According to Adam Ostrow at CNN, we should not be counting out the iPad competitors. On some level, I agree. It’s good to have competitors, otherwise things would get boring. However, let’s put things into a little perspective, shall we?
To quote Adam:
Fast forward to today and Android smartphones are outselling iPhones, thanks to the multitude of manufacturers now offering devices at a variety of price points — all the way down to free.
If Android outsells, it’s only because it does many BOGO promotions (buy one, get one), or they offer very cheap models that run yesterday’s Android (1.x – < 2.2) – with no ability to upgrade the OS.
The same option does not exist in the Apple world. You can get an iPhone 4 starting at $199 or you can get the 3Gs model for $49. The 3Gs is still a highly capable model, with a halfway decent camera and multi-tasking without stuttering.
So, all that said, why am I counting out the competitors? Let’s list them, shall we?
- So far, all true tablet-capable (Honeycomb) Android tablets are non-existent in the market.
- Verizon, the big pusher of Android, is now pushing the iPhone 4. Yesterday they allowed pre-orders of the iPhone 4 from current customers and already sold out. In fact, it was “the most successful first day sales in the history of the company.” Really? All those models of fantastic Android phones and not one has ever caused this kind of successful sales day? It’s because Android is for the settlers – you know, the ones who didn’t want to switch to AT&T or figured a touch screen phone was good enough.
Android is great for techies and tinkerers.
iPhone is great for REGULAR people, techies, and tinkerers.
- According to market research, On Day One, 26 Percent of AT &T Customers Plan to Switch to Verizon for iPhone; Half of Verizon’s BlackBerry, Android Users Plan to PickApple, Toss Existing Devices – Yes, I know. Market research isn’t an exact science, but it’s usually fairly accurate.
- Are tablets also going to do BOGOs? Is the only option for a cheap tablet to get a data plan for 2 years? Awesome. Some people will blindly get a data plan they don’t need regularly and then pay data rates for a tablet AND a phone. I suspect this won’t do well, but it’s too early to truly tell.
- This isn’t <insert manufacturer here>’s $300 Windows box vs $999+ Mac happening this time around. Apple priced the low-end iPad and caught EVERYONE off guard. Giving the OS away may be advantageous to Google, but giving away the tablets won’t be to Motorola, LG, etc.
I’m not saying some of the competitors won’t do well. I am wondering what the compelling features will be. Android is not as refined as iOS. Sure, it’s “open.” It’s open in the same sense as a bad neighborhood in a city is open. You can put anything you want in that part of the city. Strip clubs, pawn shops, check cashing places. You won’t find those types of things in the better part (or neighboring) of town. iOS is the same way. You have a town watch. Occasionally things get in, but you get rid of those bad elements quickly. Pawn shops are not allowed. That’s just that. We don’t want those stores here.
Rant aside. Let’s see how everything plays out. Adam could be right, but if the Verizon pre-sales and market research study are any indication, people couldn’t wait to get rid of their GoBots (Androids and Blackberries) and get Transformers (iPhone).