a secure URL. This did not happen with iOS 3.2.

    Also, mail hangs more often than on the older version. Other than that, multitasking and folders on the iPad is a real breath of fresh air. It would be nice to use AirPrint but I don’t want to replace my nearly new Kodak printer for an HP (even though Kodak printers are POSes).

    I still have other server based printer apps that work just fine, while running an app on my MBP.

  7. Look at the years it takes (which Apple did for the iOS, hence it’s easy lead) to develop a fully ready OS. Coming out with a competing device in a short time or matter of months is impossible what with design, manufacturing not least of all the iOS itself to run it. Even with the resources of Microsoft and the big assumption they knew what they were doing. And Google needs more time to adopt the Android OS. They both need to adapt to a tablet OS whereas Apple started with the tablet OS and then went to an iPhone OS which puts them immediately ahead of the rest.

    AND THE OTHER THING (take your pick):
    * Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance
    * Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance
    * Prior Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance
    * Piss Poor Planning Promotes Piss Poor Performance
    * Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

  8. No, the first problem was that Intel, Google, Nokia, MS and everyone else have futzed around for the last 10 years without ever addressing the need for ultra-low power chips and a thoroughly mobile, touch-based, enjoyable OS that doesn’t use up the battery in 4 hours and that actually costs LESS than a laptop, not more.

    The second problem is that Apple can already count on selling 10s of millions of units–allowing them to cut component cost to a minimum–while everyone else is not even really sure they will sell 10s of thousands of units. Especially since they are now sharing major components/apps/OS/development between the iphone, iPad, iPod touch and AppleTV. NO ONE else is doing this like Apple

    The third problem is that Apple won’t be hamstrung by the neanderthal telcos. Note how Apple got the iPad rolling in China without telcos. (Note how Facetime is independent of the telcos too.)

    The fourth problem is that Google won’t have Android 3.0 ready for another couple of months, just in time for the introduction of Chrome, which is supposedly Google’s “real” OS for the future of computing.

    The fifth problem is that developers have to chose between Android or Chrome or Meego or RIM or WinMo 7 and then decide whether to optimize apps for the current crop of 5 or 7 inch screens or simply wait till some OEM finally comes out with a competitive 10 inch screen.

    The sixth problem is that the iPad is omnipresent–Target, Walmart, BB, Amazon, AT&T, Sam’s Club, Apple retail and even Verizon, fer cryin’ out loud. What’s a poor Galaxy Tab to do to get any “alone time” with the consumer?

    The seventh problem is that the iPad already has a full grown eco-universe around it. Everyone else has squat.

    I think that the iPad will already have 30 million units in the wild and iPad 2 will be ready to go before anyone has anything close to a competitively priced 10 inch or even 7 inch device.

  9. They can try and copy the iPad but they have huge disadvantages. It’s really hard to make something at the iPad price with the iPad screen and the iPad battery life.

    Even if you solve all of those problems (doubtful) you still have no app store. I doubt we’ll see a real competitor…ever.

    Phones are different (everyone had a phone before the iPhone) and they’re locked into contracts. No one had a tablet before the iPad.

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