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

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

Summary: 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.

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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.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, iPad, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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54 comments
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  • Game Over? Or just begining?

    Look I understand the headline and story have to bait a reader in, but come on, game over?

    So you are saying that nobody should create a tablet? that we should just stick with iPad and be happy to get what little it gives?
    Will Farrell
    • Perhaps James should have stated, "Game over for 2011"

      @Will Farrell
      I agree with your implied statement that innovation in product design or introduction of product should not be postponed or eliminated because of a prior "Status Quo" condition.

      However, because Apple substantially changed the dynamics of a tablet design from the past ten years of WinTel efforts, it was able to succeed in the market arena.

      If a competitor can do the same to the Apple tablet devices as Apple did to the WinTel convertibles, than by all means let "competition strive".

      But if all else fails, adopting an Apple ecosystem solution for one's tablet requirements would not be a "bad thing". Its actually quite an enjoyable experience.
      kenosha77a
    • RE: iPad 2 announced, original iPad price drops. Tablet game over.

      @Will Farrell I hope other companies keep trying, that's what makes for good competition. But they are going to have a tough, tough time of it, and not be very profitable.
      JamesKendrick
      • RE: iPad 2 announced, original iPad price drops. Tablet game over.

        @JamesKendrick
        All it takes is flash memory to decrease in price.
        hoaxoner
      • RE: iPad 2 announced, original iPad price drops. Tablet game over.

        @hoaxoner<br><br>If Flash memory decrease then Apple will also benefit. Remember the iPod? Apple bought-up the majority of NAND Flash from SanDisk etc in bulk at a cheaper price, leaving the competition to chase after the scraps. They are doing the same with the iPad.
        dave95.
      • And, maybe the competition should focus on form factors that Apple does not

        offer, larger and smaller. I personally want say 11.5 inches.
        DonnieBoy
      • RE: iPad 2 announced, original iPad price drops. Tablet game over.

        @hoaxoner Apple is Samsung's (tablet competitor) biggest customer for components. They are completely set for any eventuality, including getting first dibs on memory or other components should there be a shortage.
        JamesKendrick
      • Apple's competitors can always file an antitrust lawsuit

        @JamesKendrick,

        If Apple is foreclosing competition by buying up supplies, I think it should be easy to prosecute.
        P. Douglas
      • Don't be so sure about Samsung's loyalties here.

        @JamesKendrick Samsung is a huge corporation with many divisions and lots of executives. I can tell you that the head of any division that produces components probably isn't getting a bonus based on the performance of the devices division. If Apple backs up a truck full of cash, the NAND guys will sell out the device guys in a heartbeat. Hell, Apple doesn't even have to back up the truck. The mere fact that everyone knows there's US$50 billion under a pillow in Cupertino and a willingness to use it, gives Apple procurement people [i]entree[/i] into a Division Sr. VP or GM's office in the industry.
        matthew_maurice
    • There will be niches for other tablets, but, for at least 2011, GAME OVER

      Now, by 2012, we might start seeing some viable competition, but, then comes iPad3.
      DonnieBoy
  • RE: iPad 2 announced, original iPad price drops. Tablet game over.

    Still not getting one. All these added features of iPad 2 but how much of it will get used? Cameras? really? They had them in laptops for years and weren't used.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: iPad 2 announced, original iPad price drops. Tablet game over.

      @Loverock Davidson Congratulations. You won't buy an iPad2 (or any tablet). I'm shocked. Really.
      samalie
      • Wouldn't want a great product like the Ipad......

        @samalie

        be spoiled from a rotten user like Lovey, would we.....
        linux for me
  • RE: iPad 2 announced, original iPad price drops. Tablet game over.

    It isn't game over by a long shot. Apple haters will never buy one because of their mind set and there's just no getting around that. There will always be the nonconformists and hold outs. There's also nothing wrong with that. In years to come the platform will evolve in every direction. Its just that for now Apple continues to dominate. How long that will last is just a "wait and see".
    I12BPhil
    • RE: iPad 2 announced, original iPad price drops. Tablet game over.

      @I12BPhil "Apple haters" sounds dangerously close to sinners in this context.
      Juan Chulilla
      • RE: iPad 2 announced, original iPad price drops. Tablet game over.

        @Juan Chulilla Use whatever context you deem necessary.
        I12BPhil
    • RE: iPad 2 announced, original iPad price drops. Tablet game over.

      @I12BPhil

      Great, if the platform evolves in every direction like you say, then Apple wins. It will be the one standout that's easy to grasp and heavily marketed (Think iPod). Remember there are more gen consumers out their leaking their chops today than there are "nonconformists" combined. Just ask Zuners and the anything but iPod folks how well that went.
      dave95.
    • RE: iPad 2 announced, original iPad price drops. Tablet game over.

      @I12BPhil I wouldn't call myself an Apple hater, but I certainly will never purchase an iPad2. The reason is that I am an iTunes hater. If Apple wants to sell me an iPad, they better figure out how to let me set it up without connecting it to a computer that runs iTunes. And I really don't want to have to try (again) to convert my media library to iTunes to share media, so even then I probably wouldn't get one.

      Hey, if I can set up my wife's Android cell phone while 1000 miles from home and without ever logging on a computer, why can't I do something similar with an iPad?
      jglopic
      • RE: iPad 2 announced, original iPad price drops. Tablet game over.

        @jglopic Yeah. Heard of the App store? You do know you can download apps and configure the device FROM the device, right? You only need iTunes to sync it and back it up.
        I12BPhil
      • RE: iPad 2 announced, original iPad price drops. Tablet game over.

        @jglopic A computer (Mac or PC) with iTunes is needed for initial setup of your iPad, and subsequent OS updates. Some apps with user-created data files also require you to sync to another computer via iTunes.

        Other than that, your iPad is pretty much a stand-alone device for most of its use.
        Tech watcher