Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tablet Bubble

Should iPad competitors simply stop competing? According to analysts, they have no chance against the Apple iPad. "So far, Apple is running laps around the competition, with the launch of its second-generation iPad before many of its rivals release their first. The iPad 2 goes on sale tomorrow, and so far only a smattering of rivals have hit the market, including Motorola's Xoom and its Android software." Still, if anything is learned from history, no one is first forever. Competition is necessary and technological advancement will continue to change the outcome.

Just look back a bit at history as the guide. For example, Sony led the portable music space with its hit product, the Walkman. Why buy a substitute for the real thing. Except that technological change got the better of Sony in this category. Digital succeeded tape, but Sony was so stuck on its product that they couldn't change to meet the changing demand. For the Detroit car industry, they were so stuck on big vehicles they couldn't change to meet the new needs of small and economic.

Apple continues to be fortunate in understanding the digital landscape but as history teaches us, it gets harder to continue expand while protecting the existing turf. The iPad is the leader but Apple must continue to take risks to adapt to changing needs or they too could find themselves looking backwards and not ahead.

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