Love them or hate them Apple are certainly good at stirring up the entire tech world. Although this time around the world didn’t change quite as much. But what Apple did introduce will still shake things up for many many months to come.
Whenever Apple are due to announce a new product I worry. That worry is not in a crazy fanboi kind of way either. It’s more of a “AAAARRRRGGGGHHH my high end devices are going to look a bit rubbish soon” kind of way. This time was no exception and this time round it was my Asus Transformer Prime that caught the brunt of my jealousy. Compared to the Asus Transformer Prime the iPad isn’t going to be miles ahead spec wise, but I was still envious of several things. First of all, the screen on the iPad will be amazing, the resolution will lend itself to some truly amazing apps and games. Secondly the worldwide mainstream developer support will just continue to churn out great apps with only an afterthought as to whether or not they should port their app to another OS. Lastly the thing that made more envious than anything was the prices of the new iPads.
The base level iPad will be 16gb wifi only and cost £399 yet for that money in the Android world you would have to look at a discounted older device. The move to carry on selling the iPad 2 from £329 as well just totally screws most current high end Android tablets. Especially as the iPad 2 was benchmarked higher than the Tegra 3 toting Transformer Prime last year. Never mind the new A5X chips. Quite what Nvidia are arguing about the last few days I’m not sure. This isn’t the place to argue which chipset is best, because I’m firmly on the Android side of the fence. But what the prices represent is a gauntlet. A gauntlet laid down by Apple to ALL of the different Android manufacturers. It’s their move.
The main one to watch in the next few months will be Asus. At MWC the other week Asus announced the PadFone. The new and improved PadFone that had a big screen and a keyboard dock which you could attach to the initial handset. They didn’t at the time mention any prices. They still haven’t mentioned any prices. I guessed it was going to be around about the £600 mark as it had more to offer than the £499 Transformer Prime. I’m guessing that after the announcement on Thursday Asus are now struggling to price this. The spec of the PadFone is good but it isn’t iPad good. The only thing going for it comparatively is the extra docks. So if they release it at too high a rate it could be a disaster for them. Even if they release it the same sort of price as the iPad they will still have problems. All other tablet manufacturers now have a price to work to. £329 or make sure your device is better than the iPad2
Apple at least know that they will make some money back in aftersales of apps, accessories and extra services. Which Android manufacturer can say that? Is this where companies like Amazon or Google come in with their own brand subsidised tablets? Like the US Amazon Kindle Fire. Amazon know that people who buy their device will buy books, music, films, apps and maybe even real life things.
Google are also rumoured to be releasing a Nexus tablet made by Asus. This could also offer some competition. I think Android tablet manufacturers REALLY need to think about what they are doing and what they plan to release. As a lot of people are going to be headed in Apple’s direction.
So if your a potential tablet purchaser let us know what your going to go for in the next few months. Or maybe your going to be in a queue somewhere on the 16th.