I was really hoping that someone would step up and give the iPad a run for its money some time soon. Firstly, competition is always a good thing, and – hypothetically at least – should benefit the consumer as manufacturers try to excel each other and provide the very best products possible.
Having said that, Apple doesn’t always seem overly concerned with releasing the “best” products, not in terms of specs anyhow, and the iPhone 5 would sell a zillion units if it was simply an iPhone 4 with a 4in screen. But still, competition is good. It certainly can’t do any harm.
Secondly, I was really annoyed about the half-assed “launch” of the iPad 2. I received an email titled “iPad 2 is here”, but visiting the website at launch time I discovered that the estimated shipping time started at 2-3 weeks. That’s not a freakin’ launch; that’s the opening of a pre-order scheme.
Not that I’m bitter, you understand. In some parallel universe where the iPad 2 was available immediately, the impulsive me is sitting wondering why the hell I spent several hundred pounds on a tablet. So it’s all good.
Anyway, I’ve gone off into Tangentville. My point is: the iPad 2 isn’t exactly leaps and bounds better than the iPad, and there’s a real opportunity for other manufacturers to jump in and steal a chunk of the tablet market. Alas, that doesn’t look very likely.
I had really high hopes for the HTC Flyer after seeing it in action at Mobile World Congress. A portable 7in tablet manufactured by good old HTC, with an optional stylus. What’s not to like?
Well, the price tag for starters. It’s finally released on May 9, and will set you back a fairly ludicrous £600. Then there are the rumours that the Quietly Brilliant manufacturer is already developing two new HTC Flyers that might be released as early as summer in Taiwan.
And finally, our last great hope for the moment, the Motorola Xoom. The specs are great, the price is ok-ish (i.e. identical to the iPad 2), but it’s so freakin’ heavy. I think that’d put me off, but I guess time will tell if Johnny Consumer will take to the Xoom. It seems to be keeping a relatively low profile at the moment.
Fingers crossed for the new Samsung Galaxy Tabs, but I won’t hold my breath. Damn you, Apple (he says, typing away on a MacBook).