back to article People don't want tablets, they want iPads

The phenomenal sales success of Apple's iPad shows no sign of abating, but sales for all other tablets competitors are stagnating and channel inventories are building. US tech titan HP is the latest to correct its prices, trimming £50 off the cost of a TouchPad in an effort to get them shifting, with the 16GB and 32GB versions …

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Thumb Up

Quite the opposite

Owned 2.

A 2006 3.0si Z4 and a 2008 320d Touring to go with my 2008 Merc C Class.

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Anonymous Coward

South Park have already reported this

Cartman: Okay, wifi plus 3G, 64 gigs. This one, this one!

Liane: Oh, sweetie, $900?

Cartman: I can't wait to see the look on Kyle's stupid face when he sees my iPad has more memory than his!

Liane: Eric, we can't afford that one.

Cartman: Well you don't expect me to get the wifi-only 16-gig version, do you?

Liane: I think we need to get you a different brand, hon. They're a little cheaper.

Cartman: Mom, everyone knows that everything but Apple is stupid!

Liane: [sees something interesting] Here, look at this one. A Toshiba Handibook.

Cartman: Toshiba Handibook??

Liane: This says it does everything the iPad does, at half the price.

Cartman: Mom, do not screw me over again! If I take that thing to school, everyone is gonna think I'm a poverty-stricken asshole!

Liane: Eric, stop acting like a spoiled brat! You can either have the Toshiba Handibook or you can hae nothing at all!

Cartman: [looks at her for a second] Oh, I've got a better idea! Why don't you go across the street and buy some condoms?! Because we should at least be safe if you're gonna fuck me, Mom!

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Stop

It isn't about the i-factor

I think one of the reason tablet sales might be a little disappointing is because the tablets themselves are a little disappointing.

At a conference recently an analyst said in order to sell a product against a dominant force you can't just be different, you have to be much better. The current crop of tablets aren't bad, they just aren't much better than the dominant brand.

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Pint

Exactly

Even the Mac, though it was far better than WIndoze, was not ENOUGH better to overcome the lowly PC. I was a PC user for many years before going mac. The FACT that Mac had it all over the PC only afforded Apple the ability to SURVIVE when literally EVER OTHER competitor was driven completely out of business.

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Linux

In Business

You mean to say that every other competitor was driven INTO business, right? Apple Mac competes against HP, Dell, Toshiba, and so on. If the IBM-compatibles market (i.e. PC) didn't exist, we'd not have any of those businesses in any sort of business.

Unless you're attempting to make a trite and ignorant comparison between Apple's OSX and Microsoft's Windows. In which case Mac didn't survive at all, and had to go 'borrow' open source to get a working and compatible system.

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Predictable Outcome

Given Apple's lead and its large application eco-system, it was quite predictable that HP's TouchPad - based on their own WebOS and for which nobody's developing apps - would not sell. Even with a $100 discount. But is a bit more difficult to understand why Android-based tablets have not sold well either - after all, the Android app market is starting to be bigger than Apple's. I think the problem with Android vendors is, perhaps, one of sex appeal (or lack thereof) and usability (or lack thereof). The only Android tablet that comes close to Apple's iPad - or even exceeds it - in either of these categories is the Samsung 10.1 tablet...and Apple is doing its level best to sue it into oblivion. Other Android tablets are too chunky in girth or have underpowered user experiences, I think.

Finally, there's price: Apple has always charged a premium for its products. Android tablet makers have been trying to charge the same price as Apple - for products that aren't even as good as Apple's. Why would *anyone* pay an Apple premium (for material, design, user experience) without getting these benefits? The only way Android tablet makers will succeed meaningfully against the iPad is to sell it at a meaningful discount - e.g. for $399 (vs. Apple's $499)...or offer something substantially better.

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Happy

Predictable indeed

Thomas, where'd you get the idea the Android App market is getting to be bigger than Apple's?

There are still only a couple of hundred Android tablet apps versus over 130,000 iPad apps.

Of course scaled-up phone apps just don't cut the mustard and even if you do count them, there are still far fewer Android phone apps, 45% of them are spamware and there is still only 10% the number of top tier game apps on Android.

Also Apple does not sell the iPad at a premium. Remember when the entire industry was shocked when Apple introduced the iPad at half the $1,000 they were expecting. Well competitors are still struggling to beat Apple's price particularly when they have to put in twice the amount of RAM because Android is far less efficient at using RAM than iOS.

Then there are Apple's enormous enconomies of scale and headlock on component supplies and you wonder why no-one can compete?

-Mart

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Er...

That's because they were expecting a tiny desktop, not a big phone.

