My prediction is the iPad 2 will further cement Apple’s dominance of the tablet market. Here’s why.
But, to answer the question, “Is the launch of the second generation iPad crucial?” The answer is, yes, quite crucial. But, only in the same manner as any launch of any product by any company. They’re all crucial and, unless Apple has somehow screwed up a great device, it will be big.
As I was searching for the perfect image to accompany this post, I was having no luck, until I stumbled across the image of the rocket. It literally has nothing to do with the iPad or tablet computers, but figuratively it has everything to do with them.
The original launch of the iPad was just like a rocket being launched. The tablet burst from insignificance to a household product. Immediately, Apple was the Mission Control of tablets.
There have been multiple tablet launches from other companies, Sony, Motorola, etc., but they haven’t caught on or caught up. After launch, it’s tough for another rocket to catch up with one already airborne, especially if the rocket has an advanced, built-in support system like Apple’s.
Motorola’s recently released Xoom came as close as anything, it’s a great device, but notice that Apple’s is a two-stage rocket. The second generation iPad, or iPad 2 as we’ve called it, is getting ready to separate from the first, and further distance itself from competitors.
There’s no denying that the iPad is the tablet leader. Head-to-head with any other device it still seems special. From a business perspective, no other tablet has as much name recognition. There’s also the number of available apps and the number of app developers devoted to making Apple-type apps. There are android developers, but not to the extent of those working on Apple apps.
We are sitting on the eve of another checkmark in the ‘plus’ column for Apple, the release of iPad 2. If handled correctly, Stage 2 will put them in orbit. It’s my feeling that, as in the past with the iPhone releases, the earlier iPads will be discounted in price and the iPad 2 will be offered at or close to the current price. People will flock to Apple’s new tablet, but an equally large number will swarm the previous version and it’s new lower price.
Combine the new version and lower-priced early versions with name recognition, great product, widening app gap, and unmatched customer support and Apple will be in orbit while others are still earthbound.
Image courtesy Jurvetson.