iPad

The one big reason why iPad rivals can't compete on price

The biggest disappointment of nearly every promising competitor to the Apple iPad has been the price tag. Learn the one trump card that allows Apple to out-price rival tablets.

The mass invasion of Apple iPad competitors has begun. But, what was expected to be a ferocious battle is starting to look like it could turn into a lopsided rout, at least during 2011. The reason: price.

While many of the top tech vendors have trotted out impressive-looking tablets, the problem with virtually all of them is that they look great until you see the price tag. It's developed into a sad little ritual in the tech industry in recent months where a company announces a very promising tablet and gets people excited and then the price of that tablet leaks out and people gasp in confusion and disappointment.

The Motorola Xoom - the flagship Android tablet - will cost $800 ($600 for the Wi-Fi model). The HTC Flyer will reportedly cost around $700 and it's only a 7-inch tablet (compared to the 10-inch iPad). Another attractive 7-incher is the BlackBerry PlayBook, but it's likely to cost about the same as the iPad while offering very few advantages. The Hewlett-Packard TouchPad based on Palm's webOS looks like an excellent alternative, but will reportedly cost $700.

The iPad starts at $500 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model. That's the magic number.

So why is that these highly disciplined, very experienced hardware makers cannot match -- let alone beat -- the price of the iPad?

I've heard a lot of reasons thrown around, from buying flash memory in bulk to Apple's strength in supply chain management to the fact that Apple now has its own line of CPUs. However, nearly everyone seems to be missing the biggest and most obvious reason: The Apple Store.

Line for the iPad wraps around the Apple Store in Shanghai, China. Photo credit: Apple

More specifically, the combination of Apple's 300+ retail stores and its online Apple Store means that the company sells a huge chunk of its iPads directly to its customers.  While Apple has cut distribution deals with Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, and a few others, those are mostly market-share grabs and ways to help spread the iPad's marketing message.

Apple appears to carefully control the inventory it sends to these retail partners. Even during the holidays, there weren't typically huge stacks of iPads on a pallet in the aisle at Best Buy or Wal-Mart like other popular consumer electronics such as the Nintendo Wii or the Xbox 360. The iPads seemed to be sprinkled among the various retailers throughout the holidays. Meanwhile, the Apple retail stores were loaded with an almost unlimited supply of iPads, so if you wanted to make sure you got one your best bet was to go there (or order one from Apple's Web store). One estimate was that Apple sold 8.8 iPads per hour per retail store on Black Friday.

While Apple hasn't released statistics on the percentage of iPads that it sells directly to customers versus the number it sells through its retail partners, I wouldn't be surprised if the number of direct sales was as high as 50%.

That means that Apple can set the retail price of the iPad at a precipitously low number. The company can swallow the bitter pill of hardly making any money from iPad sales through its retail partners because it can feast off the fat profits it makes when customers buy directly through its retail outlets and the Web store. However, companies like Motorola, HP, and Samsung have to make all of their profit by selling their tablets wholesale to retailer partners.

For example, iSuppli estimates that the total production cost of the 16GB iPad Wi-Fi is $229.35, so when Apple sells it directly to customers for the retail price of $499 the company makes a whopping $270 of "profit" on each unit. This isn't pure profit, obviously, since the company has additional overhead, but we'll use the term profit for the purpose of this discussion.

However, when Apple company sells the iPad wholesale to retailers, it's a different story. The wholesale price is traditionally half of the retail price (although this sometimes varies in high volume consumer electronics and PCs where manufacturers and/or retailers take less profit in order to get the price down and ultimately make more money by selling in larger volumes). We don't know the wholesale price of the iPad, but since the iPad launched as an untried experiment in computing, it's likely that Apple and its retail partners have a more traditional arrangement. In other words, Apple probably sells the iPad to retailers for around $250, which means it makes about $20 profit on each unit -- respectable, but certainly not a number Apple would live with if it didn't have the big profits of its direct sales to balance it out.

Conversely, iSuppli estimates that the Samsung Galaxy Tab has a total product cost of $214.57. Verizon Wireless was selling the Galaxy Tab for $600 with no contract (and thus, no subsidy) when the product was first launched last fall, which means Samsung was likely wholesaling it for around $300. So, Samsung was making about $85 per unit on the Galaxy Tab -- much better than the 20 bucks Apple makes from retailers on its lowest priced iPad, but a far cry from the more healthy $270 Apple makes when it sells the iPad itself.

