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Coleago Consulting iPad 2 comment

by david.nunes

Coleago Consulting iPad 2 comment

Coleago Consulting are a telecoms and media analyst firm with a team of expert consultants with more than 25 years experience in their fields.

“While many hardware vendors are struggling to bring their first tablets to market, Apple has launched the second iteration of its hugely successful iPad. The new model is broadly in line with what pundits were expecting – no revolutionary new features, just useful improvements in size, weight, performance and the addition of two cameras. A strong and sound evolution of a well-designed product.

Rumours that the iPad 2 might turn out to be a minor, stop-gap upgrade to keep competition at bay until a better iPad 3 emerged in the autumn seem to have been quashed. Apple has done what is needed for now to keep the iPad attractive in the face of new products arriving in the tablet market. Apple clearly thinks it has hit the sweet spot in terms of pricing. Despite what must be a higher materials cost it is keeping retail pricing the same and discounting the original iPad models. To achieve this, it hasn’t leapt on the “maximum specs” bandwagon that some other vendors have chosen. The screen remains at 1024 x 768 pixels, not the retina display quality of the iPhone 4, processor RAM is rumoured to have been upped to 512MB, the same as the iPhone 4 but less than 1GB offered by products like Motorola’s Xoom, and the main camera on the back of the iPad 2 seems to be of comparable quality to that in the newest iPod models, not the 5MP version used in the iPhone 4 – rather disappointing but probably not a deal-breaker for most buyers.  So instead of going all out to impress buyers with the technical specifications, Apple is instead focusing on the user experience.  This is Apple’s strength and it’s what matters most to the iPad 2’s target market.

Apple’s well-known design quality and attention to detail are also in evidence. Build quality and finish are still good – this looks and feels like a quality product, and it’s available in white as well now. The new magnetic “smart cover” may seem like a cute gimmick, but I suspect this will become a must-have accessory that enhances the look and usability of the product.  And the new HDMI adapter means that iPad 2 owners can use the new camera to film their treasured moments, edit the results on the device with the new version of iMovie, then share the results on a big TV screen with their family and friends.

Although lots of new tablet products are starting to arrive, none has so far looked like an iPad-killer. The Samsung Galaxy Tab seems to be doing well, with lots of promotional deals. Motorola’s new Xoom looks promising, but currently suffers from some teething troubles with the latest version of the Android operating system (Honeycomb). For me, the two weaknesses of the new iPad are its lack of support for Flash-based web pages (a well-worn discussion) and what I suspect may turn out to be a rather disappointing main camera. As competitors’ products mature, Apple’s share of the tablet market will inevitably slip, but for now Apple seems well placed to see another year of success for the new iPad 2.  And in the UK both T-Mobile and Orange are subsidising 3G iPads with bundled data contracts, which is bound to make it more attractive to those who are keen to take the plunge.”

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