Tablet devices existed even before Apple introduced iPad just as smart phones existed before the introduction of iPhone and portable digital music players before the introduction if iPod. Just as Apple revolutionized digital music player and smart phone industries, tablet devices market also took off only after Apple showed the world how it is done. Not surprisingly, the market soon became crowded as tablet devices are being predicted to render desktop PCs completed outdated and may also steal significant market share from notebook PCs. The competitors’ offerings have improved significantly since the introduction of first generation iPad but iPad continues to be the best option despite being a little expensive than competitors’ products. The customers should continue to prefer iPad products because they offer better values than the competitors’ offerings despite being a little expensive.
Some may argue that iPad is more expensive than the competitors’ offerings yet the competitors’ tablet devices also offer similar features. While this may be true, having similar features doesn’t mean that the quality of the features is also same. iPad is better than the competition not because it offers more features but also because it offers higher-quality features due to the company’s relentless focus on design, quality, and user experience. This is why Apple’s products command premium prices and while the users may pay higher prices upfront, Apple’s products also have higher resale value. Apple also has an advantage against the competition because it produces both hardware and software by itself as compared to the competition which mostly uses third-party software. As a result, they cannot match the user experience Apple can offer and iPad is one example. Publications as credible as Consumer Reports have also found in their tests that iPad beats the competition in terms of overall package. When Consumer Reports compared the second generation iPad against other tablet devices in categories such as ease of use, display, versatility, portability, and touch response, it found that iPad topped competitors’ offerings in each of the five categories except versatility in which it came out as the second best option (Consumer Reports). Thus, it is clear that making a purchase decision on price is a big mistake when buying a tablet and instead the focus should be on value. Anyone who can afford to spend about $400 on competitors’ offerings should also be able to spend $500 on an iPad.
For a significant proportion of tablet customers, the overall user experience depends a great deal upon the quantity and quality of apps. Most of us buy tablet devices for entertainment and simple productivity tasks rather than for complex software that require immense computing power and are more suited to desktop PC or notebook computers. iPad has two main advantages over the competition. First of all, it singlehandedly jumpstart the tablet revolution and second, it continues to be the most popular product in tablet market. Thus, the number of apps available to iPad users far exceeds those on other operating platforms such as Android. There were at least 275,000 apps that had been specifically built for iPad by the end of last year (Rothman). Not surprisingly, many popular apps and games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja were first targeted at iPad and iPhone users. Thus, iPad is a better choice because the number and quality of apps available for iPad platform far exceeds those of other platforms including Android.
One of the major problems in the technology sector is the short product life cycle of the products because technology continues to advance at ever-increasing pace. This means customers of computing products have to upgrade their products more often to be able to run latest apps and software that require greater power. This reality also gives edge to iPad users because Apple competes on the basis of quality and innovation which means its products are usually technologically superior to the competition. As a result, it takes some time for the customers to catch up with Apple and it is true in the case of tablet devices as well. Since iPad models are already more advanced than the competition, this means the products have longer product life cycle and iPad users can afford to update their tablet devices less often as compared to users of competitors’ offering. Thus, while iPad users may pay more upfront, their total costs may be lower in the long term. One online review also noted this fact when it compared Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 (introduced last year) to Apple’s iPad 1, 2, and 3. The article noted that Galaxy Tab 2 has comparable screen to iPad 1 while iPad 3 is far ahead (Burns).
IPad is also a better option than the competition because of its higher build quality as well as enhanced mobility experience as compared to the competition. For example, third generation iPad has front facing camera which makes mobile video conferencing possible as opposed to some competitors’ models such as Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 which lacks front facing camera. Similarly, iPad also has scratch-resistant glass which some competitors’ models like Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 lack. iPad models also usually have better graphics capabilities than comparable models which makes it possible to play games with higher graphics requirements (TechCrunch). Thus, iPad provides far superior mobile computing experience than competitors’ offerings and is a more reliable substitute to notebook PCs than other tablet devices models.
IPad is also superior to competitors’ offerings because Apple builds the operating system itself and tightly control the iTunes apps store. This means that not only iPad is more secure due to seamless integration between hardware and software but also because Apple inspects each app before approving it. Mobile computing has exposed users to greater security threats because they are often used in public places with little or no firewall protection. Thus, Apple’s tight control over the apps store means iPad apps are more secure and, thus, result in less security threats to iPad users as opposed to users of other tablet devices.
Another benefit of buying iPad is Apple’s extensive retail network as well as superior customer service. Apple builds both hardware and software for iPad and provides extensive training to its sales associates. If a user may have a problem with hardware and software, they can also go in person to one of the retail outlets or seek support through phone or email. There is a greater probability of an iPad user getting satisfactory solution to his/her issues because the company builds both hardware and software, thus, its customer service reps are knowledgeable about all aspects of the products. In contrast, other tablet device manufacturers usually sell their products only online or through independent retail networks. Their customers will also have less than optimal customer service experience due to the fact that most competitors use third party operating systems and may be able to provide little or no guidance in regard to software issues.
Burns, Chris. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 vs iPad = no contest. 14 May 2012. 4 May 2013 <http://www.slashgear.com/samsung-galaxy-tab-2-10-1-vs-ipad-no-contest-14228131/>.
Consumer Reports. “Ratings.” Consumer Reports Fall 2011: 151.
Rothman, Wilson. Tablets 2012: As competition abounds, the iPad hangs onto its crown. 4 May 2013 <http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/gadgetbox/tablets-2012-competition-abounds-ipad-hangs-its-crown-1C7275559>.
TechCrunch. Compare. 4 May 2013 <http://tablets.techcrunch.com/compare/50-124/Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-10-1-vs-Apple-iPad-with-Wi-Fi-4G-Third-Generation>.