There’s a surprising amount of criticism of Apple’s iPad 2 among the analyst community.
While some were quick to praise the new unit's faster graphics, slimmer form factor and front-facing camera, Informa Telecoms & Media’s Gavin Byrne injected a degree of realism to the hype, noting that Apple’s launch was “heavy on new accessories and applications,” but did little to innovate the hardware side.
He believes the device is more akin to an iPad 1.5, and questions if Apple has “taken its foot off the innovation accelerator.”
Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach said the hardware updates are necessary due to the “slew of tablet devices from big brand vendors such as Samsung, Motorola, HP, HTC and RIM,” which are forcing Apple “to release new versions of its hardware to stay ahead.”
With 100 tablets announced at the CES show in January alone, and Android-based tablets dominating the opening day of the Mobile World Congress, there is certainly healthy competition in the market.
Nevertheless, the analyst community is broadly agreed Apple will continue to dominate the market for the foreseeable future. Informa forecasts iPad sales will double to 30 million units this year, while Ovum predicts it will take until 2015 before Android tablets overtake iPads – and even then there will only be one percent between the two.
PC World bemoaned a lack of software updates and the fact the new device still needs to be configured via iTunes, which requires hooking it to a PC or Mac. The site also noted that the cable for a new HDMI port on the device requires a chunky investment of $39 (€28).
The device-maker could also miss out on the enterprise tablet opportunity, according to V3.co.uk, which notes the latest iPad platform and software hold little in the way of business functionality.
Despite the speculation and criticism, Mobile Entertainment Forum chairman Andrew Bud says the iPad 2 is good for consumers and developers.
“In the same way that the iPhone proved a catalyst for the growth of the smartphone market, this new iteration of the iPad will further force the pace of innovation and stimulate market competition,” he said.