And the iPad freight train rolls on

And the iPad freight train rolls onApple had it way too easy last year with the iPad. Of course, it came as a bit of a surprise that the Californians somehow managed to popularise what had previously been seen as a niche - and quite possibly pointless - product.

As such, while the rest of the big names scrambled to develop their supposed iPad beaters, Apple’s competition in 2010 came primarily from Samsung. Having said that, “competition” is probably a bit of a stretch; the 7in Galaxy Tab didn’t really give Apple anything to worry about.

But then came January’s CES, and Mobile World Congress in February. Suddenly everyone was in on the tablet game, and it seemed inevitable that the iPad would lose a significant chunk of the tablet pie it had owned so emphatically.

Alas, that hasn’t really been the case. I say “alas”; I don’t have anything against the iPad per se. I just hoped, as a consumer, that there would be more choice. More competition. More tablets to get excited about.

People just want the iPad. Earlier this week I wrote an article about American businesses that’d been forking out for iPads for their employees without being entirely sure why they were doing so.

That, for me, sums up the deal with the iPad. It’s the name everyone knows and the tablet everyone wants, often without knowing why. There's no real competition, no need to shop around, no need to compare; it's the tablet.

And it’s not like its competitors are simply struggling in the face of Apple’s brand recognition. Even us ubernerds would struggle to point to another tablet and – hand on heart – say: “iPad beater”.

Actually, the Advent Vega probably deserves a mention at this point. Not that it’s particularly awesome (you’ll have to tweak the crap out of it, actually), but you can pick one up for less than £200 now. Sweet.

From the big names, I had high hopes for the HTC Flyer, but the Taiwanese can hardly hope to compete with the iPad when their 16GB unit costs the same as Apple’s 32GB.

I still like the look of the Toshiba Tablet. The official trailer has been kicking around since January, but it’ll be the “very end of summer” before it hits shelves. Bah.

All in all, not a great result for the first assault on the SS iPad. Step it up a notch, guys. We’re bored.

Read more about: Apple iPadApple iPad 2iOS

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blizzard7  May. 21, 2011 at 13:48

Well written article. Seems odd that other companies haven't been able to nail a tablet like they nail smartphones. They have to realise that they should prioritize the sub-£500 market and beat Apple's price points (most people won't care about an alternative if the alternative costs more). I'm pretty confident the software side of things will be smoothed out with Ice Cream Sandwich.

emmajk42 / MOD  May. 21, 2011 at 14:21

You know things are bad when your 89 year old great uncle wants an iPad but can't really tell why, or what exactly he would use it for...

blizzard7  May. 21, 2011 at 14:30


Yikes! Apple has been getting a bit of a free ride when it comes to marketing, as every journo seems to have one and flaunts it at every available opportunity.

To me, lack of Flash is the bummer on something which I'm sure people mostly use for browsing.

emmajk42 / MOD  May. 21, 2011 at 15:00

But the reason my great uncle wants one is because he heard the queen has one!!

I'll admit the lack of flash has been a bit annoying, plus the lack of USB.

JanSt / MOD  May. 21, 2011 at 17:06

It's not just that you can't really point at one and honestly say, "iPad beater" - even amongst the non-Apple pads there is NO 'beater'. They all have strengths and weaknesses. You can call that 'choice' or rubbish, I s'pose. Overall, I find them as appealing as electric nosehair trimmers (explains maybe why Lizzie has one?)

strike  May. 29, 2011 at 13:04

What a poor article. Biased from the very start.

Why buy a Ferrari when a Ford does the same? Pointless article.

Maybe if you interacted with your great uncle a bit more, he might not want an iPad.

Mr Curdle, did you not buy shares in Apple when they were uber cheap and now you **** their innovation off...

JanSt / MOD  May. 31, 2011 at 19:20

what point were you making? Anti-iPhone or too pro?


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