iPad 2 announced, original iPad price drops. Tablet game over.

Here's what you need to know about the iPad 2: it's thinner, lighter, faster, got cameras and is more capable than the iPad, for the same price. It shuts out the competition, and it is game over for tablets.

Apple unveiled the next generation iPad today, the iPad 2, and as expected it is an evolution of the tablet from Cupertino. I won't detail the specifications of the iPad 2, you can get a good look at it on the Apple web site. Here's all you need to know about the iPad 2: it's thinner, lighter, faster, got cameras and is more capable than the iPad, for the same price. Apple had dominated the tablet wars with the original iPad, and with the iPad 2 it is game over.

Features and gimmicks aside, Apple has won the tablet war through aggressive pricing. Competitors have already had a tough time releasing tablets at the original iPad price point of $499, and now that this price gets you an improved iPad 2 the competition has been completely blocked out. Due to Apple's volume hardware component deals, it can build iPads far cheaper than anyone in the business. Plus, as ZDNet's Jason Hiner correctly points out, Apple's retail business allows it to sell a lot of iPads without pricing concessions to the wholesale market. The iPad business is more profitable than the competition's will ever be, and at a lower price point.

As if the iPad 2 wasn't enough to cause executives at Apple's competition to lose sleep, the price of the original iPad has been dropped to $399. This is so far below what it costs OEMs to make tablets, the game is over. Apple will continue to maintain or grow its market share in the tablet space, and the competition will release tablets that are not as good and cost lots more than the iPad/iPad 2. Rarely does one company in the technology sector dominate a product category so totally as Apple does the tablet space.

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