IT seems the success of the iPod and iPhone didn’t teach them a thing! Here’s the new list of iPad naysayers, gleaned from Daring Fireball, RoughlyDrafted, AppleInsider, Macalope, The Loop, and elsewhere.. Enjoy. (To be updated regularly.)
Mike Elgan in DigitalArts (June 2007):
“WILL MICROSOFT BEAT APPLE WITH ‘GIANT IPHONE’?”
“Surface is a spectacular home run. The secrecy, the implementation, the rollout plan, the early marketing all impress.
Surface appears to give Microsoft an early lead in the next generation computing platform, and, significantly, it thrills partners like Intel and others. Surface craves massive computing power. It guarantees another decade — or two — of global demand for ever-newer, bleeding-edge hardware.”
“Surface kills [Microsoft] bashing — no one will be able to say Microsoft followed or copied Apple.”
“I think there’s a chance that Apple will announce something similar to Surface next week ...”
“If, on the other hand, Apple and Jobs have nothing in the third-generation space up their collective sleeve, we’re looking at a whole new ball game. The perception and the reality will be that Microsoft, not Apple, is the leader and innovator in the next-generation desktop user interface department.”
Microsoft Surface is a spectacular home run.
Matthew Miller on ZDNet (February 2009):
“Keep dreaming and hoping, we won’t see an Apple tablet anytime soon”
“[A]n Apple tablet would easily be priced at $700+ I am sure.”
“I am sure there are prototype devices being tested and trialed at Apple, but just because there are prototypes and patents doesn’t mean we will ever see such a device. As a mobile geek, I am sure it would be a very cool device and would sell a few thousand.”
“I suppose Apple could come out with a 4 inch or 5 inch iPod touch to give you a bit better experience, but highly doubt we will see anything larger than that from Apple.”
“We may see a tablet type device running the Android OS because it should be able to be sold for $400 or so down in the iPod touch range.”
Keep dreaming and hoping, Matthew: Apple may fail yet.
Preston Gralla on Computerworld (March 2009):
“Why Apple will have to release a netbook”
“It’s time for Apple to face reality and build a netbook. Apple’s sales are tanking, along with its stock price.”
“[Greg Keizer] quotes other bleak sales figures for Apple — all because of its high-priced hardware. And netbooks are clearly hurting Apple badly.”
“Microsoft, by way of contrast, has finally recgonized that netbooks are here to stay, and has begun a multiple-pronged strategy to take advantage of them.”
“Apple would do well to learn from Microsoft here ...”
Apple’s hurting. Badly. Microsoft is kicking Apple’s ass. Apple should be doing what Microsoft is doing. It was true in the past, it’s true today, and it will be true for all time.
Scott Moritz in The Street (March 2009):
“Apple’s Netbook Foray Will Flop
Like a moth to a hot trend, Apple will fly into the netbook flame and get burned. The company will unveil a 10-inch touch-screen tablet computer sometime this year, say analysts. Not only does Apple want to showcase its design prowess, the company desperately needs a new hit to revitalize its computer line-up.”
Apple is desperate. And don’t you ever forget it.
Michael Scalisi in PC World (July 2009):
“Rumored Apple Tablet Is a Train Wreck”
“I’m no Apple hater, and I welcome an Apple device to the (don’t call it a) netbook market, but I’ve got to think this device would be a flop. This concept is such a train wreck from start to finish that I don’t know where to begin.”
“If Apple wants to release something mind-blowing, it could release a clamshell device with two displays and have the bottom one double as a virtual keyboard and multi-touch input device.”
Sounds like a winner.
Stefan Constantinescu on intomobile (August 2009):
“My theory on the Apple Tablet: It doesn’t exist, will never exist, and it is probably a 10 inch laptop”
“A tablet is bullshit for many reasons.”
“There is no Apple Tablet, there never will be an Apple Tablet, and just in case you were wondering: I am a PC.”
Who thought you weren’t?
Scott Moritz of TheStreet.com (November 2009):
“Apple’s got a tough position here. ... What they need is something to succeed where the iPhone and the iPod are starting to slow down, or peak. They’ve chosen the tablet. It’s gonna be tough one. People don’t really go for tablets so much.”
“[T]here just isn’t much of a market to measure tablets by, no existing market, so they have to create one. That’s tough, especially if you’re Apple.”
“I don’t think the tablet’s it ... I don’t think that’s their magic pill that’s gonna solve their problems.”
Translation: We all know Apple has “problems” — they had problems in the ’90s, didn’t they? That’s just who they are: a company with problems. Apple’s in a “tough position” — they were in a tough position in the ’90s, right? That’s just what Apple is: a company in a tough position. Apple’s products are “slowing down” — they were... well, you get the idea. God, I miss the ’90s.
Randall C. Kennedy on InfoWorld (December 2009):
“Why Apple’s rumored iTablet will fail big time”
“Microsoft and its cadre of hardware partners have been trying for years to create a compelling tablet computing experience — and consistently failed. ... [T]o believe that Apple can somehow succeed where all others have failed is to ignore some fundamental realities of tablet computing.”
Apple’s enormous successes can’t be reality — can they?
Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group (December 2009):
“Why JooJoo may critically savage the Apple Tablet”
“[T]he jury is still largely out on this [all-touchscreen] format with challenging devices from RIM, Palm, and Google often showcasing that keyboards are necessary.”
“[Steve Jobs] has never, to my knowledge, faced a situation where a nearly identical product has done very badly a few months before his launch.
JooJoo Souring the Well
The JooJoo is therefore problematic because it approaches the market using what should be an unsuccessful path and its messy birth may effectively sour the well for the Apple tablet turning the market against it before Apple can act to set a better impression.”
“In short it [JooJoo] was initially positioned as the first of what was likely to be a series of successful tablet products based around web media services likely capped by the Apple tablet that, even before announcement, many thought would be the most successful of all. But the first of the series would set the tone for those that followed.”
It would likely be OK if we said that the JooJoo would fail because of bad naming or because of the CrunchGear divorce but once we go negative we tend to get creative and pick on other limitations of the device. These limitations which include the lack of a keyboard, the size of the device, and the price will be shared by every other device in the class including Apple. It will be nearly impossible for someone saying that $500 is too much, a large screen device is too big, and a laptop is better for this use to suddenly reverse themselves for a nearly identical device with an Apple brand.”
At long last, I think I’ve finally figured out Enderle’s MO: (1) Desperately think up some vaguely plausible scenario of near-future Apple failure. (2) Develop this scenario in your head and convince yourself that it’s true, because you can’t bear the thought that it might not be. (3) Enthusiastically describe this scenario in an article, as if it’s practically a forgone conclusion. (4) When your prediction spectacularly fails to occur, forget about it and go back to step 1.
Update: The JooJoo was just cancelled. Whew — now maybe Apple has a chance to sell a million-plus iPads per month. I mean, to continue to do so.
Paul Boutin on VentureBeat (January 2010):
“Tablet computers will fail to become the Next Big Thing”
“[A] combination of high prices plus lack of a must-have application will keep most consumers away from buying a tablet. Here’s a simple way to understand it: If you drop your phone and it breaks, you need to replace it immediately. If you drop your $1,000 Apple tablet and it breaks, will you rush out to buy another?”
People shy away from cool technology unless it’s cheap enough to drop and break. Don’t they?
Joe Wilcox on Betanews (January 2010):
“Apple’s rumored tablet computer cannot live up to the hype ...”
“I’ll assert what should be obvious to anyone thinking rationally and not emotionally: Tablet is a nowhere category. For all the hype about an Apple tablet, it is at best a niche product. The world doesn’t need an Apple tablet, no matter what the hype about rumored features or regardless of what actually releases (if anything).”
“[T]ablets cannot succeed in the current market.”
“Tablet is a Niche Product, Period”
“Microsoft has taken three shots at tablets, without much success”
“[The tablet] will remain a niche device, no matter how innovative is Apple’s design or user interface.”
“There is something about the rumored Apple tablet and its timing that is eerily familiar. History tends to repeat, which for companies is their repeating past mistakes. In summer 2000, Apple released the ill-fated Power Mac G4 Cube. ...”
“If the tablet can’t meet the hype, or turns out to fill a niche market, what happens to the price of Apple shares?”
An even better question: What happens to the price of Apple’s shares if investors read Wilcox’s article and decide they better sell fast? We all know the answer to that one.
Niche market: making a modest living writing tech-news articles in which you try to drag down a company you hate.
Non-niche market: making the first tablet computer that doesn’t suck donkey schlong.
Rupert Neate of Telegraph.co.uk (January 2010):
“Microsoft may upstage Apple with new ‘tablet’ handheld computer”
“The device [expected to be announced by Steve Ballmer] could be a major blow to Apple, ...”
As an Apple fan, I’m immensely relieved that HP just cancelled this tablet. Apple dodged a bullet on that one.
Paul Thurrott of Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite For Windows (January 2010):
“Shipping in the second half of 2010, [the Lenovo IdeaPad U1] is the device that will make Apple’s supposed tablet look silly.”
Can’t wait! As I write this, 2010 is almost half over. Should be a wicked battle — unless the IdeaPad U1 just knocks over the iPad in a single stroke.
Update: It’s early October, and the second half of 2010 is now itself just past half-over. And the IdeaPad U1 is kicking Apple’s ass! I mean, it will. When it comes out.
Update: There are just four full days left in 2010. And the IdeaPad U1 is putting the iPad out to pasture. I mean, it will. When it becomes available for anyone to purchase.
Update: Third month of ’11 and Apple just announced the iPad 2, to ship in nine days! That means that for at least a week, the non-existent IdeaPad U1 can make the non-existent iPad 2 “look silly.” But then, of course, one of those two tablets will cease to be non-existent. I wonder which one.
Paul Thurrott of Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite For Windows (January 2010):
“Exclusive! Microsoft To Announce Tablet PC Before Apple!
The tech industry is tripping over itself to promote Apple’s maybe-it-is-maybe-it-isn’t Tablet computing device, but Microsoft has their number: I can now reveal that Microsoft and its PC maker partners will announce and then deliver their own Tablet PC well before Apple. And I have an exclusive photo of a prototype of this unbelievable, trend-setting, and innovative product ... from 2001. The devices shipped in 2002. Almost eight years ago.
And if you’re really in the mood for some time travelling and reality checking, please go back and read my COMDEX Fall 2001 coverage, where I describe Microsoft’s entry into this market.”
That’s true. You know what else is true? Every single person who’s walked through the doors of COMDEX for the past six years has received a free Microsoft tablet computer. Slick-looking, very polished, and highly functional. I’m not kidding. They really have. All of them.
Bill Snyder in PCWorld (January 2010):
“Apple Tablet Won’t Mean Business”
“[I]f you run a small business and want to avoid wasting money and brain cells on superfluous technology, forget about the iSlate or whatever Apple is going to call its tablet computing device. It’s going to be too expensive, it does things you don’t need to do, and it will add a messy layer of complication to your company’s computing infrastructure.”
“Business technology should contribute to efficiency. A real laptop or netbook does real work that helps a business succeed.”
Unsuccessful business: eking out a living writing tech-news articles preemptively bashing a company you despise.
Successful business: making the first tablet computer that doesn’t blow whale dong.
Paul Thurrott of Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite For Windows (January 2010):
“Apple Drops an iDud”
“I’m astonished this isn’t nicer looking or more interesting.”
“OK, this has to be a joke. ... It’s a joke. It’s gotta be.”
“I can almost hear Apple’s stock price dropping every second this demo goes on.”
“Overall, this is a letdown. I’d be surprised to see anyone try to claim otherwise.”
No, Paul, a letdown is when you thought you were going to like it, and you didn’t. You weren’t let down by the iPad any more than your readers were let down by your reaction to it (assuming they’ve been following your writings since Commodore died).
Peter Smith of ITWorld (January 2010):
“[A] lot of you are underwhelmed by the iPad. But there’s much more to the tablet world than Apple’s latest creation. According to Digitimes (via Engadget), MSI’s 10" tablet is coming during the second half of 2010.”
The second half of 2010 promises to be really awful for the iPad. First the Lenovo IdeaPad U1, now this. Enjoy your iPad while you can!
Alex Payne of Twitter (January 2010):
“If I had to pick one predominant emotion in reaction [to the iPad], it would be ‘disturbed’.”
“The iPad is an attractive, thoughtfully designed, deeply cynical thing.”
“The tragedy of the iPad is that it truly seems to offer a better model of computing for many people — perhaps the majority of people. Gone are the confusing concepts and metaphors of the last thirty years of computing. Gone is the ability to endlessly tweak and twiddle towards no particular gain. The iPad is simple, straightforward, maintenance-free; everything that’s been proven with the success of the iPhone, but more so.”
Hey, you can keep fiddling and maintaining with a Windows laptop to your heart’s content. Or a Commodore 64. I’m sure you can still buy them on the internet. The only thing you can’t do now is get widespread respect and admiration for that fiddling and maintaining. If you want respect, you now need to write a quality, end-user app. Not a hacker tool. Not a funky system mod. Not a programming efficiency widget. A real app. You know. Like Photoshop or something. So get to work; it’s not a weekend project.
Mike Halsey, author of Windows 7 Power Users Guide (January 2010):
“[T]he iPad will fail and help Windows 7 to succeed”
“Quite simply this time Apple have got it wrong.”
“MSI and Dell chose today to release details of their own forthcoming tablet devices, and both look gorgeous, especially the Dell (pictured).”
“They will all undercut Apple considerably and provide tablets for the price of a netbook, the price they should be.
This is excellent news FOR Windows 7.”
“All this will have come about because Apple have done the R&D and released a product that’s been instantly derided as ugly and not what people want. If I were Steve Ballmer today, I’d be splashing out on an extra skiing holiday.”
Actually, assuming he can ski at all, Ballmer can take as many skiing holidays as he likes, even if his company never has another hit besides Windows and Office. Heck, he’s been spending several billion dollars per year on R&D with virtually no ROI, so what’s a few ski vacations? If he can’t be fired for sweat-soaked screaming fits on stage, what’s a few ski vacations?
And Dell’s gonna have a tablet too? On top of MSI and Lenovo? Man, later this year Apple doesn’t stand a chance against three big competitors!
Dan Frommer in Business Insider (January 2010):
“The Truth About Apple’s iPad: It’s A Big Yawn”
“[Jobs] didn’t deliver.”
“Apple fans hoping for the next revolution ... should be disappointed.”
Maybe “Apple fans” were disappointed. But the general electronics-buying public? Not so much.
John Dvorak on MarketWatch (January 2010):
“Apple’s ‘revolutionary’ iPad leaves fans wanting.”
“[P]eople are grousing.”
“It’s not a good sign. Apple is fallible!”
“[I]t’s going to take Apple at least one more, if not two more, iterations to get this right. And that assumes it even wants to get it right.”
“I’m of the opinion and hope that this device is only released as a market test ...”
“Insanely great it is not.”
