Hey Look, it’s Another Apple Killer

In the three years or so that the iPhone has been around, there have been a lot of iPhone killers. There was the G1, the BlackBerry Storm, The Nexxus … they all came and went with nary a peep. Closest thing so far is the Droid, and even that one doesn’t seem to have the staying power of the iPhone. None of that really matters though, because whether or not its true or not, Apple is the big target right now for anyone building a new phone, leading to lots of different versions of the iPhone killer coming down the pike.

I guess it shouldn’t be a big surprise to hear that there’s an iPad killer coming out. There’s the new HP tablet, which seems pretty cool on the surface, and then there’s talk about the Google Tablet, pictured above, and referenced in The Huffington Post. And you know what? It looks pretty cool.

Except here’s the thing: It’s vaporware. As of right now, the Google Tablet is just a myth. A unicorn tablet, if you will. If it ever does get produced, it’ll be pretty cool, and I’m sure they’ll sell lots of them.

Problem is, if they build it like it’s pictured above, they’re going to be building an iPad clone. By the time it’s actually built, the iPad will have moved on to V 2.0, or 3.0, or whatever it happens to be by that point. They’re chasing the dragon, just like everybody else.

Which is the same problem as the iPhone and all those iPhone killers. The premise goes like this: Design a product with all the same features of the iPad/iPhone, but add all of the things that Apple is lacking. Multi-tasking, tethering, cut & paste – whatever it is at the time. Then use those as the selling points for the phone, and a big diss against Apple.

So why doesn’t it work? It’s the base. Apple has a few million customers with credit card accounts on file, all using iTunes. Even if you don’t have an iPhone, chances are you have an iPod. So if you have an iPod, and all your music and/or videos are invested in the iTunes system, why buy into a new device that doesn’t support the iPod system? If you can’t sync it like your iPod, or use it with the music you already own, then why buy it? And therein lies the rub: Apple’s already got the customers, so the competitors have to come up with something better than the iPod way, then commit to that system for a long time. See: Made for Windows Media Player, Zune, Sony Atrac.

So the way I see it, people can talk about these iPhone/iPod/iPad killers until they’re blue in the face. Until another company comes up with a system better or more attractive than Apple’s, then it’s just not going to happen.

Of course, if anyone could do it, Google could.

Comments

  1. Monkeypox says:

    Why would a company that doesn’t build hardware be a favorite to unseat the iPad?

  2. Constable Odo says:

    The Apple mobile ecosystem is practically unmatchable and so is their customer loyalty. It’s as the iHaters always say. Those Apple fools will buy Apple products sight unseen. But that’s a good thing for Apple. People will buy the product, probably enjoy using it and word will spread. I’m fairly certain that no company’s tablet will catch on like the iPad. All most companies will be able to deliver is hardware and maybe a price reduction. What can any other company offer in digital content that’s even close to iTMS?

    Yeah, other companies will soon be offering iPad killers using the strategy of “let’s add lots more hardware, lower the price and consumers will come a-running.” For the majority of consumers looking for a simple to use product with less hardware headaches, they’ll go running to buy an iPad. Apple has a clear field this year and will make the most of it.

  3. The thing to remember is that Apple has about a 5 year lead in development of a touch interface for the iPhone and the iPad. If you look at the published specs for the HP pad it is Windows 7 with a bolted on HP touch interface… good luck with that. GooglePad (GPad?)… You have to ask if Google has the staying power to really produce or is this another throw it at the wall and see if it sticks. Microsoft has a nice animated concept video of their product “for later this year”… please don’t hold your breath on that one. I won’t even talk about the JooJoo which appears to be PooPoo.

    All of these are just what they appear to be. Jump on the pad wave with our me-too product and get some attention.

  4. TimH94595 says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the write-up, and the first two comments as well. I’ve seen so much wishful thinking, half-hearted (half-a$$ed?) attempts to portray what’s right around the corner (competitively speaking), all over the web since the iPad has come out, that I’m actually getting whiplash.

  5. Walt French says:

    Apple Gazette, I’m glad you’re so sure about Apple being up on a pedestal.

    To my eyes, however, the Apple’s “battle against Adobe,” its lawsuit against HTC, its orphaning phones from an upgrade that are still on sale (no multitasking for the 3G) and its rushing out half-baked productivity “solutions” for the iPad are good examples that show Apple is going into full-court-press mode to maintain position against Android, and to keep its hard-won market share.

    (The real battles are about keeping developers from putting equivalent apps on Android, against other low-cost producers pushing Android, against any perceived software inadequacy of the iPhone vis-à-vis Android and Google Docs.)

    No, I don’t usually sound like a broken record.

    As Apple has proven better than almost anybody, a snappy device can turn a sluggish market upside down in no time flat.

  6. @Walt French

    Are you joking here rushing out half baked solutions, suing HTC and orphaning phones from an upgrade to maintain positioning against Android. What you had listed are stuffs that turn the most ardent fans to haters. (I can name one company whose product is total crap on the Mac platform – Flash)

    They don’t care about Android, they care more about users’ experience, they care about things that just work and they work very hard to maintain it.

    AS for developers developing for other platform, Apple never stop them and had never ask them to stop, they are free to do whatever they want.

    Did Apple write to some high horsed developers to stay? well they never did.

    Apple believe it is a competitive market and developers are free to develop for whatever platform but they cared more about the user’s experience and they are not going to let anyone spoil that.

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