Lance Ulanoff, Editor-in-Chief of PC Mag has a few choice words regarding the iPad 2, and they’re in the title. He’s not bragging so much as he’s pointing out that virtually everything he predicted (and many people predicted) about the iPad 2 actually came true, but also he’s pointing out the fact that Apple’s moves here, while evolutionary in nature, are enough to keep them in the forefront of the market and ahead of the competition for a good long while, even as competition from Google, Motorola, HP, RIM, and others nips at their heels:
No, the Apple iPad 2 is not a game changer. Instead it simply, firmly establishes Apple once again as the front-runner in the tablet wars. Apple and chief executive Steve Jobs (who made an appearance and received a standing ovation) focused on all the right areas to ensure that the Apple iPad will remain the tablet you have to rule out before you buy any others.
He’s absolutely right here, and I agree with him on virtually every point here – Apple’s managed to make an update to one of their best and newest products that makes a good thing even better. But how does it stand up to the competition?
With thousands ready to ditch original iPads for the iPad 2 and the original iPad on clearance at the Apple Store (with refurb models even cheaper,) the iPad’s place at the top likely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Lance thinks it’s still top of the market:
Unlike last year, Apple’s competitors are well on their way to entering the market with strong, viable tablets that could and should easily appeal to a variety of markets, but as of now, not the Motorola Xoom, HP Touchpad, Samsung Galaxy Tab or Blackberry Playbook stand above the Apple iPad 2. Not only because the product is now thinner, lighter, faster and just as affordable as before, but because there are currently 65,000 apps ready and waiting for iPad 2 customers. No one else has that, and it could be quite a while before any of them do. In the meantime, the Apple iPad 2 will continue to attract consumers and developers. As Rein told me, they’re not on other mobile platforms [with Infinity Blade] “because the real business is on Apple.”
While I bristle just a little bit at calling the iPad 2 the best tablet on the market or coming to market in the immediate future and that none of the competition stands above it (especially when some of the others come close spec-wise) I have to concede the point on the biggest and perhaps most important element here: apps and users.
The iPad 2 has tons of users waiting in the wings, both people who have iPads now and want to upgrade, a culture that encourages people to get the next best thing as soon as its available, and people who weren’t sure about this whole tablet thing and are finally ready to get into the game. Add to this the massive Apple app library and you have a really really compelling reason to get an iPad 2 over another tablet model.
Especially when considering none of the other tablet models that come close to the iPad, with the exception of the Motorola Xoom, have even shipped.