“Let’s look at the basic flaws people are complaining about. First of all there is no stylus. ... [People] expect a Wacom-like input ...”
“It seems more destined to impact the market for the Sony Portable Playstation than anything else.
The tablet market has only succeeded as a niche market over the years and it was hoped Apple would dream up some new paradigm to change all that. From what I’ve seen and heard, this won’t be it.”
Hey, isn’t Dvorak the guy who said that “Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone?” And that the iPhone would be “passé within three months?” Didn’t he also say, “There is no likelihood that Apple can be successful in a business this competitive,” and, “It should [sell off the iPhone as a reference design] immediately before it’s too late?”
Nah. Couldn’t be the same guy.
Randall C. Kennedy of InfoWorld (January 2010):
“Act now to avoid the Apple tablet apocalypse”
“I hate disruptive technologies. They’re antithetical to all that’s sane and stable in enterprise IT.”
“Assuming a third-quarter ship date, this fruity new wonder could prove to be the hottest item under the Christmas tree. And that means that, come January 2011, IT shops will be inundated with idiot users ...”
“All hell will break loose. First, IT will discover that these first-generation devices are buggy. ... It’ll be a real mess.”
“[C]onsumers will insist on using the new toy as their primary computing environments. ... Basically, it’s a recipe for disaster.
So what can IT do to thwart the coming Apple tablet-pocalypse? First, an outright ban is in order. Use whatever excuse you think carries the most weight. ... Then seek to contain the situation by offering up an alternative tablet solution running the IT-supported and IT-approved Windows 7 operating system.”
“And pay special attention to the higher-profile users in the executive suites. Seed them early on with their own prophylactic, Windows-based tablet alternatives. Because if just one of these individuals manages to pick up Apple’s latest fruity abomination — and brings it into the office — you’ll never be rid of the things.”
Dude, we’re just past four months into 2010, and Apple’s sold a million iPads already. Hope you got your ban in place really fast. And how’re your executives doing with those non-existent Windows 7 tablets? Better make a quick call to Microsoft and tell them to ship you those tablets, pronto. They’ll get right on that, I’m sure.
We all know why you hate Apple, Randall. The typical corporate IT department has had a borderline-corrupt relationship with Microsoft for years and years, in which Microsoft sells lots of shitty products to the IT department, and the IT department makes lots of money providing badly needed support for the users of those products. Apple, which refuses to make shitty, support-ravenous products, threatens to “disrupt” that cozy relationship. Waaaah.
Jeremy A. Kaplan of FOX News (January 2010):
“Has Apple Lost Its Mojo?”
“The company once notorious for its ability to upend conventions and revolutionize markets may no longer have what it takes, worry some technology journalists. Call it the iPad or the iPlod, the message seems clear: Apple may have lost its mojo.”
“So what is it about the iPad that so turned off the public?”
“[O]n the whole, consumers and journalists seem unimpressed with the latest and greatest from Cupertino.”
You might be honestly unaware of this, Jeremy, but the only thing those “technology journalists” are “worried” about is that their latest, greatest, anti-Apple screeds may not be any more effective against the iPad than they were against the iPod or the iPhone.
Harry McCracken on Technologizer (January 2010):
“Whose iPad is It, Anyway?”
“What’s the single most worrisome thing about the iPad? ... It’s Apple’s monopoly on distribution of applications. ... For lots of people, that’s a dealbreaker on both philosophical and practical grounds.”
“Emotionally and rationally, I want the iPhone/iPad platform to be open. I still believe it’ll happen.”
Emphasis on “emotionally” and “believe.”
John Breeden II on GCN (January 2010):
“I’ve been covering and reviewing notebooks and battery technology for the past decade, and I know what the current technology is capable of. There is no way that a 1.5-pound computer is going to be able to drive an IPS display for ten hours as Steve Jobs claims. It just can’t happen. Perhaps if you let the iPad lapse into standby mode, you could squeeze it. But if you are actually using the device, my estimate would be less than three hours of power, and that’s being generous.”
“Unless Apple has also developed some new type of power source, such as nuclear cells or magical hamsters on tiny spinning wheels for the iPad, don’t expect the claims about battery life to hold true. The candle that blazes the brightest is always the first to go out.”
Yep, people tested it, and it turns out it’s not ten hours. More like eleven.
Scott Moritz on TheStreet.com (January 2010):
“Behold: The Apple iFlop”
“[T]he list of iPad’s shortcomings is surprisingly long, especially considering all the years and number of prototypes Jobs and Apple have worked through to get here.”
“Apple, in its characteristically control-freakish way, restricts applications that can be installed and files that can be loaded. In other words, ‘your’ stuff has to go through Apple channels.”
“Bigger issues, like the iPad’s underpowered iPhone OS software, also loom large in the fevered frustrations of free-speaking fans.”
Hey, isn’t Moritz the guy who made up a phony million-unit sales target for the iPhone’s opening weekend? Nah. Couldn’t be the same guy.
David Coursey of PCWorld (January 2010):
“Apple iPad is Just Another DOA”
“Has Steve Jobs’ fabled reality distortion field finally failed its creator?”
“[Y]ou can buy a much more functional notebook or netbook for less.”
“[H]ype is part of Apple’s marketing plan, so it’s unlikely the company will do anything to rein it in.”
“It’s not supposed to be that new products are better liked before launch than after.”
Hey, isn’t Coursey the guy who said that users were ”turning against the iPhone” last August? And that “you might find a more attractive [non-Apple] option in a few months, especially if the iPhone’s downhill slide continues?” Or that “Apple doesn’t care about its customers?”
Nah. Couldn’t be the same guy.
Russ Willcox, CEO of E-Ink (January 2010):
“E-readers will outsell iPads because of the simple economics of the consumer device market.”
When will that happen — five years from now, or ten?
Linen DeFiller on MillionFace (January 2010):
“Apple iPad — failure, joke or fiasco? Pick one”
Comparing with HP Slate:
Multitasking: Slate (yes), iPad (no)
Flash: Slate (yes), iPad (no)
Real PC Apps: Slate (yes), iPad (no)
Real OS: Slate (yes), iPad (no)
USB Port: Slate (yes), iPad (no)
Pen/stylus input: Slate (yes), iPad (no)”
“Apple took a bunch of pre-existing technology and put it into a bastard child that doesn’t have a home anywhere: fail.”
“I just can’t fathom what individual is dumb enough to shell out money for this.”
“This is much more a media player than a productivity tool. It maybe worth using for social media, surfing and watching movies in the airplane.”
“How about the power usage to keep the fancy color slate to lit up for hours?”
“Why on earth will I hold a big slate to my ear when my phone is in my pocket. So, you’re saying that I’ll put another SIM into the iPad? Ridiculous.
It seems Apple is trying too hard to fill some imaginary gap between smartphones and laptops/netbooks.”
“[I]t’s not really a tablet computer.”
“[T]he fact is you’re limited by Apple in every way they can limit you. ... Until you hack it to run Chrome OS, you’re going to be using this thing exactly the way Apple tells you to.”
How’re those HP Slate purchasers liking their acquisition, Linen? Asked any of them lately?
Molly Wood of CNET (January 2010):
“iPad — who is it good for? Absolutely no one. Who needs this thing?”
“I added it up, and like 800 people are gonna buy the iPad.”
“It’s hard to argue the fact that this week’s Apple iPad launch disappointed the tech crowd ...”
“[T]he iPad is hampered by a well-documented string of missing features ...”
“No one should actually buy this iPad — between its inevitable first-generation bugs, fulfillment problems, and buyer’s remorse over added features and price drops, it’s heartbreak waiting to happen. Try to think of the iPad as, like, a proof of concept. A concept car, even. A work in progress, really.”
“[T]he iPad is a product in search of a market. It’s kind of poorly implemented, feature-wise; it’s been poorly articulated, market-wise; and it’s hard to imagine why on earth you’d ever need such a thing at such a price.”
Good thing you got this video out around the beginning of February, Molly. That gave it about two full months to seem possibly credible.
Update: It’s been a year since Molly’s rant, and guess what? About 15 million iPads sold so far. That’s over 18,000 iPads for every one iPad Molly predicted. And I don’t think she was talking about the first year. So we’re still counting.
Mikel Reparaz on GamesRadar (January 2010):
“10 reasons the iPad could fail catastrophically
Excited about Apple’s new toy? Here’s why you should cool your jets”
Excited about the prospect of a big, new, Apple product failing miserably? Here’s why you should wait and see if it really does fail, before making yourself look like a clueless dumb-ass.
Jackson Berger in Tech Talk (January 2010):
“Apple iPad = Failure!”
“Let’s face it: the Apple iPad is a great big failure. I am disappointed. You are disappointed. We all are disappointed.”
“There are many other things Apple has failed to achieve with this embarrassment of a device they call the iPad. I would love to see Microsoft come out with a Windows 7 Tablet and blow this Apple iPad right out of the water.”
“I would love to see Microsoft reap the rewards of Apple’s disappointing flop.”
Brace yourself for more disappointment, Jackson.
fiascoawards.com (January 2010):
“The iPad, winner of the Fiasco Awards 2010”
“The organization is aware that the Fiasco Awards is giving the prize to a product that is not yet on the market ...”
Hey, maybe consumers will discover “fiascoawards.com” before they have a hands-on experience with the iPad at an Apple store. Then maybe they won’t even go into an Apple store. Maybe they’ll tell all their friends and relatives that the iPad sucks and nobody should buy one! And maybe green goblins from Mars will land on Apple’s Cupertino campus and fry everyone in sight with fazer rays. We can dream, can’t we?
Orange County Web Design Blog (January 2010):
“Apple iPad is an iFailure”
“WAY, WAY, WAY over priced.”
“What an utter disappointment and abysmal failure of an Apple product.”
“I’m Completely disappointed and now waiting for Google to do it right and create the same thing, but with all the features people would expect it to have.”
It’s been well over a year — how’re all those non-overpriced Google tablets doin’ for ya?
Adam Frucci on Gizmodo (January 2010):
“8 Things That Suck About the iPad
“My god, am I underwhelmed by it. It has some absolutely backbreaking failures that will make buying one the last thing I would want to do.”
“This post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of others at Gizmodo”
What? Your co-workers don’t want to jump off Dumb-Ass Bluff with you, Adam? What ever has become of team unity.
Daniel Nations on About.com (January 2010):
“5 Reasons Why Apple’s iPad Tablet Will Fail”
“I think it has a tough road before it. The iPad isn’t exactly the first tablet computer, and we have yet to see any catch on fire.”
“You only get access to a watered-down Internet.”
“No one really needs an iPad.”
But boy do they want one!
Jason Cross on PCWorld (January 2010):
“Apple’s iPad Mistakes”
“If Apple really wants to change the world with the iPad and popularize a whole new computing category, they may need to do better.”
Oh, they will Jason. It’s called the iPad 2. Then the iPad 3. Then the iPad 4. Etcetera.
Gadget Lab on Wired (January 2010):
“The iPad was supposed to change the face of computing, to be a completely new form of digital experience. But what Steve Jobs showed us yesterday was in fact little more than a giant iPhone. A giant iPhone that doesn’t even make calls.”
It’s a giant iPhone; that’s bad. But it isn’t a giant iPhone; that’s worse. Got it.
Adam Sharp in WealthDaily (January 2010):
“5 Reason The iPad Will Fail
Apple’s Latest is a Bust”
“Apple’s new iPad device is destined to disappoint ... Analysts predicting iPhone-like success are going to be let down.”
“A cheap netbook from Dell has much greater utility (and is a few hundred dollars cheaper).”
Dell’s selling computers for “a few hundred dollars cheaper” than $500? Um, which models are those, exactly, Adam?
Mohan Sawhney of the Kellogg School (January 2010):
“[T]he iPad is aimed squarely at the center — of nowhere.”
“Mr. Jobs, I think you messed up on this one.”
“There is a hole in the market between smartphones and netbooks, and it is a hole for a reason.”
“What’s the outlook for the iPad? There will be long lines on the day it becomes available, because a million or so die-hard Apple fanatics will buy anything Apple puts out, even if it is a brick. Seduction and lust is a powerful emotion and it will drive sales for a while.”
“The iPad won’t be a failure, but Mr. Jobs, this is no iPhone.”
You were right, Mohan — the iPad wasn’t a failure.
Dan Lyons in The Daily Beast (January 2010):
“Why the iPad is a Letdown”
“Why do we invest so much hope in new technology? ... This is what I’m asking myself after Apple’s latest overhyped product introduction. ... It’s basically an oversize iPod Touch ...”
“[T]he whole thing felt like a letdown.”
“[W]e had hoped a tablet from Apple would do something new, something we’ve never seen before. That’s not the case. Jobs and his team kept using words like ‘breakthrough’ and ‘magical,’ but the iPad is neither ...”
“[B]efore the iPad was announced, people were calling it the ‘Jesus tablet.’”
So don’t buy one, Dan. Buy a netbook. I hear they’re all the rage.
John Dvorak on No Agenda Podcast #177 (February 2010):
“I hate to use that term [iPad Killer] since the iPad is probably dead anyway.”
Who said that?
Two-year update: Last quarter, Apple sold more iPads than Dell sold PCs. (Same for HP and Lenovo, FYI.)
John C. Dvorak in PC Magazine (February 2010):
“Apple’s Good for Nothing iPad
Apple’s iPad — what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!”
“I cannot see it escaping the tablet computer dead zone any time soon.”
“Everyone thought that Apple’s entry would be able to turn around this nearly non-existent space.”
“Unlike other duds, the tablet computer has been tried over and over again. And let us not forget that Apple itself tried it before with the ill-fated Newton. Let’s face it, the idea just isn’t flying.”
“It seems like not even Steve Jobs could make everyone want a tablet. I can take or leave the thing. If it were $95, I’d buy one. That’s not going to happen.”
“The question now is, ‘what can be done to fix the iPad?’”
What can be done to fix your crazy fantasies of Apple failure, John? I know, I know — absolutely nothing.
Sarah Perez of The New York Times (February 2010):
“[C]onsumers will have to make a choice: what sort of tablet is the future of computing? Apple’s locked-down and closed ecosystem of apps running on proprietary hardware or Google’s browser-based OS that’s as open as the web itself?”
“Google’s tablet will have one major advantage over Apple’s iPad: it will have an open application platform.
The only problem is getting consumers to understand what being open means...and care.”
So we have to make sure consumers understand that “open” is an advantage, because otherwise — it won’t be an advantage. We have to make sure Google beats Apple because otherwise — they won’t.
Wendy on Retrevo (February 2010):
“Apple iPad Hoopla Fails to Convince Buyers”
“Not only did Apple fail to convince new buyers, it may have lost many potential buyers who now say they don’t think they need an Apple tablet computer.
Consumers Lose Interest after Announcement”
“Unfortunately for Apple, the number if respondents saying they had heard about the tablet but were not interested in buying one, doubled from 25% before the announcement to over 50% following the announcement.”
