If 2010 was the year of anything in the technology industry, it was tablets.
Apple‘s iPad ushered in a new craze in the marketplace that will stay on the minds of consumers and enterprise customers around the world for the foreseeable future. Its influence was bolstered by competing devices, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Dell Streak that appealed to customers in their own way.
Considering the importance of tablets in 2010, most believe that they will be even more prominent in 2011. Multiple vendors plan on getting into the market with the majority of those companies putting their efforts behind Google’s Android platform. They seem convinced that, as in the smartphone market, Android will find a way to overcome iOS to lead the way.
But even with the onslaught of Android tablets coming out next year, Apple’s iPad will overcome the fresh competition and enjoy an even better 2011.
1. Verizon’s help
There is a very good chance that Apple will be offering both an AT&T 3G and WiFi option, as well as a Verizon 3G and WiFi option to customers with the launch of the iPad 2. That’s a significant development. Although current Verizon customers can use the MiFi 2200 hotspot to access the company’s 3G network from the iPad, it’s a less desirable experience. It could be pushing some customers away. With the next iPad, that will be worked out-and Apple will enjoy stronger sales.
2. Buyers are sold on iPad
When the iPad first launched, the market wasn’t sure what to make of it. Some consumers believed that it was going to be the next big thing, while others decided to take a wait-and-see approach. Still others determined that waiting a year for Apple to work all the kinks out would be the best move. With those factors in mind and considering the update that the iPad2 will be, it’s likely that all most of the hesitation will fade away in 2011.
3. Enterprise help
The corporate world has historically been the last to adopt a new technology. Companies around the world are worried about productivity, security and other aspects that aren’t necessarily improved by jumping to a new technology so quickly. But now that the enterprise has been able to examine the iPad throughout the year, it’s quite likely that it will jump on it in a big way next year.
4. Android isn’t a guarantee
Android is enjoying substantial attention in the mobile marketplace because of its success in the smartphone space. But that doesn‘t mean that it will be a success in the tablet market. Android 2.2 running on the Samsung Galaxy Tab leaves much to be desired. It’s hard to see how it can match the iPad’s iOS platform. Simply put, Android might make gains in 2011, but it won’t do enough to stop the iPad.
Forget Android, Apple iPad Will Do Even Better in 2011: 10 Reasons Why
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5. The competition doesn’t get design
The iPad’s market appeal goes beyond the operating system it offers. Apple also understands how to build nice products that appeal to consumer desire for certain features as well as their design aesthetics. Apple’s competition isn’t so capable of developing such visually attractive devices. That should only help Apple’s chances of staying one step ahead.
6. iOS is a winner
Apple’s iOS platform is one of the main reasons consumers and enterprise customers are so intrigued by Apple’s iPad. For now, iOS 4 is delivering the best tablet experience on the market. Until Google shows off what it has planned for Android 3.0, it’s hard to see how that company will be able to match Apple’s offering. By combining the iPad’s design with its operating system, it’s easy to see why Apple will have an unprecedented 2011.
7. Apple still has the apps lead
As consumers know all too well, applications are central to the experience of using a tablet. Apple has a substantial lead in that area. The company has the best relationship with developers, and they are realizing that, at least for now, the iPad is the best tablet to build applications for. Going into 2011, that application lead could be all the more important to the iPad’s success.
8. A Verizon iPhone will help
Speculation abounds that Apple will announce a Verizon iPhone next year. If it does, that device will only help the company sell more iPads. Not only will it bring more people into the iOS fold, but it will also make consumers think twice about opting for an alternative tablet when they know the experience they’re enjoying on their smartphones can be had on the iPad.
9. The iPad 2 will be a sizable update
Apple’s iPad is a fine device for consumers looking to break into the tablet market. But it lacks a camera (or two). It’s shipped without multitasking, although that has been addressed with iOS 4. It also has some other design quirks that have made some customers think twice about getting the device. However, if the rumors are true, the iPad 2 promises to address those issues and deliver an experience that the first iPad arguably should have offered. This could prove to be the top reason the iPad will have a banner year in 2011.
10. It goes beyond iPads
It‘s easy to say that the iPad will be successful because of the benefits it offers to customers. But it goes beyond just the tablet. The iPad will be successful next year in part because of Apple’s continuing ability to appeal to customers. Its iPods sell well; the iPhone is appealing to a growing number of customers; and Macs are becoming more likely computing companions for consumers. Simply put, Apple is seeing success across several different markets, and that should only help its chances of seeing a halo effect in sales for the iPad.