Apple iPad – the 'Tickle Me Elmo' of 2010
Can't make 'em fast enough
Apple will sell 12.9 million iPads before the end of this year, according to the market watchers at iSuppli, upping their earlier estimate of 7.1 million "magical and revolutionary" devices.
"The iPad is shaping up to be the 'Tickle Me Elmo' of the 2010 holiday season," said iSuppli's Rhoda Alexander in a statement, meaning that "product demand [is] expected to vastly exceed available supply."
"iSuppli believes that the only limitation on iPad sales now is production — and not demand," Alexander said. "Apple has taken a very controlled approach introducing this product to new markets, with manufacturing limitations likely being the major inhibitor on how quickly iPad sales expand."
If Apple can continue to increase the output of it Asian production partners, according to Alexander, the iPad's future looks bright indeed: shipments of the device will soar to 36.5 million in 2011 and 50.4 million in 2012.
Alexander also states that Apple will "undoubtedly" update the iPad in April 2011, with likely changes including a camera and the expansion of the line into different screen sizes.
Although Alexander sees some competition from Asus and Acer near the end of this year, Apple will pretty much own the field until HP and others join the market, most likely in 2011.
And competition won't be hardware-based, she avers, but rather will center on the application ecosystem that each vendor can encourage. "Just like the iPhone," says Alexander, "the rest of the market is feverishly playing catch-up to the iPad at this point." ®
Re: Are other manu's effin' dense?
Well, yes in fact they are.
Most of them are under the thumb of intel and MS. They take their lead from those two. This is why HP has spent the last few years developing the slate based on promises from intel that the "low power atom" would be great and from MS that "Windows 7 will be much better at touch"
It turns out that neither promises are true and the slate has been dumped, leaving them to finally grow a pair and develop a product in defiance of their legacy <ahem> "partnerships" with their bullying suppliers.
Until PC manufacturers start to think for themselves and say to "hell with you intel/Microsoft" they will continue to fail when competing against the likes of apple.
It's not the form factor
Let's face it, any tablet suffers from similar problems. Can't prop it up, can't place it easily on a lap, input can be tricky, no real keyboard etc etc. So why is the iPad (to my surprise) flying off the shelves? One word.
Apple do not own the whole hardware stack, they buy in components anyone else could from Intel, LG etc. What they do own is the software stack and they seem to operate under the ethos of "If <thing> cannot be integrated seamlessly and elegantly, then <thing> will not be offered".
So, sure, you get a device that has no USB, no video out, no SD slots etc. But what it does have just works. The Apps Store works flawlessly (although the Law of Jobs and the Walled Garden approach do rankle me), but a user can be pretty sure than anything they install will just work.
MS cannot do this as they need to be all-things-to-all-people, they end up going for the lowest-common-denominator in every area and then cludging together the integration. Apple simply drop the feature.
Open Source may make very good tools (arguably the best in many cases) but with no overriding vision the tools fail miserably to integrate, leaving the user to hack around with config files. Fine if you are a techie, not acceptable if you are a consumer. When someone does enter the Open Source arena and attempts to provide a single vision (e.g. Shuttleowrth, Google[sort-of]), they get torn to shreds for "dumbing it down" by the elite geeks who simply do not understand the real world.
Like 'em or loathe 'em, Apple are giving people the experience they want. They may not be satisfying the geeks, but then geeks are not their market - well-heeled consumers are. Computers are often an appliance (just like a washing machine) - deal with it.
Are other manu's effin' dense?
This is why they fail. Waiting to see how Apple does before launching something half as good into the market place a year or more late and then wonder why they have lackluster sales in comparison. They already know how Apple steals key market segments (or creates them) with their products. The iPad is nothing new or innovative. It's just a big iTouch ffs! No wonder Job's is laughing all the way to the bank. I honestly believe that the people running some of these other companies need firing and replacing them with monkeys. They'd probably do a much better job!
I wish I was head of some company like HP, Dell, Asus,Samsung or one of the other smartphone makers perhaps. I'd soon kick their design teams into shape.