“Most Consumers Don’t Think They Need an iPad”
“Whether this device becomes a big hit is anyone’s guess but based on this study it sure looks doubtful.”
Yeah, just a million sold in under a month. Bummer.
Update: Now it’s two million in under two months.
Update: Make that three million in well under three months.
Galen Gruman of InfoWorld (February 2010):
“[T]here’s less to Apple’s tablet than meets the eye”
“Users have been complaining about the lack of Flash support since the very first iPhone three years ago.”
“The iPad is a natural device for playing back Flash files ... Apple should let Adobe release a Flash Player app and Safari plug-in, and if Adobe screws it up, Adobe gets the blame.”
Yeah. Sure they do.
You know, Galen, Adobe’s been screwing up Flash on Apple hardware for something like a decade now. And now — surprise, surprise — they’re getting the blame: Apple doesn’t want Flash, interpreted or compiled, on its devices. So there it is, just like you said...or by “gets the blame” did you mean some hypothetical scenario, always in the future, that never actually happens? Or doesn’t happen without screwing up Apple’s plans one more time?
Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft (February 2010):
“You know, I’m a big believer in touch and digital reading, but I still think that some mixture of voice, the pen and a real keyboard — in other words a netbook — will be the mainstream on that. So, it’s not like I sit there and feel the same way I did with iPhone where I say, ‘Oh my God, Microsoft didn’t aim high enough.’ It’s a nice reader, but there’s nothing on the iPad I look at and say, ‘Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it.’”
Even the iPad’s most reckless doomsayers aren’t predicting it will be beaten by touch netbooks. You might be on your own on this one, Bill.
Two-year update: iPad is selling phenomenally well, and touch notebooks (i.e. Windows 8 laptops with touchscreens running Metro) are still at least half a year away.
John Dvorak on MarketWatch (February 2010):
“The iPad faces industry backlash”
“The Apple iPad is not going to be the company’s next runaway best seller. Not if the industry can help it.”
“[After Apple humiliated the MP3-player industry with the iPod] It’s now trying to humiliate everyone and anyone who ever tried to push a tablet computer and I sense that this time the industry is not going to be taken to the woodshed any more for the Apple spanking. And with the iPad, Apple may have irked it’s somewhat new partner Intel Corp. Intel gets spanked by nobody.”
“So Apple snubs Intel and goes its own way. OK, so Intel decides to find a new partner who holds a grudge and do a deal. Bingo: Nokia.
I’d advise people to look into the history of Nokia. Here is a company, unlike any other in the world, that can change its business model and structure on a dime.”
John, have you been following Enderle’s four-step plan? Tsk, tsk. Word up: If they can’t make a superior product, it doesn’t matter how mad these companies might be that Apple dares to be successful. Look at Microsoft and the ka-billions it spends every year trying to find a way to upstage Apple. What’s come of that?
Randall C. Kennedy of InfoWorld (February 2010):
“iPad, the netbook killer? I think not!
Why the rumor of the netbook’s death has been greatly exaggerated, and why the iPad’s fans are way off base”
“What’s with all of the netbook hate? Apple launches its flawed — and, arguably, disappointing — iPad and suddenly everyone is piling on the anti-netbook bandwagon. The iPad will kill the netbook, says one expert. The netbook’s days are numbered, says another.”
“Those of you who follow this blog know that I’m a huge netbook fan.”
I noticed. And I don’t follow your blog.
Donovan Colbert on TechRepublic (February 2010):
“Why the iPad will fail to win significant market share”
“There’s no doubt that the iPad is a slick, sexy device, but I don’t think it will be an overwhelming success.”
“I’m struck by the number of Apple users who are now voicing their opinions in forums that they can’t wait to jump to Android and, more surprisingly, Windows 7 mobile, both of which look to offer very strong competition.
In the end, I think that the iPad will eventually be regarded much like Apple TV — a product that Jobs should have left on the drawing boards.”
Actually, Apple TV is doing pretty well too.
Galen Gruman on InfoWorld (March 2010):
“Only a fool would pre-order an iPad
This morning, the fool’s parade gets started.”
“[T]he first-generation iPad is particularly likely to have disappointments ...”
“[B]uy one when you know it really is magic — after people not employed by Apple have had a chance to really use it and put it through its paces. Until then, why send Apple your money until you know for sure? Doing so would be, well, foolish.”
“A fool and his money are soon parted, the saying goes.”
Hint: By “people not employed by Apple” Gruman means “Enderle-esque Apple loathers who will find any reason to deem the iPad a bad buy.”
Anders Bylund on The Motley Fool (March 2010):
“HP and Friends Will Kill the iPad”
“[T]he Apple iPad is not unique, nor necessarily the best of breed in the media tablet sector it is spearheading. And it ain’t gonna help Apple shareholders any.”
“[T]here’s a flash flood of competing products coming up ...”
“[T]he iPad will join the Apple TV in the footnotes of Apple’s history.”
Kind-of like the flash flood of iPod killers about five years ago? Should be good. When it starts, that is — HP just ”killed” a tablet alright: their own.
Update: 15 million iPads in 9 months, Anders. And more good news: Apple TV is starting to sell well too!
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes of ZDNet (March 2010):
“iPad: Perfectly flawed”
“[S]ince I’m not obsessed by having a particular logo on my hardware, I try to make rational decisions when it comes to spending my cash.”
“[T]he device is one big lock into the Apple ecosystem. Sure, there’ll be jailbreaks I’m sure, but that puts my device in the middle of a tug-of-war between Apple and the jailbreakers.”
“[W]eb minus Flash is a pretty poor web experience.”
“Yes, I still hate the built-in battery.”
“I think I’ll be holding onto my money for a little while...maybe anothe rvendor will come out with a tablet that offers most of the upsides but without so many downsides.”
Maybe. Hey, I hear Linen DeFiller’s hyped about the HP Slate — give him a buzz and see if he’ll let you try it out for a few minutes.
Don Tennant on IT Business Edge (March 2010):
“With All the iDol Worship, I’m Already Sick of the iPad”
“They should have called it the ‘iDol,’ because it’s a false god if ever there was one.”
“I can just picture Jobs cackling in delight, as once again we’ve come under the spell of a product that we desperately hope will change our sad, pathetic lives.”
Speak for yourself, Don.
Paul Thurrott in Windows IT Pro (April 2010):
“It’s likely that iPad sales petered out after the initial burst of excitement ended Saturday.”
“At these prices, the iPad should be able to replace some device, but it can’t. It’s an accessory — a pricy and unnecessary accessory, and that fact will likely further dim demand going forward.”
“[I]t’s undeniably disappointing, in part because of the unrealistic expectations generated by the media hype, and in part because it simply underdelivers in key areas.”
“It’s no disaster. It’s just not necessary.”
That’s right, Paul — it’s no disaster.
Two-year update: The iPad is a disaster... for Best Buy. It’s stripped away a huge chunk of their laptop profits, and now they’re shuttering fifty stores.
Alex Cook on Frontier Outlook (April 2010):
“[T]he iPad will flop”
“The iPad hype machine has been in full effect this week, and I still think it’s just that — hype.”
“Steve Jobs has been wrong before. ... [The 1983 Lisa] was horribly expensive and ended up as a commercial flop. The iPad could be even worse. At least the Lisa was ahead of its time. The iPad isn’t ahead of anything ...”
“[T]ablets try to fill a niche that doesn’t exist.”
Fifteen million iPads in nine months? You’re right, Alex — that’s no niche.
Gina Trapani on Fast Company (April 2010):
“Why You Shouldn’t Buy an iPad (Yet)”
“First-generation Apple products are for suckers. Only lemmings with no self-control and excessive disposable income buy first generation Apple products, especially in a new gadget category.”
“Don’t be the guy who bought the first-gen iPad when Apple slashes the 2011 iPad price in half. Next year’s iPad will be faster, cheaper, less buggy, and have better apps ...”
Don’t buy an iPad...“yet?” So sometime in the near future you’re going to be telling your readers, “OK, buy one now?” Mmm-hmm.
Update: Great news, Gina! Apple’s now selling the much-improved iPad 2, as fast as they can make ’em. Now you can tell all your smart readers who waited that it’s time to pop open their pocketbooks and buy one. You know. If you’re so inclined.
Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing (April 2010):
“I’m completely uninterested in buying an iPad ...”
“[O]pen platforms and experimental amateurs ... eventually beat out the spendy, slick pros.”
“If I had a share of AOL for every time someone told me that the web would die because AOL was so easy and the web was full of garbage, I’d have a lot of AOL shares. And they wouldn’t be worth much.”
“[T]here’s also a palpable contempt for the owner. ... [I]f you can’t open it, you don’t own it. Screws not glue. The original Apple ][+ came with schematics for the circuit boards ...”
Oooh. I don’t want an “AOL” device made for ”infants,” that I can’t literally unscrew and disassemble — I better not buy an iPad. Whew; that was a close one. Thanks for the heads-up, Cory. I’m logging onto eBay right now to find me an Apple “][”+. Information age, here I come!
Update: It’s been a year, Cory. I guess open platforms and experimental amateurs eventually beat out spendy, slick pros — but “eventually” must mean a lot more than a year. Not even a sign that it’s starting yet.
Jeff Jarvis on Business Insider (April 2010):
“I’m Really Worried About What Apple Is Trying To Do With The iPad”
“[The iPad is] sweet and pretty but shallow and vapid.’
“The iPad is retrograde. It tries to turn us back into an audience again.”
“I might well rebox and return it; I don’t have $500 to throw away.”
Write a great app for the iPad and maybe you will. (Or are you just an audience member?)
Don Reisinger on eWEEK (April 2010):
“10 Reasons Why an iPad Is Not for You”
Hey, isn’t Reisinger the guy who said that the BlackBerry Storm had Apple executives “running scared?” And that “RIM just one-upped the founders, and Apple knows that?” Or that thanks to the Storm, “The iPhone was cool, up until yesterday?”
Nah — couldn’t be the same guy.
Ty Dunitz on TECHi (May 2010):
“iPad Turns 1 Million Users Into Zombies”
“With the market still poised to be flooded by competing devices — including Microsoft’s imminent Courier — Jobs’d better have a few more ‘magical’ tricks up his sleeve.”
He does, Ty; not to worry. And how’s that Courier workin’ out for ya?
Nick Farrell on TheInquirer.net (May 2010):
“Why Apple might regret the Ipad”
“THE IPAD HAS DOOMED Apple, according to market anlaysts that are expecting the tablet to spell trouble for its maker.”
“Rather than killing off the netbook, the Ipad is harming sales of the Ipod and Macbooks. It seems the buyers of Ipads would normally have got a more expensive Macbook or an Ipod Touch and apparently are clever enough not to do both.”
“Where Steve Jobs made his mistake was that he marketed the Ipad as a utopian device that can do everything that all his other products can. This is dangerous for Apple because if the Ipad can be a laptop, an Iphone, a e-reader and a music player then you do not really need any of those devices.”
You can tell Nick is impartial and objective by the way he miscapitalizes iPad, iPod, and iPhone. Anyone who insists on writing those Apple product names the way Apple does is probably an irrational Apple fanatic.
Two-year update: Netbooks not exactly doing so well. And the iPad not exactly dooming Apple. FYI.
“Sorry, But the iPad is Not ‘Killing’ Netbook Sales”
“IDC is now forecasting that ‘mininotebook’ (i.e. netbooks and sub-12-inch machines) will sell 45.6 million units in 2011 and 60.3 million in 2013. If I remember the numbers from 2009, they were 10 percent of all PCs, or about 30 million units. Explain again how the iPad will beat that. Please. Even the craziest iPad sales predictions are a small percentage of that.”
Let’s check the data in late ’11 or early ’12 and see who needs to “explain” their position from May ’10. (Not that they will, of course.)
Two-year update: Ah, that didn’t take long. Now where were we? Oh yeah. iPad has sold something like 70 million unit so far. And netbook sales growth has completely stalled. Ouch.
Paul Thurrott, winsupersite.com (May 2010):
“[I]t’s tempting to position the iPad as a netbook competitor.”
“But it is the iPad’s lack of true PC capabilities that, I think, dooms this comparison.”
“[W]hen you use an iPad, you’re typically not contributing to anything, as you can on a PC. Instead, you’re simply consuming. And this is how I think the iPad should be compared to the PC: Consumption vs. contribution.”
“When you go out and about with just an iPad, you’re sending a message that you’re not going to contribute.”
“The iPad is not a competitor to Tablet PCs either. ... The Tablet PC is a contribution device. The iPad is about consumption only.”
The Tablet what?
Steve Ballmer of Microsoft (July 2010):
“We’re working with our hardware partners, we’re tuning Windows 7 to new slate hardware designs that they’re bringing them to market. And, yeah, you’re going to get a lot of cacophony. There will be people who do things with other operating systems. But we’ve got the application base, we’ve got the user familiarity. We’ve got everything on our side if we do things really right.”
“I don’t think everybody wants a slate. I’ve been to too many meetings with journalists who’d spend the first 10 minutes of the meeting setting up their iPad to look like a laptop. Laptops actually are well designed for a lot of things. I notice they are all light. In fact, if you look around this room, they all weigh zero pounds, because they’re just sitting on the table ...”
“We’re coming full guns. The operating system is called Windows.”
We’ve heard of it.
Don Reisinger on Channel Insider (August 2010):
“Apple’s Tablet Won’t Be A Long-Term Success”
“Tablets appeal to corporate customers. But as more tablets come to the enterprise market, one will stand above the others: Cisco’s Cius.”
“Apple’s tablet might do well for now, but as companies start realizing there are better alternatives that don’t force them into a corner, they will opt for those.”
“RIM is delivering BlackBerry 6 in the coming days and there is rampant speculation that a BlackBerry tablet is coming soon after. If so, all plans to buy an iPad should be put on hold.”
Let me get this straight, Don: You had plans to buy an iPad, but you put them on hold? Yeah. Sure you did.
Update: It’s been a year. BlackBerry’s tablet was a disaster. Haven’t heard anything about Cius. iPad is totally kicking ass.
21-month update: Cisco just killed the Cius.
Chang Ma of LG (August 2010):
“Our tablet will be better than the iPad.”
You mean some uncertain number of months from now you’re going to introduce a new tablet that’s better than the current version of the iPad that’s on sale today and has been selling like hotcakes for several months now? Wow. You are gonna kick Apple’s ass.
One-year update: iPad is selling like crazy, its competitors are flopping, and nothing from LG has even surfaced.
Eric Schmidt of Google (September 2010):
“[T]he Apple model is closed. Same hardware, same applications, same store — a so-called vertical stack.”
“All the other vendors want an alternative, and Apple is not going to give it to them.”
“The iPad apps are beautiful but highly restrictive. They’re written in a specific programming language; they’re not Web applications. Over the next few years it should be possible using so-called open technologies to build apps as powerful as those on the iPad but do them on the Web, which means they’ll run everywhere.”
