Apple's new iPad will pressure Google Android tablets. Although it dominates the tablet market, Apple faces a variety of competitors in the space.
Apple's new iPad could help solidify
its position against other tablets in the marketplace, according to a new
"We believe Apple will maintain
its dominant market share of the fast-growing tablet market despite increased
competition," T. Michael Walkley, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, wrote
in a March 8 research note. "We believe the new iPad has raised the bar
relative to competing tablets with impressive hardware specifications,
competitive pricing, and the leading software ecosystem."
Apple is apparently helped by Android
manufacturers' increased focus on smartphones over tablets. "While Android
tablets were a primary focus at last year's [Mobile World Congress]," he
added, "most Android OEMs offered tablets but focused our MWC meetings on
new smartphone offerings. With the iPad launch, we believe Apple has extended
its leadership position in the fast-growing tablet market."
Apple's new iPad includes a
high-resolution "Retina Display," a new A5X processor with quad-core
graphics and a 5-megapixel rear camera capable of shooting 1080p video. It
weighs slightly more than the iPad 2, at 1.4 pounds, and offers comparable
battery life. Those in the United States will have the option of purchasing the
new iPad with 4G LTE connectivity on either Verizon or AT&T.
The new iPad will keep the same prices
as the previous model, starting at $499 for WiFi only versions and $629 for
those with 4G capability. Prices top out at $699 for the WiFi-only, 64GB model
and $829 for the 64GB model with WiFi and 4G.
Apple also dropped the price of the
iPad 2, with the 16GB, WiFi-only version starting at $399. In doing so, it
replicates the strategy it started with the iPhone, where the prices of the
previous version fall with the introduction of a new unit. It could also help
further spur iPad adoption.
Other analysts believe the new iPad's
features will help it in the battle against Android.
"Given the 8" Kindle Fire
($199) and several lower-priced 10" Android Tablets," Gene Munster,
an analyst with Piper Jaffray, wrote in a March 7 research note, "we see
the price reduction of the iPad 2, and the lower entry-level price for the iPad
family, as a strong defensive move from Apple." Nor does he see the iPad 2
price reduction as negatively impacting sales of the new iPad: "Rather, it
expands Apple's addressable market in the rapidly growing tablet space."
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