So, when pundits like me were saying that the Samsung Galaxy Tab would have been a much more popular product if it cost $300 (and I stand by that), you can see where that price was utterly impossible for Samsung to hit -- unless it was selling the tablet directly to consumers.

The math here is estimated and imperfect, but it gives us a general picture of the situation. From this perspective, it's easy to see why the tablet economics are not adding up for everyone else outside of Cupertino, California. This is a massive advantage that Apple has over its tablet competitors, and the fact is, none of them are going to be able to change the reality of the situation any time soon.

UPDATE, Feb. 20, 2011, 5:59PM EST: Since first publishing this article, I've received multiple reports from people in the retail sector saying that the wholesale price Apple sells the iPad to its retail partners is significantly higher than the traditional 50%-of-retail that I suggested (remember when I stated that some OEMs and retailers occasionally take lower margins?). In fact, one individual who didn't want to be identified because of being under NDA stated unequivocally that Apple sells the iPad to retailers at a meager 3% discount off of the retail price (in other words, $485 for the $500 iPad). I'm attempting to get confirmation on this from Apple and its retailers, but have not received a response. If true, this raises a number of additional questions and issues. Are retailers willing to sell the iPad for virtually no profit just to bring customers into the store? Would they be willing to take the same low profit margin in order to carry the Motorola Xoom or the BlackBerry PlayBook or HP TouchPad? (TechRepublic member donb says they might) If not, then this gives Apple even more room to wiggle on price than its tablet rivals. UPDATE, Mar. 11, 1:00PM EST: I have followed up this article with another piece called The iPad's other big advantage: Retailers only get 3% off. It basically comes to the conclusion that there are three reasons why Apple can price the iPad so competitively. It also includes a quote from Steve Jobs that confirms that the Apple retail stores were an important part of the iPad's success.

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).

93 comments
maples328
maples328

I think all of those numbers are off (low on cost and high on profit). I know first hand that for example that going back to PS2 and Xbox days that they sold them for a loss and the retail stores "profit" was between $ 10 and zero. They all gamble on making it up for selling tons of $60 games, which they always overestimate and it is generally years before they start "rolling in the dough" as they get production costs down and sell more volume. Tablets have more in common with video game systems (as far as production and sales) than traditional pc's. It's a whole different ballgame.

ghop
ghop

Taking a look at Notion Ink's Arm-based "Adam", the starting price ($425 = $375+$50 shipping) is below iPad, but specs are way above iPad (already competing with iPad2). However, the main point of the article seems to be quite correct. Direct sales trough Apple Store is a great advantage - and of course, the way Apple is building it's marketing image is also very impressive!

federico.alcantara
federico.alcantara

Where are the numbers in this article? The information about how much retailers are paying to the manufacturer of tablets *such as Apple) is based on assumption, so it is misleading and useless to the purpose of this article. I agree that Apple can come with a better pricing because they have better sales channels, so massive sales = massive production = lower production costs. So the lower prices of Apple start at their sales and marketing departments. Its competitors can't forecast its sales in a market mostly owned by Apple's iPad.

christian.verstraete
christian.verstraete

Jason, sorry to say, but your retail margin information is applicable to clothing, but definitely not to electronics. In the PC world, margins are in the 3 to 5% range and that is the case industry wide. So, the margins you quote for Apple are just the average margins in the industry.

MacNewton
MacNewton

" I???m attempting to get confirmation on this from Apple and its retailers, but have not received a response." Having worked at an Apple reteal store ( independent Mac store, not an Apple store) in BC Canada for many years, it is indeed a fact that Apple provides vary low margins for the store, they make about $15 on an entry level iPad. Thats said the iPad case that sold for $55 they make $35 to $40 profit. A major chain in the BC has made tons of money selling service & add on products for the Apple products they sell. Not sure you will see companies with the same marketing plans they have. Its taken them years to develop the skill set on selling Mac's and then be able to sell the customer an hi-end laser printer at the same time. Most retail stores will sell just the "other Tab" and thats it. So they will need to get some big margins for it. Apple has opens a number of Apple stores in the lower mainland. They are making it harder for the independent Mac stores to make a profit. But they just keep at it making the Mac customer happy and that customer will come back year after year for the good service and support that Apple just can't deliver. So my point is this, there is no margins in selling Apple product, so you need to sell big item add ons to make your $$$.

secular0ne
secular0ne

Apple isn't open interoperability tech. Its a closed walled in tech. So if you can't stand the right to use your computer the way you want, get a Apple and "Don't Worry - Be Appy". Steve Jobs Apple Inc will be your nanny. PS Can't wait to sell my macbook and buy a webOS laptop from HP.

joels
joels

If they can do that with the ipad, why can't they do it with computers? Paying $2500 for an apple computer, when you can buy an equivalent pc for a third of the cost. If they could be price competitive on their computers, their sales would skyrocket.

