Report: iPad 2 Will Steer Clear of Competition in 2011
As smartphone sales for the Android continue to surge, many believe that Android-based devices have the potential to give the Apple iPad a run for its money in the tablet market. But according to a new report from Forrester Research, the iPad's competitors won't be able to keep up.
The report calls the iPad challengers – from Android Honeycomb tablets from Motorola and Toshiba to RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook and HP TouchPad – "solid products with fatally flawed product strategies."
"Miscalculations in pricing and distribution spell trouble for Android tablets, especially the Motorola Xoom," the report said.
The most basic version of the iPad is priced relatively low at $499, while the Motorola Xoom goes for about $100 more. You can get a Samsung Galaxy Tab for around $250, but that price tag is without a contract with a mobile carrier.
In addition to price, Forrester also believes consumers attribute more value to Apple products because of the company's in-store service.
"Consumers are not only comparing feeds and speeds; there's also a human factor," wrote report author Sarah Rotman Epps in a blog post. "The humans working in the Apple Store will have a huge impact teaching consumers about the iPad and how to use it."
"Compare the experience of walking into an Apple Store – where the iPad is front and center -- to walking into a Verizon store where the Samsung Galaxy Tab is collecting dust at the back of the store and the sales reps don't quite know what to make of it," she added. "Or walking into a Best Buy store, whose shelves will soon be lined with similar-looking tablets with similar functionality."
Forrester is forecasting that Apple will have at least 80 percent of the U.S. consumer market in 2011.
Although the report sang the iPad's praises, it noted that there a few companies could make an impact in the tablet market , including Sony, Microsoft, Vizio and even Amazon.
"It would be easy to call the game for Apple as the second inning is starting, but we won’t because we see a market that's ripe for disruption by Amazon in particular," Epps added. "Amazon could create a compelling Android- or Linux-based tablet offering easy access to Amazon’s storefront (including its forthcoming Android app store) and unique Amazon features like one-click purchasing, Amazon Prime service, and its recommendations engine."
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