iPad 2 Announcement Thoughts

As we close out the week, I thought I would share my thoughts about the iPad 2 announcement, now that a few days have passed and the Reality Distortion Field has had a chance to simmer down. In my opinion the most significant thing about the announcement is what Apple did not say, they did not announce a lower price for the iPad, neither for the original iPads nor the new ones. While you can currently buy iPads for $100 less, Apple is moving existing inventory and those prices will go away when all the original iPads are sold.

As I said before Apple’s announcement, if they had announced a $399 or $299 tablet, they could have sewed up the tablet market. Apple’s competitors will have a better chance of hitting the $499 target this year than a $399 target, even though it will be difficult to do so and get good profit margins.

Apple also did not announce a seven inch tablet. I don’t understand why so many of Apple’s competitors are rushing to bring a “me to” 10 inch tablet to market. The company that produces a really good seven inch tablet has a chance to differentiate themselves from Apple. Despite what Steve Job says, a seven inch tablet has a chance to sell because tablets that weight more than one pound are too heavy.

I had a chance to hold the Motorola Xoom today, and while it’s nice, I think it is too heavy. I am anxious to hold the iPad 2 in person to see how it feels. I suspect that making the iPad 2 thinner is a cosmetic change and doesn’t do much to make it feel lighter and therefore easier to hold for long periods of time.

Apple also did not announce a significant change to iOS. Beyond the addition of cameras, the iPad 2 doesn’t perform any new function than the current iPad, and the operating system looks and functions the same as it pretty much has since 2007. Apple’s apparent refusal to make noticable changes to the iOS UI reminds me of Palm, and I am sure Apple’s competitors hope history repeats.

Plenty of people will buy the iPad, but I wonder whether the number of iPad sales will increase dramatically because of the iPad 2. If you have been on the fence about buying an iPad, I don’t see a killer feature or a lower price that is going to make you change your mind. Some people have likely been holding off buying an iPad because they knew the iPad 2 was coming, so there will be a bump in sales, but I would be surprised if sales of the iPad 2 will increase significantly beyond what sales of the iPad has been.