12312332123
12312332123

I guess that means that the Archos 101 media tablet is not a competitor then. How could it be, when it costs only 250? Let's see... 1GHz cpu - check 10in screen - check 16gb storage - check wifi - check 10 hour battery life - check and this is just one picked at random. If you just want a general media consumption device you can get one for less than 100. If you must have an iPad and of course nothing else is a competitior even though it has the same spec and can do all the same things, then by all means it is a bargain at 500....

cbs_tech-james_woolliscroft
cbs_tech-james_woolliscroft

I have read articles about tear downs on various products and the estimated price based on components, what is not clear to me is whether the estimates take into consideration the fact that these products are manufactured in huge quantities and so components are also bought in substantial quantities. I'm no expert but I would expect based on puported sales of products, That units are available in quantities anywhere from 250k units up to 2million units prior to sale and continuously or intermitantly manufactured following this. The number of course varies based on the product and popularity. So to quote a price from $225 up to $250 or so for the entire unit, does it actually cost this or could it be lower, down to around $150 per unit. Another factor that isn't considered greatly is that while Apple designs it's unit's, as I understand it, Apple is a fabless manufacturer, and so outsources the majority of it's manufacturing. Companies like Samsung are on the other hand, companies with large, diverse portfolios of products, and particularly in Samsung's case are actually manufacturers of many of the components going inside the units they sell (as well as potentially some competitors products). This in principle means that they do not have to cover the profit margin in the cost of manufacture of a number of their components. They thereby have lower manufacturing cost per unit, before you consider the cost savings inherrent to bulk manufacture (i.e. discounts on purchases of raw materials). To say that both Apple and Samsung as well as many of the other manufacturers of these products are innovative is a bit of a stretch, many products apple release, do have style and appeal, but are hardly original. Years prior there have been failed attempts to release similar products by other companies, thwarted to a great extent by the earlier limitations in technology that were prohibitively expensive and functionally limited as to be almost useless. Furthur the processors inside these products are largely designed by ARM ( a british company) who licenses designs for these CPU's to third parties such as Apple and Samsung who then customise within the scope of the license agreements the design of the CPU, to meet their needs. By customisation this largely means adding and removing registers, throwing an extra core or 3 in to the package, but only within the confines of the original design. Finally I would like to say that it is to my mind, and my opinion, that it is largely greed that drives many of these companies, and their bottom line. Was it not Steve Jobs who a year or two previously who was quoted saying words to the effect that as far as he was concerned - he "expected" that those purchasing Apple products should toss them in the bin after a year and buy a new one. This highlights to me the fact that a) Products are manufactured to a poor standard of quality, b) Manufacturers are overcharging for their products to almost a monopolistic degree. Manufacturers might claim that a large amount of the money "profits" are turned round and used to develop new technologies, however I bet that Apple isn't spending that much money on developing these new products, not when Intel, AMD, ARM are doing much of the hard work, and not when Apple is sitting on a cash surplus of around $50 to $55 Billion, accumulated over the last 10 years or so. It has been the model of manufacturers to develop a new technology, sell it at a royal premium, and leverage the profits from sale of the oldest and cheapest technologies for a long as possible. The only time an old technology is essentially dropped is when it is no longer possible to make a profit on it through reduction of prices to stave off competitors. Look at TV's - There were several generations of CRT TV's from old Monochrome, Colour, Colour with Stereo, Colour with Flatter Squarer Tube, WideScreen, Rear Projection, Front Projection, Plasma, LCD, LCD with LED Backlight and forthcoming technologies like Organic LED, LASER projection. All of these technologies from the oldest to the newest was introduced at a premium, and the only time it reduced in price was as newer technologies were priced ontop. Similar trends can be seen with Computers, Mobile Phones, Games Consoles as well as other consumer electronics. The price of all products will only come down when forced down by competition and only as far as manufacturers are prepared to allow them to fall. A Sad Fact and one which can only be resolved by legislation. I'm sure there are more points that need clarification, but I haven't got the time - or the money!

allanrbowman
allanrbowman

I would happily pay a couple of hundred dollars more for a tablet that can be read in sunlight. Those that need to be taken to a dark spot to use and useless as mobile devices. I'll never understand what the manufacturers or buyers are thinking when they buy a device that is blackscreen in sunlight. Inside buildings, laptops are much more useful. But then I don't get excited by every new 'toy' just because it exists.

