like Apple bought itself a bit more time atop the market with the announcement of the iPad 2. With
Android tablets coming on strong and competitors like HP's
webOS and Microsoft's
Windows 7 waiting in the ranks, all eyes were on Apple March 2.
The company delivered an impressive device that shrunk the form factor,
increased the processing power, maintained the battery life, and according to
numerous unconfirmed reports, will double the amount of RAM to 512 MB.
The iterative hardware improvements weren't much of a surprise to the
electronics industry. What seemed to take them aback was the form factor.
Lee Don-Joo, executive vice president of mobile devices at South Korean
device maker Samsung told South
Korea's publicly funded Yonhap News Agency, "We will have to improve the
parts that are inadequate [in our tablets]. Apple made it very thin."
The iPad 2 is an incredible .35 inches thin -- approximately a third of an
inch. That's approximately 33 percent thinner than the first-gen thickness
of 0.5 inch and thinner even than the 0.472 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab was the first major Android tablet to be billed as a
possible "iPad slayer". However, the device was quite different
from Apple's in its strengths and weaknesses. While packing superior
hardware, it featured a smaller 7.0-inch (diagonal) LCD screen and debuted at
nearly $900 USD without contract. Those factors caused many tablet buyers
to stick with the iPad, which had an entry level Wi-Fi-only price of $499 and
Today Motorola has taken up the Mantle of "iPad killer" with its new
Xoom dual-core Android "Honeycomb" tablet. But Samsung is
hungry for mores success of its own, and will soon release a new
Honeycomb 10.1-inch tablet of its own, pricing on which hasn't been
Mr. Lee comments, "The 10-inch (tablet) was to be priced higher than the
seven-inch but we will have to think that over."
To put things in perspective, between October and December Samsung sold 2
million Galaxy Tab devices, while Apple sold 15 million iPads between April
and December. That gap becomes more noticeable when you consider how far
behind Android devices
have left the iPhone in the mobile market.
The iPad 2, like the first generation model, doesn't exactly pack the most
incredible hardware in the world. What it does do, however, is offer an
impressive form factor and equally noteworthy battery life. Both of those
marks were complaints
about the recent Xoom -- it was too bulky/heavy and the battery life
fell short of promised figures.
Both metrics are even more critical to tablets than they are to some other
mobile devices like laptops. While you can always plug in a laptop, you
seldom run a tablet plugged in, so battery life is essential. And while
your notebook computer rests comfortably on a table or your lap, you actually
hold the tablet, so weight becomes a major issue.
And what is equally surprising is that price may be the key thing keeping the
iPad as the top selling tablets. Apple has a long-standing reputation of
delivering high-end gadgets, which -- according to some -- are more than a bit
overpriced. But with the iPad it has delivered a more minimalistic
hardware set and a remarkably low hardware price.
When it comes to tablets, it's still Apple's game to lose. If it can
maintain its mobility edge (battery life, form factor) and price edge it may be
able to hold on to its lead even as Android brings out the big guns processing
quote: I had an iPad (sold for $450 just before iPad 2 came out) and you seriously do NOT look at it and think "oh I wish it had a better resolution." The quality of the screen is great, and the resolution appropriate for the size.
quote: What's the difficulty in creating a larger retina display?
quote: It's not that the current resolution is bad, far from it, but it is a fact that the diagonal edges of text show a slight fuzziness, and small characters (think subscripts of subscripts) are less visible than they would be on, eg, iPhone4.
quote: It's not like the iPad2 lacks any processing power so it's no compromise there. A higher resolution would be nice but I doubt it'd reduce the battery life below 8 hours from 10.
quote: Unless they strengthened it internally to compensate, which I doubt since they made it lighter. Just reading the specs on the iPad 2 and seeing the pictures of it,
quote: But anyway, I have a KindleDX which is probably about the thickness of the iPad2 (it's thinner than my iPad) and doesn't seem to have any issues with bending/breaking, so I don't think they're at a place where it's going to cause problems on the iPad2 personally...
quote: But I still don't get why that means you're getting rated down for talking a bit of engineering - it's not like anything you've said is flame-bait like 'Android will be able to be thinner because it's reinforced by Trojans'. ;)
quote: Funny how the original iPad wasn't considered bulky with bad battery life but something equal to better is. How does that make sense?
quote: <XOOM>....has better battery life (except for the video playback... ---by Alexstarfire
quote: I find it odd that an iPad could get better battery life out of video playback than browsing the web.
quote: I buy Corsair PC cases because they are well thought out and logically designed.
quote: When I saw the tablet war coming I assumed Android would be able to eventually deliver quality $299 tablets that would slay the iPad. What has surprised me is the Android tablets so far havent seemed to be able to get the price down, even to compete with Apple let alone best them.I did see the wi fi only Xoom was spotted in spy photos at a Sam's recently for $539 (which may hint at a 599 price given Sams wholesale nature). But that's still at the point of just struggling to get to iPad's price.However as iPad one's are now available at least while supplies last for as little as $349 refurbished, Apple has an even bigger price edge
quote: To put things in perspective, between October and December Samsung sold 2 million Galaxy Tab devices, while Apple sold 15 million iPads between April and December.