So here comes the iPad 2

The web is going to be alive with analysis and thoughts on the new iPad and what it means to tablets, desktop machines, Windows, Netbooks and who knows what else so I thought I would go ahead and add my few hundred words into the mix on what I thought about it.

I think it’s really good, but not worth an upgrade for me.

I think the idea of two cameras and Facetime is a good feature but not something I would ever use. Having it be thinner is not that big a deal since I’ve never had an issue with the size or weight of the original. The beefed up processing power and graphics capabilities will probably make a pretty big gap between the two devices in about six months. I fully anticipate some wildly impressive console like games before Christmas. Casual gamers like me will be happy with the regular iPad for quite some time, but more dedicated gamers will be lured to the new device pretty quickly.

Personally I think this is a very solid, but somewhat minor update. I would consider this more of an "S" upgrade. But if I didn’t already have an iPad I would be all over this thing. I would be ordering right now.

I personally think this is going to make people jump. Those who have been on the fence will swoop down and grab this version. Apple is clearly dedicated to the iPad and its showing it has some pretty impressive apps at its disposal. It may in fact be moving toward a desktop replacement for many people.

I already heard a couple of guys around the office saying they were going to get one. Much like you avoid 1.0 versions from MS, a lot of people avoid brand new hardware until it’s had time to mature. Well, I think that time has come. With 15 million iPads out there the amount of feedback and the most wanted features have been rolling in. There’s also been time to see how the iPad handles over the long term. Do people keep using it? Are there worthwhile apps for it? Is it convenient?

I’m sure there’s going to be a pretty hefty upgrade market for the device. I would expect at least 10% of current users to get the iPad 2. I can easily see the current iPad going to a spouse or to a teenager going off to school or graduating and the iPad 2 moving in to replace it. I think the first month sales will be pretty damn big. Perhaps even as big as the initial release.

I also think this casts a shadow over the Xoom. I think that is the tablet that has the most opportunity to be the big non-Apple tablet wonder. But with this new iPad rev does it still have the makings and steam to be a hit? I’m sure the people who hate Apple will buy it (just a reminder, I’m not a huge fan of Apple either, but if a product works for me I’ll get it) and I think it has a good feature set. But I think the iPad 2 is going to take some wind out of its sails. iPad is now established, it’s not new and unknown technology anymore. It’s rolling out on the second version while other vendors are still struggling to get their first product out the door. The iPad library is growing by leaps and bounds and with this more powerful edition the new apps coming down the pipe will be amazing. That is going to make people think before jumping to an "unknown" platform.

For now I think Apple is going to continue to dominate the tablet market and it will take a pretty amazing device with some astounding software to take the spotlight away. Apple has a runaway success right now, but as we’ve seen nothing lasts forever so it’s a race against the clock and a fickle public. Apple is firing on all cylinders right now and I have no doubt that iPad 3 is in the works and the device to replace that is being mapped out too. Will we actually see an iPad 4?

But for today I really like my iPad and I like what I see in the iPad 2. I think iPad 2 will be huge and will keep the tablet fever going. If you’ve been waiting to get a tablet I think now is the time to get it. I’m not in the mood for an upgrade, but by the time the iPad 3 hits the streets this time next year I will probably swoop in for an upgrade.

I can’t wait to see how this works out.

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