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

HP and dell both sell directly to customers and purchase parts in large quantities. I don't see how you get by thinking that Apple is the only one that does this. Bill

LEKnowlton
LEKnowlton

I've heard nothing but complaints from owners and reviewers alike. No USB port is huge and no flash support is also huge among its many detractors. The list goes on.. So, why even care about this iteration of ijunk?

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Best Buy in Canada is selling a ASUS EEE Slate for $1000 [funny, not listed on the US site]. At that price, you can buy two iPads....

imaginant
imaginant

If what you say is correct (I don't know if it is or is not), then it begs the question: Why wouldn't more manufacturers develop on-line stores. Web presence is far greater than a mere 300+ Apple stores and overhead is significantly less. Their profits would make any capitalist grin for ear to ear. But sadly, this is unlikely because most tech companies have trouble with creative thought. This is the very thing that makes Apple such a power house. Who knows though, there is a lot at stake here. Maybe we will see some creative distribution channels finally being developed, perhaps with pricing tiers that reflect the cost of the channel.This means products at Best Buy would cost more and may mean the demise of many traditional stores. However, for my part, I wouldn't mind seeing Best Buy slide off into the sunset... in flames. Ooops, I guess that was a bit harsh so why am I grinning?

RipVan
RipVan

I would never consider Apple anything. It never gets into the equation. As for comparative costs, maybe Apple has figured out a way to whip their Chinese slaves harder. The story of the Chinese suicides at the factories seemed to only mention Apple. Not sure if that is really a trend, but it does make one wonder.

eugene.haney
eugene.haney

On CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/gaming.gadgets/02/21/ipad.price.wired/index.html?iref=allsearch But got a little harsh on you for the reasoning you gave here, and suggest that insourcing is Apple's big advantage. I would pose one additional advantage, something that Robert X Cringely has commented on in the past: Steve Jobs's experience with procurement management, and his shrewd dealings in this department. Steve likes to really get top value for his materials purchases and this probably explains Apple's blustering over their industrial designs. It also contributes significantly to the build price for things such as the iPad.

ConceptVBS
ConceptVBS

Jason, I'm an accountant and your explanation is completely wrong. A retail store costs money to create, maintain and expand. It isnt free distribution channel. Apple may sell many iPad's for its retail price of $500, but it also has to pay in the accounting world "cost of goods sold". Yes, expenses incurred from the actual sale of the good itself. This includes: rent expense, tax expense, insurance expense, salaries expense, shipping expense, utilities expense, etc... the list goes on and on. There is a reason why so many of Apple's competitors do not want to jump into the retail business because of this huge additional cost. It's much cheaper for them make a third party distribution deal with a distributor than to set up one themselves. The same thing applies to the online store portion. Then why does Apple create and maintain a retail presence if it costs too much money? Physical marketing with a goal of increasing market share. If you look at Apple's financial statements generated over the last three years, its pretty clear that the profit margins generated from their retail distribution channel is pretty nill. So, then, how can Apple create a product that others can not compete on price? It's simple: low wage labor from China, bulk signing deals with large component manufactures with prices set years ago, and outsourcing manufacturing to third party OEM's. In essence, their strategy is to cut product cost and thus maximize revenue and in turn profit. The savings that they've made in product costs are spent in marketing the products.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Late last year, the tablets were just coming out. The iPad has been out for a while already. Hence, tablet stock may be scarce now but wait a month or two [if not already].

jonc2011
jonc2011

When my last three fully configured notebook computers cost between $400 and $600 including O/S. I know that small is beautiful (and expensive) but it seem strange that vendors can't retail tablets substantially below that range.