“Ultimately, in the Internet, openness has always won. I cannot imagine that the current competitive environment would reverse that.”
iPad will lose because...it uses the “same applications?” Because Apple doesn’t give its competitors an “alternative?” Because iPad apps are written in a “specific programming language?” Because iPad apps are “restrictive?” Because in a few years, some web-apps may be as good as a huge number of iPad apps are today? Because “vertical stack” sounds kind-of like “vertical market?” And because “openness” always wins?
It really does, I think, take a special kind of genius to be able to advance arguments like that and make them sound sensible. But it’s not the kind of genius you need to create the iPhone and iPad.
Nicholas Negroponte of One Laptop Per Child (September 2010):
“Think about it. Turning pages. How ridiculous that is. It’s just unbelievably dumb.”
“[Apple’s] building peripherals for iTunes ... We can’t turn these kids into couch potatoes. Just because you interact doesn’t mean you construct. [We need] learning by doing and learning by making. Learning by being told is only one way.”
“All we have to do is threaten to build the tablet and that may be enough because in the end, we are not hardware makers. ... [This strategy is] a new regime of trying to make things people will copy rather than doing it ourselves.”
Translation: We’ve been threatening to build a really small, cheap, useful computer for a lonnggg time now. It was a lot of fun — but then Apple wrecked it with their mega-successful iPad. They didn’t even hype it for years or anything — they just hauled off and made it! Those assholes are ruining everything.
Paul Thurrott In Paul Thurrott’s Supersite For Windows (October 2010):
“Right off the bat, I’m glad to see that my initial reactions to this thing [the iPad] were accurate. Anyone who believes this thing is a game changer is a tool. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is.”
This is what happens when your desire that a certain company fails is stronger than your desire to preserve your own reputation for rationality.
Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray (October 2010):
“For the first year or so, it’s gonna be advantage-Apple, but I think that as some of these Android tablets start to come out and get more optimized, I think that you’re gonna see some very stiff competition. As a category, the tablet is undeniably gonna be the winning category in mobile computing over the next decade. But as far as the market-share wins, ultimately we think that Apple won’t have the majority of the market share. It will probably be with Android-based tablets.”
Darn. And that iPad seemed like it was doing so well! Sorry, Apple. The “global investment” experts have spoken.
One-year update: iPad has almost 90% of tablet sales.
Two-year update: The iPad has about 70% market share by the most anti-Apple, shipments-not-sales-based estimates. (Can you say “Strategy Analytics?”) But by other measures it may have as much as 98%. And the iPad Mini is still unannounced.
Paul Thurrott on Windows IT Pro (October 2010):
“Remember the Nintendo Wii? Nintendo sold millions of them and dominated the video game market for almost four straight years before sales fell off a cliff. But the dark, dirty secret of the Wii is that those sales were pretty much the extent of the platform’s success: Few Wii owners ever purchased more than a game or two, and most Wii consoles are sitting in a corner now, gathering dust — rarely if ever used. Well, it appears that the iPad is following the same trajectory, albeit in a tighter timeline. In the wake of Apple’s quarterly results, in which far fewer iPads were sold than anyone expected, Nielsen reveals that a full third of iPad owners have never installed even a single app on the thing. Not even a free app. Which leads me to believe that the iPad is exactly what I pegged it to be in the beginning: nothing more than a gotta-have-it, trendy, techno-fashion statement, one that people bought to look like they were hip and savvy.”
Confused? Don’t be: When he says, “far less than anyone expected,” Thurrott simply means “a whole heck of a lot of iPads.” When he says, “a third of iPad owners,” he means “less than an eleventh of iPad owners.” And when he says, “gotta-have-it techno-fashion statement,” he means “gotta-have-it tech tool.” Thurrott uses special code phrases when he wants to praise Apple’s success. It’s a nerd thing.
Paul Thurrott on FrugalTech (November 2010):
“Steve Jobs is a huckster.”
“[Apple’s] desktop computing platform has never taken off in any appreciable way, as far as seizing market share.”
“There’s no doubt that — and you just have to follow the way Apple’s done product upgrades over the years — the iPad will turn into a Mac. I mean it’s just going to. It’s gonna have printing, it’s gonna have a keyboard... well, they already have a keyboard. I mean there’ll be all this different stuff that will basically make it as complex as the Macintosh by the time they’re done with it. And then they’ll say, look, we were right. And we’ll say, well, not so much ... you just reinvented the Mac.”
Translation: I’m really missing those wonderful days when Apple had but a single hardware platform, in a miserable niche position. And I’m trying very hard to believe that those days will somehow return.
Jim Balsillie of RIM (November 2010):
“Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience.”
Hey, maybe those customers will buy ten RIM tablets each. That might help.
Paul Thurrott on Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite For Windows (November 2010):
“How Apple Can Fix the iPad in 2011”
“[The iPad is] not a product I can recommend in its current configurations and at its current pricing structure.”
“[Future] devices will be far more like PCs than iPads ...”
“In the meantime, millions of people have foolishly jumped on the iPad bandwagon too soon ...”
“[The iPad’s price] is far too high for a device that is essentially a large-screen iPod touch ...”
“The current iPad is too big and too heavy, and any refresh should use Amazon’s Kindle as a guide ...”
“[A non-glossy screen], combined with a smaller, lighter form factor, would ... make the iPad a truly useful device.”
“Apple’s aversion to ports is cute ...”
“So, do I expect Apple to actually implement any of these ideas? Actually, for the most part, I do not.”
Good thing, too — if they did, you would be in the awkward position of having to explain why you still don’t recommend that people buy it.
Paul Thurrott on Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite For Windows (November 2010):
“[T]he iPad is boring.”
“[T]here’s no real innovation on the iPad, just a desire to sell stuff from one place in another place.”
What, pray tell, would Paul consider exciting? I know, I know — a second-rate knock-off of the iPad kicking the iPad’s ass and driving Apple into a minuscule, niche share of the tablet market.
Mike Lazaridis of RIM (December 2010):
“Our competitors have taken a smartphone operating system and they’re trying to take it to a tablet computer.”
You mean, they’ve sold ten million iPads in about eight months? Before the holiday rush?
Jim Balsillie of RIM (December 2010):
“I think the PlayBook redefines what a tablet should do. I think we’ve articulated some elements of it, and I think this idea of a proprietary SDK and unnecessary apps — though there’s a huge role for apps — I think is going to shift in the market, and I think it’s going to shift very, very quickly. And I think there’s going to be a strong appetite for web fidelity and tool familiarity. And I think there’s going to be a rapid desire for high performance.”
I think there’s going to be huge demand for the iPad 2.
James Allworth in Harvard Business Review (January 2011):
“The Fall of Wintel and the Rise of Armdroid”
“[T]his year’s CES marks the beginning of the end for Microsoft and Intel.”
“Even more so than Intel, Microsoft has known the tablet was on the way.”
“Both ARM and Android — Armdroid — are providing everything that tablet manufacturers need, and doing it more effectively and at a lower cost than Microsoft and Intel are able to.
We will be able to look back and say that this was the CES that saw Wintel fall and Armdroid rise up.”
Um, James, aren’t you forgetting something? Something like, 90% of the tablet market?
Christopher Williams in The Telegraph (January 2011):
“Google will overturn the Apple iPad’s dominance of the tablet computer within four years, technology industry watchers have predicted.”
“[T]he intensifying battle between [Apple and Google] is reminiscient of the desktop war between Apple’s Macintoshes and IBM-compatible PCs in the 1980s. After taking an early lead, Apple’s machines were surpassed by cheaper PCs running Microsoft Windows, which grew a wider range of software as developers revelled in the control they were allowed.”
Apple had an “early lead” with the 1980s Mac at 9% peak market share? Which is reminiscent of their current 90% lead in tablets? Hey, they both start with “9” — maybe you’re on to something there, Christopher.
Jon Stokes on ars technica (February 2011):
“Why I don’t care very much about tablets anymore
I’ve realized recently that I’m just not very excited about tablets — anybody’s tablets, no matter the OS or maker.”
You mean, Apple’s iOS iPad is almost the entire tablet market, and you don’t see that changing any time soon?
Don Reisinger on eWEEK (February 2011):
“Motorola Xoom Is the Perfect iPad Competitor: 10 Reasons Why”
“[T]he tablet space is going to be crowded. But as all the tablets hit store shelves, there will likely only be one device that will be a top competitor to Apple’s iPad in the minds of consumers: the Motorola Xoom.”
The Galaxy Tab was the all-that iPad killer last month. Now it’s the XOOM. Not sure what it will be tomorrow...
Update: Will it be the TouchPad? Maybe the PlayBook? Or the Galaxy Player? The Galaxy Tab 8.9 or 10.1? The Streak 5 or 7? The Dell Windows Slate? The HP Windows Slate? The EeePad EP101TC? The EeePC EP121? The Iconia Tab A500, A501, A100, or Iconia Touchbook? The Flyer? The EVO View? The HP Slate? The G-Slate? The Cius? The Nexus? The Optimus Pad? The Archos 5, or 7, or 70, or 80, or 101, or 80 G9, or 101 G9? The Transformer TC101? The Slider? The JooJoo? The MeMO? The Universe M-150? The ViewPad 7 or G? The Adam? The Vega? The IDEOS S7? The Inspiron Duo? The Thrive? The WindPad? The Padfone? The Puccini? The TouchSmart? The Impression 10? The Peju? The Sony S1 or S2? The IdeaPad K1 or P1? The Streak 10? The Grid10? The EnTourage eDGe? The Thinkpad Tablet? The Sony Reader PRS-T1? The Jetstream? The Galaxy Note? The Sony Tablet S or P? The Galaxy Tab 7.7? The Stylistic Q550? The Galapagos? The VIERA? The TX100? The PS Vita? The PlayBook 2.0? The Kindle Fire or Fire HD? The Kyros? The SpringBoard? The Nook Color? The Micro Cruz T408? The Gentouch 78? The Rocketfish? The Sliding PC 7? The ExoPC Slate? The Fujitsu Windows Slate? The PalmPad? The Transformer 2 or Prime? The Vizio Tablet? The Latitude ST? The XOOM 2, or XOOM 2 Media Edition? The Toughpad A1 or B1? The Netronics Tablet? The EeePad Slider or Transformer? The Iconia Tab A200 or A700? The VTAB1008? The Novo7? The XYBoard 8.2 or 10.1? The Viliv X70? The TouchPad Go? The OLPC XO 3.0? The Nook HD or HD+? The OpenPeak Tablet 10? The Galaxy Tab 7.0N? The M-Pad? The LePad Slate? The Kyrus? The M7 Multipad? The NID-7001? The IdeaPad U1? The Asus T700? The Memo 171 or 370T? The Spark? The Element? The Galaxy Tab 2? The IdeaPad A1? The Excite X10 LE? The Child Pad? The Transformer Infinity or AiO? The Galaxy Note 10.1? The Le Pan TC 970? The Iconia A510? The Sony SGPT111US/S? The HP Slate 2 or 8? The EliteBook 2760p? The Samsung Series 7? The Iconia Tab W500-BZ467, or 510, or W510, or W700? The Lifebook T901? The Skytab S? The Asustek Google tablet? The Nexus 7 or 11? The Matrix One? The Aspire R7 or S7 or 7600U or W3-810? The Surface or Surface RT? The Xperia S or Z or Z Ultra or Z2? The Vivo Tab RT? The Latitude 10 or 10 Essentials? The VAIO Duo 11 or Tab 20? The XPS Duo 12? The IdeaPad Yoga 11 or 13 or 11S or Pro 3? The Satellite U925t or Click 2? The Revolve? The Ascend Mate? The IdeaCentre Horizon? The Iconia A1 or B1 or W3 or W4? The Taichi? The Galaxy Fonblet or Tab 3 10.1 or Tab 3 Kids? The Archos 97 or 116? The HP Slate 7? The Amplify? The ePad Femme? The Envy x2? The Ativ Q? The MediaPad 7 Vogue? The FonePad? The Galaxy Note 3 or NotePro or TabPro? The Cintiq Companion or Companion Hybrid? The Arc10HD? The Nokia Sirius or N1? The Tabeo e2? The Transformer Book T100 or V? The Kindle Fire HDX or Voyage? The Memo Pad FHD 10? The Lumia 2520? The Venue 8 Pro or 8 7000? The HP ElitePad 900 or ProPad or TX1? The Galaxy Tab Pro or 4 or S or Q? The Mi Pad? The ThinkPad 8 or 10? The HP 7 Plus or 8 1401 or 7 G2 or 8 G2 or Pro Tablet or Pro Tablet 408? The Inspiron 20? The Surface 2 or 3 or Pro 3 or Pro 4? The Nexus 9? The Shield? The Wii U? The Stream 7? The Yoga 2 or 2 Pro or 3 Pro? The SecuTABLET? The Pixel or Pixel C? The Galaxy Tab S2? The Galaxy View? The ElitePad 1000 or Elite X1 1011? The MateBook? The Oasis? The Fire HD 8? The Trek 2 HD? The Galaxy Tab S3 or Galaxy Book?
Gregg Keizer in PCWorld (March 2011):
“Contrary to Jobs’[s] assertion that iPad 2 will stymie what he called ‘copy cats,’ Apple hasn’t staked out an insurmountable hardware position.”
Try as Apple might, it just can’t seem to stop those copycats from taking something like, 10% of the tablet market.
Preston Gralla on Computerworld (March 2011):
“Eight reasons the Motorola Xoom beats the iPad”
“I bought the Motorola Xoom the day it came out, and have been using it ever since. It’s a spectacular tablet and superior to the iPad.”
“Update: For all the reasons the Xoom beats the iPad 2, check out my blog post, Motorola Xoom versus the iPad 2: The Xoom is a clear winner.”
Translation: XOOM is the only tablet that looks like it even might be able to upset the iPad, so I’m endorsing it to the hilt.
John Martellaro on The Mac Observer (March 2011):
“iPad 2 Specs Are a Disappointment”
“What’s notable is that the Xoom has a million pixel display while the iPad 2 has 786K pixels.”
“Apple likes to skimp on RAM to force the developers to write lean, clean code.
The Xoom has stereo speakers, not just stereo on the headphone jack. The Xoom has HFMI 1.4 built in; for Apple it seemed like an emergency afterthought.”
“I’m just mildly surprised that, given a year’s head start, Apple didn’t produce an iPad that’s not only better than a lot of the competition, but also didn’t virtually shut down the competition and dismay them.”
That remains to be seen, doesn’t it? Let’s check the sales figures in six months or a year, John. You might be more than mildly surprised.
Seth Weintraub on Fortune (March 2011):
“Steve Jobs’ reality distortion takes its toll on truth
Apple twisted facts and used an erroneous quotation to try to convince crowds that all other tablets had no shot at de-throning the iPad in 2011.”
Translation: I really, really want a tablet — any tablet — to de-throne the iPad. Just so long as it’s not the iPad 2.
One-year update: Nothing de-throned the iPad in 2011. Nothing even came close.
