This post was originally written in Feb 2011- when Steve Jobs was alive. Sadly, whatever I wrote about Android tablets in that post is STILL true in December 2011.
While you can now buy a decent Android tablet with OS version 3 or above (Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich) for less than the iPad, the price differential is still not enough to sway most potential buyers towards them. Obviously the managers at Samsung, Motorola, Acer and Asus still want almost the same profit margin as the iPad.
Unless they can market an iPad equivalent tablet for 65 % of the price- they are doomed to remain minor players in that market segment. The funny thing is that most 10″ tablets can now be manufactured for between 220-250$, making a final price of 300-350$ profitable.
Have you ever wondered:
Why is the iPad still the cheapest tablet computer?
If you don’t believe me, have a look at competing tablets with similar specs..
For a brief few hours over the weekend, rumors flew that the Motorola Xoom tablet would be priced at $1199, at least at BestBuy. However, the pre-order page in question soon disappeared and experts went back to suggesting the Xoom will “only” cost $800 (although we still have no official confirmation).
The cheapest iPad rolls in at $499, and goes up to $829 if you want top of the range. To avoid two-year contracts, the Galaxy Tab will set you back around $600. There are rumors the RIM PlayBook might be priced around $500, which would position it against the cheapest iPad. That’s a step in the right direction but still far from being a guilt-free purchase for anybody other than Arab sheikhs.
and here is another article in the same vein
Isn’t that a billion dollar question, especially given Apples history of selling expensive products. Of course, the article then goes on say..
Jason Hiner of Tech Republic suggests it largely has to do with Apple’s retail strategy. Apple now has 300 retail stores worldwide selling iPads directly to customers. That’s advantageous, because if the iPad were primarily sold at third-party retail stores, a big chunk of profit would go to those retailers, Hiner reasons.
Bullshit! All of these overpaid pundits are missing the obvious and plain reason, partly because their limited minds cannot conceptualize the real reason.
iOS based devices have been marketed using a different strategy from other previous, and current, Apple products. They are true consumer devices meant for mass consumption and market domination. Unlike previous apple products, they are not meant to demonstrate your SWPL tastes. Because of their total domination in their respective market categories, Apple can do something it cannot do with its other products- accept a smaller margin and percentage of profit than it is expected from it.
The management of manufacturers of similar devices, from Motorola to Samsung,are making a very serious mistake. They are trying to generate numbers for predicted profit by selling arguably inferior products for about the same or more. Many readers might think that “high IQ” management and decision makers in companies are not stupid short-sighted morons. However observation of the real world suggests that bad management decisions are behind the vast majority of corporate failures.
Apple has Steve Jobs, at least for the time being and face it- He IS Apple.
Companies such as Motorola and Samsung have equally brilliant engineers, but piss-poor management. These companies are run by people who have no vision, no ability and no competence who are constantly engaged in petty power plays. Of course, they have ivy league educations, the right last names and connections. However making things work well in the real world requires competence, vision and dedication to the cause.
I wanted to say- CONservatives are house n*****s, but taking my cue from recent editorial changes to ‘Huckleberry Finn’ used the word “slaves” instead of the ‘n’ word. If readers require an introduction to the concept of house n*****s, let me use a few quotes from Malcom X to explain the concept.
The house Negroes — they lived in the house with master, they dressed pretty good, they ate good because they ate his food — what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near the master; and they loved the master more than the master loved himself. They would give their life to save the master’s house — quicker than the master would. If the master said, “We got a good house here,” the house Negro would say, “Yeah, we got a good house here.” Whenever the master said “we,” he said “we.” That’s how you can tell a house Negro.
This modern house Negro loves his master. He wants to live near him. He’ll pay three times as much as the house is worth just to live near his master, and then brag about “I’m the only Negro out here.” “I’m the only one on my job.” “I’m the only one in this school.” You’re nothing but a house Negro. And if someone comes to you right now and says, “Let’s separate,” you say the same thing that the house Negro said on the plantation. “What you mean, separate? From America, this good white man? Where you going to get a better job than you get here?” I mean, this is what you say. “I ain’t left nothing in Africa,” that’s what you say. Why, you left your mind in Africa.
Now substitute the concept of slave owner with capitalist, house negro with white CONservative and field negro with everybody else. It still makes sense, doesn’t it? Will write more about this stream of thought later, as I am currently trying to finish a few other delayed articles for this weekend.
As some of you might have heard:
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP); 15 Feb 2011— Thousands of protesters took over a main square in Bahrain’s capital Tuesday — carting in tents and raising banners — in a bold attempt to copy Egypt’s uprising and force high-level changes in one of Washington’s key allies in the Gulf. The move by demonstrators capped two days of clashes across the tiny island kingdom that left at least two people dead, parliament in limbo by an opposition boycott and the king making a rare address on national television to offer condolences for the bloodshed.
Security forces — apparently under orders to hold back — watched from the sidelines as protesters chanted slogans mocking the nation’s ruling sheiks and called for sweeping political reforms and an end to monarchy’s grip on key decisions and government posts. The unrest in Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, adds another layer to Washington’s worries in the region.
For a while, I watched the news unsure about their final outcome. However, events in the last 24 hours have convinced me that the current bahrain regime has sealed its fate. You might remember a similar early prediction made by me about events in Egypt which turned out to be correct.
So what makes me think that events there have taken a different path? Here is the list..
1.The previous lethal crackdown on protesters only made more people show up for the next round of protests.
2. Did I mention that the not-so-well-off plebs are Shia and the royal family is Sunni?
A good analogy for the Shia-Sunni divide are the numerous Catholic-Protestant wars and conflicts in pre-modern europe.
3. The current regime in its infinite stupidity has allowed the army (mostly sunni) to fire on the funeral processions of the protesters (mostly shia). Because we live in the 21st century, they cannot kill thousands of people and get away with it- it looks really bad on TV and the internet (plus everybody on the ground has a camera-containing cellphone).
However every protester killed will result in an even bigger funeral procession in the next few days. Do you see the problem? The Bahrain army has more than a few mercenary Pakistani Sunni soldiers. Did I also mention that said Pakistani soldiers are treated poorly because they are non-arabs muslim?
4. The current regime lacks an understanding of PR in our connected digital age.
Update at 10:41 a.m. ET: CNN quotes witnesses as saying four people have been killed after soldiers fired on demonstrators today in Bahrain. Update at 10:19 a.m. ET: CNN reports that one doctor was killed and paramedics injured trying to help protesters injured by gunshots in Manama, the capital of Bahrain. CNN quotes witnesses as saying soldiers opened fire on demonstrators.
5. If the current regime looks shaky, the US will abandon it.
Bahrain is home port to the US 5th fleet. Given the choice between severely antagonizing local people and withdrawing support from the current regime to start talks with the next one, what would you do?
Bahrain is currently a fairly liberal arab society, and a semi-democratic government would be a minor change from the status quo for the US. But they should rightly fear being seen on the wrong side of history.. Cuba and Guantanamo bay anyone?