Apple “nobody does it better” iPad: Do we really need a next-generation?

Edging towards the end of 2010, the internet became rife with rumors surrounding a next-generation iPad. Subsequently since then, suggestions have been made as to what it will look like, changes in specifications such as the add on of a camera, screen size, carbon fibre body, the possible introduction of a SD card slot and so on. But has anybody just stopped for a few seconds to ask themselves if we really do need another iPad? Although it comes down to personal opinion and what we class as competition, as Cnet pointed out today, if you bring the iPod into the picture, nobody else has managed to come anywhere near its specifications.

Its been said on more than one occasion that 2011 will be the year of tablets, and here at OSM, its been a job at times to keep up with the constant news of yet another device that’s on its way. For instance, there’s the HTC Flyer, LG Optimus Pad, PlayBook, Xoom, Galaxy 10.1, HP TouchPad and so on, and individually they are all offering their own extra special touches, be it, HDMI output, bigger batteries, video chat and 4G connectivity to name but a few.

On looking at Apple and its iPad history and specs, will other tablets be able to compete against its 60,000 strong hold apps? The development of building such apps is a task in itself something of which Apple has already got in the bag! Others such as HP or Research in Motion may bring out their own apps due to customer demand, but may struggle to play catch up.

Another is that of iTunes with its music downloads, podcasts and audiobooks, and along with this, people now choose to purchase iTunes gift cards. No-one else as Cnet stated, has managed to secure a different but similar service. On the subject of iTunes, Apple offer the best service in terms of movie rentals, downloading TV shows and music which can all be accessed through a $99 Apple TV box, and lets not forget its home sharing capabilities with the rest of your Apple devices.

In terms of accessories, Apple along with third-party manufacturers have managed to produce a huge amount of cases, docks, speakers, stands and so on. For the gaming enthusiast amongst you, the iPad has a large selection of apps which double up as games, and although many of the up and coming tablets will no doubt include 3D graphics, as Cnet pointed out, is the hardware really there for gaming?

On rounding up, yes there are plenty of tablets coming our way, and really what it comes down to is personal choice and of course how far your budget stretches, but really when you look back over the last year with what the iPad has achieved so far, its fairly safe to say that it will be around for some time yet, but it still begs the question after all of this, do we need an iPad 2?

Let us know what you think?

  • J-J

    I'm trying to determine if this "entry" was done tongue-in-cheek or if one is to take it seriously. Are we really asking, "Does Apple need to continue to innovate to hold its market?"

    Has the author considered the present state of affairs for the Apple iPhone? This is a product that initially captured a large percent of the smart phone market. Why? It was heads and tails above the competition. One might even say it was a revolutionary step ahead. But today? Today Android phones (as a group) outsell iPhones. IPhone 4 was DEFINITELY needed to help stem that tide (even if it launched with a hiccup). If iPhone 4 is still not outselling Android SmartPhones (Droid X, EVO, Galaxy S, etc.), where would they be if they were still offering ONLY the iPhone 3GS? Only Apple fans would still be on-board.

    Now enter the new frontier: Tablets. Yes, they are attractive … and give it to Apple, they took the tablet (not a very hot selling item before the iPad) and they made it very user friendly and desirable. And while a netbook may still be preferable for some similar jobs, the Apple iPad sold millions because it was a revolutionary step forward for users. It is just that simple.

    But if you haven't seen what Honeycomb can do with better hardware, more convenient storage, better ports, and a larger (and smaller) screen (as may be desired by the user), then you owe it to yourself to check it out. Look at, for instance, the Motorola Xoom: this Honeycomb device runs circles around the iPad for the type of things people want to do with a Tablet. And let's not too quickly by-pass HP's TouchPad… running screaming hardware and a Web-OS system that is so desirable… if HP can get developers on board, this Web-OS tablet will win considerable market-share. It's that good.

    Now, the question the author poses, "Do we really need an iPad 2? The question amazes me. But to answer: "We may not NEED and iPad 2 (or 3), but Apple sure does!" If they can maintain Market Share now, at this critical juncture, they will be able to establish themselves as the only serious player in the field… something that Apple should desperately want.

    But, if they decide that THEY don't want an iPad 2 at this point — the buying public is going to go with the better tablet devices. Better because (as a business user), I want to easily move data between my PC and Pad-device (cable or SD-card), I want to be able to share information with others, I want to do video conferencing, I want to be able to change my user-interface to reflect my most important needs, not simply settle for what the company wants, I want to be able to snap a picture or SCAN a document or bar-code, I want to have hardware (microprocessor) that will support what I need to do and enough RAM to do it quickly, and I want to run high-end relational databases with cloud integration and multi-user, multi-platform integration.

    Currently, the Apple iPad can't address those areas very well. Yes, they have a lot of game apps and business apps that have been quickly ported. Yes, they have a large installed base. But, that doesn't mean they will keep that base, and APPLE SHOULD want to do that. Yes, Apple needs iPad 2.

    • Jason

      Right on. I don’t understand the logic of this author. I am seriously looking at web os. Apple is ahead in apps. There are a lot of crap apps too. If hp does focus on the business side of apps not just the home user. They could kick apples butt

  • J-J

    IPAD 2: Nice job! Just enough to keep Apple as a major player. The next 3 months should tell us where the other players will be.