That’s Engadget’s ‘tale of the tape’ chart listing the main tech specs for the current iPad and three of its supposed main rivals for 2011 – the HP TouchPad, the Motorola Xoom, and the Blackberry PlayBook.
The thing that immediately stands out in the chart is that the iPad compares well on specs with the others. Again, that’s the current iPad, released nearly a year ago – and the three potential rivals are of course not even on the market as yet. The iPad 2 will hit the market around the time or even before the other three shown, and there’s a good chance it will one-up them on at least some of these key specs.
Even if it doesn’t, and just matches them on specs, it still has the benefit of a huge head-start – in time on the market, momentum in both the consumer and enterprise spaces, and in the one area that leading tech blogger Robert Scoble feels is the only one that matters: Apps.
Scoble says his mantra is this:
“The only thing that matters is apps.”
He points out that flagship apps like Flipboard, the History of Jazz, and Murdoch’s The Daily only exist on the iPad – and concludes that …
We’re living in an iPad world. All the others can only dream.
While the number of apps for the Android platform has grown a lot in the last year, Scoble’s point still holds true for the tablet market. There are already over 65,000 apps designed specifically for the iPad – and it’s hard for developers to even contemplate developing for other tablet platforms when there are almost none to speak of. Currently the iPad has one rival that’s actually out on the market – the Samsung Galaxy Tab – and even it runs a version of Android that Google themselves say is not designed for tablet devices.
Add the fact that it looks like the majority of iPad’s possible rivals may well come out later than iPad 2 and more updates to its version of iOS, and where are leading app developers going to look to focus their efforts? For ‘rival’ platforms that are a year late and currently have below zero momentum, or on honing their apps for the next generation of the iPad and the next versions of its OS?
Doesn’t seem like a tough call to me.