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Anonymous Coward

QED

It is easy to figure out why. Most people who buy tablets have them to show off with and not to do any real work on and if it's about showing off then your not going to want anything but an ipad.

This just leaves a few people who are not interested in showing of who have a need for something small on the go to buy a tablet that isn't an ipad.

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Hahaha

Keep telling yourself that, while we all use iCloud, beam to Apple TV, and integrate totally with all our other iDevices.

Remember your PC can't really run OS X Lion...

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FAIL

integrate totally.....!

.....to quote somebody....'Keep telling yourself that'.

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Linux

History and tech ignorance...

> Keep telling yourself that, while we all use iCloud,

> beam to Apple TV, and integrate totally with all our

> other iDevices.

Why should you need some 3rd party on the Internet to deal with basic file sharing duties that 68K based Macs were doing quite effectively before Microsoft even had a suitable version of Windows built?

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FAIL

Re: Wake up befor[sic] you....

"show off with and not to do any real work on"

"while we all use iCloud, beam to Apple TV, and integrate totally with all our other iDevices."

sounds an awful lot like what the AC was saying there....

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Not true

I have seen people use the iPad in a very useful way. Customer loads it up with all his documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Because the unit its held in the hand like a book it's at the perfect viewing distance. Because the screen and graphics are so powerful it is a breeze to zoom and scroll and turn pages. He can hand his client the iPad to show him the document.

Obviously it's better to prepared the documents on a machine with a keyboard but the usability of iOS compared to Windows put's Windows to shame.

However I refuse to be a Fanboi and want them to fix Android or Windows Mobile or something so I don't get sucked into Steve Jobs Brave New World.

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Stop

Apples and Oranges

Lousy headline. People want iPads rather than HP touchpads would be nearer the mark. Tablets that cost near to the iPad price point will struggle - but many, better spec'ed tablets (usb, hdmi etc.) that are significantly cheaper (and many are) are selling. Take a look at Amazon.

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FAIL

Huh?

Look at Amazon?

Are you stupid? Theres a whole article right here with people in the channel talking about how they're not selling, and theres a mountain of the things building up.

But yeah, lets look at Amazon, that invalidates the story.

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Silver badge

Re: Huh

I think he wants you to look at the £111 / £152 Amazon Kindle

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Silver badge

Look to Amazon would be more appropriate

They are the only potential competitors with the content and the vertical integration to match Apple — they also have an incredible platform from which to launch. If they launch then I expect them to coast into second place almost immediately and then to put up a pretty decent fight.

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Facepalm

Yes, I'm stupid

I wanted a tablet. I wanted something that I could use to browse theb web, read email, watch YouTube and BBC iPlayer (and play on a TV screen sometimes.) I wanted it to connect to a PC and have removable storage, I wanted it more portable than a laptop (so I could use it on a train) and have a few hours battery life. I wanted it to cost less than a netbook / laptop. So I did not want an iPad, because I am interested in what it does, not what it "says about me." I found what I wanted for well under £200, and with a USB keyboard for office / home use at less than £12. Judging by the number of reviews of my tablet (and others) on Amazon, (where I am guessing the vast majority of buyers do not bother to write a review) I am far from being alone. So yes, people who want a "Pad" of some sort will buy an iPad. But people who know what they want a tablet device for might be stupid, like me.

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Nobody else has the apple effect

For good or for bad, Apple customers are prepared to spend a lot of money on Apple gear.

If you want to attract people away from the iPad, or attract customers who would not buy an iPad, you're going to have to be really, really good on price.

429 quid for a 32GB slab/pad/panel/tricorder/whatever is not in any way cheap.

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Pint

almost nobody...

...it will be interesting to see how big a dent an Amazon branded product can make

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WTF?

Specs are for techno-geeks

iPad has functionality and ecosystem that simply can't be matched.

Android isn't even really running native software. Ironically, this will be their downfall. Oracle is going to sue Goog out of existence.

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Thumb Down

'functionality...that can't be matched'

..good job too. Who would want to match 'functionality' that restricts file transfer from SD cards or USB drives.

If Apple let people use an iPad as a functional device - rather than a toy (which it is by the way) - then I would support them. But at the moment it's still a toy.

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Meh

interesting ...

you mean like the kindle amazon are stuck with?

how will they position an all singing and dancing tablet when they have an ebook reader for around the price they should position their tablet at?

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RE: Specs are for techno-geeks

Things might change now that Google snapped up Motorola.

this means that at least with Google's phones won't need to put a condom over your head to make a phone call. Of course you can always put the condom over the phone :-)

Just kidding. Anyway. Let Apple win this round. Sure after a few years everybody is sick of them and then someone else steps in. It's always the same. I believe the saying goes:

1: All "good" things comes to an end!

