No apps, no sale: iPad 2 vs. Motorola Xoom vs RIM Playbook vs HP TouchPad

UPDATE: Over on Quora we’ve been discussing the iPad vs. Motorola Xoom in far more detail than here. You might want to read that post there, to get a more nuanced view of what the competition is really like.

So, now that I’ve seen the iPad 2, see my short video above, or go and watch all the videos over on Apple’s website or view the pages of content poured into blogs over on Techmeme.

iPad 2 Launch Photos

We now know what the choice is:

1. Apple iPad 2. Has apps. 65,000 of them.
2. Motorola Xoom. Has no apps. Oh, sorry. 16. At least no apps designed for the large format. Designing an app that works on a smart phone isn’t the same as designing one that works on a large screen. Most of the apps I’ve “stretched” really suck compared to their iPad equivalents.
3. HP TouchPad. Has no apps. Heck, it isn’t even shipping yet.
4. RIM PlayBook. Has no apps. Heck, it isn’t even shipping yet.

No apps, no sale.

iPad 2 Launch Photos

It really is that simple.

OK, OK, I know some of you think hardware matters. It doesn’t, but if it did, Apple’s hardware is nicer designed. Just look at the back of the new iPad. All one piece. The Xoom is two separate pieces. Think that doesn’t matter? Look at the back of my Motorola. It looks like crap already and it’s only two weeks old. Plus, the on/off button is in a weird place. I keep hitting it when trying to read on it in bed.

iPad 1 vs iPad 2

The screen resolution? It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any apps. Yeah, Motorola has 20% more resolution. Pull up a web browser. Does it matter? Not really. I can’t see the difference other than the screen is a little wider form factor than the iPad’s. That’s nice, but will it sell units? No. Apps matter more.

The sound capabilities? Those don’t matter if you don’t have any apps.

The battery life? Well Apple is better here than the Xoom or other devices. Battery life matters more to me and many others than a slight screen resolution increase.

What about HP’s TouchPad? I like it a lot. It’s nicer designed than the Motorola Xoom. It should be, it was designed by a few people who used to work for Steve Jobs at Apple. If the HP were out nine months ago it would have been a great device to buy and compare to the iPad. Their OS and multitasking metaphor really is awesome, albeit might be a bit slower here and there (we’ll see when we actually get one). A few major problems: 1. It isn’t shipping. Probably won’t be until June. 2. It has no apps. No apps no sale.

Move on to the RIM PlayBook. It didn’t score with users as well as the Motorola Xoom and it doesn’t have Google and its Android ecosystem behind it. So, I can’t see anyway that it will come in higher than #3. This means that developers won’t develop apps for it. No apps, no sale.

Anyone else out there? No.

So, how is this next year going to play out? Google needs to hit it out of the park at its iO event this spring and needs to convince developers that Android’s Tablet strategy matters. Google can easily consolidate the #2 space and next year they can eat away at Apple’s app lead.

It’s sad, too. I really like the hardware that HP, RIM, and Motorola, amongst others, have done. I just can’t recommend you buy any of those others.

No apps, no sale.

iPad wins big time.

iPad 1 (left) vs iPad 2

Oh, and if you disagree with me and think specs and speeds matter more than apps, go check out Engadget’s comparison chart.

UPDATE: the keynote of Steve Jobs showing off the iPad from this morning is now live.

353 Replies to “No apps, no sale: iPad 2 vs. Motorola Xoom vs RIM Playbook vs HP TouchPad”

  1. I think if you want to use the argument about apps being better, you need to recognize that the non-apple devices do have apps. Just saying they have ‘no apps’ invalidates your argument.

      1. No, I’m not wrong. You said “no apps”. Go ahead and update your article to say “no big form factor apps”. I’ll wait.

      2. To most people that means no apps. But, I just updated my post to be clearer. The apps designed for Android phones suck on the large form factor. Have you actually compared some? I have.

      3. Thanks for updating the post. I wasn’t trying to start an argument or anything, I was just legitimately confused/unsure about your comparisons.

        I can’t say I have compared any of large-format apps, but I hope to be soon. I’ll be going with one of the higher end Android tablets because I enjoy my android phone more than my iphone. Perhaps the app support is lacking at the moment, but I don’t think it will take long.

      4. I’ll bet you $100 to our respective favorite charity. Conditions

        Timeframe: April 1st, 2012
        Apps*: 5000

        *Refers to apps which have been optimized for tablet form factor, can apply to any platform, Android, QNX, or WebOS.

      5. To most people that means no apps. But, I just updated my post to be clearer. The apps designed for Android phones suck on the large form factor. Have you actually compared some? I have.

      6. if you had an ipad, you’d realize that people go to great pains NOT to use native iphone apps on the ipad. so scoble is right its about IPAD apps.

      7. Agreed. I only have very few iPhone only apps on the iPad, SpeedTest (large screen format unnecessary) and Zynga Poker (love me some poker). Anything else, I simply wait for the proper iPad version.

      8. if you had an ipad, you’d realize that people go to great pains NOT to use native iphone apps on the ipad. so scoble is right its about IPAD apps.

      9. Are you kidding me? Of course there aren’t a lot of apps for the big form factor…can you tell me how long the developer’s SDK has been out? How do you expect developers to create apps that fast??? I am a developer, but I don’t like having to pay Apple to release my apps on the app store, which is why I will be focusing any mobile developing efforts towards Android. Also, android apps can be written in java, a much more enjoyable language than objective C which Apple forces developers to use. So I think if you’ll hold your horses for a minute and let developers have some time with the Honeycomb SDK then you’ll see that your argument is flawed.

      10. iPad had hundreds of apps out the first day. Sounds like Google has a developer problem if they can’t get them tools in time to make a big splash when their first versions get on the market. Fail.

      11. Nope, it means Apple appear to execute better on it’s product launch at start, where as Google build commodity tools for others to use …

        Motorola is at fail here in your argumenty here , they had to invest zero in the OS making , just branding , ui tweaking , theming.

      12. Not only can they not get us tools in a lengthy time, try opening up the Android Emulator. Try it. I’ll wait here for an hour while you boot it up. Now try and do something. Wait for it…Waiiiit for it. Yup, just crashed.

        Seriously the iOS simulator is light years faster than even the fastest Android simulator.

        I think the bigger picture here is that we’re in a developer drought mixed with developer exhaustion. When you have iOS (iPhone), iOS (iPad), Android (phone), Android (tablet), BlackBerry (phone), BlackBerry (Playbook), Windows Phone 7, webOS (phone), webOS (tablet), and Nokia’s platforms, each requiring a different programming language with completely different API’s, as a developer its a fucking nightmare.

        If manufacturers are relying on independent and boutique dev shops to (essentially) make their product worth buying, we need to start seeing 90% revenue share, free devices, and a fucking heads up when you’re releasing new stuff. Part of the reason iPad had apps on day 1 was because every dev knew when the deadlines were to submit apps because Apple e-mailed us, and marketed it to us. I have no idea when the Xoom was released. Nor do I want to commit to developing a Honeycomb app when I know it’ll be thrown in the shit hole of a market that the Android Market has become.

      13. One thought as to Google’s intentions might take form in the fact that they’re a company who supports open platforms. They make many efforts to get the OS and development tools into the hands of 3rd party developers while focusing on making their software and services mobile browser friendly so that all platforms, even iOS, have the ability to make use of them. With the phone versions of Android, Google never spent much time developing Apps for their web products like Google Analytics or otherwise because they make sure everyone has clear and capable access to them via the web. I think if anyone is to blame for a lack of launch ready Android 3.0 Apps, I’d put it on Motorola, but I don’t personally see a problem with this.

      14. ” I am a developer, but I don’t like having to pay Apple to release my apps on the app store, which is why I will be focusing any mobile developing efforts towards Android.”

        Cool. Maybe by the time you have your Android app done people will actually be buying them….

    1. Obviously the writer knows that, for he is no imbecile. But, compared to the iPad’s 65,000 they really do have “no apps.”

      Although a good rebuttal is to point out the lack of flash on the iPad…

      1. Except lack of Flash on iOS devices hasn’t prevented it from dominating the market mostly because the primary purpose of Flash these days is video and the iPad does that very well without Flash. I very rarely ever come across any site that I can’t see or use because it’s Flash only. Flash is quickly becoming obsolete (Thankfuly)

    2. He is talking about full-size apps only. There are 65,000 full-size 3rd party apps on iPad and 16 full-size 3rd party apps on Motorola XOOM. 16 apps is no apps. One finger does not make a hand.

    3. They don’t though, or have very little. Especially anything exclusive. I’m talking about tablet apps.

  2. There were no iPad apps either a year ago. And no iPhone apps before the iPhone.
    You’ve got to build a device first, right?

    1. I love this argument because it is totally wrong.

      Here’s why.

      To get developers you need to do two things:

      1. Get them excited about your platform.
      2. Show them how they will get paid.

      A year ago was a different time. Apple brought a totally new device to market. It had no competition. First users had to buy it on “faith” that apps would show up. In fact, when the iPad first went on sale there were already hundreds of apps out. I sat in line with many of the developers who shipped apps that first hour.

      Now the world is different. Developers are NOT going to get excited by these other platforms and they can’t get paid because they won’t sell.

      Now, turn around to an average person. Why would they buy anything other than iPad? Hint, they won’t. So, the problem will get worse.

      Google had leverage with carriers to get phones sold. That brought developers onto Google’s mobile platform. They HAVE NO LEVERAGE over developers with Honeycomb. The developers won’t show up for Android.

      This is going to be an Apple-only market for quite some time.

      1. “The developers won’t show up for Android” What are you basing this statement on? I would think that the fact that the Android market itself has over 100K apps (, proves that statement blatantly false.

        The fact that when the iPad released there were no “big platform” apps for it. And what few there definitely didn’t number in the 65K. When the iPhone App Store came out it didn’t have nearly the number of apps it has now. Same goes for Android’s App Market.