Paul Thurrott on Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows (March 2011):
“Apple Offers Surprisingly Tepid IPad 2 Release
Apple introduced the iPad 2 as expected on Wednesday, and that’s the problem: There were absolutely no surprises at all ...”
“Despite looking almost identical to the first iPad, Jobs repeatedly described the device as ‘an all-new design.’”
“There are an incredible 18 different models of iPad 2, which comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB variants, as before, and in models that work with Wi-Fi only, AT&T 3G wireless networks, and Verizon Wireless 3G. Good luck figuring out which one you want.”
Translation: I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying to spin everything Apple does as a failure or disappointment. And I don’t care who knows it.
Brett Arends in The Wall Street Journal (March 2011):
“Move Over, Apple! My Tablet Cost $200”
“I bought a Barnes & Noble Nook Color tablet ... And then I downloaded a very simple, perfectly legal software fix from the Internet that turned it into a fully functioning tablet running on Google’s Android platform.”
“If Barnes & Noble can do it, anyone can.”
Getting desperate for those cheap iPad knockoffs that were supposed to blow Apple away, huh? If it’s not happening, maybe you can make it happen. Right, Brett?
Tom Dunlap of PCWorld (March 2011):
“My $200 Laptop Can Beat Your $500 Tablet”
“If you’re willing to take a chance on used equipment, Craigslist fans have the opportunity to find slightly older laptops starting at about $200.”
“I think my used ThinkPad [X30] — which I paid about $200 for — crushes your iPad 2, which new, starts at $499 and can run more than $800, depending on the configuration.”
Wait — you mean to tell me that a used, corporate laptop from 2002 costs way less than a brand new, just-released 2011 iPad 2? Thanks for the tip, Tom.
Katherine Noyes of PCWorld (March 2011):
“Why the iPad 2 Leaves Me Cold”
“I can’t for the life of me see what there is to be excited about in Apple’s new iPad.”
“The iPad 2 leaves me cold, particularly when you compare it with Android-based competitors like the Motorola Xoom.”
“The iPad 2 may have a few, minor advantages over competitors like the Xoom for now, but they won’t last long.”
“[Y]ou have to do things the way Apple tells you to do them — and like it. If there are problems, you’d better get used to waiting for help. Apple, and only Apple, is in charge of the entire ecosystem. Nothing like a monopoly for good service, right? Hah, not so much.”
“[iOS] can’t hold a candle to Android 3.0, or Honeycomb, particularly for tablet purposes.”
“No way can Apple’s limited staff protect you [from malware] better than legions of open source users around the globe ...”
“In a Retrevo survey published about a year ago, the majority of consumers said they didn’t really want an iPad.”
“[P]otential purchasers of the iPad 2 need to separate themselves as much as possible from the hype. Sit down and take a cold, rational look at the device and its competitors — particularly the Xoom — and you’ll see why Apple just hasn’t delivered all that much, except another snazzy performance.”
Say, could there possibly be such a thing as irrational anti-Apple hype? And if there was, where would I go to find it? Anyone? Anyone?
Katherine Noyes of PCWorld (March 2011):
“Why Tablets Are Just a Fad”
“[S]trong sales are backing up the hype — at least for now — suggesting something about the devices has caught on with consumers.
What is that mysterious ‘something’? Purely marketing, I believe. Apple is nothing if not master of the glitzy sales pitch, and there’s never been better proof of that than the iPad’s current success.
Mark my words: The device — and all the others of its ilk that have sprung up for a piece of the action — are nothing more than a passing fad, at least in the mainstream.”
“[T]he release of the iPad 2 made it clear that excitement with the devices is already fading. Reviews of Apple’s new tablet were generally mixed, suggesting that reality is beginning to sink in.”
“It’s no secret that I am not an Apple fan ...”
“I see no reason to own a tablet, and fully expect them to fade out of the mainstream over the next few years.”
Mark my words: I fully expect that if, a few years from now, Apple’s products are doing even better than they are today, Katherine Noyes will still be predicting their imminent failure.
One-year update: The iPad “fad” continues, in full force; no signs it’s even slowing down.
Andy Lark of Dell (March 2011):
“I couldn’t be happier that Apple has created a market and built up enthusiasm but longer term, open, capable and affordable will win, not closed, high price and proprietary.”
“[Apple has] done a really nice job, they’ve got a great product, but the challenge they’ve got is that already Android is outpacing them.”
“Apple is great if you’ve got a lot of money and live on an island. It’s not so great if you have to exist in a diverse, open, connected enterprise; simple things become quite complex.”
“An iPad with a keyboard, a mouse and a case [means] you’ll be at $1500 or $1600; that’s double of what you’re paying. That’s not feasible.”
Pssst. Andy. Don’t look now, but a lot of businesses are buying iPads. And they’re not buying all that junk to go with them. And the iPad has overwhelming majority market share; it’s not being outpaced by anything. And Apple hasn’t created a tablet market; they’ve created an iPad market. And I could go on, but I think maybe I’ve already lost you. Just keep selling those clunky, ’90s, Windows PCs. You’ll do fine.
One-year update: Dell, like HP, is now trying to refocus from selling PCs in an ailing PC market, to some sort of enterprise IT thing.
Craig Mundie of Microsoft (March 2011):
“Mobile is something that you want to use while you’re moving, and portable is something that you move and then use.
These are going to bump into one another a little bit and so today you can see tablets and pads and other things that are starting to live in the space in between. Personally I don’t know whether that space will be a persistent one or not.”
“I don’t know whether the big screen tablet pad category is going to remain with us or not.”
Brett Arends in The Wall Street Journal (March 2011):
“Is That iPad 2 Really Worth $2,000?”
“If I don’t spend that $500 [on an iPad], I’ll invest it.”
“At [average historical rates], in 10 years’ time my $500 will have grown to about $800. ... In 15 years it’ll be about $1,000, and in 30 years, $2,000.”
Wait — you mean to tell me that if I don’t buy an iPad, or any other computer instead, I’ll have an extra $2,000 when I’m sixty years old? Assuming I’m only thirty today? Thanks for the tip, Brett.
And thanks for providing us with a virtually identical tip, just after the iPhone came out in ’07, about how we could have an extra $17,670 if we do without the iPhone or any other smartphone, or any other phone, for two years, then wait 33 more years for the savings to grow. That was really helpful. Those people who took your advice have only 31 more years to go before they get their hands on that $17K. Sure wish I was one of them.
Paul McDougall in InformationWeek (May 2011):
“Windows 8 Tablets Not Doomed To Fail
Despite the fact that it’s well behind rivals Apple and Google, Microsoft still has a good shot at grabbing a significant share of the red-hot tablet market, analysts say.”
Alert: There isn’t a red-hot market for Google tablets. Or Microsoft tablets. There’s a red-hot market for Apple’s iPad.
One-year update: You were right, Paul! Windows 8 tablets didn’t fail. Uh, I mean they won’t. When they become available for anyone to purchase. Several more months from now?
Shantanu Narayen of Adobe (June 2011):
“What you saw with smartphones hitting an inflection point with Android, you’ll see it again with tablets.”
“There will be another 20 tablets that will come by the end of the year that will push the industry in different directions.”
“I think the community is vibrant. I’m really excited.”
Nothing too exciting going on with tablets and Apple, huh?
One-year update: No inflection in sight. iPad still taking off like a rocket.
Robert Scoble on Scobleizer (June 2011):
“I finally had someone explain to me why Android will gain huge marketshare this year in the large-screen tablet wars (aka where iPad is dominant). It took USA’s #1 TV manufacturer, Vizio, to do it.”
“Anyway, here it is: a $350 capable tablet is coming. Coming in July, they told me (and I believe them, they don’t want to piss off the retail chain in the United States because they are #1 in large screen TVs).”
Oops. It’s January 2012, and I haven’t heard anything about a $350 iPad killer from Vizio. I guess the retail chain must be really pissed off by now. Except for Apple retail, of course, which is not pissed off.
Catalin Alexandru in Broadband Expert (June 2011):
“Why The iPad Is Doomed”
“Yes, the iPad 2 is doing brisk business and it will probably continue to do so, but for how long? About as long as it takes for consumer expectations to shift. Or, in broader terms, about as long as it will take for tablets to start doing everything and for people to start noticing that the iPad... just doesn’t.”
“iPad owners are stuck [without Flash] until the entire Internet switches to HTML 5, which is... going to take a while.”
“iPad 2 is a phenomenal product that will be selling like crazy for the next year or so. It’s the successor of the product that created an entire category all by its lonesome and that, coupled with brand recognition alone will keep it coasting along.”
“But if you’ll remember the last product that created a niche on its own, the Asus Eee PC, and how quickly that segment transformed and was cannibalized between cheap ultra portable notebooks and the emerging tablet format, you’ll perhaps start to see where we’re coming from.”
“[B]efore the iPad can move past the novelty stage and become any sort of PC replacement, it needs to start acting like one.”
“[I]t’s hard to see the iPad retaining its substantial market share for long.”
Especially with your eyes closed.
One-year update: iPad not “doomed.” Not exactly.
Anders Bylund on The Motley Fool (August 2011):
“[D]on’t expect them [the iPad killers] to actually kill anything, short of a massive shift in marketing strategy. ... The best device doesn’t always win. The best marketing does.”
Make a poorly thought-out, me-too device that’s six to twelve months newer than Apple’s — so it has six-to-twelve months’ newer components, and is therefore “better” — then market the crap out of it. You’re sure to beat Apple, eventually. So don’t stop.
Kevin C. Tofel on GigaOM (August 2011):
“5 reasons HP TouchPad discounts don’t spell disaster”
“Nothing against these folks and many others that tweeted similar doom and gloom thoughts; I respect their opinions, but I disagree ...”
“HP has become the top PC seller in the world by using these pricing strategies, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t do the same thing where it can in the tablet market.”
Translation: Six months from now, you won’t even remember that there was such a thing as a “TouchPad.”
Update: Did I say six months? I should’ve said less than two weeks.
Michael Arrington of TechCrunch (August 2011):
“[O]ne thing I was very right on is the huge demand for a less expensive tablet computer, even in today’s iPad world. HP’s [product cancellation] sale of the TouchPad for $100 just confirms this — people will buy millions and millions of these things even if it doesn’t have an Apple logo on it.”
“HP certainly can’t spend $318 to build a TouchPad and then sell it for $100. But HP (or someone) could build a perfectly awesome capacitive touch screen tablet running on decent hardware for less than $200.”
“If HP were to knock the screen quality down just a bit and figure out a cheaper storage solution, the BOM (bill of materials) on their device could be significantly lower than $200. Normally they’d retail that at $400 or more. But if instead they sold it for cost, and sold millions of them, a very robust developer network would pop up around WebOS.”
“I say to HP — KEEP MAKING TOUCHPADS, as fast as you can. See what the demand curve looks like at $200, and watch the app developers suddenly get crazy excited about WebOS again.”
The reason no one has been selling iPad knock-offs at half the price of an iPad is because they were all waiting for Arrington to tell them that it’s a good idea.
Brooke Crothers on CNET (August 2011):
“iPad met its match in the TouchPad”
“Roger Kay, principal analyst at Endpoint Technologies, believes the TouchPad’s demise should give Apple pause. ... ‘If you were a big company like HP and you were doing a new category product launch, it would not be weird to have a marketing budget in the hundreds of millions ... So, you could have used that money to subsidize the price of the TouchPad and you can flood the market with these devices that are worth way more than you have to pay for them. And get them in everybody’s hands. Get everybody talking about it. That could have been the loss leader entry into the market,’ he said. ‘So, it wasn’t really a product failure, it was a pricing failure.’”
Watch out, Apple. Those big boys with hundreds of millions of dollars of expendable cash might be coming after li’l ol’ Apple with its paltry, uh, what is it now? Oh, yeah, $76 billion.
One-year update: Now over $100 billion.
Brian Caulfield of Forbes (August 2011):
“Why The Undead $99 TouchPad Might Portend The iPad’s Doom
Is the $99 TouchPad the future of the tablet market?”
“Losing big bucks on hardware is an ugly business model, but it’s not uncommon, and it might just be the future of the tablet market.”
“So is there a future for Apple in the tablet business?”
Let me think about it. I’ve thought about it. Yes. There is.
Paul Thurrott on Twitter (September 2011):
“Hello, Windows 8? This is iPad. You win.”
So Windows 8 is better than iPad because — you would shut down iPad if you could? I knew it! I knew the iPad sucked.
Gartner Research (September 2011):
[predicts that Apple will have only about 45% of the “media tablet” market in about four years]
Hey, Gartner guys, I notice that your chart shows sales of 2.5 million Android tablets in 2010. Uh, which Android tablets were those, and to whom were they sold? Just wondering. You know. Because, like, 2010 ended nearly nine months ago, and I haven’t heard anything about Android tablets selling that well to date.
Update: NPD reports that U.S., non-Apple tablet sales in the first ten months of 2011 (which, of course, includes Android) “soared” to more than 1.2 million units.
Don Reisinger on eWEEK (September 2011):
“Apple iPad 3 Might Face Trouble at Launch: 10 Reasons Why”
“Whether it’s made available in October or early next year, the [iPad 3] will face significant challenges that might stymie its chances of dramatically outselling its predecessor. Although Apple might not like to hear it, the tablet space is changing at a torrid pace and the iPad 3’s sales might suffer a bit because of that.”
How do you predict these things so far in advance, Don? There must be some trick to it, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what it is.
Molly Wood on CNET (September 2011):
“Kindle Fire an iPad killer? Yes. It’s the price, stupid
Amazon, not Apple, just mainstreamed the tablet market.”
“The company’s new Kindle Fire tablet, a 7-inch touch-screen device powered by Amazon’s content ecosystem and priced at just $199, may be an orange to Apple’s iPad apple, but I’d argue that it’s an iPad killer all the same.”
“The iPad, in even sideways competition with a Kindle Fire, faces the same problem it’s always had, but it’s a bigger problem now. The problem is that hardly anyone actually needs an iPad.”
I’m sure this can’t be the same Molly Wood who said that Apple would sell only 800 iPads. Can it?
Update: Looks like Molly has changed her tune! Sweet! I’d much rather have her on our side than Enderle (ughh) or Thurrott (blechh).
Don Reisinger on eWEEK (October 2011):
“Apple iPad’s Reign as Top Tablet Won’t Last Forever”
“[I]t appears that Apple will dominate the tablet space for at least the next year.”
Jerry Shen of ASUS as reported by Electronista Staff (October 2011):
“Shen is also reportedly optimistic that Windows 8 will ‘completely change’ the tablet market and put Microsoft on top, defeating the iPad.”
Optimism, apparently, is something ASUS is very good at.
Avram Piltch on LAPTOP - The Pulse of Mobile Tech (October 2011):
“The votes have been counted and we have a winner in the 2011 Tablet World Series. Lenovo’s ThinkPad Tablet takes the crown ...”
“[T]he ThinkPad Tablet simply dominated the game this weekend.”