2: When you reach the top, the only way to go is down! (Nokia experiences this first-hand today and Microsoft experienced it in 2008 with the dead of Windows Mobile)

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well

I would imagine they will continue to position it exactly where it is now...as a successful e-book reader. Speculation is rife but it would seem likely that any tablet based product will be at a price point much higher than an e-book reader but presumably lower than an ipad and if the current ecosystem proves anything, it is that two such very different products can happily coexist - after all Amazon already sells the ipad and that hasn't troubled Kindle sales. The point of the comment was Amazon are the one brand I can think of with a chance at breaking into a market that is currently monopolised by another brand - they have proved they can deliver a good product at a price people are willing to pay and by supporting that product well they have developed a high level of customer trust. And no I don't work for Amazon.

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Silver badge
Joke

iPad Sales

Judging by the number of "win an iPad" competitions there seems to be around nowadays, I wonder whether most of the sales are from companies buying them up to give away as prizes...

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Software matters

Non-apple tablets can be half the price of the iPad and they still wouldn't have the software ecosystem available.

As console manufacturers realise, its all about the software. Apple came along exactly at the right time, now they're a fucking steamroller you can't hope to go up against.

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WTF?

Why buy crApple?

Personally tablets don't appeal to me they offer me nothing I can't do on either my phone or laptop. If I bought one it would just sit in a cupboard gathering dust. However saying that if I did buy one it would not be an ipad, I would probably get a galaxy tab. But like I said tablets don't appeal to me so doubt i'd ever buy one.

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Trollface

"Personally tablets don't appeal to me they offer me nothing...."

So why even bother to read the article, let alone comment, unless to indulge in a spot of Apple bashing?

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FAIL

I like titles me

So you signed up to El Reg just to say you have no use for a tablet, but if you bought one to put in a cupboard it would be anything but Apple - astounding, but hey, top marks for "crApple" never seen that before, your school friends must think you are so cool !

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Dusty

Since I bought an iPad my netbook has been sitting in a cupboard gathering dust. Have not turned it on once since.

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Linux

Apple sells cages.

> Since I bought an iPad my netbook has been

> sitting in a cupboard gathering dust. Have not

> turned it on once since.

Since we bought an iPad, we've still needed to lug around the netbook to do those occasional tasks that an iPad intentionally refuses to do. It's not that it can't do those things. It's just not allowed.

It's terribly silly really.

Oddly enough, I've seen the household iPad fan do more and more iPad-y things on her desktop or netbook lately. Perhaps the initial glamor is starting to wear thin.

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Silver badge

iPad use and netbooks

The use that I can find for an iPad (I don't yet have one but don't believe I can hold off the inner gadget demon much longer) is the use that I currently have at home for my smartphone (ex-calls/texts), and that is to sit on my arse on the couch watching TV and be able to casually look up something/read an article/online shop or allow the kids to play games on. It's easier than going to boot up an i7 for web surfing and the touch interface is intuitive for young kids. A smartphone also gets irritating due to size limitations very quickly.

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Big Brother

Baby you can fill me in!

Care to fill us in on what these 'occasional tasks' are?

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Yeah :-)

What else do we do in here?

Everybody likes the underdog, isn't it?

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Trollface

Re: iPad use and netbooks

If those fucking morrons wouldn't stop interupting TV-programs with their stupid advertisments then iPads/tablets/whatever wouldn't have a market at all. It's all the TV-stations fault! Kill them!

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Not convinced

HP make tablets now? Who knew? You couldn't have picked a worse example if you tried.

I'm not seeing this surplus. I got a Transformer the other week.. sold out nearly everywhere - I had to travel quite some distance to find one. The local currys said they were selling them as fast as they got them in.

Another that's being fairly heavily pushed is the blackberry thing.. too small for my tastes but you can't move for someone pushing it these days.

The prices *do* need to come down - there's space for a lower specced tablet (lose the HDMI, keyboards, etc.) at the £200-£250 mark that'll clean up. At the moment it's all early adopter stuff.

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The Apple Competitors

Tried to compete at the same price point, they needed to seriously undercut the iPad in terms of price whilst maintaining a similar level of performance. Failure to do this has consigned a whole generation of reasonable to very good tablets to the electronics equivalent of remainder stores.