        Now that Google has released and SDK for Honeycomb (the tablet specific version of Android) you will start to see more tablet targeted Android apps, just like we started seeing more and more Android apps in the market.

        You’re logic is severely flaw if only because it’s already been proven false.

      2. Explain the leverage that will get those phone developers to develop for the tablet? I don’t see it. This won’t sell. The developers I’m talking with are avoiding it. Google doesn’t have leverage with tablet developers.


        With phones Google had leverage at the carrier level.

        Google has no such leverage with Tablets, which are mostly used on Wifi.

      4. Dude your argument is ad-hoc:

        “Android won’t attract developers because it hasn’t proven that its a lucrative platform. But Apple managed to attract developers when the whole tablet market was yet unproven because… Apple is awesome?”

      5. That’s true. BUT:
        existing android phones users might be the leverage for android tablets. consider features/apps that can only be used if you have an android device.

        (Robert – how do I track this thread?)

      6. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Apple isn’t the only game in town. That’s been proven on more than one occasion, it will be proven again. Devs that ignore Android do so at their own peril. Almost every dev that said they wouldn’t develop for Android has changed course (perfect example is Angry Birds).

      7. Angry Birds is not a good example – A big hit brings big money bring more staff to dev for other platforms – You’ll probably see it on Playstation and xBox also.
        The devs I know of are iOS first and only “if” there is time will they spend it trying another platform. And that other platform has to prove they will make money for that time. Android users haven’t proven they will buy apps in any quantity.

      8. Over 100K apps? Yeah, mostly junk though. Even Google executives announced how disappointed they’ve been with app quality, and especially with the dismal rate of app sales.

        And in the end, sales matter to developers. No sales. No food. No eat.

        Oh, and did you hear about how Google just pulled a couple of dozen apps from the store? They contained rootkits which sent everything they could find off to some server in California.

        Things like that are not going to build up consumer trust in the Android Marketplace.

      9. 1) You’re falling for FUD. Android Market has quality apps on it. App Store has “junk apps” too. Are they has numerous as in the Android Market, no, but they are there. In fact Apple on more than one occasion has kicked apps out of their store.

        2) The whole “oh google removed malware apps” is kind of a stupid argument. You’d rather they had left them there?

        3) There is already plenty of consumer trust in the Android Marketplace, proof is in the numbers that Android OS has surpassed iOS in recent counts.

        To your point about “no sales, no food, no eat” I simply instruct you to do a search on Rovio talking about their Android revenues. They’ve stated they are more than happy with the revenues the ads have brought in.

      10. What does it take to modify an existing Android app to a large form factor? It seems like the effort is not huge. However, I am asking to understand, not because I know.

      11. I’m an Android dev; it’s pretty easy. Assuming you’ve built separate screens into what are known as Activities, you simply convert those activities into Fragments. Doing that will give you the paned interface that most of the default Honeycomb apps have.

      12. Really, it’d too soon to compare iPad apps like that to Android Tablet apps. We’ll have to at least give developers some time to try and extend the Android TABLET platform before giving up on that, don’t you think?

      13. Time is something Android doesn’t have on Tablets. Why? Because sales follow apps and apps follow sales. No apps no sales. Not gonna be a fun year for the Android team. It’s even gonna be worse at HP and RIM. And HP will do better than Microsoft will.

      14. The thing is – I’m sure if you check into it – when the iPad was as new as Honeycomb is now, you probably didn’t see a Time application on that platform either. Sure the uptake on the iPad has been fast – but I still say you haven’t even given the Android tablet platform a chance to be something.. or, well, even exist at this point. The Time app is on the Android platform (, so it shouldn’t bee too hard for them to port something close to what they have on the iPad to a larger Android form factor.

        I think the beauty of the iOS tablet situation is how developers, and users alike are making things that no one expected – stuff like that great iPad DJ video you made. It’s just too early now to say something like that will never happen for Honeycomb.

        I do also think, the iPad is a lock now, but the long-term is going to be Android.

      15. To quote, “Google’s Android platform manager Eric Chu knows that though the number of Android smartphone users may be rising quickly, the number of purchases of paid apps in the Android Market is not doing nearly as well. In fact, Google is downright “not happy” about the purchases of paid apps.”

        In this instance, I’ll go with the Android platform manager who, I would think, might actually have some idea of what he’s talking about.

        As to the rootkit apps, I’m not saying that Google shouldn’t have removed them. Whether or not they should have been there in the first place is another question.

        Regardless, users appear to have downloaded as many as 200,000 of the free apps. Who knows what’s going to be needed to fix those devices.

        So to reiterate the point you ignored: Things like that are not going to build up consumer trust in the Android Marketplace.

        Less trust equals less sales equals fewer developers equals fewer apps.

        Got it?

      16. Agreed. It’s like saying all the thousands of droid devs are going to just say screw it, let’s not port our apps. They decided to build for droid in the first place and given droid has *surpassed* ios as of the most recent numbers, why in the world wouldn’t those devs be ready to go for the Xoom, et al? The SDK was just released for Honeycomb. Give it 6 months and then let’s talk.

        And as for the DOA Win Slates, tell that to the enterprises who actually want devices they can manage, are secure and don’t need a VM infrastructure to buy/support to run the apps they already own. It may not be the sexiest girl on the block (until, but in the enterprise market it’s going to get noticed.

      17. P.S. How many ipads are going to be released to people inside the enterprise that aren’t at the executive level? Again, don’t count out Win Slates just yet. Granted consumer is a much different story but in the enterprise ipads and droidlets are gaping holes wrt security and manageability.

      18. Enterprises won’t buy Tablets. Too hard to train their workers on and they are too expensive compared to cheap ass notebooks. This is why Microsoft’s Tablet effort never got off the ground. iPad has sold more “tablets” than all of Microsoft COMBINED!!!

      19. And Robert isn’t even mentioning the lead iPad has in vertical or specialty markets. Example, medical – Have two brothers who are Dr.s. Roaming the hospital/clinic with them, not an android device in sight. All carrying iPhones, iPads or iPod-Touches.

      20. This isn’t true. Android’s working in specialty markets. Like point of sales and point of service.

        Here in Buenos Aires, one of the biggest Latin American mobile carriers, Movistar, uses Samsung tablets in their stores.

        You walk in, you’re greeted about what your reason for visiting the store is, the greeter inputs your name and purpose, which is wirelessly synchronized to their in-store customer service queue and when you arrive at the waiting room, the big screen has your name and the kiosk. When you get to the kiosk, all your information given to the greeter is there.

        So yeah, Android is already making headway with tablet use in the global marketplace.

      21. I didn’t realize that giving away devices was the same as getting someone to go into Best Buy and actually BUY one! Wild. I gotta remember that in my business plan!

    2. There were 500 iPad apps at launch, and 1000 within a month, and 10,000 within 3 months. XOOM is behind no matter how you slice it.

      1. ummm how about flash for 1, for 2, HDMI out without buying a 30$ accessory, tight google integration, bigger screen, better resolution – get your facts straight otherwise you just sound like a misinformed fanboy (unless that is the look you are going for)

      2. so out of all that you went after flash? well it might not have shipped yet but I can say 1 thing. The Xoom will get it the iFad will not.

      3. You sound like someone who works at Adobe.

        Hint: Flash doesn’t matter. But you go trying to make that case! Where’s the Oprah ads that explain why Flash matters? Oprah says her iPad is “my favorite thing EVER.” THAT is what sells tablets. Not Flash.

      4. You sound like someone who works at Adobe.

        Hint: Flash doesn’t matter. But you go trying to make that case! Where’s the Oprah ads that explain why Flash matters? Oprah says her iPad is “my favorite thing EVER.” THAT is what sells tablets. Not Flash.

      5. You sound like someone who is paid by Apple. Since when did Flash become irrelevant? There are 1.6 million flash websites. That means there are Flash developers. Ergo, even the BlackBerry Playbook ought to make good competition.

      6. Flash is irrelevent. It became irrelevent over the last four years when they couldn’t get their act together and optimize it. They lost 100M iPhone users + 15M iPad users and who knows how many iPod-Touch users.
        Don’t need it at all for video. And as far as Flash games, they’re 99% mouse/keyboard dependent. By the time any of those Flash devs make versions for gesture-based devices (and no, they can’t just modify what they have) they will have lost 100Ms more.
        Flash is not dead, just has no future.

      7. Totally agree with you… Apple marketing dept. for sure! Looking forward to the official release on the Playbook… sounds very cool and I want a Smaller Tab with my USB and WiFi at the same time and like the HDMI too… likle the connectivity to my BB Bold 9780 option for emailing! Was expecting more out of iPad2… could carless the the App Hype… functionality is much less than a good Laptop at the same price of the 64 Gig… if Playbook aint all that I will wait for a while (95% sure I am purchasing the Playbook tho!)

      8. As for tight Google integration. Wonderful. Did you find the bug where you can’t add any items to your Google Calendar on the Xoom? I have. This thing isn’t nearly as finished as iPad was when it shipped.

        I already admitted better resolution.

        As for price, my iPad costs $499. My Xoom runs $799. I can buy a lot of HDMI adapters for that price.

      9. Flash is NOT a selling point. 90% of browser crashes are from Flash. Besides, why should I as a developer have to purchase proprietary software to develop animations when I can do the same thing with existing software? And I can’t remember the last time I actually missed Flash on a web site.

        And having a bigger/better resolution isn’t a big selling point. At least to me. As for the HDMI accessory, the zoom is $800 bucks. So, 499.00 + 30.00 = $529.00. I still save $271.00.

      10. Yeah. Most of them work on my iPad now. Most of the major media brands have apps. Oh, wait a second. Apps! Apps! Apps! Which work fine without Flash. Geesh.