“Could the ThinkPad Tablet’s win herald a new appreciation for productivity and for pen-based input? We’ll just have to see.”
You mean, you’ll have to see, Avram. Most of us already know.
Jack Gold as reported by Nicholas Kolakowski in eWEEK (November 2011):
“By 2014-15 we expect Android tablets to acquire a majority share of the consumer market as the number of vendors and variety of models overwhelm the iPad.”
You know how I know the iPad will be overwhelmed in a few years? Because of the number and variety of industry analysts predicting that it will be.
NPD Group - Behind Every Business Decision (November 2011):
“U.S. Tablet Sales (excluding Apple) Exceed 1.2 Million Units in First 10 Months of 2011”
“U.S. tablet sales, excluding iPad sales, soared to more than 1.2 million units sold from January through October ...”
“‘If you look at the tablet market without Apple there are a number of high-profile brands vying for that number two spot,’ said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. ‘According to NPD’s Consumer Tracking Service, 76 percent of consumers who purchased a non-Apple tablet didn’t even consider the iPad, an indication that a large group of consumers are looking for alternatives, and an opportunity for the rest of the market to grow their business.
PC manufacturers are dominant in the tablet space, as four of the top five tablet brands already have a strong U.S. consumer PC presence.”
Translation: Nine out of every ten tablets sold are Apple iPads.
Zach Epstein in BGR (November 2011):
“iPad demand said to be fading as competition heats up”
“Demand for Apple’s iPad tablet is said to be in decline as competition finally heats up thanks to the $199 Kindle Fire from Amazon, and investors could be in for a disappointing fourth quarter as a result.”
It turned out to be the second-best quarter in any U.S. company’s history, ever. But not the first-best. Disappointing.
Nicholas Kolakowski on eWEEK (November 2011):
“Microsoft’s Windows 8 Tablets Not Too Late”
“Is it truly too late for Windows 8 tablets? The question seems asinine, considering how said tablets won’t hit the market for several quarters.”
“But does that necessarily mean that Windows 8 tablets will arrive on store shelves too late for consumers? No. In the tablet wars, Microsoft has one very powerful tool at its disposal: its wide variety of manufacturing partners. ... OEMs in the tablet and PC arena will have little choice but to embrace Windows 8 as the route forward against Apple’s iPad.”
Can’t they choose not to make a tablet at all? Where is it written that OEMs must blow tons of money on unsuccessful products?
Don Reisinger on eWEEK (November 2011):
“Windows 8 Tablets Will Be a Huge Hit”
“There’s little debating that tablets have become a huge hit and will be a major factor in the future growth of the PC market. People around the globe are flocking to stores to get their hands on everything from Apple’s iPad 2 to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to the Amazon Kindle Fire.”
“Easily the most important company yet to make a mark in the tablet market is Microsoft.”
“The only issue is, not everyone believes Windows 8 can be a winner in the tablet space. In fact, they say it will fail miserably. They’re wrong.”
“Windows 8 will likely be a success on the desktop and laptop. ... [T]hat success should also spill over into the tablet market where customers, happy with the experience of using Windows 8, will want to get a slate running the new Windows version as well.”
“Apple’s iPad is the dominant force in the tablet space right now. But how will it be able to hold up against the onslaught of Windows 8 tablets ready to hit store shelves? As noted, several vendors are readying Windows 8 tablets. As long as they follow through on their plans, store shelves might be saturated with those devices. The iPad might outsell individual Windows 8 tablets, but as a whole, it’ll fall short.”
When I want a tablet, I wander into any old store and reach blindly for any tablet that happens to be on the shelf. Since the store has given each model the same shelf space, I’m highly likely to wind up with a non-Apple tablet. And that’s just how it works — on Reisinger’s bizarro fantasy planet.
Ten models don’t make a forceful “onslaught.” Consumers don’t buy tablets on a whim because they happened to walk by a tablet-laden shelf. Tablets don’t even sit on store shelves. And the most popular store at which to buy a tablet — the Apple store — isn’t going to carry any Windows 8 devices. Welcome to Earth, Don.
John Martellaro on the Mac Observer (December 2011):
“Apple is Now Forced to Build a 7-inch Tablet
With the success of the Amazon Kindle Fire, Apple can no longer sit idly by and watch this part of the market get gobbled up by a competitor. An avalanche must be averted.”
“When a company comes to dominate a specific market, it’s seen as a failure if another company steps in and finds a weakness. That’s exactly what Amazon has done with the Kindle Fire.”
“What can’t be denied is that Amazon has found a chink in Apple’s armor.”
Time will tell.
Larry Seltzer on InformationWeek’s BYTE Beta (December 2011):
“2012 Will Be the Year of the Android Tablet
At the end of 2011 the tablet market is overwhelmingly an iPad market. ... This will all change in 2012. At CES in Las Vegas the second week of January I expect to be able to walk from one side of the Las Vegas Convention Center to the other stepping only on Android tablets. The place will be full of them.”
Too bad consumers don’t shop at CES. Maybe you could buy a couple dozen of those tablets, Larry. (If they sell them there, that is.)
Jared Newman on TIME Techland (December 2011):
“Looking Forward to 2012: Credible iPad Threats
The iPad is a great tablet, but you know what’s even better? Competition.”
You know what’s even better than the iPad 2? The upcoming iPad 3.
Paul Thurrott on Paul Thurrott’s Supersite For Windows (December 2011):
“How Apple Can Fix The IPad In 2012”
“Last year, I wrote about how Apple could fix the iPad in 2011. This type of thing is blasphemy to Apple’s empty-headed fanatics, who believe that everything Apple does is perfect.”
When the company you oppose is more successful than any tech company ever, and the company you advocate has released flop after flop for more than a decade — it might be time to re-assess where you assign the term “empty-headed.”
Don Reisinger in eWEEK (January 2012):
“Apple iPad 3: 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy It at Launch”
But you should buy it later? Can’t wait to hear about that, Don.
Strategy Analytics (January 2012):
[says Apple’s share of the tablet market has fallen to 58%]
Still counting shipments of non-iPad tablets as sales? How accurate was that the last time you did it?
Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group (January 2012):
“Right now the behavior is people buy a tablet, find it doesn’t do what they want then buy an ultrabook. But I expect this behavior to change as the products become better known and cheaper. Folks will increasingly jump to ultrabooks and not take the intermediate step.”
Sticking to your four-step plan, I see.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes in ZDNet (February 2012):
“Microsoft gets it right with Windows 8 on ARM, and why Apple should be worried”
“I’m now more convinced than I’ve ever been that Microsoft has got it right.”
“There won’t be a gulf between Office on WOA devices and x86/x64 PCs like there is say between iWork applications on a Mac, and their equivalent on iOS devices. And this is why Apple should be worried.”
And this is why Apple shouldn’t be worried: Most purchasers of Apple products already either can’t or don’t run Microsoft Office on them, and Apple’s still selling them just about as fast as they can make them.
Paul Thurrott in Windows IT Pro (February 2012):
“Look Out Apple, Microsoft is Getting the Tablet Right”
“[Windows on ARM tablets] looks like something that will relegate the iPad to the backwater of the tablet market, much as Windows did to the Mac. And they will ship with full, but touch-enabled, versions of the coming Office 15 apps, which should be a neat final nail in the coffin of those overpriced luxury items from Cupertino. Last year, the Kindle Fire proved that a low-priced device could quickly chip away at the iPad’s dominance. This year, ARM-based Windows 8 tablets are going to accelerate the iPad’s decline. And I’m not the only one who thinks so.”
You mean, you’re not the only embittered, anti-Apple pundit willing to throw his predictive accuracy on the sword for the umpteenth time? Say it isn’t so.
Bob Lewis in InfoWorld (February 2012):
“Microsoft’s killer tablet opportunity
Forget about outdoing Apple’s iPad and give us the features that finally improve the way we work”
“There’s no point trying to outslick [Apple] ... By the time you get close to matching iOS, Apple will have moved on to the next level of fashionable semi-functionality. Apple’s software is somewhat like the Kardashians: It always looks good if your tastes run that way. Its capabilities are quite a different matter.”
“[G]ive or take a year or two, Microsoft Windows has looked like what you might get if Apple sold Macintoshes in kit form to hobbyists — sorta like it, only clunkier and with rough edges. And yet, Windows have outsold Macs everywhere except in homes, schools, and marketing departments by maybe a 20:1 margin. The user interface matters, but it isn’t the whole ball game. Heck, it isn’t even an inning.”
Checked iPad sales lately? Compared them to Microsoft’s ten-years-running tablet efforts lately? Bob? Hello? (Must be on break.)
Andy Rubin of Google (February 2012):
“2012 is going to be the year that we double down and make sure we’re winning in [the tablet] space.”
Because right now you’re not “sure” you’re winning in tablets. You just need to “make sure.”
Matt Hartley in The Financial Post (March 2012):
“New Apple iPad does little to fend off rivals’ advance”
“For Apple’s rivals, most notably Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., the incremental improvements in the latest iPad may be just the opportunity they need to establish themselves as legitimate competitors to the world’s most valuable company.”
“When the iPad 2 was unveiled last year, it was seen as an incremental upgrade over the original version of the device, adding a couple of cameras and improving battery life. It now appears that Apple’s move from second to third generation iPad is even less of a bold leap forward and more of a tepid shuffle from an underwhelming top dog.”
“Apple’s lead in the tablet market is already shrinking. ... [T]hanks to the rise of Google Inc.’s Android software, and the myriad manufacturers now building for the platform — including Samsung Electronics and Amazon.com Inc. — Apple’s lead is slipping. Even Research In Motion Ltd.’s much maligned BlackBerry PlayBook has seen some recent success after several discounts and promotions.”
“In the fourth quarter of 2011, despite selling more iPads than in any other quarter to date, Apple saw its share of the global tablet market fall to 57.6%, down from 68.2% at the end of 2010, according to data from market research firm Strategy Analytics.”
Those Strategy Analytics “shipments” percentages sure are popular, aren’t they?
Paula Rooney in ZDNet (March 2012):
“Fear not, Android lovers. Google’s Motorola Mobility’s next generation tablet will commandeer Android’s rightful place in the market ...”
“[N]o doubt Android tablets will be matching if not outselling iPads within a year or so.”
“I think [Dell] simply took advantage of the lull in the Android market to go back to the drawing board and produce a better iPad rival. There’s simply too much demand and too money to be made.”
“Android 4.X and [Google’s] big investment in Motorola Mobility should put to rest any notion that the open source OS is out of the running. Quite the contrary. It’s just a matter of some quick hardware development and snazzy marketing — and maybe a new name.”
Android tablets are in a temporary “lull.” Which Dell is going to “take advantage of.” “No doubt” they will beat the iPad.
“Apple Inc.’s introduction of the latest iPad has left Madison Avenue, and Silicon Valley, scratching their heads.”
“Branding experts said the lack of a new name is potentially confusing ...”
“The lack of a new name quickly became a hotly debated topic on the Twitter website. ‘Let’s be honest, the name ‘The New iPad’ is already a $10 billion mistake, black eye on the Tim Cook era, and it’s an hour old,’ read one typical post.”
Translation: The new iPad just sold out its pre-orders, really fast.
Kent German in CNET (March 2012):
“Windows 8 and why to wait on the new iPad”
“Windows 8 is coming”
“If you haven’t been following the story of the next version of Microsoft’s OS, now is a good time to start paying attention.”
“Windows 8 is a breeze to use ... And most importantly, it was created to unify the desktop and the tablet.”
Because what consumers just yearn for is to run a mouse-based, windows-and-menus interface on a handheld touch-tablet, and to run a touchscreen interface on a desktop computer with a mouse.
Steve Felice of Dell (March 2012):
“We’re very encouraged by the touch capability we are seeing in the beta versions of Windows 8.”
“We have a roadmap for tablets that we haven’t announced yet. You’ll see some announcements.. for the back half of the year. We don’t think that this market is closed off in any way.”
“On the commercial side there are a lot of concerns about security, interoperability, systems and device management, and I think Dell is in the best position to meet those.”
“When people put their computer to the side and take their iPad with them to travel, you see a lot of compromises being made.”
“We come at the market in a different way ... We are predominantly a company that has a great eye on the commercial customer who also wants to be a consumer. In the areas where we come at the market, we think we are a coveted brand.”
Translation: We brought back some of our mall kiosks after four years — think that’ll make a difference?
Mary-Jo Foley and Gavin Clarke in The Register (March 2012):
“Judging by what Microsoft has said about WOA [Windows On ARM] so far, and looking at rumours circulating about the next Office, it is looking increasingly like WOA is losing its edge over the iPad.”
Translation: Unreleased products from Microsoft can be said to have an “edge” over products from Apple that have been available for years and are selling like crazy.
The Week (March 2012):
“Was the new iPad launch a dud?”
“The new iPad drew a ‘muted response’ from the buying public, says Nathalie Auriol at Agence-France Presse.”
Where “muted” means three million sold on launch weekend.
Zach Epstein in BGR (March 2012):
“iPad launch day is quite a fiasco.”
“[W]e didn’t find a single store in the New York area that reported a complete stock-out.”
You mean, they made enough of them this time? Fiasco!
Joe Brown of Gizmodo (March 2012):
“iPad 3 Review: Better Than Anything Else, but Kind of a Letdown”
“[The new iPad] is not worthy of a press conference.”
Translation: Ever since we bought that stolen iPhone prototype a couple years ago, Apple won’t give us the time of day.
Nathan Brookwood in Tec.pinions (April 2012):
“Why My Next Tablet Will Run Windows 8”
“Some suggest that the structure of the tablet market has already been settled. ... I beg to differ. Android and iOS tablets do a yeoman’s job when it comes to consuming content, but lack the software tools and hardware features needed to create content. ... The Metro User Interface in Windows 8 supplies these missing elements, and thus positions Win 8-based tablets as the only ones suitable for those who want to both create and consume content on a single device.”
Translation: It’s real content only if you create it with Microsoft Windows.
NPD Group (May 2012):
[predicts that iPad market share will shrink to 50% by 2017]
Translation: We have no freakin’ clue what the market will be doing five years from now. So why not predict an outcome we like?
ABIresearch - technology market intelligence (May 2012):
“More than 208 million phablets, a hybrid device that is larger than a smartphone but smaller than a tablet, like the Samsung Galaxy Note, will be shipped globally in 2015.
Despite the slow start for phablet smartphones in 2011, the market is at the dawn of the phablet era. HTC, LG, and Huawei will each introduce phablet smartphones in 2012, joining the ranks of Samsung’s Galaxy Note and Nexus. Additionally, another phablet smartphone was released earlier this month, the Samsung Galaxy S3.”
“Global shipments for phablets will increase by a factor of 10 in 2012 from 2011.”
“ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies.”
Wow, you guys are smart. So smart, in fact, that the word “shipments” appears four times in your article, but the word “sales” appears zero times.
