Reports are swirling around that Apple has finally sent its iPad 2 to production. Assuming that's true, it's quite possible that the company will make its announcement of the iPad 2 in the near future, and then sell it to consumers around the world soon after that.
But even with anticipation of the iPad 2 growing, there's still no telling what the device will offer. Apple, as it has done in the past with other product announcements, won't say what kinds of updates its upcoming tablet will boast. It also won't give any indication that it's even planning to sell another tablet.
However, it's clear now that the company will be doing just that, so the issue becomes one of timing. When will Apple actually sell its iPad 2? For now, no one knows. But if current market conditions are any indication, it better deliver the upcoming tablet to customers sooner rather than later.
Read on to find out why:
1. The iPad has some glaring issues.
The iPad is an unbridled success, as evidenced by the millions of units sold each quarter. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't have some problems. For one, it lacks a front- or rear-facing camera. It also doesn't come with built-in access to Verizon's 3G network. Moreover, it lacks 4G support. Considering the iPad will be facing tablets this year with at least some of those improvements, Apple will need to get an updated version on store shelves soon so it can keep its momentum going.
2. The update could boost sales even more.
As mentioned, the iPad is selling extremely well. But perhaps an update to the tablet could help Apple enjoy even better sales. After all, those who already bought the iPad might like to get their hands on the updated tablet, and those who have yet to jump into the tablet fray might like what they see. Simply put, a new iPad could have a sizable impact on Apple's sales, and the company would be foolish not to take that opportunity.
3. The Motorola Xoom is coming.
The Motorola Xoom could be the best competitor to the iPad or the eventual iPad 2 on the market. The device will be shipping with a 10.1-inch display, Android 3.0, and both front- and rear-facing cameras. It's reported to be a bit expensive at $800, but that aside, it looks to be a winner. If Apple doesn't deliver the iPad 2 soon, customers might see the Xoom as a better bet, and Apple will lose out because of it.
4. Android is gaining ground.
Google's Android platform has been slowly but surely gaining ground over the last few months, thanks to the Samsung Galaxy Tab. But at least so far, its impact hasn't been felt on iPad sales. However, this year could change all that, with the Xoom and other tablets from Samsung and LG, among others, that could appeal to customers. Google's Android platform is popular, and if Apple doesn't come up with a better alternative, it might be in for trouble.
5. Samsung is a concern.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab has been a somewhat surprising success in the tablet space. According to Samsung, it has shipped 2 million Galaxy Tab units, though it hasn't said how many units it has actually sold. Regardless, Samsung is having some success pushing tablets into consumer homes. And if it can improve upon that with an updated tablet this year, Samsung might just be one of the biggest thorns in Apple's side. That is, of course, unless the iPad 2 comes out soon to derail that progress.
6. The rumors keep coming.
The problem for Apple right now is that being tight-lipped about the actual details surrounding the iPad 2 cannot stop rumors from cropping up about the tablet. And as more rumors surface, consumers are anticipating the device more and more. It's an issue that Apple can only solve by delivering the iPad 2 as soon as possible. By doing so, the mystery will be gone, and Apple can go back to selling tablets at an alarming rate.
7. Some folks are waiting.
The iPad might be selling extremely well, but that doesn't mean that everyone has jumped on Apple's bandwagon. In fact, many consumers have decided to wait for the next version of the iPad before jumping into the tablet space. They reason that the iPad 2 will offer many of the features they've been waiting for, and holding off is a better option than buying an iPad now and getting another later this year. Since Apple is a corporation first, it should be thinking about that and realize that it's leaving significant money on the table by waiting so long.
8. The enterprise should be a consideration.
The corporate world has been somewhat suspect of the iPad so far. Numerous reports have suggested that some companies are thinking seriously about adopting Apple's tablet, but some companies are concerned that it doesn't deliver enough value. The iPad 2, on the other hand, just might, if Apple plays its cards right. And it should. The enterprise is wide open right now for any company to capitalize on that market with their tablets. If Apple has an iPad 2 ready to go that it knows will appeal to those corporate customers, it shouldn't waste any time delivering it.
9. It puts the competitors on notice.
If nothing else, delivering the iPad 2 sooner rather than later would put Apple's competition on notice. It would remind them that Apple won't just sit back and allow all others to take the lead in functionality. It will also make some companies reconsider whether their own tablets are enough to trump the iPad 2 in consumers' minds. Winning in the tablet market is part mental, and the sooner Apple releases the iPad 2, the sooner it can make competitors second-guess their decisions.
10. It hurts competing products.
Let's face it: The sooner Apple releases the iPad 2, the sooner the company's tablet can negatively affect sales of other devices. Apple isn't like any other company in the space. It has garnered a level of trust and appeal that no other firm can muster. And when it releases a device, all other products seem to look like also-rans in the marketplace. That's why Apple should capitalize on that luxury. Not only would it benefit Apple; it would undoubtedly hurt its rivals.