      11. Engadget runs perfectly fine on the iPad, the videos play inline. The only really annoying thing is that the Disqus comments section reverts to the mobile version, to begin with (last year) it showed the proper version. Very annoying – Robert: do you have any clout at Disqus??

      12. The browser is better for one, which is a big deal on a tablet. And btw, why do you act like all this is news to you? It’s like you suddenly heard Steve Jobs say something on stage, and now you act like you had a revelation and repeat what he said. I’ve noticed this seems to happen often with other people, too, after Apple keynotes.

        Yes, I know you’ve said before that apps matter, but a week ago you said you’re starting to love the Xoom, and now all of the sudden it’s Xoom to the dumpsters! Did iPad 2 bring so many changes over iPad 1? I don’t think so, and the app store and its 65000 apps was there a week ago, too.

      13. And a week ago I said I would wait to give my final pronouncement. The Xoom isn’t going into the trash, but I sure can’t recommend my dad buy one! It has no apps! Read my post a week ago. Just because I thought they did a competent, or even a good, job doesn’t mean I think it’ll be successful.

      14. Just because it won’t beat iPad2 won’t make it unsuccessful, either. Didn’t someone say they project 800,000 units for Xoom in 2011? That probably means they’ll turn a profit even if they miss that target by a little. Don’t have to dominate to be successful – again look at Apple’s first two decades.

      15. A short list:

        1. widgets — iPad doesn’t have ’em, probably never will
        2. customization — iPad can barely change its wallpaper and won’t have much customization, ever. Xoom can customize keyboard, language, etc. and on forever. SwiftKey has predictive texting just for the Xoom.

        3. Google native apps:
        a. Free navigation out of the box
        b. one login synchronizes the whole device
        c. Google Voice (more important for the eventual WiFi versions)
        d. Voice command, voice search (25% of all searches on Android phones and growing)
        e. Gmail — best in class
        f. Maps — vector graphics means you can download the whole city when you’re not on 3G (use it all the time in Argentina where I don’t pay for a data plan)

        4. standard cables for charging — a friend of mine brings extra iPhone/iPad cables to tech conferences as a networking ploy because everyone runs out of juice at some point and no one has an extra cord. Except her.

        5. non-VGA camera. Really Apple, really?

        6. Computerless operation — you can buy a Xoom (or other Android tablet) and never have to use a computer if you aren’t doing something too intensive (movie editing, excessive typing, massive photo manipulation). iPad is tethered to iTunes.

        7. Full functionality for free — some iPad/iPhone features are tied to MobileMe, which costs an additional $99 a year.

        Although the “more promise” is really future oriented, this list is mostly “current delivery.”

    1. More promise? Yeah, that and a quarter will buy you practically nothing.

      Seen this? “Analysts at Detwiler Fenton this morning write that Motorola Mobility’s “Xoom” tablet, which went on sale last week at Verizon Communications’ Verizon Wireless, may be having a rough first go of it.

      “After almost one week on the market, it appears that the sell through of Motorola’s Xoom has been extremely light,” reports the firm, without specifying sources for the information. Detwiler attributes the apparent lackluster results to “its high price, lack of consumer applications and the anticipation for today’s expected Apple iPad 2 announcement” this afternoon.”

      Lot’s of things show promise. The real question is: How many deliver on that promise?

  3. I find it amusing that Samsung is “missing” from your list. No one seems to think of them among the major players.

    Spot on as usual Robert.

    1. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is an interesting one, but it doesn’t really compete against any of these efforts. It does, however, intrigue me. If I were Google I would bang on that at their developer event. Of course that’s sold, what, two million vs. iPad’s 15+ million.

      1. Yup. and to top that i aslo read in some report that 15% of all samsung Galaxy tab sales were returned as opposed to the 2 % of returns for Apples iPad. Lmao

    2. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is an interesting one, but it doesn’t really compete against any of these efforts. It does, however, intrigue me. If I were Google I would bang on that at their developer event. Of course that’s sold, what, two million vs. iPad’s 15+ million.

  4. Google and its more open structure will eventually win over Apple’s closed structure, unless Apple finds a way to keep innovating, which so far it’s doing.

    Don’t count out Microsoft just yet, either. They’re way behind the curve, but Dell’s Inspiron Duo convertible is a worthy first effort at touch tablets running Win7.

    1. Wrong. Google’s open structure won’t really help it with tablets. At least not this year. That strategy might kick over next year. But Android tablets have no distribution and are too expensive.

      Also, Windows? Give me a freaking break. I tried pushing that horse for eight years, remember?

    2. Wrong. Google’s open structure won’t really help it with tablets. At least not this year. That strategy might kick over next year. But Android tablets have no distribution and are too expensive.

      Also, Windows? Give me a freaking break. I tried pushing that horse for eight years, remember?

    3. In addition to the marketplace, Apple has a huge lead in the R&D department and the money to back it up. AND, Apple has years of experience in UI that none of the others have.

      1. I find that hard to believe. They can’t even come out with a proper way to present notifications in their now dated UI .

    4. How do you define “win”? Only by marketshare? Apple is seen as an innovator with premium products and makes a fat profit even from their low marketshare Macs. That sounds like winning to me.

  5. I have to side with Robert here. Even if 2/3rds of the 65,000 are junk, and Android has 3x as many as he thinks, that’s still hundreds to one. Everyone knows the “no apps” is hyperbole, but when you’re comparing X to less than one percent of X, it fits.

  6. I have to side with Robert here. Even if 2/3rds of the 65,000 are junk, and Android has 3x as many as he thinks, that’s still hundreds to one. Everyone knows the “no apps” is hyperbole, but when you’re comparing X to less than one percent of X, it fits.

  7. You said it perfectly, the Xoom is better for many reasons, and the brainwashed apple followers are to bias to see that there are other products out there, and better ones at that!

    1. Better for what reasons? Name three. I bet you can’t. I have a Xoom. It is buggy. Its battery isn’t as good. It’s cameras aren’t as good. The software isn’t as mature. The store isn’t nearly as good. There aren’t any apps that run on it (16 vs 65,000). The hardware design isn’t even in the same class. The price is more expensive. So, other than 20% better screen resolution, what does it do better?

      1. so i see your one of the brainwashed apple freaks… and like Srabbleizer said, do you have an iPad 2? NO! you don’t. so let me explain… the cameras ARE better, and when you talk apps. the list goes on, the apps store does have more apps, but when you break it down there are plenty for the xoom as well. the price is exactly the same! and what are you talking about hardware design? they are probably pretty much the same as far as that goes. And no the screen resolution is NOT better! look it up my friend!

      2. Except how many of the Android apps make full use of the camera? The hardware hooks on some of my camera apps are amazing. Like Super fast HDR algorithms. I mean, my normal camera doesnt do it that fast.

        Alright, let’s say that the 32gb 3G is the only product we are looking at. Apple is 729 and Motorola is 799.

        On the stuff that matters most, Apple beats Motorola. Battery life, app ecosystem, build quality, hardware accessory ecosystem, and iMovie/Garageband built into the device.

        Motorola has the SD Card so you can upgrade the storage easier, transport movies easier. But these are things you can wing on the iPad by changing your workflow. Like Docking and using scripting for auto transcoding RSSedTorrentFeeds. And I have VLC.

        What is the value proposition for Motorola? Other than neat Google integration with the cloud apps–which can be accessed just the same with Mobile Safari or paid Apps, what is the EXCLUSIVE thing I can do with Honeycomb?

        Where is the answer to iMovie? I don’t know if you’ve seen the Photobooth demo but that is crazy horsepower in that A5 chip. Forget whether or not it is useful. That is a BENCHMARK, a foreshadowing of apps to come.

        Android needs to go 7 inches. In war, the losers would hole up in places the stronger armies wouldnt go to. They would build up their forces there and return a killing blow.

        729 A5 chip is too much for 799 Tegra2.

    1. Did you actually talk about notifications in iOS? Also I do get notifications on my Android device for mentions and DMs so what are you specifically saying Twitter for Android doesn’t do?

  8. 256MB of RAM (same as first Ipad) to the competitions 1GB. AWESOME! I’m disappointed. Not upgrading my original.

  9. How many of those 65,000 iPad apps are of any use? It’s a fairly useless metric you’ve chosen to compare the devices on, Scobie. Quantity of apps doesn’t matter, quantity of quality apps does.

    1. Exactly. Have you used some of the bleeding edge iPad apps? There are more than you can possibly download in a year. I know, I can’t keep up. But I’ll have more to say on that soon.

    2. I’d say that there are hundreds, if not thousands, or useful Apps in the AppStore. Just because you might only use 30-40 doesn’t mean that the others aren’t useful to you. I love how Fandroid’s love to think that the AppStore is nothing more than fart apps. If you want to make the quality vs quantity argument though, iPad wins hands down. Lets just go ahead and name a few shall we?

      The Daily
      The Elements
      Star Walk
      Rebirth for iPad
      Korg iMS-20
      Pulse News

      So there are TONS of quality Apps in the AppStore. I’d love to see you try and list just as many QUALITY Apps from the Android Marketplace that everyone can use. That’s not even listing all the games!

    3. iPad also has the highest quality apps. iOS apps are PC class native C apps that cover a broad set of categories. There are sophisticated 3D games, there is HD video editing, there are multitrack audio recorders and mixers, there are sophisticated musical instruments and art tools and a PC class office suite. Other mobiles have phone class Java applets with much more limited capabilities. That is why iPad is so dominant: it has quantity and quality. It’s the best and the cheapest.

  10. It’s too early to assume anything. You can’t bash Android yet since they JUST came out with their new OS. Give it about 6 months from now, the winner will be obvious by then.

    1. Really? Six months, huh? Have you interviewed hundreds of app developers? Have you talked with VCs who are funding app companies? I’m sitting in USVP right now. They say it’s an iPad world. This won’t change in six months.

