Apple's iPad spurs rivals to improve products

Apple's iPad spurs rivals to improve products

Summary: 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.

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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?

Topics: Amazon, Apple, Collaboration, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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126 comments
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  • Slate has had Flash since day 1

    iPad had nothing to do with that.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • The fact HP is hyping Flash

      so much certainly has to do with the lack of Flash on the iPad, a supposed major shortcoming.

      But even Google is (or might be) moving away from Flash, witnessed by YouTube ( a Google company) possibly/probably moving from reliance on Flash to a move to HTML 5.
      MacCanuck
      • So much partyline crap

        You know for a company that asked its followers to think different the sure follow exactly what old Carnival Barker Steve tells them to.
        CrashPad
        • So much mindless Apple bashing crap

          The fact that HP made a specific point of being able to use Flash (vs other features) proves it was trying to top and compare itself to the iPad. What are the features of the Slate? The cost? When is it available? Just more "vapourware" in an attempt to rain on Apple's parade.

          You ABAers are pathetic in your constant slamming of anything Apple does or the influence it's had on the industry.

          It shows a sense of denial, resentment and fear that perhaps Apple may have succeeded again and others will once again follow (like with the iPhone).

          Funny how "your type" criticized Apple for years for paying attention to design and engineering (nothing but eye candy with no substance) but now all OEMs are falling over themselves trying to "out design" the other with a variety of shapes, colours and materials. I guess design is OK and acceptable now that "PC" makers are doing it as I don't see or hear all the sniping today.

          You were wrong and acting like fools then and you're just carrying on the tradition... which shouldn't be a surprise.

          Unlike some of you psychics and purveyors of the future, I don't know if the iPad will be successful and it's asinine to make such predictions now but we'll all have a better, INFORMED idea after it's been out for a year.. and also see how many iPad wannabes appear.

          But it is ironic when it's Apple users/supporters that are labeled as mindless followers.

          Pot, kettle, black comes to mind.
          MacCanuck
          • a need to convince themselves

            Some people are uncomfortable about their decisions and have to
            constantly try to convince themselves that they, and only they, are right.
            You see this everyday, in religion, politics and computers. The signs are
            that they raise their voice, as if volume will make a difference, and resort
            to juvenile attacks instead of thoughtful discourse.
            john_gillespie
          • Exactly

            I was going to say, "so much vapourware trying to take the steam out of the iPad launch". Better metaphor.
            jorjitop
        • Well, occasionally people do revolt...

          As evidenced with what happened with the "Wow" of Vista.

          However, people usually fall back into the "Dang it's a new version, I must get it" mode, even though they need none of the new features, and their current hardware won't run it well at/all.
          zkiwi
      • Not exactly...

        HTML5 is a decent way to deal with one thing
        Flash does: video. But even that's compromised,
        thanks to the battle between the video formats
        that the <VIDEO> tag will support.

        But Flash is popular, and used all over the
        place, just as a way to author bog-standard,
        non-video web sites. Look at eCost.com, for an
        example. This is done largely because of the
        excellent tools... plain old designers and
        artists can do more in Flash than they can in
        HTML. So Flash is still very important for a
        full view of the web, even when video is
        handled in HTML5.

        And it won't always be. Google is doing AVC
        (MPEG-4 part 10) video streaming on their HTML5
        version of the site (you can set this in
        preferences today). This is great if you're
        using Google Chrome or Apple Safari, but it
        fails on Opera, Firefox, and IE. Opera and
        Firefox are not supporting AVC in the
        <VIDEO> tag, only Ogg Theora. IE isn't
        yet supporting HTML5. The videos still work,
        though... because they fall back ... to Flash.

        For Google, too, it might be something more. I
        don't know if Adobe demanded money for Flash
        streaming, but it's possible.. and YouTube is
        so gigantic, even fractional pennies add to
        real money once you have YouTube volumes.

        Next up is MPEG-4/AVC streaming fees. These
        have been put off until at least 2015, but this
        is still potential real money. Google spend
        something North of $100 million to buy On2,
        who's VP8 video streaming technology may well
        be free of MPEG-LA patent encumberances.

        And then there's YouTube's main expense today:
        streaming bandwidth. On2 claimed VP8 would save
        40% bandwidth at the same visual quality over
        AVC on low bitrate channels. If true, that's a
        40% savings by Google if they move to VP8. Or
        at least some big long-term savings, even if
        VP8 only works in Google Chrome.
        Hazydave
      • Google drop FLASH on YouTube! haha ..yeah right!

