Friday, March 04, 2011

Tablet computers: The second coming | The Economist

An excerpt from an Economist iPad 2 perspective

Another reason to bet Apple will maintain its lead is that rivals with similar capabilities have turned out to be more expensive, whereas the new iPad, despite its extra features, will cost the same as the old one. In America the Xoom costs $800 without a wireless contract and $600 with a two-year one from Verizon. The cheapest iPad 2 is $499 without a contract. Sarah Rotman Epps of Forrester, a research firm, reckons high prices will prove fatal for these rivals. Apple has other advantages, such as an online store full of software programmes, or apps, designed for iPads, as well as content that can be downloaded to them.

Yet the closed nature of such stores also makes some people hesitate to buy tablets. In a recent survey by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), more than 80% of American respondents said being able to access content from anywhere would be an important factor in their choice of e-reader or tablet. John Rose of BCG reckons Apple’s iTunes music store succeeded because it had to strike deals with only the handful of firms that dominate the record business; it will be far harder to reach exclusive agreements with the diverse owners of the many other types of content tablet users might buy.

Tablet computers: The second coming | The Economist

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