Chakazuluu2
Chakazuluu2

I think you are missing something here. There is another level of competition that you did not mention and that is the cheap Chinese Android 2.1 tablets that are flooding the market. I know many people that have bought the cheaper ones from Wallgreens and such for their children and bought the better one's for them selves. I purchased one from Light In The Box for $175 and I use it in college and am very pleased with it's functionality. So Apple may be the big player in the tablet PC game but there are cheaper alternatives that are I believe giving it a run for it's money. Besides I believe that a lot of people want to minimize the gate keepers in their lives.

weserphillip
weserphillip

The hardware in the Xoom destroys the hardware in the Ipad. The Xoom has many more free functional apps. Overall, by the time you get all the stuff you want the Ipad costs twice as much and is half as powerful and functional.

jim
jim

George Eastman started giving away cameras to sell film. One needs to only ask, where is the margin? Any electronically delivered content has far more potential margin than any hardware. Marginal cost to manufacture is $0.00. Delivery cost is low. If your licensing deal is correct, e.g. in your favour, profits should only be described as 'Gross"!

isaiyavan
isaiyavan

I don't understand Why Apple? 1) Apple stops you from copying your own digital media from PC to Apple Device and vice versa. 2) you cannot take backup of the apple device. 3) cydia works but still if you don't know how to patch Apple's OS you have to purchase all app from their Apple shop. 4) You cannot add additional memory to the system. 5) Got wonderful systems like multitouch zoom, de-zoom, single touch screen.... wait a second... if you forget to lock the screen... u r in a big trouble... the screen is so sensitive that just with your cloth bag it will get working and it can delete your precious downloaded paid MP3!!! 6) Extremely low batter backup on all device... 7) You should have iTunes for all MP3 related things!, simple drag n drop will never work for you. Apple has only looks but nothing inside it. Its just waste of money. Paying even 1USD to Apple is waste. Good luck guys for buying apple..

NINJA1200
NINJA1200

Yes the 16GB iPad price tag (500$) it's not that expensive, ok... But does it make phone calls like the Galaxy Tab ou the HTC Flyer?!? Does it let you swap MicroSD cards?!? A: No and no... May be perhaps that 500$ price tag it's not that cheap.

gemb1
gemb1

Best Buy and Radio shack both carry thr Galaxy Tab 16 g for around 300 dollars with a Sprint plan. The tab size is perfect. The 7 in hd screen and available android apps make it a constant companion for me plus it will play flash movies.

sebmatthews
sebmatthews

Following Jason's logic (I have no exposure to this market so can't comment on its validity) then Dell will likely be the only major player that can compete once they get their 10" tablet out there being another organisation akin to Apple with a strong direct model. Making the assumption that there is a strong likelihood that a Dell tablet would run a Windows OS, I, for one, will be watching keenly and enjoying seeing a relatively immature market and "new battleground" being scrapped for between Apple and Microsoft.

anysia
anysia

And went to a Suli SL-7 Android tablet with Capacitive screen, 4 gigs onboard storage, with a 16 gig SD card, Wifi, 3G, all the apps I wanted to install, plays video, audio, Audible, Kindle and a few games at the nice price of $224, $250 delivered to my door. Great battery life too. And less than half the price of an equally equipped iPad.

kegill2
kegill2

One of the questions I have with this analysis is the implication that Apple Stores have such low overhead that a 100% markup is a big chunk of profit. Have you been in an Apple Store lately? What is the number of employees per square foot? Now go to BestBuy and calculate the same number. People are expensive -- it's why you see so few of them in stores like BestBuy. Then there's the overhead back at headquarters needed to manage distribution to the stores. And advertising. And all of the other headaches (read $$$) associated with managing an extensive bricks-and-mortar retail arm. I'm assuming that your observation about larger profit margins for web sales are accurate. I think the ecosystem that Apple has built up through the iTunes stores is a much bigger factor than profits at the Apple stores. But hey - you could be right. After all, MSFT has jumped into the retail store game. Are they known for padded profit margins on anything other than Windows and Office?

charbax
charbax

If Motorola, Samsung, Dell and other big brands want to copy Apple and make huge profit margins on their tablets, that's their choice. Archos is a French company, they've released a whole bunch of Android tablets where the most expensive is the 10.1" sized one at $299. It's capacitive, has a same processor power (1Ghz ARM Cortex-A8 45nm) and RAM (256MB) as in the iPad, while Archos is better in terms of weight being 30% lower, it including major features iPad lacks such as HDMI output, USB host, a Kick-stand, full video codecs support, a Webcam for video-chatting, a MicroSD card storage expansion slot. If you check my website, you'll see over the past 5 years I've posted tons of videos of over 200 tablets, some are sold as low as $100 made by Chinese companies. The thing is, Apple is making huge profit margins, but that won't last when cheaper Android devices are going to be more and more available in more and more stores and more and more people like you start to learn about those.

