Apple's iPad spurs rivals to improve products

Apple's upcoming launch of the iPad is already having one nice side effect for technology users: Rivals like HP and Amazon are likely to push product improvements along at a faster pace.

Apple's upcoming launch of the iPad is already having one nice side effect for technology users: Rivals like HP and Amazon are likely to push product improvements along at a faster pace.

Consider:

And that's just the positioning before the iPad hits the street on April 3. Rest assured that a bevy of tablet and e-reader players are going to push product enhancements along at a faster pace.

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Would these development plans move along without an iPad launch? Sure, but there would be less urgency.

Add it up and technology fans can only stand to benefit from these developments. The big conundrum is deciding when to buy. Do you wait for Kindle prices to fall? Do you jump to be an early iPad adopter---even though you just know the second version will be much better? Or do you just hang back and see what Sony, Barnes & Noble and others can cook up?

In any case, iPad is likely to light a fire under rivals and that's a good thing.

More: Apple kicks off iPad ad blitz at Oscars; Cash cow in the making?

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