Initial disappointment turned into “I want one!”
You would expect that I talk about iPad 3, sorry, the new iPad, in this weekly column after Apple’s unveiling this past week. As with many Apple unveilings lately it was an anticlimax. I followed the event online, of course, and it was pretty much what we had already heard: high resolution display, faster processor, same size, LTE, etc.
My initial reaction after Apple has laid it all out was to tweet “Right now, I’m more exciting about putting ICS on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 than this Apple event.”
Now that doesn’t sound as I thought much of the new iPad does it?
And I admit, my first thoughts were along the lines of “is that it?” But as I started reading reactions from people who had actually tried it, I slowly became more positive, and now I just want to lay my hands on one.
What I strongly suspect will happen then, when I do finally get to use the new iPad, is that I will want one. Perhaps it’ll be a month or two before I buy one, but I have no doubts that I will get one eventually.
So why do I say that after the initial disappointment? The new iPad’s retina display looks amazing, and the faster processor and more RAM should give it significantly more speed. That the camera is also improved I care less about, but it’s nice, of course. LTE still doesn’t have the widespread coverage it needs for that to matter to most users in the region, and, besides, Apple says the LTE in the new iPad will not work outside North America – bummer.
But what really excites me about the new iPad is what we’ve not seen yet: what developers will do with all those pixels. With four times the amount of pixels to play with, I can’t even begin to imagine what the UI guys and girls are going to treat us to in the coming months, but that there will be treats worthy a Homer Simpson drool, of that I am certain.
So what about the competition? Google has introduced Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), which supposedly is better suited for tablets than Gingerbread, and you would think that would make more of a dent in the market. One reporter even wrote that he has “no doubt” that a Motorola tablet that might come out later this year is a “game changer” because Google didn’t spend $12 billion on Motorola just “to spice up the Droid.”
And to be fair, some companies are trying. Asus is pushing ahead with quad-core and keyboard on its Transformer, Samsung added a stylus to the Tab 10.1 and calls it Note, and Microsoft is making a tablet-friendly Windows 8. RIM? If there will even be another PlayBook, I’ll be very surprised.
But where are the serious contenders to the new iPad? I don’t see any.
So what about developers? I am not a developer myself, but it seems pretty clear to me that the homogeneous iOS ecosystem has more to offer: an active customer base that actually buys a lot of apps, a stable (and known) range of hardware and software for which to develop, and momentum.
Let’s just take one example: Mika Mobile, makers of the great Zombieville USA game, wrote the other day about its revenue stream that it spent 20% of its total man-hours in 2011 “dealing with Android in one way or another.” That 20% generated, drumroll, wait for it, 5% of its revenue. Clearly, not a sustainable situation.
And let’s remember that Android is a platform where more than 850,000 new devices are activated each day. That’s a very large number and should push the platform forward. But the question is will it propel Android forward in a way that means it can take on new iPad? That remains to be seen.
All this means that I will keep looking out for a non-Apple tablet that could be it for me, but in the mean time, I’ll probably buy the new iPad.