Chris CA
Chris CA

"The story of the Chinese suicides at the factories seemed to only mention Apple" Since Apple is the big one, they are more easily poked at. The suicide rate at the factories (which also make stuff for Microsoft, Motorola, Philips and Sony) is the same or less than the average for the rest China.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

I have no problem with people thinking critically about the stuff I write and proposing counter arguments. A big part of my job is starting important conversations. As for the suggestion that procurement management is part of Apple's secret sauce, I agree that it's definitely part of the equation. Thanks for bringing it up.

mhikl
mhikl

"So, then, how can Apple create a product that others can not compete on price? It's simple: low wage labor from China, bulk signing deals with large component manufactures with prices set years ago, and outsourcing manufacturing to third party OEM's." ='Set years ago', dun think so. Prices are set at time (real time0) of contract; bulk gets cheaper cost and inches out competitors; competitors can do the same if they wish???it's a free market. "In essence, their strategy is to cut product cost and thus maximize revenue and in turn profit. The savings that they've made in product costs are spent in marketing the products." =Again, it's a free market and competitors are free to do the same. Look at MC. Look at growth and profit together. Give credit where credit is due. And their brick 'n mortar stores are financial success stories.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

You'd better check Apple's quarterly reports again, because Apple clearly states that their brick-and-mortar stores are generating more profit than any other distribution method and generate more profit per square foot than any other similar store--despite the heavy manpower they employ compared to their competitors. You also can't argue that "... low wage labor from China..." is a definitive factor since almost all their competitors not only use Chinese labor, but the same company to assemble their devices. You may be an accountant, but Apple is not run by accountants. That's why Apple is succeeding.

DNSB
DNSB

But I've been using my iPad quite happily for the last not quite year. Why should I have wasted a year waiting for another company to supply my needs? My next tablet quite possibly will not be from Apple -- the Android toy I picked up looks quite promising -- but that decision will be based on cost and how it handles my needs. For example, does it have a full size SD slot? Micro-SD may be nice but the cards I already have for my cameras do not fit into them. The Android tablet I currently am playing with has a USB port but I needed to kludge an USB micro-B to A socket adapter to plug in a keyboard. It seems to recognize an external storage device but sees no content on it. It does not recognize a USB card reader which I tried to see if it would allow me to read a SD card. OTOH, what can I expect from a sub $200 Cdn no-name toy for which my latest project is an update to Android 2.3.

dellpj
dellpj

"The hardware in the Xoom destroys the hardware in the Ipad. The Xoom has many more free functional apps. Overall, by the time you get all the stuff you want the Ipad costs twice as much and is half as powerful and functional. " There have been MP3 players before and after the IPOD that had more storage, were easier to use, and were cheaper, and the IPOD out sold them. Why? Simply put, better marketing and the assumption that you will never have an issue with an Apple product. I see the same happening here. The Xoom could grow arms and legs and go to the fridge and bring you a beverage, but without the Apple logo, there are many folks who will not buy it. My brother in law got an Iphone. Why? Cause his friends had one. He has no idea what it can do, or what his phone vs my phone can do. But he looks cool and meshes with his peer group.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... and why the xBox sells as cheaply as it does (which is still to expensive for my taste.)