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Go

Feature idea

I don't know if this might be a bit too DIY/hackerish to have on the Reg, but perhaps not as they have covered things like Hackintoshes before (if I remember correctly):

Would love to see a review of the decent budget Android tablets available at the moment (like the Hannspad mentioned above). I would (somewhat arbitrarily suggest) that the criteria for selection would be: sub-£200; capacitive touchscreen (unless resistives have lately become quite usable - idk); comes with a decent Android version or the community have provided a good custom ROM which can be applied without performing TOO many technical back-flips (hence the hack-y bit); usable spec (ie not ones that are a constant reminder of your lack of funds); no huge obvious flaws that render them unusable.

I'm fairly sure they're out there, and would be attractive/useful to many, but nobody wants to burn ~£180 on something that might turn out to be a turkey...

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Funny you should say that...

I've just bought a Viewsonic Viewpad 10s for just over 200 Euros. It is directly equivalent with tablets sold under several different brands and can be flashed with ROMs from popular forums. I chose the version without 3G and GPS, as I don't need these features but it comes with HDMI out, a 10" capacitive screen and a 16GB microSD card included. They didn't include the USB male-male cable that is needed for flashing though.

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Gtablet

Similarly I just bought a Viewsonic Gtablet, The stock firmware really sucks the big one but I have flashed it with a version of the notionink adam ROM and it works beautifully. 1.5GHz Tegra 2 CPU 512Mb RAM with 16GB internal storage and another 16GB microsd. Works very well despite Viewsonics best attempts at screwing it up.

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FAIL

no..no..no

'That's the solution to the European pad mountain, hack them to run iOS.'

Why cripple a perfectly good android tablet by putting iOS on there. If i wanted a useless fisher price tablet i'd buy an ipad.

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RE: no..no..no

Euhm... Fisher Price DON"T use metal and glass in their toys!

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No we don't

The Android tablet wave didn't really start until with honeycomb, so only a few months old - a lot of the cheap crap tablets were either too expensive or too underpowered to really compare.

Now I can easily and cheaply write apps that run on my phone and my tablets. With the arrival of Android Basic everybody is going to write stuff for this.

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Anonymous Coward

my tuppence!

Apple win because they develop one tablet (a year) and one major OS update a year, everyone gets the tablet update at the same time, granted the old tablet might not get all the functionality but they still get an update. People accept this as a good deal, the Hardware vendor might charge a bit more for the device, but they don't forget them the minute the greenbacks have been handed over.

Android tablet vendors? The name of the game seems to be rattle out 2-3 new tablet models a year, maybe deploy an OS update, maybe not, and even if you get an OS update its probably 1 behind the all new and improved soon to be released OS which wont work on your (what appeared to be brand new) technology.

I'm not bitter though, I've got a perfectly functional iPhone 3GS, a tweaked and tricked up Galaxy Tab 7" with 3G, and my financee has a ZTE Blade with custom firmware tweaked for battery life.

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I don't think...

...that your average punter really knows what to do with a tablet, or why they should want one.

But they can get their head around a 'big' ipod touch, which they'll have seen and used.

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Anonymous Coward

Worked out for me

I ended up with an iPad by 'default' (unwanted gift I got chance to play with).

I've always had apple products, so if that makes me a fanboi so be it, but review wise, here goes...

I wasnt convinced I'd want it. I had a MacBook, and I had an iMac. Big screen for at home, laptop for out and about, why would I want another gadget?!?! But within 20mins of playing with one I 'got it'.

A tablet is a different thing, the same, but different. Instant on, light weight, good battery life. You start to use it in a different way than a 'real' computer. 1) Media playing, 2) That quick question on wiki/IMDB 3) Weather, News. 4) Social media. Those occasions where you need at the internet or something for 60seconds. But a real computer takes longer than that to wake up.

And as the iPad has that weight of software behind it, the masses of people who can show it off to you, the accessories, the brand, and yes it does 'just work'. (For the things you're allowed to use it for) but for the masses and me... Its ideal.

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Happy

I see what you mean...

...but why the big screen. For all of your 4 points an iPod touch would do (and your more likely to have it in your pocket when you're down the pub and get asked the 'IMDB quick question'.

Still can't see the attraction - but each to their own.

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Paris Hilton

Over 409 perhaps?

All you sprogs out there are going to come to a rude awakening around the age of 43 or sometime nearafter. Near eyesight begins to wane, visual accuity fades, you can no longer read your phone device in less than perfect lighting conditions and/or without reading glasses.

The 10" device format Apple decided upon is a clear indication that they understood that those of us who have passed the "geekdom" stage and just want working devices have reached middle age and economic independence.

Geeks on The Reg for the most part fail to grasp physical and economic realities and are driven by the same obsession that led to the infamous quote that "a turntable was just a convenient device for measuring rumble" (old guys will get it).

Dweeb

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