With an estimated 7.5m iPads sold since its launch last April, Apple’s success has seen many other competitors gearing up to enter the tablet market with their own versions.
This year will see the release of many versions from all across the sector but the general consensus is that when the dust settles, the battle for major market domination is going to be between Apple and Google.
So the question is, if you are thinking about dipping your toe into the latest technological waters, who do you choose and, with a new version of the iPad set to launch in the spring, is it worth waiting a little bit longer before making that commitment?
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, there were an estimated 100 tablets computers on display, with many being powered by Google’s Android operating system.
Naturally, Apple has done a great job of stealing most of the headlines in recent months and certainly if you are one of those women who want to buy something now, you would be hard pressed to find anything currently on the market that can compete with the iPad.
Its versatility (flash problems aside), software options (there are 1000s of apps available from Apple’s App Store) and sleek design make it a real winner. No matter what its detractors might say, if you want a device that is portable and easy to use – even without a current in-built camera – this is the tablet of choice.
But if you can be patient – and let’s be honest, most women are much better at exercising that quality when it comes to gadgets than men – the outlook promises choice, diversity and ultimately more options.
If there is an accusation that can be levelled at Apple, it is the fact that the company is fairly uncompromising when it comes to price points. When it gives a price it sticks to it – and generally gets away with it! January is the month of sales but one place you certainly won’t see major cost cuts is at Apple.
One tablet device many people are suggesting could be hailed as an “iPad killer” is the new Motorola Xoom, which runs on Google’s Android 3.0 software and is set to ship into the US at least in the first quarter of this year.
The Xoom has a 10.1 screen with full HD video playback and crucially, unlike the iPad, it has the ability to playback Adobe Flash and also features rear and front facing cameras, allowing it to make video calls.
We could get very technical about all of this but we don’t need to and the general consensus is that the bottom line remains that the consumer is the one who will really win.
If you really cannot wait and you want to grab a tablet now then I believe they don’t come any better than the iPad. However, wait six months and not only will options open up significantly, but there is also certainly going to be a new version of the iPad on the market – with its own set of cameras at the very least – as well as a whole raft of new features as well.
George R Vaughan