Joe Kremer of Dell (June 2012):
“People might be attracted to some of these shiny devices [iPads] but technology departments can’t afford to support them. If you are giving a presentation and something fails on the software side it might take four days to get it up and running again. I don’t think this race has been run yet.”
FUD! FUD will save us. Plus the return of our mall kiosks.
Surur in WMPoweruser (June 2012):
“Is the iPad doomed?”
“Who are the winners? The OEMs, who get to sell a whole new set of hardware at a premium because it is touch enabled. Microsoft of course because they have managed to step into the mobile future. Windows Phone by association. Developers because they will have a vastly expanded audience to address with their apps. The users of course because they will have the best of both worlds.
Who will lose? The iPad certainly, and any Android tablets. Firefox and Chrome, due to IE10 deep integration.
Given that the winners vastly outnumber the losers I think the chances of a good outcome by Q 2 2013 is pretty high.”
Among tablet users in 2013, the winners are going to vastly outnumber the losers. Just as they did in 2012. And 2011.
Jesus Diaz on Gizmodo (June 2012):
“Microsoft Surface Just Made the MacBook Air and the iPad Look Obsolete
Microsoft has guts.”
“[T]he cool and the future belong to Apple. Or belonged. After yesterday’s Surface event — assuming they don’t fumble the execution — Gates’[s] children may have found the weapon to stop the heirs of Jobs and turn the tide.”
“[Surface] is beautiful. Beautiful and functional and simple and honest. Surface just bumped the MacBook Air and the iPad to the back seat ...”
“Excited? You should be”
“[Surface] has a real chance of stopping the seemingly unstoppable Apple empire.”
“It’s going to be hard, since they don’t have the app ecosystem yet, but that will come eventually. Microsoft has the user base, the developer base, and the deep pockets to make sure of that.”
“The iPad started a new era in computing but, for all its undeniable hardware innovation and beauty, it carries a legacy. It’s a truly useful and fun color Newton on gorgeous, zippy hardware.”
“[MacBook Air] represents the end of an era, not the future.”
“Surface could be the first device to fulfill the promise of the New Computing Era ushered in by the iPad. I’m excited.”
Translation: I like Microsoft. I want Microsoft to win. Any questions?
Farhad Manjoo in Slate (June 2012):
“Why I Love Surface
The company’s new tablet could be the iPad rival the tech world desperately needs.
I love the Surface. And that’s true even though I know very little about it.”
“[D]espite all these unknowns, I’m already deeply smitten. Not because the Surface is so great — though it seems like it might be — but because it represents a new and potentially powerful force in the tech industry. For the first time in its history, Microsoft is taking PC hardware as seriously as it does software.”
“[A]nyone who yearns for a vibrant PC industry should applaud Microsoft’s move.”
“At long last, the PC industry has some real hardware competition.”
The tech world desperately needs Microsoft to rule everything once again. Got it.
Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (June 2012):
“Just giving people devices has a really horrible track record. You really have to change the curriculum and the teacher. And it’s never going to work on a device where you don’t have a keyboard-type input. Students aren’t there just to read things. They’re actually supposed to be able to write and communicate. And so it’s going to be more in the PC realm — it’s going to be a low-cost PC that lets them be highly interactive.”
Don’t stop working on that legacy, Bill.
Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (July 2012):
“I actually believe you can have the best of both worlds. You can have a rich ecosystem of manufacturers and you can have a few signature devices that show off, you know, wow, what’s the difference between a tablet and a PC.”
“You don’t have to make a compromise. You can have everything you like about a tablet and everything you like about a PC all in one device. And so that should change the way people look at things.”
“This [Microsoft Surface] is a seminal event.”
What people really want in a tablet is a “rich ecosystem of manufacturers.” Got it.
Mihaita Bamburic in Beta News (July 2012):
“You can’t do real work on a tablet
Whenever I think about tablets v. PCs, I remember a bold prediction of old: ‘Son, 10 years from now everyone will drive an electric car!’ When was that, 20 years ago? We’ve all read something like that from someone believing to be clairvoyant.
I read similar articles almost every day where the writer plays the same old broken record: tablets are the death of PCs, or some other flamboyant thing that’s bound to get interest — with the hope that the reader will agree with the author.”
So, um, which brand of electric car was outselling every brand of gasoline-burning car, and what year was that, exactly? I don’t remember it so well, Mihaita; please refresh my memory. Thanks in advance.
Gregg Keizer in Computerworld (July 2012):
“Record iPad sales can’t keep Apple from missing expectations”
Record iPad sales, and profits 20% higher than the year-ago quarter, can’t keep tech pundits from crying, “Miss!”
John C. Dvorak in PC Magazine (July 2012):
“[The latest 7" tablets from Google and Samsung are] leaving Apple flat-footed rather than at the head of the pack. The funny thing here is that Apple is behind the pack when it comes to making its iPhone bigger and is now behind the pack in making the iPad smaller.”
So how’re sales of 7" tablets up there at the “front of the pack?” That good, huh? (Pssst — check them again in a few months. They might be about to get a lot better.)
Matt Asay in The Register (July 2012):
“iPad is RUBBISH for enterprise”
“[T]he reality is that the iPad is only enterprise-ready in iFantasyLand.”
“Microsoft will bring its enterprise-ready applications to its own devices, as the company has touted with its soon-to-be-released Surface. ... it’s too soon to write off Microsoft’s chances.”
Yes, but don’t worry, Matt — a late-October release date has been set.
Rob Enderle in Digital Trends (July 2012):
“Why Apple can’t sustain tablet dominance”
“Apple perfected its stranglehold on portable music players with the iPod, but can’t quite wrap its hands around smartphones or tablets the same way.”
“Rather than leading the smartphone market, Apple currently seems to be chasing it, racing to get the larger iPhone 5 into stores this quarter to offset massive market share declines.”
“Apple no longer owns the tablet market, and will likely lose dominance this year or next.”
“Smartphones eventually eclipsed iPods, so we don’t really talk about iPods anymore. Much as we look back at IBM’s loss of mainframe dominance, we will eventually look back and see Apple’s failure to defend the iPod as a strategic mistake.”
“[The iPod] kind of dominance can’t be sustained with tablets or smartphones.”
“[T]his level of sustained dominance doesn’t appear to recur with the same vendor even if it launched the category.”
“Apple did have moments of massive dominance with the iPhone and iPad, but just couldn’t sustain it.”
“The leading candidate for the next dominant product is a TV set-top box, and the one that suddenly has interest is the Google TV product from Vizio.”
“[T]he next iPod-like dominant product is likely to come from the Web, and thus unlikely to come from Apple ...”
Translation: I have no real clue what will be dominant in the future, but I somehow know for sure that it won’t be from Apple.
J. T. Wang of Acer, as reported by Robert Budden and Sarah Mishken in Financial Times (August 2012):
“[Wang] said Microsoft’s plans to launch its own ‘Surface’ tablet in October — in direct competition with his company’s Iconia or HP’s TouchPad tablets would be ‘negative for the worldwide ecosystem’ in computing.”
Except...that most of the computing tablet ecosystem is Apple’s iPad, which will do just fine with or without Microsoft launching its own tablet.
Thomas Claburn in InformationWeek (August 2012):
“Apple’s iPad Mini: Less Is Less Interesting”
“Ben Woods observed that ‘Apple is in danger of becoming boring.’”
“[T]he iPad Mini, or whatever it ends up being called — the iPod+, the iPad-, or the PodPad — has passed the danger zone. It is boring.”
“Like it or not, Amazon’s Kindle line, Google’s Asus-made Nexus 7, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 arrived first.”
“Apple is at the top of its game. But the problem with being at the top is that it’s a lot harder to climb higher than to relax or descend.”
Yes, Thomas. Unreleased, unannounced products are pretty boring. Until they’re not. Probably about a month from now.
Michael H. in phoneArena.com (August 2012):
“Can the iPad survive the Windows 8 wave, or will history repeat for Apple?”
“With the wave of Windows 8 about to crest, can the iPad survive?”
“Now, the iPad is the king of tablets, but Windows 8 is looming large on the horizon.”
“To blindly say that Apple will continue to dominate the tablet market is something of a baseless endeavor ...”
“[T]he iPad’s lead has already been weakened, and Microsoft is a much more dangerous threat than Android.”
“If Windows 8 does take over the majority of the tablet market from the iPad, will Apple care? Probably not. Apple has designed its business model completely on profit margins, not on market share.”
“[T]his feels so much like we’re about to see history repeat itself all over again. To an extent, it would almost feel surprising if Windows 8 doesn’t hold the majority of the tablet market within a few years.”
What? No last name?
John Biggs in TechCrunch (October 2012):
“The Intel-branded Ultrabook might quickly sink away from mainstream, but it will have a lasting effect on notebook design.
Maybe Ultrabooks will get a second wind after Win8. I doubt it. Surface is what people are looking to as the next big thing and Microsoft is still more important to manufacturers than Intel ever will be.”
Microsoft is really important to the company that sells the great majority of tablets. Right, John?
Adam Holt of Morgan Stanley, as reported by Larry Dignan in ZDNet (October 2012):
“Holt expects Microsoft to move 3 million Surface units in 2012 and 9 million in 2013.”
“Holt said in a research note: ‘... Our survey in May 2012 of 7,500 consumers suggested that 25% of consumers expect to buy a Windows tablet at any price and 30% would buy a Windows tablet at parity with an iPad. ...’”
“Holt is expecting Microsoft’s Surface along with an army of tablet partners can give it 14 percent of the tablet market in 2013, up from 4 percent in 2012.”
What chance does one company have against an army?
Larry Magid in Forbes (October 2012):
“The iPad Mini is a Good Idea, But Yet Another Apple Snoozefest”
“[L]et’s not get too excited about Apple once again catching up with its competitors.”
“[T]his is just another tablet ...”
“I’m predicting a snooze fest ...”
Wake up, Larry.
Joe Wilcox in BetaNews (October 2012):
“You can forget iPad mini”
“Neither [me nor my boss] could quite fathom why or for what price a smaller Apple tablet makes sense. A new survey makes iPad mini all the more perplexing, and all the less a good idea.”
“There’s too much risk iPad mini will cannibalize the larger model’s sales, while offering little market share benefits.”
“[T]he TechBargains.com survey strongly suggests iPad mini is a foolhardy endeavor.”
Nothing foolhardy has ever come out of your mouth. Right, Joe?
Paul Thurrott in Windows IT Pro (October 2012):
“Faced with falling market share in the tablet market because of low-priced and smaller competitors, Apple this week announced a tiny tablet of its own. But the iPad mini, as it’s called, isn’t low priced at all. Like most Apple products, it is instead a premium product with a commensurate price tag.”
“iPad mini follows in the footsteps of successful competitors like Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD ...”
“iPad mini utilizes a suddenly old-fashioned 1024 x 768 screen ...”
“iPad mini prices soar, as only Apple products can, to a lofty $659, not including a cover. That’s about $200 more than the average selling price of a Windows laptop.
But wait, it gets weirder. ... Heading into the holiday season, Apple’s product line is suddenly quite convoluted and filled with a collection of products both new and old. The firm that once bragged about a grid of four basic product lines now sells so many different models and versions that it’s impossible to keep track of them all.”
“Maybe this isn’t Apple’s fault. To compete with the horde of Android cloners that spam the market with smartphone handsets and tablets on an almost weekly basis, Apple has been forced to keep aging products in the market long after they’ve ostensibly been replaced by newer versions. ... Ultimately, Apple might be sacrificing its soul to maintain its position in the market.”
What? No prediction that Apple will/won’t do very well this holiday season? OK, here’s my prediction: They will.
Steve Ballmer of Microsoft (October 2012):
“I don’t think anyone has done a [tablet] product that I see customers wanting.”
Customers are buying the iPad even though they don’t want it. Got it.
Steve Ballmer of Microsoft (October 2012):
“We like our model, as we are evolving it. In every category Apple competes, it’s the low-volume player, except in tablets. In the PC market, obviously the advantage of diversity has mattered since 90-something percent of PCs that get sold are Windows PCs. We’ll see what winds up mattering in tablets.”
When will we see that? Before or after Apple sells another 100 million of them?
Joe Wilcox in Beta News (October 2012):
“Apple has a big problem. Android tablets are making huge market share gains against iPad ...”
“iPad mini is a desperate attempt to stop Apple’s bleeding market share, and the cost will hit company margins.
“‘No single Android vendor comes close to Apple in volume terms at the moment, but the collective weight of dozens of hardware partners, such as Asus, Samsung and Nook, is helping Google’s Android platform to register a growing presence in tablets’, Neil Mawston, Strategy Analytics executive director, says. That collective weight is crushing.”
The iPad is being crushed.
Ewan Spence in Forbes (October 2012):
“Tim Cook Blinked First — The Nexus 7 Takes Pride Of Place At The iPad Mini Launch”
“In all of my time covering Apple launches, this felt the most defensive presentation of little more than a ‘me-too’ product. What was the justification for making the iPad Mini?”
“[T]hey’re following everyone else into the 7" market because they don’t want to be left out. Apple is scared to miss the next big thing, because if they do, what’s left of the ‘reality distortion field’ will crumble. That’s not how you change the world.”
“So we have the ultimate ‘inbetweener’ unit that’s larger than the 7" competition, with a poorer screen (less pixels, over a larger area), two generations behind the rest of the iPad range. How do you sell that?”
Um...by making it run all the same apps as the full-size iPad? (Duh.)
Sebastian Anthony in IT Pro Portal (November 2012):
“Has Apple lost its mojo with the iPad mini and iPad 4?”
“[A] recent report carried out by Strategy Analytics showed that 75 per cent of current iPhone owners in Western Europe are intending to upgrade to another Apple phone — down from 88 per cent this time last year. In the US, where the ‘force’ is still a bit stronger, the figure is down from 93 per cent to 88 per cent. Meanwhile, Google’s Android operating system is enjoying one of the most meteoric rises the world has ever seen.”
In what, tablets? Actual sales to users? You might wanna double-check what Strategy Analytics reports, Sebastian.
Dave Winer in Gizmodo (November 2012):
“Is the iPad Mini the Beginning of Apple’s Decline?”
“I have been an Apple shareholder for about 10 years. I haven’t sold my stock, yet — but for the first time I’m thinking about it. I’m worried that I’ll decide to sell after it’s too late.”
“I think this product [the iPad mini] is making Apple’s stock dive. Steve [Jobs] never would have shipped it.”
“Steve’s Apple never deigned to do something as crass as ‘competing.’ It was a foreign concept.”
“[T]he newer product is a dust-catcher. ... It was an obsolete product the day it shipped, and the day before it shipped.”
“I believe it’s not only not a winner, but it signals a new Apple that’s no longer beyond compare, no longer insisting on delighting its users to the point of orgasm.”
Maybe you should watch Ballmer’s “developers” speech again, Dave. That might turn you on.
Deborah Netburn in the L.A. Times (November 2012):
“Report: Kindle Fire HD to outsell iPad mini 2:1 in holiday season”
Report: After this holiday season, Amazon won’t be saying how many Kindle Fire HD’s they sold.
