The Verge’s Dan Seifert has done a rundown of the best tablets on the market today, in their ‘This is My Next’ series. The iPad Air is ranked as the Number 1 tablet, based on its overall features and versatility. A close second is the Retina iPad mini, which Seifert notes is his preferred tablet. There are also quick mentions for the Kindle Fire line, Samsung tablets that are rightly knocked due to the mess of their Android software skin, Microsoft’s Surface line, and Google’s Nexus 7.
I agree with just most of Seifert’s takes. I think he’s spot on in his sum-up of the Surface. My only big difference would be that I think the Nexus 7 is an outstanding small form factor tablet, and would certainly be in my Top 2.
Take a look at the video and share your tablet rankings in the comments.
As I mentioned yesterday, iPad sales numbers for the latest quarter were down a bit, and this has been seen to be a very disappoint result for Apple – even though iPad is still the clear tablet market leader.
Hard times for the iPad would be great times for others – the 13 million iPads sold last quarter likely dwarf the number of tablets that any of its rivals will sell during all of this year.
Here’s another way of putting the iPad’s ‘disappointing’ result into context – Slate has a great post up on the theme of ‘If Apple products were companies’. The chart above highlights some striking numbers if the iPad was a company:
Sales of iPads might be declining slightly, but at almost $5.9 billion they’re still a massive business in their own right, generating more revenue than Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Groupon, and Tesla combined.
Apple is continuing to add “Your Verse” featurettes to promote the various ways people are taking advantage of the iPad as a platform for work and play. The latest two spotlight videos, which I learned about through iClarified, focus on Esa-Pekka Salonen and Chérie King.
Esa-Pekka Salonen uses his iPad to help him compose whenever inspiration strikes, and Chérie King uses her iPad as an all-around traveling tool to help with photography, sharing content, and navigating landscapes and languages. In typical Apple fashion, the featurettes are fun and beautifully shot, but I like the little bit of extra detail that Apple has added this time around. If you were ever curious about exactly which apps were used in the videos — or even which other apps people like Esa-Pekka or Chérie may use — Apple has now grouped all of them in a convenient custom App Store page for easy viewing (e.g. Esa-Pekka Salonen’s favourite apps).
It’s this kind of dynamic marketing that really sets Apple apart, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of it.
Here’s another way to look at the ‘disappointing’ 16 million iPads sold in the first quarter of 2014. In the latest Canalys report on the PC market in Q1 of this year, Apple comes out as the Number 1 vendor again – and the iPad is by far and away the biggest factor in earning that position.
Apple’s total number of PC + tablet sales for the quarter was 20.4 million – with the iPad’s 16.4 million accounting for a whopping 80% of the total.
Oh, and the second place PC maker is Lenovo. Lenovo’s total number of PCs and tablets sold (15 million) doesn’t match the iPad sales number.
According to Apple Insider and a number of other Apple news sites there’s growing evidence that Apple may be bringing the Touch ID feature to the next generation of iPads.
Poking around in code for the Touch ID framework in iOS 7.1, Twitter user and developer “UNiCORN”found a reference to Apple’s iPad lineup, potentially suggesting that the next-generation iPad mini and iPad Air may sport the company’s fingerprint scanning technology.
I haven’t used an iPhone in years and haven’t tried out Touch ID as yet. I imagine it’s a pretty useful alternative for quick access to a mobile device.
It would be interesting to see this feature come to the iPad, but it’s far from top of my wish list for the next gen models. More RAM is my top wish in terms of hardware updates and swipe typing is by far and away the single iOS feature I’d most like to see added.
What are your thoughts on Touch ID? Is this a big one on your next iPad wish list?