We’ve all seen articles claiming the iPad will drop below 50% market share as early as next year. But Ben Bajarin, writing for Tech.pinions, examines a few flaws he says he sees in how Apple’s competitors think when they’re trying to compete with the iPad.
I’d rather examine a few flaws in competitors thinking about how to compete with the iPad and to do that I’d like to start off by making a point. I genuinely believe that it is possible to compete with the iPad. I don’t think it’s easy. I don’t think many companies can; but I don’t think it is impossible.
Bajarin lists a number of critical mistakes performed by Apple’s competitors, which show three main fallacies:
Fallacy number 1: Companies don’t realize that there is always room to innovate. Companies that are attempting to create an iPad competitor don’t understand touch computing. Simply slapping a touch screen on a piece of hardware will not allow a device to hit the market and be instantly competitive. Touch based computing requires a touch based ecosystem.
Bajarin believes Android is a weak touch ecosystem, mainly because it’s an advertising strategy for Google, not a software strategy. He says time will tell whether Windows 8 will be successful as a touch ecosystem. It requires hardware manufacturers and software developers to understand touch computing. Time will tell.
Fallacy number 2: That the number of designs in a market on a particular platform is a competitive advantage. The number of designs alone is not an advantage in itself. It can be quite the opposite. Bajarin says that too much choice or too much variation in choice can overwhelm the purchaser to the point of frustration and lead to the inability to make a decision. Too many products on a particular platform and consumers may find the decision making process painful and confusing.
Fallacy number 3: Low cost always wins. Bajarin says, “I don’t believe that today’s consumers in mature markets want things that are cheap. I believe they want things that are valuable to them at a personal level.” Understanding the market dynamics for tablets is what he thinks is largely being missed by those desiring to create competitive tablets.
Bajarin’s article ends with the one question he believes any company who is creating a tablet to compete with the iPad should ask themselves about the device they are developing: “What will my tablet do better than the iPad?” And what can they do with it that they can’t do with an iPad? If there isn’t a good answer to this question, then they need to go back to the drawing board and start over.