The iPad 2 is out and without even touching one (though I have watched and read a lot of reports from people who have) I think this second iteration is going to leave many of the iPad’s competitors in a bad way. It’s like Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat just dealt you a cold blast that freezes the iPad competitors solid — one of two things will happen when they unfreeze, there will be a bloody announcer saying “Finish Him…”, or Apple will come back at them with a swift roundhouse sealing their fate. ((Said roundhouse would be the iPad 3 with iOS 5.))
None of this has to do with how well the iPad 2 actually performs.
It’s safe to say that most of the competitors are going with the 7” form factors and those that are trying their hands at 10” (truthfully 9.7”) tablets are doing so with much thicker devices. That is: most manufacturers were struggling to create a tablet as thin as the original iPad and now the iPad 2 changes the game by creating a mind boggling thin iPad 2. The iPad 2 is thinner than the iPhone 4 — which when the iPhone 4 was announced it was proclaimed to be the thinnest smartphone on the market.
Let that sink in for a moment: the iPad 2 is thinner than the iPhone 4.
10 hours — Apple couldn’t make the device smaller and at the same time increase the battery life, so they are giving you what you already have. By all accounts, Android makers have yet to get anything better than 10 hours — safe to say then that 10 hours is the entry battery life you need for a successful tablet and the iPad 2 has it.
It doesn’t even matter how fast the dual cores are — Apple effectively swiped the buzzword that all other tablet competitors have been freely slinging in the iPads direction. In the average consumer mind it doesn’t matter which tablet is actually faster, it only matters if they can check off a feature list — and they can with the iPad 2.
Dual core? Check.
Not to mention that by all accounts the new A5 processor is absurdly snappy.
Verizon and AT&T
You could complain about the fact that the iPad was only available on AT&T and use that as your reason for getting another tablet, but again Apple just took that away.
Two largest U.S. wireless carriers? Check.
Apple wasn’t about to listen to people complaining and judging their device based on the carriers that it works on, so it was crucial that they have Verizon out of the gate.
The real death blow — the real jewel — in the announcement is the price. $499 to start. This is a price that every other competitor has yet to figure out — sure 3G costs more, but in the consumers mind it is all about the price you can advertise — and Apple can say $499.
It is all about the up sell and even though we all know that, we still feel like devices that we get up sold on cost much less.
I was going to skip this version of the iPad if it was a minor update, but this is no minor update. This is a major revision and one that I will be buying on day one.
I think the iPad then deals a death blow before you even start to talk about the benefits that iOS has over Android and others.
(P.S. I am going with the leather cover in red — I don’t know why red though, it just jumps out at me. Probably black and hopefully 3G on AT&T.)
[Updated: 3.4.11 at 9:56 AM]
In TUAW’s link to this post they make it sound as if I want the iPad to kill the competition — which couldn’t be further from the truth. I very much want competition, as it’s a good thing.