“The new iPad” is the new iPad
Much like Apple’s last major product launch – the iPhone 4S – there was a strong element of “and?” in the numerous “live feeds” of the press conference. Have we come to expect too much of Apple? Does every new product have to be the best thing since sliced bread (and even before)? With many feeling that Android is still a smartphone-centric operating system, the price-busting Amazon Fire having not dipped its toe in the Atlantic Ocean and Windows 8 in Beta stage, Apple could be forgiven for pushing out an iPad “2S”. Confusion surrounded the name in the live feeds, and the morning after the night before Apple’s website is still heralding “the new iPad”. Perhaps it would have been a kick in the teeth for the millions who received ‘the old’ iPad 2 as a gift over the holiday season to wake up a few months later and realise they were already behind the times. For those who are still in the market for a tablet, with many retailers slashing the price of iPad-competitors by around $100, Apple has carried over its iPhone strategy of offering older generations at a lower price point – one which has seen shipments of the phone hitting ever-higher dizzy heights. With the iPad 2 now being offered at $399, Apple is trying to kill off the competition sold by retailers at discounted prices. As our data shows, while the iPad continues to outsell all the competition combined, its market share fell from 84.1% in 2010 to 59.0% in 2011. Clearly though this is inevitable given this is a market Apple created and its head-start means a decline in market share was inevitable. Undoubtedly there will be a massive exclamation from the press as soon as the competition tip the balance in their favour, although a discounted-iPad 2 might stall that landmark long enough for Apple to come back with something new in an attempt to blow everyone out the water. The smart money is now on an iPhone 5 and “the new, new iPad” breaking their respective moulds this year.