October 2012 has been a significant month for the world of Tablets. The high profile launch of iPad mini and the iPad 4 and the launch of Windows 8 on Tablets as well as the Android 4.2 update on Tablets have made for some significant changes for the device. With the Windows 8 and the latest growth figures of Nexus 7 and with Nexus 10 selling out in less than 1 day, it seems the iPad may soon be outdone by competition.
The overall price of Tablets has also taken a downward motion in recent times making for increased adoption among users. This post takes a look at some of the factors about Windows 8 and Android 4.2 that can hurt if not kill the iPad.
Factors that help Windows 8 out-do iPad
Windows 8 has brought about the first real glimpse of Microsoft’s potential for mobile OS dominance. The metro live tiles and the smooth interface aside, Windows 8 provides some significant advantages over the iPad. The iPad’s look and feel has grown rather old and without any widget capabilities or live tiles, the basic device looks fairly inactive on the whole.
Windows 8 has a better, more sleek browser inbuilt in the form of the IE9, which provides for faster browsing experience along with Flash and HTML 5 support. A far cry from the Safari browser for iPad, which loads pages significantly slower and doesn’t load up flash content even on sites such as YouTube.
Another significant upgrade is the availability of private tabs in iE6. The Safari browser still doesn’t offer the option of having secret tabs for browsing. Multitasking is a real plus for Windows 8 with the option of keeping 2 separate applications open simultaneously.
For example, you may preview or edit emails whilst watching a video etc. This is not possible in the iPad’s rigid framework. Windows 8 has significant advantages over the iPad and provides a refreshing experience over the rather stale UI of the iOS.
Android 4.2 update and the advantages Android provides over iPad.
Android’s obvious advantage over iPad has been the significantly larger amount of variants on offer. From different screen sizes, different prices as well as different hardware specifications on the spot. The Android tablets have shown significant promise especially in the form of Nexus 7 as well as Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Both these have been significant number churners for Android.
Samsung has more than tripled its market share in Tablets growing from 6.4 % last year to a healthy 18.4% this year. This rise has signaled the domination of Android in the tablet market in the time to come. Interestingly enough, the 7” form factor has helped boost Android’s success significantly in recent history, something Apple has tried to remedy with the iPad mini but perhaps this will only hurt sales of the iPad.
Android 4.2 update has made one major change especially for Tablets in the form of Multiple User profile capability. Both Windows 8 and Android 4.2 now let users create multiple profiles on Tablets. This is a major addition for Tablets, which by nature are used more by Family members rather than just individuals. The offer currently remains absent in iOS and might not be appearing any time soon either due to patents.
iPad: Hard to beat features
Despite the multiple promises offered by Windows 8 and Android, iPad still offers some significant advantages over the competition.
These may perhaps help iPad sustain as the highest selling tablets for a significant time to come. iPad offers the highest number of exclusive tablet based applications. The experience is significantly better than the regular mobile based Apps offered by both Android and Windows 8. While Android is growing to become the largest App ecosystem, it is still miles behind when it comes to tablet based applications. Windows 8 is still a nascent ecosystem and will require significantly high number of proper content providers to make exclusive applications for the growth of Apps.
iPad still remains a flawless device as far as hardware is concerned, being the thinnest, fastest and the best in terms of display and specifications also helps the device continue to be the most preferred tablet device.
For over 3 years, iPad has dominated the tablet space with sheer specifications and App ecosystem. However with the Windows 8 tablets making their high profile entry and Android’s 4.2 update, iPad has finally found itself amongst strong competition.
Amazon’s Kindle might not feature in this discussion solely due to its absence in world-wide market. iPad might need a complete overall in the coming years to remain relevant amongst competition. For now Windows 8 and Android remain strong contenders but iPad remains the uncontested champion in the tablet market.
What’s you take? Will Android 4.2 and Windows 8 combined can make a dent in iPad fort?