Looking for reasons why people buy this a certain product over dozens of other options will forever be on the minds of analysts (market watchers). Trying to figure out why millions of people are buying the Apple iPad is just the latest question. Some say people are buying iPad’s over other tablets because it is a status symbol and others believe people buy them because they work best for them.
I say it’s a bit of both of those reasons, but right now for Apple the biggest reason someone should get an iPad over competing devices has to be applications (apps). There are literally multiple thousands of apps available just for the iPad.
I think that Apple feels the same way to an extent, on the iPad’s product page on apple.com Apple has made a page that showcases the apps for iPad. Trumpeted in big bold letters at the start of that specific page is the announcement of the amount of apps available, ‘Over 65,000 apps for iPad’.
From their old Mac vs. Windows days Apple seems to have learned the massive value behind having lost of device specific software ready and waiting for consumers. Honesty if Apple had the same if not more Mac applications available the battle of Mac vs. Windows could have ended a lot differently.
Other things like having a smooth and easy to use operating system don’t hurt the iPad. Also the high build quality and great battery life don’t make the iPad a poor buy. But the amount of applications the things buyers will be using most is still of greater importance all of those other features.
During the early inception of the Apple iPad in 2010, the count of iPad apps was jumping exponentially every month. Apple didn’t create all of the apps themselves either they had to work very closely with developers who had been working with them on apps for the other iOS devices out their iPhone and iPod Touch. If you followed the headlines concerning the iPad from 2010 you would have seen the headlines ‘Apple iPad now had more than 2,000 apps’ followed weeks later by ‘Apple iPad now has more than 3,000 apps’.
Now the count of applications isn’t really that important if almost all of the apps are terrible to use or are just plain useless. Early apps for the iPad included apps for drawing/sketching, 3D gaming, task management (calendars), music listening, TV/movie watching, and productivity (word editors and presentation creation). Yes, there were some useless apps for niche level functionality not important to a lot of people, but a fair few good and worthwhile applications were always there.
Well were does the competition sit right now in the apps game? Well the only competitive platform at this time in tablets for iOS and the iPad is Google’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb. At this time application selection is limited, very limited. Estimates have the amount of Android 3.0 apps pegged at under 200. This shortfall is has hurt the platform to an extent so far, prices of Android 3.0 tablets haven’t been too forgiving and those that have been priced affordably are hard to come by.
Google is known for slow starts, Android 3.x Honeycomb is in no way out for good. Just recently to gauge more interest in Android 3.x from software developers at Google I/O 2011, 5000 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Android 3.0 tablets were passed out. Google at the same event also unveiled a new movie and music service that will be handled by them and both services are completely compatible with Android 3.x Honeycomb.
Google has an up-hill battle in app selection but if you look at their mobile phone application department they made great strides in a year’s time to catch up to Apple’s App Store. Time is all that is needed for the Android 3.x Honeycomb platform.
But in the meantime Apple is unlikely to sit on their laurels and wait, Apple’s own developer event is coming up soon WWDC 2011 and they are expected to announce some features for iOS (operating system that runs on the iPad) that should inspire the already lively group of iOS app developers.