      1. Rob, I’m not siding with Android, but I don’t like to act like my sh*t doesn’t stink because I own just Apple products. I like to give the benefit of the doubt to competitors, because you never know what can happen in the future. That being said, even if Apple were to fail in the future, I would still stick to their products because it’s the brand that I MYSELF like, I don’t buy apple products because everyone else has them, that’s just an unfortunate circumstance, I buy them because I enjoy them. Just like when I tried to give Android a chance and bought a G1, worst experience with an OS ever. But again, I don’t like Android because I MYSELF don’t like them, not because I’m trying to talk sh*t on them like every other hardcore Apple fanboy. (BTW, my username is just an inside joke between my roommate, who’s an Android fan, and me, not to be taken seriously)

    2. Great example of why google will fail. They needed to design an entirely new OS for Android to work on tablets, while Apple just tweaked theirs. I think the average consumer would buy something they know how to work, instead of something fancier.

  11. Pure web better? OK, the web browser has tabs. Does anyone buy a Tablet because it has tabs? I don’t think so. Especially when it doesn’t run Oprah’s app.

      1. Hahahahhahahahhah!!! Yeah, she’s only the #1 most influential media person out there. Evah. You must be a Google engineer who thinks Hacker News is the best media outlet, right?

    1. Apple may make the iPad 2 a bad purchase decision with their asinine developer terms. If they don’t backtrack on their new policies and end up losing Kindle, Netflix etc… it will be game over for Apple.

      1. So how many tablet apps have YOU developed for Android, or the RIM PlayBook, or the HP TouchPad? Tell me what products of your genius iPad users are deprived of.

      2. What does that have to do with anything. A good percentage of iPad users use apps like Kindle and Netflix and if Apple drives them off the platform all of the sudden the platforms that do have those apps become the better option for users.

  12. Put this way, Apple’s lead is almost comical! What a mockery they are making of HP/RIM/Google

  13. How is the form factor of the XOOM when you hold it in landscape mode? I love how my iPad feels in the hand. Does the XOOM feel just right or is it a bit wide?

  14. Robert, I can’t agree with your categorizations of “tablet developers,” “phone developers.” Developers tend to be platform-centric, but don’t confuse a form factor with a platform. The percentage of developers on any platform who cross form factors will remain dramatically higher than those who cross platforms. There will be organizations who target a form factor, certainly, but most of them will have to have specialist developers per platform. You’re not likely to see an org chart anywhere with branches for “tablet” vs “handset” higher up than the branches for “iOS” vs “Android”

    1. I think you are missing the importance of the screen size. There are big screen PC developers and there are small screen mobile developers, and there are big screen PC apps and there are small screen mobile apps.

      iPad has Apple’s Keynote, Numbers, Pages, and GarageBand, which were all originally Mac apps. Even though they were already on the OS X platform, built in Xcode with Cocoa framework, those apps did not show up on iPhone at all because they are very much full-size apps. Apple moved iMovie onto iPhone, but that was kind of a miracle, and even so, the full-size iPad version looks much more usable and will likely be much more popular.

      Mobile developers were already attracted to iPhone, but iPad is attracting PC developers. iPad runs native C apps on a PC class screen, it is relatively easy to port an app from PC’s or game consoles.

      The other tablets have to forget that they have mobile hardware and attract PC developers, so they can run big screen PC apps. They are not going to do that because they have baby Java platforms that are not attractive to PC developers who all write in C.

  15. I agree, there isn’t a better offer than the ipad2. I’m not an apple user and when I saw the launch I wanted to get one. Im an nexus s user and wouldn’t trade it for an iphone, to me there’s no comparison, I prefer more customization. Anyway….I have some questions is it dificult for an android app to me modified to big form factor? Won’t current android phone app makers just modify to big form?

    1. Yes, many Android handset app developers are going to be doing just that. It will be an interesting race to see how long the iPad can hold such a staggering lead.

      I’m not suggesting Android will take the lead even in a year, but I do think such “no apps” hyperbole won’t last six months.

    2. The best iPad apps are not iPhone apps, they are Mac apps and PlayStation apps and other full-size apps that were ported over easily because they are also written in C. It is going to be much harder for Java platforms to get those apps because they have to be completely rewritten.

  16. I’m an Android phone fan and have been waiting and waiting for a competitive product to the iPad. Nothing can touch the complete package the Ipad provides. Apps, styling, integration and build quality. Since the tablet world is changing so quickly, I will buy an iPad2 and keep and eye on the Android tablets. We all change our phones/computers and now tablets so often it makes perfect sense to run with Apple now until something better comes a long. It could be a long wait…

  17. This is really interesting, the Xoom is out of reach for too many people, the iPad 2 caught RIM with the pants down and it will hurt a lot; the HP TouchPad won’t be out for a few months giving Apple space to fill the market with cheaper iPad 1 and millions of iPad 2. The real problem for Android based tablets is that Apple is cutting the price of the first iPad, now you can get a iPad 1 for $400 with the Apple advantage (iTunes, AirPlay, 65,000+ apps). I won’t bet against the iPad here, It will be impossible for some tablet makers to match the iPad one price even if it’s already obsolete… Motorola pricing strategy will hurt them, Samsung was already killed by the Xoom and RIM’s Playbook looks like a real joke (vaporware), I like the Palm TouchPad, but I won’t buy it because I can have the iPad 2 and give my first iPad to my daughter… Sorry HP, too late.

  18. I have an ipad and there is nothing in the ipad 2 that would make me want to buy it. Where are the useful features…where is the removable storage and the built in usb support ? I have never found the device slow and it is primarily a device for consuming content. It does not replace a pc but complements it. However, the Apple approach is what is going to make me seriously look at alternatives. The whole absurd in app subscription debacle is just stupid. Zinio is one of the main reasons I have a ipad. I do not want to pay an Apple tax for using that on the device. After moving from iOS to Android for my phone it just feels so much better. I think that this is a battle that Apple will lose as it is starting to do in phone market. Nothing annouced today indicates anything different.Apps do not sell platforms, most people have a few and they are mainly things such as Facebook, train and plane timetables etc. You only need a few good applications…not tons of dross with a censor deciding what you can do and not do.

    1. Your comment is the first sensible, rational response to this hyperbole-driven rant of a blog post. Scoble’s comments reek of fanboy rhetoric, which severely diminishes any argument he makes. Too bad he can’t form such a cohesive argument as you just did.

      As the owner of an iPad, I too admit it is one of the best devices I’ve ever seen for the consumption of media. However, it will never replace a laptop for creation of said media and office productivity (caveat: the addition of a Bluetooth keyboard does help with productivity). It is a sleek, well-designed device, but it is not without its flaws.

      The lack of apps for the Android-based tablets is an argument that won’t hold up. However, Apple will continue to dominate the tablet-based market for at least the next year.

    2. If you have an original iPad, then iPad 2 is not for you. The devices have a 2 year lifespan. This iPad is for people who did not buy an iPad yet.

  19. I believe that the PlayBook and Honeycomb tablets offer a great platform for developers. I’m no developer though, at all.
    Perhaps if figureheads, such as yourself Scoble, were to push for diversification within this market niche we would see more competition and more fun! Yet all I see is people riding the money train of Apple.

    1. That’s their job, not mine. I don’t believe you are correct, by the way. RIM seems like they are going with Android compatibility, but we haven’t see how that will reliably work. Android is OK, but doesn’t monetize like iPad does. So, no apps ahead!

    2. iPad also has more free apps than any other platform, so it’s not just about the money train.

      Developers are attracted to 3 things: technology, users, and money. Apple leads in all 3 of those. That is why they lead in developer support.

    1. i in front of something is only marketing. much like the ifad, all marketing to isheep no substance.

      iFad 2 is just Crapple catching up to where the competition is TODAY. Unless they plan to drop the iPad 3 before the end of the year – Android will murder them.

      Go to Nvidia and look at their quad core processors.

  20. Good to hear from someone who has a Xoom and is willing to praise the iPad. Most often, once people have bought an expensive device, they find lots of ways to persuade themselves that their purchase was justified.

    The apps point exactly mirrors where Apple were losing out in the 1990s and the early 2000s. I remember being in PC World in the UK buying my wife a G4 Cube and overhearing a salesman say to another interested customer “yeah, these are Macs, but there’s no software for them”. I could have stopped and had the argument with him about how ‘real’ apps like QuarkXpress and Photoshop were far more important than the thousands of pseudo-shareware offerings which were the bulk of the Windows advantage, but there was no point: he would just have pointed to the six aisles of PC software, and the one half-shelf of Mac software.

    At the end of the day, the promise of the computer over the early games consoles, the smartphone over the oldphone, and the iPad over, well, the rest, is that they wouldn’t just do what they did when you bought them, but you had an essentially infinite variety of other experiences to add on when you wanted to, for nowhere near the cost of replacing the hardware. Just a few years ago we were used to only getting more functionality when we upgraded our mobile phones. Now we get it whenever we want. Without apps, as you say, it’s game over.

  21. I never have filled up my 16-gig iPad yet. So, to me the Xoom is more expensive. What’s funny is that because the Xoom has no apps you won’t fill it up anyway!

  22. I never have filled up my 16-gig iPad yet. So, to me the Xoom is more expensive. What’s funny is that because the Xoom has no apps you won’t fill it up anyway!

    1. Almost everyone I know with an iPad has gotten the 16G model. Those that have gotten 32s say they could have gotten by with 16s.

      1. Most I know are putting much music, etc. on them. And deleting other transient media after viewing.
        I would imagine though that if you’re into iMovie or GarageBand on the iPad2 you might want more.

      2. You know, as I’m adding files to specific apps and movies and tv shows – I’m finding I’m using much more of the memory available. One thing that tends to eat up allot space right now is that I tend to take longer web articles and print them to PDF and store them on my iPad to read later…

      3. I had considered getting a 64GB iPad so I wouldn’t have to swap out video so frequently, but then discovered Air Video Server. My videos are over 3TB of TV shows available for my iPad from anywhere. Well technically, I closed the firewall port so I’d stop watching TV when at meetings; but generally speaking.