        Google YouTube now gets the majority of their
        revenue from FLASH Ads. Their videos are already
        converted to h.264 mp4's (which is the codec used
        in newest FLASH). The difference between them is
        just in the use of the HTML5 Beta player format or
        the FLASH player format container. But the HTML5
        Beta player is incapable of playing the 1080p
        videos. So you are stuck with inferior quality of
        that being streamed to iPhones and that's what
        you'll be viewing on the iPad's 10" screen! lol

        And most of all, you must be in the dark about
        Flash 10.1 Beta as Steve Jobs would like to keep
        all Mac addicts blurbing contempt and hatred toward
        FLASH that is on 80% of the web in some way.
        Facebook is so loaded with FLASH Games, it alone
        would have users playing those games instead of
        buying them out of the store. Then Apple wouldn't
        be getting their 30% cut of that pie. It's really
        all about Apple and Steve Jobs greed!

        The FLASH 10.1 video plays back those 1080p YouTube
        videos with full GPU acceleration. Which means, cpu
        usage on FLASH has been near eliminated in
        comparison to what it was a few years ago. So what
        Steve (the one I remember from back overhyping
        PowerPC chip lies) wants you to believe is that
        Adobe isn't doing their job on FLASH. Just like
        their claims that Photoshop is now crap on their
        new Intel systems. With him, he's conned you all
        into believing this used car salesman (alias crying
        TV preacher, brainless guru, hype about Adobe,
        Google and any of their other competition.

        On top of this all..... HTML5 pre-release
        standards haven't been put up on paper yet. That
        won't be until 2013 and the standard won't be final
        until 2020!

        Have fun on your iPhone or iPad surfing in your AOL
        Hell Walled Garden Safe from the real Web, where
        the rest of us will be having some real fun for
        free! :D
        i2fun
    • So?

      Flash is about as amusing as being caught up in a tumble dryer when all you wanted was a shave.
      zkiwi
    • Is having Flash even a good thing?

      I've several articles on flash right here on Zdnet of late and none of them
      were particularly good.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • If you use the Web...

        ...which most people do, there are a lot of Web sites that use Flash. Start with YouTube (thousands of videos), but there are lots of other sites that use Flash for animation, gaming, and so forth.

        Does anyone know if Flash is specifically blocked from installation on the iPad, or is it just not installed when you buy the iPad?
        gypkap9
    • And how has the Slate sold since Day 1? (NT)

      NT
      Ken_z
      • About as well as the iPad sold before it went on sale (NT)

        NT
        de-void-21165590650301806002836337787023
        • Yes, at least iPad is going on sale...

          pre-order later this month and actually have a working product in your hand planned for April.

          When again is the Slate or Courier (or next iPad wannabe) going to be available?
          MacCanuck
          • whoopeeeee

            Best to be first, even if someone else's product turns out to be better.

            With the limitations of the iPad such a hot topic, you can bet that Slate and Courier are iPad don'twannabes.
            Lester Young
          • I recall the limitations of the iPod were hot topics

            for quite a while... And all during that time the iPod just kept on a
            selling. I think to a lesser degree but still very strongly the limitations of
            the iPhone have been a hot topic and yet the thing sells very well. I think
            based on history there is a fair chance that those others you mentioned
            might want to be as popular as the iPad:)

            Pagan jim
            James Quinn
          • The iPhone introduced a nifty touch interface.

            It was a unique feature at the time. After its introduction, people called it the Jesus Phone. Nobody is calling the iPad the Jesus Pad. It has no uniquely outstanding feature relative to other tablets.

            The iPod attained dominance due to its access to a large music library. Is the iPad in a comparable position relative to content? Some would argue that it actually limits content access.
            Lester Young
          • Actually I would say that iTunes itself made the iPod

            a hit for it then made the iPod a complete out of the box product.
            Other manufacturers kept trying to beat Apple's iPod on features like
            AM/FM radios and such or price always price. Still the iPod ruled but
            only after iTunes came out. Why? Because like a toaster when you
            unpack it you just want to make use of it and eat some toast. The
            other MP3 players had you find a music provider and there were
            several to choose from sure if you like to shop that's a thrill but me
            I'm a guy and I want to get into and out of a store as quickly as
            possible. Most people don't want to purchase a toaster than find they
            have to to shopping for a power cord. Granted they would get more
            choice, color, length, price but no I don't think that has nearly the
            advantage as getting a complete package.

            I find it interesting that you give Apple full credit for coming out with
            the iPhone and it's nifty touch interface yet in another post you bend
            over backwards to show it was an idea already thought of and being
            developed by others. Developed meaning not ready for prime time as
            we both know. So you admit there were not other phones that were
            like the iPhone and all these iPhone looks a likes are wannabes? Either
            Apple lead the way or they did not. This post of yours and another
            one in hear confuses me as to your stance?

            Pagan jim
            James Quinn
          • Well @James Quinn

            ...that's what happens when you befuddle the Redmond fanbuis.

            They are consistent in their denials, though...

            :p
            still not nice