There is no tablet market, only an iPad market

“There is no tablet market, only an iPad market. At least that’s what The New York Times reports as being the current joke in Silicon Valley,” Nicu Mihalache writes for Seeking Alpha. “But a joke didn’t derail the largest PC manufacturer’s business. HP’s CEO Leo Apotheker says that ‘the tablet effect is real.'”

“Now they’ve abandoned the tablet business altogether,” Mihalache writes. “He wants to say the iPad effect is real, but he simply can’t say that word.”

Mihalache writes, “People don’t want tablets, they want iPads.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sounds familiar:

Scratch tablets. Let’s call it what it really is: The iPad market.MacDailyNews Take, July 21, 2011


Related articles:
People don’t want fake iPads, they want real Apple iPads – August 12, 2011
People don’t want prototypes, they want iPads – April 27, 2011


  1. By always copying Apple, Apple’s iPad competitors have put themselves in front of an insurmountable obstacle.

    Whenever they release a competing copycat product, it must immediately match iPad’s capabilities from Day One, or it fails. They have to compress the work Apple refined over years into a few months. They could make a lesser product sells for a significantly lower price tag, but that seems equally difficult.

    Apple, on the other hand, by being the innovator and pacesetter can release products before all the planned features are ready, then steadily improve the feature set with every release of software and hardware. Everyone else needs to at least match what Apple has done up to that point, and get it right immediately. By the time their product is release, Apple has (or is about to) raise the bar again. That’s why the competing products always seem incomplete and buggy, compared to Apple’s products that have been steadily refined over time.

    Now, imagine how high that self-imposed “obstacle” will be by the time Microsoft has “Windows 8” ready to ship. HP quit because the task was too difficult.

    1. There are tablets and then there’s aspirin. Will you swallow two and call your doctor in the morning if you have a headache? That’s my take.

      On the other hand, nice analysis, ken1w.

    2. Whenever they release a competing copycat product, it must immediately match iPad’s capabilities from Day One, or it fails. They have to compress the work Apple refined over years into a few months.

      True. But by copying Apple, they avoid the part of discovering what not to do.

    3. Apple refined this process, “don’t stand still long enough to be copied”, with the iPod. Apple absolutely killed (in some cases literally) its competitors by forcing them to spend time and resources to develop a copycat product, only to blow it out of the water with something better (and often cheaper) by the time the competing product hit the shelves.

      Remember Creative? If I remember right, their last hurrah in the MP3 player market was their version of the “iPod photo”. They bet the farm on the thing and reviews said it truly was a great product… but Apple beat it to market with the video-capable iPod. That was more or less the end of Creative as a digital music player manufacturer.

      Companies learned their lesson about competing with the iPod. Sadly, the only lesson they learned was to give up. Most of the major players exited the market, and those that remain are content with second place. I expect the same pattern to occur with the iPad.

      Which is a bummer, really. I’d love to see some real competition for Apple, to see products that excite me as much as Apple’s products do. But also-rans, knock-offs, and Johnny-come-latelies will never accomplish that.


  2. No joke. Some’ve been saying that since day one.

    The challenges for competitors:
    1. Get touch right.
    From what I’ve read/seen, no one has it, but they are making progress.

    2. Get the UI consistent.
    3. Get the app ecosystem right.

    They’ve got a long way to go. And it remains to be seen how many ecosystems can be supported.

  3. Even if they all get all of it right, they have the biggest obstacle of all, and that is, build the damn thing cheaper than Apple can (or at least as cheap as Apple) in order to make a sliver of profit. And that is probably the biggest wall to scale. Apple has made these extremely advantageous agreements with part makers, and nobody else is in a position to get such amazing deals. Even if the other hardware makers were simple to copy iPad part-for-part, it would still cost them twice as much as it costs Apple.

    Without stepping over a single anti-competitive barrier, Apple has effectively shut out any competitors out of the race.

    1. You have focused on one of the biggest factors – cost. In the distant past, people could copy Apple and sell for less to attract customers. But the iPod, iPhone, and iPad were released at price points that offered very little room for competitors to differentiate through price without sacrificing profit. Apple’s growing economies of scale for these devices further cements their cost advantages. I would not want to be an Apple competitor right now – it is not a healthy place to be.

  4. Another iPad Death Knell from one of our very favorite TechTards:

    Paul Thurrott, Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows, 5 April 2010:
    “Anyone who believes this thing is a game changer is a tool.”

    HAHAHAHAHA! What a rectum.

    Further laughter can be found at the iPad Death Watch site:

    iPad Death Watch

  5. Each time one of these article surfaces, I am reminded of the words of Steve Jobs. “… and get on with the process of making great devices that companies can’t copy with a simple software update.”

    We can look forward to a future with more niche devices from Apple, where new every feature is reliant on custom hardware, such as we see in the iPhone, iPad, MBA, and iPad. If you follow the logic you can see that the Mac as we know it today is doomed simply because of the broad open nature of the CPU, and is making strides in that direction as well. IE: Today if you want the new GarageBand features, you must have new Mac hardware too.

    For too long, others (like MicroSoft) have copied or stolen the best aspects of Mac development, released it in their next OS update claiming it’s their own original idea. The iPad is the best example today; those who try to continue operating in this legacy manner will now find failure as their devices will be huge, slow, laggy, and suck battery power as they try to jam in overpowered ill-suited processors in a vain hope to overcome lazy design.

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