        The one complaint about Air Video is it won’t play iTune purchased TV shows, since they still have DRM. But that’s a compliant against the TV and movie industry not the company.

        After installing that, 16GB is enough space for almost everything I do on the iPad, but I haven’t tried editing an iMovie yet. But presentations, to do list, music, video, and lots of apps, and still over 4GB of space available.

        I stopped trying to bring over all my music years ago after my 4th iPod, 80GB which still could carry my full collection. So now I just bring over monthly playlists, then most played, least played and a couple mood based list.

      4. You are right.. AirVideo is great.. the quality of streaming is much better when running the server on a Mac than on a Windows box.. that seems like a development issue to me really. (converting the videos makes that all a moot point) I’ll tend to watch videos right from the share on my main home computer when I’m in the house..

        The other video viewing scenario is the offline one. I’ve been looking at different apps and apparently AVplayerHD is the slickest of them all.. plays 720p .mkv files too. which is very cool.. That would be great from when you can’t get a connection to anything.

        With music and the iPad, I tend to never actually go to play the music directly. Many of the apps I’ve seen (like the bizarre Fire HD) allow you to overlay music while you do whatever it is your doing.. I’ve seen a few games like that.. but haven’t installed them on my iPad.

        The space gets chewed up pretty quickly, probably even worse for those that don’t “manage” the space usage.. I can see how even 64 GB could be used up fast…

  23. I never have filled up my 16-gig iPad yet. So, to me the Xoom is more expensive. What’s funny is that because the Xoom has no apps you won’t fill it up anyway!

  24. OK, but let me know if your average consumer cares about that. They don’t. I don’t. And I have a Xoom. It isn’t THAT much nicer to switch apps.

  25. OK, but let me know if your average consumer cares about that. They don’t. I don’t. And I have a Xoom. It isn’t THAT much nicer to switch apps.

  26. OK, but let me know if your average consumer cares about that. They don’t. I don’t. And I have a Xoom. It isn’t THAT much nicer to switch apps.

  27. what can android do facetime with no wifi and ipad 2 still use wifi … they just add two camres and faster speed thats it the zoom is better come on apple still on wifi u can do better then that i like apple but i have to go with xoom

    1. On Android you use Skype over 3G. On iOS you use Skype over 3G. That is not an issue. FaceTime is an optional extra on iOS. You can choose not to use it, but you can’t say iOS is worse for having it.

    1. ok i watched your review and I actually think you did a pretty good job making the xoom look good. my sincere question is what do you think of the improvements to the ipad2? a lot of the things you said you liked better in the xoom in your review weren’t addressed in the new version. maybe im missing something but do you think the ipad2 successfully presented a “wow-factor” or are the apps the only thing it has going for it?

      1. The iPad has faster speed. Is thinner. Has cameras. Has better battery life. But I don’t think any of that matters for “average people.” All that matters at this point is apps.

        Wake me up when a competitor has “enough” apps. Right now no one can make that claim.

    1. Uhmmmm…do you know what “hardware” is? Judging from your post and your comments, it sounds like you’re confusing the casing with the hardware. You can’t compare hardware by “hold[ing] both of them”.

      1. OK, OK, you wanna talk hardware? We can go there. The Motorola camera, in specs, is sharper. In reality? No. The software is more important than the lens and imaging sensor.

  28. While this is very specific to me, it is what will likely keep me from getting an iPad 1/2. People can bash Flash all they want, but as a web designer, developer, and manager I have to see the web as most do regardless if I like it or not. In addition, I monitor hundreds of sites with Google Analytics, including adding annotations to track posts and release dates, so until Google upgrades to HTML 5 I am stuck needing it. And no, I don’t need other people to tell me what I should want or need thank you very much.

    Now the big one, and I am frankly surprised you are not more upset about this Robert, there is no way that I am aware of to get pictures I shoot in the field (no wifi) with a DSLR that uses compact flash into the iPad and then upload to various social channels or sharing sites. I might be able to get past the Flash issue if it could do this. And no, I have no idea why DSLRs continue to use CF cards as apposed to the new HCSD unless it has to do with speed. Uploading to something like dropbox first defeats the purpose and I am not spending another $800 on a wireless grip + creating a hotspot with a router to facilitate such a simple action.

    I would however recommend it to others who do not have such specific needs. Sexy stuff.

    1. Xoom has not proven it can run flash, not to mention battery drain issues- vapor ware promises are all you have for xoom with flash at this point.

      1. They hadn’t proven that it would work on a droid, but it does. Smooth as silk. I have every confidence they can make it work on a much higher horsepower machine. If we want to take the pessimistic (naysayer) stance, maybe it won’t work, but there is a chance unlike the iPad.

        I had not heard of battery issues but if there was/is, just turn it off. Having the ability does not mean it has to be running. I am not some Flash fanboy and outside of people trying to tell me my business I don’t care.

    2. If you truly need Flash, then you are better off with an Intel PC, which is what Flash is designed for. FlashPlayer for Mobiles will likely disappoint you even more than iPad.

      The way most people see the Web on mobiles is HTML5, which is universal on mobiles. FlashPlayer for Mobiles has only a few thousand users and will never gain critical mass on mobiles.

      > there is no way that I am aware of to get pictures I shoot in the field (no wifi) with
      > a DSLR that uses compact flash into the iPad

      iPad Camera Connection Kit ($29) and any USB CF card reader. The Camera Connection Kit is not just an SD card reader, it also includes a desktop USB port. Any card reader will work.

      1. Thank you for the info on the USB CF card reader. That certainly helps and removes one obstacle which is why I posed the question.

        I’m sorry but I have a difficult time believing that “most” people are using HTML 5 given that I deal with analytics for hundreds of sites that don’t support that statement, nor is HTML 5 even accepted as a standard yet. This is beside the fact that just because someone tells me I shouldn’t care, doesn’t mean I don’t.

        Flash runs fine on my droid, which is an older device with a fraction of the power of current devices. I have the option to run it or turn it off. I want the option. That is a tired and unsubstantiated argument.

        I sincerely thank you for confirming the USB part though. Very helpful.

  29. Here’s the real question: as a college student wanting a tablet to be able to take notes on and pull up PDFs I don’t see the iPad 2 as a good option. There is no easy way to transfer files and that is one thing that kills it. I realize it is not designed for such things primarily but it is a shame that such a potentially game-changing feature is not ever even mentioned..

      1. Even if he had heard of dropbox it doesn’t excuse poor connectivity options. Also, waiting for a 500mb or larger file to sync up and then sync down is not conducive to productivity. For small files like docs, pdfs, sure. By the way I have been a dropbox lover since early beta by the way and use it daily across 5 devices. I also use sugarsync, mozy, goaruna, skydrive, soonr, etc, etc…

    1. If you use Good Reader for iPad then you can use it as a server, also Files HD. Transferring is very easy over WiFi. If you’re going to connect via USB, you can just drag things onto iTunes in very many applications. Alternatively, if you use IMAP as your mail protocol, you can just save the things as a draft and then pick them up, or email them to yourself.

    2. Uh dood. Drop box and Goodreader for PDF’s, and about ten really good note taking apps for notes. Do your homework before spouting off. You clearly don’t have an iPad. My iPad IS my PDF reader and marker upper. And it’s AWESOME!!!

    3. Goodreader? Do your homework, kid. There are plenty of apps out there. I use my iPad for work. No problem at all.

  30. Your comparison isn’t accurate.

    There is no comparable $499 Xoom. It just doesn’t exist. The cheapest you can get a Xoom is $599 with a 2 year contract commitment that will run you around $1200.

    The simple fact is that Xoom isn’t really in this ball game until they bring something to the table at $499.

  31. This banter is hilarious to me, all of a sudden we need thousands of Apps to be satisfied, most common Joe’s and Janes need core features which are available on both OS platforms. Between 60 to 70% of the time people will be using it to surf the net.Your main goal to present the case that their are absolutely NO Apps, that you cant listen to music or watch a video on the Android products, have a calculator or run the internet. I think you need to look up the definition of an application. Come on, you honestly think there will be no development or adjustment of current apps to work for the tablets.

    Your comment on the back cover is the most ridiculous thing, IT’S THE BACK COVER, are we to expect art, when people put stickers and COVERS on them. Obviously you like to hold your Ipad in the air so everyone can see the back

    Apple has done a good job of making people their sheep.

      1. It’s over a year and no Facebook app for the iPad. If Honeycomb gets a Facebook app along with Angry Birds, will it trump the iPad just because most people want Facebook and apps are the only important factor?

  32. also i recall reading an article about a program that made converting iOS apps to android compatible apps relative simple and quick. if this is the case, why wouldn’t developers develop across the two platforms?

  33. “Move on to the RIM PlayBook. It didn’t score with users as well as the Motorola Xoom and it doesn’t have”

    Can you please explain this? As far as I’ve been able to tell, the hype for Playbook is huge.

    + multitasking
    + integrated flash
    + designed to share your current data plan
    + 4 (5 including rumours) platforms for developing apps on it.
    + higher resolution
    + priced lower than everything else

    If you’re going to make the claim that its usability is worse than Xoom. You’re going to have to back that up.

    1. + multitasking

      IOS 4 multitasks

      + integrated flash

      And how many video sites these days don’t offer either H.264 alternatives or have an app for the iOS.

      + designed to share your current data plan

      It’s called tethering. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

      + 4 (5 including rumours) platforms for developing apps on it.

      Wow, you can develop glorified web apps with WebWorks and Adobe AIR!!!

      + higher resolution
      + priced lower than everything else

      Really? You got a link where I can order the Playbook?

      + way better hardware specs

      You keep forgetting one thing….it’s not shipping.

  34. Ha my brother has an android phone.. me and him were looking at the same site… you couldn’t even read the site on his because of big ass flash boxes in the screen.

