While I agree that as an overall presentation, the advent of the ipad2 is underwhelming compared to it’s predecessor, many have apparently missed a couple of important points on the positive and negative side.
First, during the presentation, aside from tech industry competitor misquotes (Samsung reported “smooth sales” not “small sales”), there were a slew of “quantity means quality” statements that catered to the solidification and brand loyalty of existing users. Someone with a thinking brain knows numbers do not speak to quality. Many industry heads love this tactic; Bobby Kotick for example, loves to remark how many people buy Call of Duty in raw volume and use those numbers as “proof” the product is good. Simultaneously, consumers will buy it but often demonstrate buyers remorse. Does Kotick ever really address consumer grievances and fluctuations in his remarks? Nope.
Driving the point that quality is not quality, Justin Beiber may very well sell millions of records and sell-out stadiums at which he performs, but that doesn’t qualify him as anyone with substantive talent (because while a great performer he is, a bonafide artist is not). It simply means he’s very popular and nothing more.
Apple deployed the same logic to kick off the event yesterday and frankly I found myself immediately skeptical of any and all proceeding talks and “reports” throughout because they were fleecing the audience. If one cannot win audience without manipulating data and cherry-picking, there’s less to truly talk about, right?
That aside, I think the primary purpose of the ipad2 is to capture the people “on the fence” like myself. It did not, as you point out, contain huge advancements that “wow” anyone but instead brought the iPad close enough to competitor specs that users know any further advances will surpass what exists in the tablet market. If one recalls, a recent marketing trend has been to tell consumers what others don’t by what the advertised device does; a game of catch-up.
(“Droid does what iDont” sound familiar?)
Think about it: I could go buy a Samsung tablet but I know that next year the iPad 3 will likely have everything consumers anticipated, an iOS update with features to support updated hardware, and a handful of options competitors did right from the start with signature Apple flair under the guise of “brand new” instead of “new relative to Apple.” Still, I believe the purpose is to retain a solid customer base by removing the edge competitors have in existing devices (duh). Pundits and tech bloggers will likely find no solid ground to write about why it is better to go to a different device; it’s less about starting a fire and more about preventing one… methinks Apple doesn’t want to hear “year of the tablet” but does want to hear “year of the ipad2.”
Yet despite this wall of text that may feel as an overall negative retrospective, I remain “on the fence” with one hand stroking my goatee in contemplation and the other at the other on my wallet, ready to open it like a set of legs on prom night.
I see some practical uses for the device and though I know in about a year the third gen device will be the device people have been asking for, I don’t feel waiting another year would prove at all useful. If I were upgrading from the original device I’d refrain, nut that’s not the case.
What say you, tired and occasional reader? Keep my wallet closed or lift my proverbial party dress and enjoy the ride?