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

1. Apple has yet to stop me from copying my own digital media from my PC to the iPad/iPhone. 2. I back up my iPad/iPhone every time I connect it to my PC. 3. Why would I want to when there is proven malware out on the open Android market as well as targeting jailbroken iOS devices? 4. Again, why should you want to? Aside from the risk of losing the external RAM device, using it for anything but storage slows down the overall speed of the device. 5. Multitouch capability of that sort came on the Apple devices first and are much more accurate and reliable than most other devices. As yet, I've not heard of anyone losing their data without their knowing through some sort of carry bag. Do you have any concept of how difficult such an 'accident' would be to implement? Sorry, far too many coincidences to possibly be accidental. 6. The internal battery lasts for 10 hours or longer even under heavy use and I've seen my own iPad last over a week under mild use. It's operable all the way down to just 2-3% of remaining charge. 7. iTunes is, at least for me, the easiest and most reliable means to transfer all the media I want onto the iPad/iPhone, letting me move clusters of music without having to search for files and folders to drag them over. Despite others' complaints, I've never had an issue with iTunes in Windows. Apple, by the way, has one of the most solidly reliable and efficient range of products on the market, whether that market be phones, MP3 players, tablets or computers. If they didn't, how could they still be alive after all these years and now the single largest electronics corporation in the world after near bankruptcy only 15 years ago? Despite your FUD, Apple is still growing. Other brands may collectively sell more products, but no one brand as yet can match Apple's growth numbers alone.

DNSB
DNSB

Quite a few applications that allow you to copy digital media to/from your iPod/iPod Touch/iphone/iPad and your PC. For Windows, I've been quite happy with CopyTrans while under Mac OS X and Linux, I haven't found one application that fits my needs but several that do 95% of what I would like. Not sure what you mean by backup? You can copy all content from an iWhatever to your computer using iTunes or a collection of third party programs. Delete your download paid MP3 by accident by rubbing in a cloth bag? I've never managed to lose any content other than by my own fumble fingered efforts. And that content was easily recovered by resyncing. Makes you wonder if you have ever used any of Apple's touch screen devices? "Low batter backup" Not even sure why you mean there? Complaining that for a user, replacing the battery is a non-trivial task? Or that battery life between charges is too short? Again. iTunes on a computer not needed for downloading content on iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad unless you are referring to the iTunes store app on the iWhatever itself? As I mentioned, there are alternatives to iTunes on your computer. Hmmm... cancel the wondering if you have not used an iPad or any other Apple device. It seems obvious that you have not. Perchance was your mother scared by an Apple whilst she was enceinte with you?

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

Ok, the Tab sells for $300; what does the data plan you have to buy cost? You do know you don't have to buy a plan for the iPad, don't you? Not even with the 3G version.

mhikl
mhikl

M$ is dying with Ballmer in the saddle. Dell, though does try but I doubt it has the bank book to complete any major project or plan very long into the future. Their Macbook Air copy looked promising but Apple killed their chance by undermining the price (almost halving their entry level MB Air. Quick exit of Dell. Too bad but at least it tried. Dell has lost its foresight and seems to have gone to the lowest common denominator, el cheapo style. Or maybe they are planning behind the scene. We have to wait and see.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

... I have to assume you are totally unaware that the Apple Stores realize more profit per square foot than any other electronics store and potentially any other retail store now existent. Yes, Apple does man their stores more heavily, and if you watch closely Apple tends to sell more computer devices per day that any other single retail store.

g0dFather
g0dFather

the Archos tablets do not support the standard Android market. This has been my only reason not to purchase one. While the AppsLib market may be good, I am somewhat hesitant to put my full faith into it. There are ways to hack the GMarket onto the Archos, but I shouldn't have to. If Archos can somehow convince Google to allow the GMarket on its devices, I believe they would be at the forefront in sales.

mhikl
mhikl

"You may be an accountant, but Apple is not run by accountants. That's why Apple is succeeding." Where have I seen you before, vulpine@. I recognise the succinct hook to the chin. (Your point is one of my favs. While profits soared during the past decade and before due to blind focus on quarterly profits (and any act that would procure those quarterlies), Apple spent the dime and time to design and innovate and thus were prepared for all twists and turns in a market which has seen, as ye and others have pointed out, an Apple-success, whereas the others have seen profits head south for other reasons than a vacation.) You go for the jaw, but in a much more polite fashion than I. Kudos.

appraisalist
appraisalist

I once shattered the screen of my Dell Axim that was in my front pocket. I didn't put any weight on it, it just decided to break just because - plus it was in a protective case at the time.

charbax
charbax

Anyone able to comment here can install the full Google Marketplace on the Archos tablets, its 8mb apk to download and click on, no rooting or anything like that.

Hazydave
Hazydave

remains an issue. Android tablets won't be as slick as the iPad, nor offer access to the Market, until Android 3.0... which means Real Soon Now, but not today on most tablets.

charbax
charbax

While Honeycomb is absolutely awesome for tablets, Froyo is alrewdy better than current ipad hardware.

Editor's Picks