    I think apple should add flash to the ipad… but for god sakes keep it off of the iPhone…. it has no place on a device that size.

    Flash wont stop me from getting an ipad 2… the only thing I wish apple would do is eliminate the need to jailbreak devices….

    One way they could do this is to have apps that are Apple certified. for non apple certified apps you could just read and click an agreement that the app has not been certified and could be subject to data loss… apple could also take a higher cut of non certified apps… to help motivate certification and to subsidize the additional technical support that will be needed to tell people how to restore their IOS devise…. apple would kill the market if they would do that.

    as far as bang for the buck goes Xoom looses

  35. Perhaps we all forget that the Applie iPad is what created this “Tablet”, “Slate”, “Post-PC”, “Charlie Sheen Tracking” market segment in the first place? All the others have a LONG way to go before they can stand up to Apple’s domination. I do think Android has the best chance of this, but definitely not right now.

  36. OK, Steve Jobs says there’s 100 apps for “the competitors.” Find me a list. Go ahead. I’ll wait. I’m sure there is a good list somewhere, right?

  37. That is a fallacy that has been studied to death in consumer behavior. Too much choice can be a definite inhibitor to product purchase.

    In the case of Android, a lot of that “choice” isn’t even relevant to the average consumer, age notwithstanding.

    1. OK, how will people buy one of these things?

      1. Their friends will show them Angry Birds on it. Then Flipboard. Then NPR. Then Netflix. Then a few other apps. Sold!

      2. They will see some celebrity showing it off. Millions were sold after Oprah told her audience “this is my favorite thing ever.” Ever. Ever. Ever. Think about what that did!

      EIther way, they will head into a store and maybe look at the others, but they will ask “does this have the Oprah app?” in the second case. No. No sale.

      In the first case, their friends probably will bring them in the store and show them the different apps. No sale either.

      Tell me, how will someone buy an Android device? Or an HP one? Or a RIM one? Explain what DRIVES someone into the store to buy one?

      1. You got me. From what I’ve seen, most Android users seem to be anti-Apple, or they start spewing some froth about being “open” or not having “walled gardens”.

        What I wonder is why HP doesn’t get back in a partnership with Apple to sell iPads. Seems like that would be a shoe-in in the Enterprise sector. Of course, Apple really doesn’t need HP anymore. I’m not even sure why the HP/Apple partnership fell apart in the first place.

      2. HP wants to be in charge of its own destiny. We’ll see how that works out long term. They need to show the world how they are going to get apps, too. I like their hardware design and OS but no apps no sale.

      3. I love Apple but hate iTunes. Always have since they bought SoundJam and messed up the UI for Mac OS X bit by horrible bit.

        For me, the iPhone and iPad have some great points, but they do not cure my loathing of iTunes. I have a Mac and have never bought an app from the Mac App store. Reminds me too much of iTunes.

  38. I bought the Xoom last week and I was excited when I got it, but after hearing about all the apps that are functional and the fact that the Xoom has such a small amount that actually are created for the machine; and the fact that the Flash is not even out yet anyways and LTE upgrade issues haven’t been addressed, I am taking mine back to Bestbuy and will be getting my first IPAD 2 (first of either really).

  39. As a current iPad “enthusiast” (in quotes because it’s a love/hate relationship for me), I was disillusioned with the feature set of the v2 – or more properly, what they could’ve/should’ve added with the opportunity to really dominate the space for a very good long time. Unfortunately, Apple’s strategy is always the same (and I can’t blame them, it makes them rich) – launch a new product, OS, or app, or updated versions of the same about once per year, but never make them wholly what they could be – keeps the sobs like me constantly upgrading. It’s happened to me with iPhones, iPods, Leopard, Mac Pro, and most recently MacBook Pro last week. Not this time however. I’ll muddle along with my slow, crashy, featureless (yet FUN) first gen iPad until a similar tablet computing platform appears that is truly useful as well as FUN.
    So… v2 – faster more capable processor (less of the annoying crashes one would assume, cameras, HD Video, lighter, thinner all FUN. More utilitarian would have meant – a true USB port, more than just for transferring files, but for attaching anything from cameras to external storage. Which brings us to memory – how hard would it have been to put in a SDHC card slot? With only those 2 minor additions I could have seen iPad finally replacing my laptop on business trips. But again, I suppose that is exactly the point – how many expensive MacBooks would Apple sell then?

      1. I am a fanboy. I knew that. Ergo: You are wrong. Why are you so committed to believing people who disagree with you are unthinking lemmings?

    1. the xoom is just dogfood, to give out/away to developers like the G1, if they can sell a few so much the better, you need to look at the software, the hardware will be here in 3-6 months…

  40. You must have missed that I was at the launch of HP’s TouchPad. One of HP’s VP lives a block from me. I love what they are doing, but they have no apps. Plus they aren’t shipping. Two knocks. When they solve both I’ll let you know!

  41. The Android kids are amusing as usual. The Xoom is overpriced, poorly made with a terrible screen and Motorola service and support. Plus no apps. Enjoy.
    Btw the reason there are no apps is that developers aren’t seeing a way to make money on Android. Thats not going to go away. In fact Google has been reduced to paying developers to write apps just like Microsoft with Windows Phone 7. Pathetic.
    You would have to be an idiot to buy Xoom over an iPad 2.
    Motorola should have just called it a Zune because its going in the same direction.

  42. It sounds to me like Mr. Scobie isn’t open to any ideas that don’t revolve around Apple being the one true god. Everything else, he just gets angry at you because you don’t understand his religion. Get real.

  43. 100% agree with Robert. Admittedly, I am an Apple fanboy – not a blind follower, but a fan. Why? Because there’s hardly any company out there, which understands the business of building platforms (hardware-to-software-to-developers) better.

    Besides this, I’m running one of Germany’s largest development shops for Enterprise smartphone and tablet apps.

    And there is a simple fact: We are not going to build anything for Honeycomb anytime soon for a couple of reasons:

    1.) The total number of Honeycomb units shipped is not appealing at all. Of course, this might change. And we might revisit. In 1-3 years.

    2.) The Android Market is seriously flawed (usability, discoverability) and hence doesn’t make enough money worth our upfront invest.

    3.) The total amount of iOS devices out there, is an absolutely attractive market that will likely feed us for years to come.

    4.) We are not happy with Google’s closed Android ecosystem. Yes, the source code for some parts of Android is available. But as soon as you want to ship Gmail and the Android Market on your device, you have to deal with Google. We don’t consider this open. It’s pretending. Worse than admitting that you believe in closed and consequently execute on your strategy (what Apple does).

    The point here is: Why should any average consumer go for a tablet that is

    a) more expensive
    b) has less battery life
    c) has almost no apps, so you can hardly do anything other with it, than surfing the web
    d) doesn’t ring any brand related bell

    when at the same time there is

    a) the well-known iPad, the one, that among consumers is widely synonymous with “tablet”
    b) that is cheaper
    c) has a great form factor and
    d) an entire universe of primarily mega-cool apps

    I haven’t seen any answer, yet.

  44. I am at USVP, one of the largest VCs in the world. I asked them “Are you investing in Android Tablet app companies?” “No.” is the answer. Biased? No. I’ve been doing this for decades. Use cases and apps are gonna rule this category this year and I’ll bet on it.

      1. OK, go anywhere. Y Combinator? Mostly invests in iPad companies, when they go with tablets. Kleiner Perkins? They have an iFund, not an “AFund.” Shall I go on? Investors don’t yet know who will end up selling enough devices to support an industry, with HP/RIM/Google going at it for second place.

      2. Means Y combinator as a small problem if the iPad get overtaken like the iPhone did by android phone … who could get overtaken by the next big thing …

        KPCB is APPLE is The iPad ..

        Sure do go on , your localizing US based investors , You got the Android investor list ?

        Real Investors usually take long bets , if your device get’s suppport from Google ( obvious but still not really taken into account I suppose ) , Facebook , Twitter, Foursquare , etc … usually have a chance to reach 50 million user’s. Android already do.

        Apple used to be number 15 about 5 years ago , they are still number 3 , except for Iphone , in tablet you would be surprised who’s name rank the highest aint the iPad, but with lowering price and the V1 still beeing offered we mights see more iPad.

        Two things you missed :

        You know who else as been seen as second for decades HP …

        As long as your a top 5 you make billions …

  45. Technically, you’re right. Android in fact has been designed in a way, that makes it more easy to build fluid UIs, than iOS.

    However, it’s not about technology. When you take a user interface from a tiny screen to a large screen, you almost always have to rethink your interaction models. In many cases, you might need to create a whole new interface for the larger screen.

    In fact, Apple explicitly encourages this in its guides.

    And that is another problem which I see coming up on the Android platform: With Android’s pretty simple (but technologically sophisticated) way of allowing devs to layout dynamic UIs, I see lots of apps that originally have been created for small screens being large-screen-enabled in an extremely quick and dirty way.

    This will lead to a flood of “Android Tablet” apps, that are merely dirty hacks of existing “Android Smartphone” apps. This will very likely not make any average user happy.

  46. Give honeycomb time, they will get aps. Especially once cheaper honeycomb products hit the market.

  47. Flash is not important. I haven’t heard one person who owns and iPad that has said that Flash was a deciding factor. And most of those are Windows users not Apple Fanboys/fangirls.

  48. Flash is not important. I haven’t heard one person who owns and iPad that has said that Flash was a deciding factor. And most of those are Windows users not Apple Fanboys/fangirls.

  49. Here is all you Android morons need to know.

    Digitimes: Motorola To Ship 800,000 Xoom Tablets In Q1 2011

    Apple in the past quarter shipped 7.1 million as you would all say “not as good, crappier hardware, slower” iPads. Mhmmmmm wondering who is winning this race? Proof is in the pudding Droidions.