Steve Ballmer of Microsoft as reported by Electronista Staff (November 2012):
“‘We see nothing but a sea of upside,’ Ballmer said, referring to the company’s recent foray into the tablet market with the Surface. ‘I feel pretty good about our level of innovation,’ he added.”
I feel pretty good about it too.
Jeff Orr of ABI Research, as reported by Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson in news.com.au (December 2012):
“ABI Research senior practice director Jeff Orr said Apple’s launch of the iPad Mini ‘acknowledged’ growing competition from Google tablets but the smaller device has yet to knock them out of the market.”
Hey, as long as Google et al. want to keep manufacturing those things, Apple can’t make them stop. Market share! Hooray!
Ashraf Eassa in Seeking Alpha (December 2012):
“Apple’s Decline: Thanks, iPad Mini”
“As obvious and as ‘irritating’ as it may sound, the simple truth is that margin compression, according to several reports, is happening now.”
“[T]he 10"-class tablets will more-or-less be rendered obsolete by touch-enabled notebooks and convertible designs such as the Dell XPS Duo 12, the Lenovo Yoga 13, and the ASUS Taichi.”
“I firmly believe that, aside from folks who are extremely rich (or just tech nerds in general), there will be significant cannibalization of sales of the larger iPad by the iPad Mini.”
“Apple’s a great company that has built a superb brand. But, folks, they build computers, phones, and tablets. Apple neither designs nor builds the majority of the internals for its products.”
“Windows 8 is a far more innovative OS on the PC side of things. ... the iPad and the MacBook Air are both under serious fire.”
“[Apple’s earnings] will inevitably get a whole lot smaller over the next couple of years as the smartphone and tablet become commodities.”
Well, it was fun while it lasted.
Matt Burns in TechCrunch (January 2013):
“At $1,018*, The Surface Pro Is Priced Just Right”
“Ignore the noise and look at the situation. The Surface Pro is priced just right.”
“The Surface Pro is a full Windows 8 machine powered by a legit Intel chipset.”
“The $999 11-inch MacBook Air is Apple’s low-end device. Like the Surface RT, it offers just enough power to get by and nothing more. I wouldn’t recommend the base Air model for anyone that wants to venture outside of iPhoto or the web browser. It’s not a work machine; the $999 MacBook Air is a Facebook machine.”
“[Surface Pro] is a serious machine aimed at the prosumer or enthusiast. This is the model that you buy if you want to get work done.”
“In fact, even before a single Surface Pro has been sold, Microsoft probably already considers its venture into the hardware business a success. Never before has a single Windows PC dominated the consumer mindset.”
“[Y]our brand should piss someone off and I’ve never seen a PC that pisses people off like the Surface Pro. That’s a good thing for us and a good thing for Microsoft.”
Is it a good thing for sales?
Paul Thurrott (February 2013):
“Microsoft’s eagerly awaited Surface with Windows 8 Pro ... immediately sold out at Microsoft Store and other retailers. This suggests that demand for Surface Pro is much higher than many anticipated”
“[T]he reaction in tech enthusiast circles, especially those with a decided anti-Microsoft bias, has been almost violent and mocking in its collective reaction to Surface Pro ...”
“The critics will be disappointed to discover that Surface Pro is in fact flying off the shelves ...”
“Those who show up at Microsoft retail store locations are reporting ‘Apple-like’ lines.”
Surface is an Apple-like success. Got it, Paul.
Paul Thurrott in Windows IT Pro (April 2013):
“Apple fan boys with fragile egos and long memories like to taunt me with some of my early quotes about the iPad ...”
Translation: I want to preemptively declare failure for new Apple products, and not be held accountable later when it doesn’t happen. Anyone who thinks I shouldn’t be able to do that is a fragile fanboy.
Andre Meler of Dell (April 2013):
“After the first blush of tablet mania, we’re now at the point where it’s time for serious, planned adoption. ... This is where Dell Channel partners can really help their customers make the right decision for their business ... It’s also a point at which some of the shortcomings of the first iterations of tablets became apparent ...”
“If the first tablet wave was about the user experience, the second is about effective management and support and productivity.”
“The iPad is ... a consumer device in a business world and now it’s time for business tablets to get the job done efficiently and effectively. Dell Partners are in a particularly good position to help their customer roll out mobile devices that truly support their employees now and as their needs and requirements change.”
Translation: Look — I just dug up the corpse of IBM’s 1981 one-last-hurrah-for-FUD strategy! Think maybe we can re-animate it?
Thorsten Heins of BlackBerry (April 2013):
“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore. Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”
“In five years, I see BlackBerry to be the absolute leader in mobile computing ...”
In five years, I’ll be quite surprised if Heins is still CEO of BlackBerry.
Evan Niu, CFA on The Motley Fool (July 2013):
“Apple Can’t Afford to Wait on a Retina iPad Mini”
“It’s all about small tablets these days. That segment of the tablet market is going wild right now ...”
“Apple can fend off rivals ... but only for so long.”
“A fresh report from China’s Economic Daily News believes that Apple has indeed delayed the Retina iPad [m]ini’s launch until early 2014 because of the troubles it’s having. Apple can’t afford to wait that long.”
“Rivals are expected to beef up their displays even further ... in which case even Apple’s strong iOS ecosystem may not be enough to defend against rivals.”
“Additionally, delaying the device until 2014 would mean that Apple’s most promising new product would mostly sit on the sidelines during the all-important holiday shopping season. The relatively low resolution on an aging device wouldn’t stand up very well next to sharp new tablets from Amazon and Google.”
Apple’s in trouble now.
Brian Krzanich of Intel (July 2013):
“You’ll look back and say wow, it’s obvious that the Atom line has truly become strong and they’ve got share in the tablet space.”
We will look back on this and say, “wow.” You got that part right, Brian.
Larry Dignan in ZDNet (August 2013):
“Apple needs enterprise to pick up iPad volume”
“[I]f [Apple] wants to keep the [enterprise iPad] unit volume going it may just need a more dedicated enterprise strategy.”
“What’s the fix? [Barclays analyst Ben] Reitzes argues that Apple needs a strategy to target enterprise sales.”
“[S]elling new tablets is going to be increasingly tricky unless there’s a business model akin to Amazon’s where it sells devices at break even and makes up the difference with e-commerce. In developed markets, most folks who want a tablet already have one.”
Apple’s iPad strategy needs to be fixed. Got it.
Rob Enderle (October 2013):
“[W]hy Apple should be worried
The modern tablet market — created by Apple — has most recently been taken over by Google’s Android platform.”
“[W]hile Apple defined the past, it could very well be Amazon or Microsoft which define the future.”
“Microsoft: Making Existing Tablets Feel Inadequate
Microsoft is finally beginning to put the entire strength of the company behind its tablet efforts ...”
“[I]f Redmond can make consumers want to use tablets professionally they can basically flank Amazon and Apple — again doing what it did to Atari, Commodore, and Apple in the 1980s.”
“Apple isn’t good at defense and in the fourth quarter they will be working mightily to defend their hard earned tablet turf against a more powerful Amazon and a more focused Microsoft.”
Translation: If I just keep publicly fantasizing that Apple is going down, Apple will go down!
Frank X. Shaw of Microsoft (October 2013):
“Seems like the RDF (Reality Distortion Field) typically generated by an Apple event has extended beyond Cupertino. So let me try to clear some things up.”
“The good news is that Microsoft understands how people work better than anyone else on the planet. ... We literally wrote the book on getting things done.”
“Surface is the most productive tablet you can buy today. ... And so it’s not surprising that we see other folks now talking about how much ‘work’ you can get done on their devices. Adding watered down productivity apps. Bolting on aftermarket input devices. All in an effort to convince people that their entertainment devices are really work machines.”
“[Surface tablets] come with full versions of Office 2013, including Outlook, not non-standard, non-cross-platform, imitation apps ...”
Keep making those Surfaces, Frank. You’re doing great.
Paul Thurrott (January 2014):
“[T]he big and slow Vista arrived inauspiciously just as netbooks were taking off and Windows 8 arrived just as media tablets changed everything ...”
“Media tablets” changed everything. Right, Paul.
Adam Levine-Weinberg in The Motley Fool (April 2014):
“Why Apple’s iPad Is in Big Trouble”
“Not only has Apple’s market share lead crumbled, but iPad sales growth has also come to a crashing halt.”
“Where did all the iPad buyers go?”
“If I had to boil down Apple’s iPad problems to a single issue, it’s that the new iPad Mini Retina is a flop.”
“Will Apple reclaim the lead?”
No, Adam. Apple will not “reclaim” the lead in tablets. FYI.
Jim Edwards in Business Insider (May 2014):
“Apple’s iPad Business Is Collapsing”
“Samsung is literally taking Apple’s customers ...”
“The fall of iPad isn’t a surprise. It has been a long time coming. ... Apple’s historic iPad sales look like a business in decline ...”
“[I]t looks as if potential iPad consumers are now shopping on price as well as quality, and Apple isn’t winning that battle.”
You’re right Jim: The iPad isn’t winning a battle for tablet dominance. Now re-read that sentence carefully.
Chris Neiger in The Motley Fool (May 2014):
“Xiaomi, the private tech company that sells smartphones and now tablets, has its sights set on Apple — and it’s paying off.”
“I think the Mi Pad proves yet again that Apple needs to update its devices — or create completely new ones — that truly set itself apart from the competition. When a four-year-old company like Xiaomi creates a tablet that looks nearly identical to a high-end device like the iPad Mini and runs software that looks just as sleek, it should be a clear sign to Apple that it’s time to up its game.”
When a company starts cloning your products, the solution is to develop totally new, different products for that company to clone also. Got it, Chris.
Jason Perlow in ZDNet (November 2014):
“Can iPad conquer the enterprise? Only if Apple has the guts to license iOS”
“[The iPad] would now be going up against incumbent Windows-based and Android devices, both of which have very strong OEM and vertical integration software development ecosystems that are friendly to customization and adapting to specific customer requirements. The iPad has none of these qualities. In every respect it is the wrong tool for the job.”
“Apple has never been the kind of company to stomach direct interaction with large corporations and the needs of vertical markets ... If we look at growing business software sales on the App Store as a driver, then licensing iOS starts to make a lot more sense.”
“And yes ... I work for Microsoft ... So you can take what I’m saying for what its worth as someone with an admitted bias. But I’m not saying anything here that a hundred independent analysts and technology bloggers haven’t observed and said already.”
A hundred analysts and bloggers can’t be wrong! Apple had better license out iOS to OEMs today.
James Kendrick in ZDNet (May 2015):
“Why the iPad Pro will flop, if it’s really coming”
“Rumors are heating up that Apple will release a large iPad ... if it’s real it will probably fail.”
“If it does come to pass, I see it possibly becoming the biggest flop from Apple in years. ... It’s nothing new, just a bigger iPad.”
“If for some reason Apple does bring the iPad Pro to market ... there’s a very good chance it will be a major flop.”
“We must remember that the iPad Pro is not a real product, no matter how much pundits write about it.”
Especially no matter what James Kendrick writes about it.
Jason Perlow in ZDNet (September 2015):
“Just who is this device made for, anyway? And what is the usage case?”
“[D]espite the misleading ‘Pro’ moniker, this device is not an enterprise-class device, nor is it well-suited for many kinds of existing vertical market applications ...”
“iPad Pro is the most expensive thin client ever made.”
“iPad Pro is just a very expensive executive paperweight.”
Hmmm. “Pro” couldn’t mean creative professionals — could it, Jason?
Jason Perlow in ZDNet (November 2015):
“iPad Pro: Apple’s tablet is a big fat enterprise failure”
“[L]ike all other iPads that have come before it, the unit is totally inappropriate and undesirable for enterprise use.”
“[T]he real reason why I don’t travel with iPads is that I find them to be too fragile.”
“The iPad has always been a consumer-grade device, which due to its success in consumer settings has been shoehorned and reluctantly allowed into business environments.”
“The iPad Pro is not a tablet. It’s a tabloid. You need two hands to operate it and to hold it securely. If a tablet could be obese, it would be the iPad Pro.”
“I spoke with several executives that were considering purchase of the device — every single one of them rejected it after playing with one in person ...”
“I think Apple really dropped the ball here.”
“My current travel and vacation laptop of choice? The Intel Atom-powered Microsoft Surface 3 ...”
A guy who uses Microsoft’s ultra-distant-third-place tablet platform says Apple’s latest iPad won’t succeed? I am deeply shocked.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes in ZDNet (February 2016):
“To save the iPad, Apple needs to copy Microsoft”
“Apple might be able to sell more iPad Pro tablets than Microsoft shifted Surface units ... but with iPad sales falling, Microsoft may hold the key to the future of the iPad. While the iPad is in decline, Microsoft is seeing strong Surface revenue growth.”
“I remember when I was an enormous fan of the iPad. ... the iPad concept has stagnated. It’s still little more than a giant iPhone.”
“The iPad’s Achilles’ heel is the operating system and the fact that it’s restricted to running apps, most of which are just revamped version of iPhone apps. The iPad was nice and exciting while it was new, but it never became an essential. Now compare this to the Microsoft Surface. Here is a device that excites me ... What excites me the most about the Surface is its ability to run a full operating system, which in turn gives me the freedom and flexibility to run full applications ...”
“[I]f there’s one thing that the Redmond giant knows, it’s PCs, and while the Surface has had a few teething issues, there’s no doubt that it’s a premium piece of hardware.”
“[F]ollowing last quarter’s financial results, it’s becoming clear that customers don’t really want the iPad as it is ...”
“[B]y ditching Windows RT and instead choosing to focus on the full-fat version of Windows, that Microsoft has made the better, braver choice, and is now being rewarded with strong sales. It’s time for Apple to be brave and make a pro tablet running OS X.”
The iPad needs to be saved. The iPad “as it is” is doomed like Windows RT. Especially compared to sales of Microsoft Surface. Got it, Adrian.
Romain Dillet in TechCrunch (February 2016):
“In 2010, tablets were supposed to be the new hot thing. Apple released the first iPad, Samsung was working on the Galaxy Tab and countless others were about to flood the market with Android tablets. Six years later, there weren’t any tablets at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Companies and consumers have moved on. Tablets are dead.”
“It’s not just that people don’t care about tablets anymore — the big electronics companies themselves aren’t even trying to release new products for this market anymore.”
“There are a few reasons why tablets have become so unpopular. First, tablets are now a commodity. You can find dozens of perfectly fine tablets for less than $200.”
“So it’s time to face the truth. Tablets had a good run, but won’t be around for much longer.”
If all those other electronics companies can’t hack it, how can Apple?
Rob Enderle (April 2017):
“[Tablets] have not risen to expectations. Apple, the lead market maker in the category, has recently flipped from an emerging market strategy to a cash cow strategy with its latest reduced-price iPad offering, suggesting it now believes that tablets are on life support.”
In another year or two, tablets will be effectively gone. Right, Rob?