Great piece by the Macalope on the absolute asshattery from Katherine Noyes on the iPad, iPad2 and tablets in general.  It basically boils down to her inability to find a use case for herself and she runs with it saying tablets, and especially the iPad, are nothing more than a fad.  As much as I like the iPad for what it can do, I also can’t find a reason to actually own one.  That doesn’t mean however that I don’t understand why people are buying iPads in droves, it just means it isn’t a fit for me.   Unlike netbooks, which I claimed to be on their way out in 2009, I think tablets are here to stay.

The Macalope Weekly: The Noyes machine

I’ve argued before about what “open” means to the end user and I think this guy really nails why the iPad is more “open” than other devices.  A lot of in-the-know technical people will state that the iPad is a closed box because it can do certain things.  For example, one might argue that the iPad doesn’t play OGG files.  On the flip side an android device can’t play protected files from the iTunes store.  As a regular end user, which is going to be more important?  I argue that if the android device can’t play protected music from the iTunes store then the android device is going to be less useful to them and therefore less “open.”

Source

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 Retinaâ„¢).

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.

Linux News is reporting that Acer will be launching two new Android tablets, both a 7″ and 10.1″ model, as well as a Windows 7 based tablet. I asked the magic 8 ball and it is already saying “outlook not so good.” Even the “experts” who cover this stuff already know that whatever Acer pumps out simply won’t match the iPad.

“The price point is the only way for other tablets to compete against the iPad for now, as it’s very difficult to battle the iPad in terms of the user experience,” Kitagawa explained. “But if the price is lower than the iPad’s, and the user experience is good enough, buyers might be attracted.”

That’s not exactly praise being dished out there now it is?

I’d really like to see more companies compete with the iPad by actually offering a compelling product. Samsung’s Tab is so far about the only Android based offering that even stands a chance but even that tablet comes up short. It kinda reminds me of a certain Dilbert cartoon

Dilbert.com

And we all know how I feel about Windows 7 on a tablet. That has #fail all over it.

When asked how Microsoft plans to the extended battery life and instant on capabilities of the iPad Ballmer had this to say

“I think probably the things of tomorrow are best left for tomorrow and the things of today are best discussed today,” he said. “So today, I will focus on Windows Phone.”

Or in other words, “we have nothing.”

Since Steve Jobs came back to Apple there has been one thing Apple has done that nobody can really argue. Innovation in the PC industry. While everyone, including Apple at the time, was producing boring looking beige computers Apple decided to completely rethink how a computer can look and introduced iMac. Love it or hate it, the iMac was completely different than anything else at the time and soon other manufacturers tried to add some amount of flair to their PC lineup.

Skip a head a few years later and Apple did it again. While everyone else was basically creating incrementally different smart phones in 2007, Apple simply destroyed how everyone assumed a smart phone should look and work by bringing to market iPhone. They made it far easier, intuitive and beautiful and from that moment on, they made it so that any phone on the market that didn’t have a touch screen or had a touch screen that required the use of a stylus was simply awkward and outdated.

Apple’s most recent market disruption was none other than iPad. During the summer prior to iPad’s release the netbook craze was in full swing. Just a year later there are reports that sales on netbooks have slowed considerably and some reports even show netbooks are losing out because of iPad.

At iPads reveal in January of 2010 Steve Jobs quipped that netbooks weren’t better at anything, they were simply cheaper laptops. Many people argued that netbooks were most useful for consumption and were never really meant for creating content. Yet netbooks looked and worked just like any other ordinary PC. Apple changed this by creating something that looked and worked nothing like a PC. Note too that iPad was the first tablet device on the market. Microsoft has been trying to get consumers using tablet PCs for years but I don’t think anyone could argue they’ve been anything near the run away success that Apple has seen basically over night.

The inspiration for my post comes from Marco Arment’s recent post. He also poses the interesting question of, “How do you think the subcompact, inexpensive computer category will look in three years?”

It’s being reported in a number of places, including Engadget, that some code has been found in the most recent firmware allowing a development phone to bypass the activation routine in iTunes. Some are thinking this is in reference to the rumored CDMA (Verizon) iPhone. Evidence is also there to support that a new type or updated version of the iPad is also in the works, though that should hardly be surprising.