  50. We know Robert, every advantage Android has is not important, every advantage iOS has is extremely important. We know, we’ve heard the song and dance before. You shouldn’t get so emotional about it though. It’s not helping your case. Anger is a sign of fear. But you have nothing to fear, no one’s going to take away your iPad.

    As for apps, Apple is intending to kick out apps that compete with the iTunes ecosystem in June, so let’s come back to the apps question after that.

    1. Heheh. Angry? I’m having fun fighting with you guys. One hand is tied behind my back and I’m watching TED while we do this.

      What you all don’t see is I’m just explaining to you what VCs and developers themselves have told me. Plus, I watch how people BUY these things. Go and watch at the local store someday. You might learn something.

  51. So clueless. You should really study what effect Oprah has on consumer electronics sales. I love uninformed people. Go read AdAge or something and do your homework.

    1. “You should really study what effect Oprah has on consumer electronics sales.”

      how sad…..

  52. If you look at different indicators, you should be able to tell that the Android market (both apps and phones) have had a tremendous surge in growth. It’s that exponential growth that analysts look for. Initially, the same silly argument that you make (no apps) was being done when Android came out with much lesser apps than iOS. Now both have a huge portfolio where the argument is moot. Have you not learned your lesson yet ?

    The Google market model is brilliant. If you don’t like their payment processor system, create your own. Now that won’t mean anything to small players. But big players like Amazon & gaming companies could do that and gain a bigger profit margin.

    People who keep talking fragmentation bring up another idiotic argument. If you look at CRT color TV’s for eg. the base CRT tech is the same. But everyone builds their own flavor. The same with IBM PC’s. A base that you can build on.

    The gap is closing constantly and Apple has already been surpassed in other areas. The only significant advantage they have is IMAGE. But there is certainly a growing movement of dissent with people regd Apple. The internet is rife with it. And that translates to sales too. For Apple’s competitors that is.

    Even if Honeycomb is buggy, it can be easily fixed with an update. It was imperative that they release their product on time. Every developer / business knows the importance of timing. We’ll see how things go in 6 months. Maybe scaling apps to Gingerbread might not be that big of a deal dependin on how Android implements it.

    1. I think I’ll take my Android “Hello World” app and make it just say “NO”

      Oops! That could make Robert right all over again “Android has ‘NO’ apps!”

  53. Hi Robert,
    Lots of negativity towards iPad here so I just wanted to chime in with a positive note.
    I have an autistic son who benefitted hugely from the iPad and all the fantastic apps he is able to use to help him learn and interact in a way that suites him.
    It has help us so much in our daily lives.

  54. It all is pretty funny. Android does not have to dominate the tablet or handset market in order to succeed. Apple sure didn’t dominate the desktop, yet look at them now. Within a couple of years, Apple iOS will have iPods, iPhones, a few sizes of iPad, and maybe even two or three more form factors. Android will have hundreds of form factors. Each platform will excel in some realms, Apple probably by bigger margins, and Android probably in sheer numbers. Right now, in tablets, Apple is dominant. They may even stay that way. Good for Apple, yet not particularly bad for Android.

    Android will be in automobiles soon:
    I’m sure it will be in DVRs and other set-top boxes, appliances, points-of-sale (iPad gets a few of those though) and more, all within a couple of years. And iOS will be on eight, maybe ten form factors.

    It doesn’t even resemble a “zero-sum” game. Even RIM and HP will not have to live-or-die by the tablet form factor alone.

    1. This is the best answer in the thread. When you are getting beat MOVE THE GOAL POSTS!!! 🙂

      Very good strategy! Actually, if I were at one of these companies that’s EXACTLY what I would be trying to do now.

      1. You and I both know iOS and Android have really only used the same goal posts during the *handset* race.

        If I were a spokes-droid, I might even concede the tablet race … for now.

  55. Hey Robert, do you have any evidence that apps drive sales? I don’t mean your own personal opinion (I already know that you really dig apps), or anecdotes from like-minded people. I mean scientific studies done by professional third-parties.

    1. Does living through the entire microcomputer revolution count for anything? Seeing this exact same drama in 1984? Nothing here is really new, Apple learned very very well from being on the “has no apps” side, for the Mac’s first 5-6 years.

  56. I’m on the Internet more than almost any person alive. Flash just isn’t that big a deal and most major sites now that any normal person cares about has an iPad app, which means Flash isn’t an issue. But, if you think it will sell that many things, let’s just wait and see. I predict Apple will sell 30 million iPads in next year. So far looks like Android might sell three million 10-inch tablets, if that.

  57. I’d say they are fully employed at this point to build mobile apps. Will they turn those skills onto 10-inch tablet apps? We’ll see. I’m sure some of them will, which is why Android will take over spot #2. Spot #2 is important, because there’s room in the industry for two players. Is there room for more, though? Well, as we learned with Nokia, it gets a LOT tougher after you are kicked out of the top two spots.

  58. Robert, do you think for someone who has no use for FaceTime that a refurb from Apple $349 iPad1 is a better deal than the iPad2?

  59. This fanboi will be buying an iPad 2 a couple of weeks after they’re released. (I want to wait and see if I have to hold it a certain wait like the last iPhone before shelling out the $$$). That said, I hope Android steps up its game so that we’ll have some competition and Apple will make the iPad even better. A one horse race only benefits the horse.

  60. that’s true and html5 is much more powerful and reliable then flash, the proof is in the numbers. Also, check out apples new javascript.

  61. The lack of specific Honeycomb applications is being seriously overplayed. Android apps designed properly work in Honeycomb without the 2x scaling Apple employed at the launch of iPad. Some of them look a bit squiffy, but a huge proportion of them work but are not tablet specific. The final SDK came out 4 days ago and already 30% of the apps I have on my phone have had updates that were there to conform with Honeycomb (some are placeholders that fix minor compatibility issues whilst new elements of the apps are developed to conform fully with the new menu system and fragments framework). The Android blog forums for owners of the Xoom are running along the lines of which apps don’t work, because listing those that do would take too damn long. Developers are just getting hold of devices and the final build SDK. Give it 2 months and the game is totally different.

    Don’t get me wrong, I totally believe that Motorola rushed the launch of the Xoom, probably more to get first mover advantage over the plethora of other Honeycomb devices due imminently rather tan the iPad2 launch. SD card not working until software update in a couple of weeks, Flash missing for 4-6 weeks (but we all know Adobe could miss a date) and the whole upgrade root to LTE. perhaps an early/mid April launch with all in place would have been better for them, but by then the Honeycomb world will not be so lonely. However, the comparisons of Xoom vs iPad2 knocking around the media are a little disingenuous, as they overlook the snowball effect of all the Honeycomb devices launching one after the next.

    Apple are brilliant at positioning their fan base and no one half reasonable, who prefers Android and other platforms, thinks for a minute they are in the game of persuading Apple fans to defect They are in the game of grabbing hold of a huge slice of a growing global market, across many form factors and price points. Obsession with market share doesn’t matter either. Android will grow a significant pressence and Apple will likely have sold more devices over the next year at the same or better margins than last year. Both platforms will be highly successful. Win Win. Flame wars are tiresome, particularly if you are passionate about the potential to use technology to effect positive change. Strong competition between these platforms over the next couple of years will massively accelerate the depths of that potential.

    1. Well, I’ve been playing with a lot of apps lately and the ones on the Xoom aren’t close to fit, finish, or design to those on iPad. Stretching out an app just isn’t the same as rethinking it from scratch. But you are right, Android probably will get there. We’ll see how well they do over the next months. But today? No apps, sorry. And that’s NOT inaccurate, either.

      1. Totally agree, but not all apps require full tablet customisation, implementing the Honeycomb Menu system etc will make many good to go. The fragments (I know, Google’s humour) roadmap looks to enable the development of applications which will be able to reuse elements between phone development and tablet development, which runs counter to some of the inference that phone and tablet development are separate entities. I am sure you are well aware of all of this already. The final SDK went live 4 days ago. As I stated above, Motorola, for whatever reason, jumped early. I am surprised given your passion for technology that you are not more excited by the inherent potential here, but each to their own.

    2. No, you are wrong about the mini apps being enough. One of the first things we learned after iPad shipped was how important full-size apps are. Even though there were about 200,000 mini-apps at the time, users overwhelmingly purchased only from the pool of 500 full-size apps, even when the full-size apps had fewer features. iPhone apps all install and run great on iPad. Nobody does it. It totally wastes the screen, which is the main feature of a tablet. Plus, you already have the mini-apps on a device in your pocket. There is just no attraction to running them on a tablet.

      People aren’t going to pay $800 for a Motorola XOOM to run scaled up versions of the apps from a free Android phone.

  62. Does the camera kit do Compact Flash which Pro level DSLRs use? I have only seen an SD card adapter which will not work.

    It would be unacceptable to transfer hundreds of 6mb jpeg’s, let alone 25mb RAW files across 3G. And how am I getting those files to the cloud in the first place? If I have to send via a laptop, why would I need the iPad? Even if files could make it from my camera onto the internet w/o a 2nd device, all indicators point to carriers nuking unlimited data let alone the time it would take especially on a 3G only device.

    A disappointing feature omission for me.

  63. What? Opinions? How dare someone write based on opinions. I say we hunt the bastard down and ….

  64. You know what? The iPad 2 is not even relevant to any of your points.

    The fact is that app counts on the weeks-old Honeycomb devices fall far short of those on the year-old iPad, and the other potential players haven’t reached the starting gate.

    Everything else is just prognostication. Might be right in due time, might be wrong. At least it’s been recorded.

  65. 1) No one gets to see the list of available apps before they buy, which is unfortunate.

    My guess is a high number (Maybe 50% or fewer, but still a high number) of smart phone and tablet owners have 10 or fewer apps. Apps are for largely for geeks and the young. Which is probably the main reason why Facebook was able to get away with not making a decent app for any device until just recently.

    For most it’s still all about the web, email, and video.

