Did Steve Jobs bend the truth? Yes and no, but mostly no

Seth Weintraub writing for CNNMoney.com wonders if Steve Jobs distorted the truth during his iPad 2 announcement.  He starts by trying to examine Job’s “First dual core tablet to ship in volume” comment.

“First dual core tablet to ship in volume.” That’s funny, I tested a Dell (DELL) Streak 7, which had a dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 chip in January. They’ve been shipping ever since on T-Mobile.

In volume.

Of course, the Motorola (MMI) XOOM also has this same dual core processor and is certainly shipping in volume as well. In fact, I’ve been using an Android phone (the Atrix) with a dual core chip for weeks and it wasn’t the first to ship in volume.  As for Apple (AAPL), they haven’t shipped one iPad 2 yet — iPad 2′s hit shelves on March 11.

Seth isn’t the only one to latch onto this quote and try to debunk it but what a lot of people are failing to realize is that, while others may be shipping dual-core tablets, it’s very safe for Steve Jobs to say that Apple will ship and sell a higher volume of iPad 2′s than any other dual-core tablet available today simply based on sales of the first iPad.  Indeed, if previous iPad sales are any indication at all, iPad 2 is going to be a huge hit. What other tablet device can claim that today?

And to say that Apple hasn’t shipped any iPads is completely naive.  Apple has a stock pile of second generation either en-route to stores or in stores already.  This is very common for any product.

Seth also tries to pick apart Jobs’ “>90% market share” bullet point.

Apple would have needed to sell 3.2 million more to reach 90% of 2010′s tablet market share against just Samsung alone (in triple the time).  That’s not including all of the Android-powered Nooks out there, those cheap $100 Androids you can buy at Walgreens or Amazon and even Windows-powered Tablet PCs (which are mentioned two bullet points above!).  If you choose to include the Kindle, Apple may not have even reached 50% of the market.

While he might have a point about the actual market share number his supporting arguments are just ridiculous.  First, the sales of “cheap $100 Androids” don’t even register, to the point where nobody is actually tracking them.  Second, there is no such thing as a Windows powered Tablet PC when you consider how tablets have come to be defined because of the iPad.  Nobody is selling a Windows powered tablet.  And last, attempting to bring in Kindle sales simply doesn’t make sense as the Kindle is a reading device, not a general purpose tablet device.  Talk about skewing data in your favor.  “Pot, meet kettle.”

Seth goes on to point out hardware specs and pricing.

Perhaps Jobs could have also compared the iPad 2 to other Android tablets’ prices? Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Dell’s Streak both now start at $499 and have better cameras, 3G radios and GPS, which seem to compete well with Apple’s $499 Wifi-only offering.  Reality distorted.

Know why the Tab and the Streak both now start at $499?  Because they’re not selling.

But hey the XOOM has better specs right?

But then consider that the XOOM has a much better, bigger 720P+ screen compared to the iPad’s 1024×768 job (it has less Retina™).

Where Seth wants to pick on Jobs’ use of the word “volume” saying it is subjective, so to is saying the XOOM’s screen is “much better.”  The iPad’s screen is an IPS panel giving it a much wider viewing angle where as the XOOM does not.  While it is true that the XOOM has a 720p display Seth, like so many other reviewers and Apple nay-sayers, fails to realize is that the iPad’s 4:3 format display makes much more sense than a 16:9 display format.  By giving a tablet a 16:9 display format you’ve essentially limited the device to a horizontal layout.  The iPads 4:3 format allows developers to create apps that favor either layout and still get good use from it.  Remember, the iPad is a general purpose device, not just some common movie player.

The only thing Seth got right in his troll piece is that Jobs misquoted Samsung’s CEO.

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