The current iPad’s UI (User Interface – the speed and fluidity of its touch responses, including zoom, pinches, page flips, and flicks) is about 2 – 3 more responsive than Xoom’s Honeycomb operating system (Droid 3.0). Yet, Xoom has about 2 – 3 times more CPU muscles than the current generation of iPads, not to mention Xoom’s graphical engine (GPU) is also more powerful. Given last Wednesday’s iPad 2 announcements and known specs thus far, with 2X CPU plus 2 – 9X graphical power in terms of improvements, in my not-yet-verified opinion, I think it’s safe to say that the new crops of iPad 2s’ UI will be 6 – 9 times smoother and more responsive than Xoom.
Since a large portion of our time spent on a tablet is with finger-flicking around the device (the rest is with our eyeballs, off course), usability and satisfactions are largely determined by how well it responds to gestures we’ve learned since birth. In other words, touch responsiveness is the biggest differentiating factor in determining the overall satisfactions of tablet users. Other factors include app responsiveness, # of available apps, app maturity, and enterprise adoption. Last I checked, all of the above appear to be massively in favor of Apple’s iPad 2:
- App Responsiveness – Apps are super intuitive and easy to use, thanks in large parts to Apple’s great iOS developer’s kit ( iOS SDK)
- Number of available Apps – iPads: 65,000 vs. Android 3.0 (Honeycomb): 100
- App maturity – iPads: one year vs Xoom one month
- Massive Enterprise Adoption: 80% of Fortune 100 companies have tested or deployed iPads*
Is it safe to say, given the above, that iPad 2 really has no competition
? Apple is not sitting on its laurels either – it’s likely to continue its tablet domination, for years to come. In this post-PC era, Apple has taken Microsoft’s throne, and is eating Google’s lunch. Microsoft’s tablet is still no where to be found, at least not until 2012, so I heard. Blackberry’s PlayBook is unproven and requires a Blackberry smartphone to access enterprise data. Google’s efforts to rush-release versions of Android OSes freely to other hardware manufacturers has created an uncontrolled hardware and software development environment, fragmenting the Android Markets (yes – each hardware maker has its own ‘appstores’,) and frustrating developers and users alike, all over the place. HP’s TouchPad, meanwhile, although still unreleased, is the most promising tablet due to its smart integrations with a variety of our cyper-social habits, and its promise of enterprise data access. Had it not been the fact that HP has absorbed Palm Inc. for its WebOS (also a copycat version of iOS, spearheaded by ex-Apple executive Jon Rubinstein), it’s not even worth mentioning as a formitable competitor to iOS. WebOS on smartphones was once hyped, but has now been mostly forgotten. Only time will tell if WebOS for Tablet is worth the hype from its recent HP WebOS Event .
Ever since Apple’s iPad 2 announcement last week, if the massive number of trade-ins of current iPads on eBay, Gazelle, and NextWorth is any indicative trends, demands for iPad 2 should be unprecedented. Gartner already stepped forward and lowered PC sales forecast as it deems Apple’s iPad is ‘redefining’ computing, weakening demands for traditional PCs in 2011 and 2012. Apple is expected to sell about about one million iPad 2s per week, starting next Friday, 3/11/11, to the end of Q2/11.
“Industry tracker iSuppli predicts Apple will ship 43.7 million iPads this year and 63.3 million in 2012, up from an estimated 14 million in 2010.”
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