It’s not supposed to happen like this.
Especially in consumer electronics where new tech comes along and knocks the leader of its perch. Look no further than the gaming consoles pioneered by Atari and Nintendo which eventually gave way to the Sony Playstation. Until, of course, Nintendo regained its footing with the Wii only to have Microsoft waiting in the wings with its Xbox and hot selling Kinect.
But that’s not what we’re witnessing in the consumer tablet market. In fact, it’s not really a tablet market as much as it’s the iPad’s market where a few companies dabble from time to time.
Competitors like Samsung, Blackberry, Sony, Toshiba, and Motorola have had two years to produce something that gives Apple a run for its money. And, to date, each of them have created tablets which consumers find less appetizing than a turd sandwich.
I see these competing tablets each time I visit Fred Meyer or Fry’s Electronics because they stand out like a sore thumb. You’ll find them sitting on a table, screens covered in dust and seldom turned on. If consumers cared about them wouldn’t they be operational? Have Samsung and Sony executives never stepped foot inside an Apple store to see how real people interact with their products?
The new iPad’s most fearsome competitor is the iPad 2. Even the original iPad holds its own! Think about that for a minute. Apple is replacing the best selling iPad ever (that has no peer) with another iPad. Honda used to do this to the mid-sized sedan market every few years. Just when the Camry or Taurus began to gain ground, Honda would release a new Accord that reset the bar. In a sense, Apple is doing the same thing except, in their market, they also make the Camry and Taurus.
At this point, anyone purchasing a tablet without the Apple logo is intentionally telling everyone, "I do not want the best tablet available". They may have philosophical differences with how Apple conducts business, but from a product standpoint nobody else is even in the game.
Imagine the cost of a BMW M3 and the Ford Fiesta were identical. The non-Apple tablet buyer is akin to the guy who, given that choice, selects the Fiesta and then tells everyone else that his car came with a bug deflector and rear spoiler.