Apple unveiled the iPad 2 today, and all of the new features sound great: dual core processor, front and rear cameras, and 1080p HD video playback. But those features also sound awfully familiar, because let’s face it: Practically every major tablet announced in the last 4 or 5 months has similar specs, even if only a handful of those tablets such as the Motorola XOOM, ViewSonic gTablet, or Notion Ink Adam are currently available.
The XOOM and a number of upcoming tablets from Samsung, Asus, and others will also have higher resolution displays than the iPad and better connectivity options since you don’t need a proprietary dongle to attach an HDMI cable or USB peripherals.
The said, the iPad 2 has a few things going for it. At 1.33 pounds and 0.34 inches thick, it’s probably the thinnest and lightest 10 inch tablet available. The $499 starting price will also likely make it one of the cheapest. And for many users, the killer features are the iOS operating system and tight integration with other Apple products including iTunes, AirPlay, the Apple TV, and Mac computers.
It kind of feels like Apple is playing catch-up with the second generation iPad, adding a number of features that the tablet probably should have had at launch, such as cameras. But given the price point and the popularity of Apple’s mobile products, I suspect that will be enough to keep Apple at the top of the tablet food chain for a while longer. During today’s product announcement Apple claimed it has 90% of the tablet market, and while I suspect that number to drop this year as major competitors enter the space, I’d be surprised if the year ends with Apple having less than half the market share.
What do you think? Can anyone knock Apple down a peg or two, or is the iPad 2’s price and feature set good enough to fend off the competition?
Update: We’ve added the iPad 2 to our product database.