I'm usually slow to adjust to changes. Not just in technology, but in life in general: new office, new shoes, new people, and of course new gadgets.
Since part of my role is to actually study and explore new technologies, I often find myself asking: "is THIS really better than the old one?".
I doubted the first iPad will be such a hit (like many of us did), but soon after getting one I was certain it's a must have gadget for any geek out there, I didn't like the design of the iPhone 4, and this time, I didn't change my mind: I still think it's a serious fu<beep>ck up. I was excited about Windows Phone 7, but when finally I got one I was so disappointed I almost put it on sale… Of course, after a few weeks I totally changed my mind, and today, although I still find it very limited comparing to iOS and Android – I like it very much and using it as my personal smartphone.
Now there's this iPad 2 in the house. Today Apple starts selling it, and I think no one doubts that iPad 2 is going to be another success story.
This time Apple did not surprise anyone with a new invention. iPad 2 is all about standing in the expectations of the market to ensure leadership continues. There are mostly features that were requested by the audience: it is thinner, much faster and adds a pair of cameras for video chat. Perfect. You could argue about the new design and the weird almost "build in" case, but all the rest is exactly what the customers asked for.
The first iPad sold 300,000 units on its first day, 500,000 in the first week, and crossed the 1 million unit mark in 28 days (more numbers can be found in here). Apple sold 15 million iPads last year, generating $9.5 billion in sales, and had the tablet market largely to itself. It will be interesting to see how the new iPad will do in terms of sales – I actually think it will do better than the first model.
Tablet sales are expected to surge to more than 50 million units this year, with Apple capturing more than 70% of the market. The iPad 2 hits store shelves in more than two dozen additional countries on March 25. The iPad remains the most affordable tablet on the market, starting at $499, while competitors still struggle to create tablets which are thinner or cheaper.
Strongest competitor so far was the Galaxy Tab by Samsung, and soon we will see HP, RIM and of course Motorola (with the Zoom) trying to bite Apple – but now that iPad2 is out, my bet is that many people (and even Android smartphones owners), would want to have one.
Analyst Mark Moskowitz from JPMorgan, warned this week of a potential bubble forming in the market as early as this year, as Apple's rivals build far more tablets than consumers will actually buy. He said supply could outstrip demand by as much as 36 percent in 2011 -- a whopping 17.2 million units. I think he definitely has a point: looking back at CES and MWC, there were definitely more tablets models than smartphones, and most people will still prefer to have a decent smartphone and only then add a tablet to their bag.