    2) Unless you a person who is buying because a friend recommends a certain device, the playing field is level. The reason why Apple has such a big lead is due to marketing and having the only device in the market. People (albiet mostly lower – middle income) were starting to buy smart phones instead of computers, and the iPad came out at just the right time to make some of those people realize that that was silly and the Ipad was the device they could use for that purpose.

  66. No tech expert here. But it’s really as simple as @Scobleizer had put it: no apps no sales.

    It’s like Gowalla’s UI is so much more cuter but Foursquare has 7 times the number of users.

  67. You have got to be kidding me. The IPad 2 is a sad let down now. Heres why:

    Xoom is like a Savings Bond. It matures with time.

    -1 month from now will IPad 2 have Flash? NO. Xoom will
    -2-3 months from now will IPad 2 have 4g? NO. Xoom will
    -4 months from now all the apps you will ever need will be available to Xoom.
    -A5 dual core at 1 Ghz? I can overclock the Xoom to 1.5 Ghz NOW

    Wait 6 days to upgrade from 3g to 4g? I think I can manage.. Especially if its for 4g. Oh wait.. Sorry IPad owners.

    So its case isn’t as “pretty” I dont care. Its not about looks. Its about how long my tablet will last me and if I need to buy a new a year from now or not. Since I stated all of the above. I most likely wont have to get the next generation Xoom. But If you want a better IPad or 4g. Continue waiting.

    I purchased the Xoom and since I bought it… It already is proving that it is only getting better.

    1. Hah.

      I’m gonna be even better. Why? I’ll put 4G where it’s supposed to be: on my phone. Then share that with my four iPads. How lame to buy service for a tablet when you ALWAYS have a phone in your pocket. Very lame dude.

      OK, Flash? Haven’t missed it. I’ve had an iPad for nine months. I guess you missed this app thing. All apps don’t need flash. There are more apps than you can play with in an evening.

      Overclocking? OK, got me there, although I’m sure some hacker will root it and figure it out. As it is the iPad 2 is a lot faster on text stuff than the Xoom is. More on that when I get one.

      1. Who the hell said I was supposed to be impartial? I’m supposed to tell you the truth. That’s all. And the truth is “no apps, no sale.”

    2. What will you do with 1.5 Ghz.. on shitty android.. without apps?
      I don’t want flash. Batery life matters more, and Ipad has 10 hrs NOW, Xoom will never have it. IPad is top notch and nicely built NOW, Xoom is shitty plastic.
      IPad is stable, fluid NOW, Xoom will never be like that.

  68. I bought my 3G iPad 64GB last May as soon as it was in the market and I simply love it. Now, got to go and spend another $972 on iPad 2, cause I wanted an iPad with camera. Me happy now and I have no doubt in my mind, next year we’ll be looking back and see how Xoom and the other iPad wanna bees fell behind iPad2.

  69. Can we apply your logic (or at least analogize it) to the Game Consoles?
    Was the Wii so much more successful than its competitors because of Release Date, Apps (Game CDs) or Cost?

      1. So lets say the TouchPad releases with 15000 optimized apps (they have the time and the resources to realistically pull that off). Will that be enough to keep it relevant? Your reply implies that Release Date and Price don’t matter and didn’t matter in the Console space.

  70. Wow I just admire your stamina and persistence arguing with people who have no knowledge, have done no research, have no communication with people who are invested in these products screaming and trying to pass their incoherent, unproven and absolutely laughable arguments in these comments. Usually when people behave that way I just laugh, because by responding you are just dignifying their lame arguments. You do have a lot of patience and are a better man than me.

    As always usually a nice article from you.

  71. Once again another Apple idiot that has no clue. Over 95% of the tablets are going to be or are running on Honeycomb. So don’t you think that programmers are going to look at that. Get your head out of the ground and stop drinking the kool-aid.

    1. Bullshit. WHere do you get these ideas and predictions. NOT A SINGLE PERSON has predicted that Android will sell 95% of all tablets. You are smoking something good. Can you please share?

  72. This is the most amusing thread I have read in ages! I just kept scrolling and scrolling. Scobleizer – thanks for taking the time to respond to such a wide variety of opinions. It adds to the experience greatly!

    This whole discussion is like listening to a friend say how stupid they find a particular commercial. If you don’t like it, it isn’t aimed at you. The fact that so many are blasting out acronyms that are unfamiliar to the average person on the street is telling.

    Shocking as it may be to those of us on here, most users of iPads think of Flash as something for a camera. The days of comparing speeds and feeds are long gone. As Robert said – Angry Birds and Facebook. I have looked through iPads of people I meet and most of it is games and media consumption – movies, music, tv.

    Apple has made the iPad a consumer appliance; a fashion accessory. Robert is just talking about what drives success in this area. Apple has simply made all of the ‘techie’ stuff disappear (as much as can be done so far). It’s been replaced with: Simplicity. Ease of Use. Sex Appeal.

    You can have your HDMI, your USB port, your 1 Gb Memory, your higher resolution. Go ahead. It doesn’t matter to the rest of the population. They’re reading “O” and updating their Facebook status.

  73. Mr. Scobleizer

    I have read this whole tread & am honestly more confused than when I began reading. I am in the process of internationally launching my company. I want a tablet that I may create content during flights, will assist with my presentations & allow me to reach my customer whenever. I like the android phone because I have the option of the keyboard(when you are up for 24+, sometimes you just don’t want to tango). I am only interested in apps related to my business.

    Also in Europe, I change sim cards from country to country. The Apple people I spoke with told me to wait until the iPad2 came out, however the Verizon people said the zoom is more versatile.

    Are you saying that the xoom does not have wifi? Nor business(LinkedInFacebook,Outlook,Twitter,Excel, etc)apps?

    Thank you for your assistance.

    1. The XOOM does not have SIM cards. It works on Verizon in the US only.

      iPad works with any Bluetooth keyboard, or any USB keyboard if you purchase the optional USB adapter.

      XOOM does not have an Excel equivalent. On iPad, that is Numbers, it is $10.

      XOOM cannot be more versatile than iPad. XOOM has 16 apps, while iPad has 65,000.

      You should also consider MacBook Air 11 inch at $999.

  74. You’re not taking into account how much some people are sick of Apple. They’ve done a lot right, but they’ve done a lot wrong too.

    Why did the iPod have to hide the files and change the filenames to become useless? What can this possibly achieve?
    Why do they insist of having in app subscriptions matching out of app subscriptions? (ie. their recent changes that are seemingly targeted at Amazon/Netflix/etc)
    Why did they change the ipod/iphone connector causing old accessories to not work on new devices?
    Why is iTunes still required?. We have infrastructure and tech for 100% over the air.
    Why no love for flash? I hate Flash, but I’m resigned to needing it occasionally
    Why can apps not duplicate functionality? I like choice.

    What’s next? I don’t know, and I don’t want to find out.

    I’m sticking with Android. I can deal with the lack of tablet apps. The browser works great. Youtube is great. The video (player) app is great. Maps is unbelievably awesome. My news is either the NYTimes app or the “The Australian” app or Google News in the browser. A squarespace app is the only missing one for me.

  75. I came to this site to get an unbiased comparison of the iPad 2 vs. other tablets and all I got was an Apple fanboy kneeling at the temple of Jobs.

    The no apps no sale shtick is the stupidest argument you can make. That’s like saying don’t buy any new product because there aren’t many apps/movies/games for it.

    Google is developing Android at a fast rate and will surpass iOS quickly.

    Again, this is silly to not buy a Xoom because it doesn’t have apps…yet.

    1. OK is it silly not to buy a Xoom because 3 of the advertised bullet points are missing from the device that they released last week? Is it silly to buy a product that was advertised as having Flash but didn’t ship with it? Is it silly to buy a product that has an SD card slot but you cannot do anything with it because the software hasn’t been implemented yet? Is it silly to buy a product that was advertised as being 4G except that that hardware isn’t in it yet and it will take 6 working days (upwards of two weeks really) to send it back to the factory to have it installed sometime in the next 90 days when Motorola actually get their act together?

      If you are buying a Xoom what are you going to use it for in the short term? Browsing the internet? Watching YouTube?

      The Xoom is an unfinished device with little or no support. I am fifty and have had 25-30 years of empty promises from tech companies selling me stuff that is unfinished with the promise that if I wait a while it will be perfect. I am too old to be bothered to wait. I’d rather have a product that works as advertised from day one.

      So make your “Apple Fanboy” remarks as you wish but why don’t you take a step back and look at your defense of a product that is having it’s delivery date set by upper management while the technicians work their butts off trying to deliver a product in ridiculously unrealistic time frames.

      1. This is one of the best posts that I read all day long in various flamewars around the ‘net. You hit the nail on the head. I will quote you.

  76. Android Honeycomb is buggy, very true. That’s why all manufacturers did not release their tablets yet. Motorola wanted to be the first, and released the Xoom with all the bugs and without Flash. Their choice, let’s see if people will remember it more as a buggy device or more as something that will be good in few months.

    iPad on the other hand is well tested and functional, that’s true.

    But when the first Android phones came out I heard the same arguments: no apps. Today there are many available apps that satisfy everyone. True, they are still less than iPhone, but how many apps do we really use? Most of the market (on both platforms) is crap.

    Give developers time, I am sure that within a few months all the necessary tablet-optimized apps will be there for Honeycomb as well as there are for iPad, then we can talk more.

    I quote you on the importance of apps: I don’t care of Apple’s cute design (HTC is very cute too). And price comparation was not correct too: HTC Flyer Wi-Fi only is coming out at €499, same as the cheapest iPad, but with twice the memory (32GB). And LG G-Slate is rumored to be pretty cheap as well. Android is not only Motorola…

    Android SDK have been available for a week only, so apps are not ready yet. Let’s talk again in a few months.

    1. The key app comparison is the quality and the categories. There are whole categories of apps on iOS that do not exist on Android, and iOS apps have better quality. They are native C apps, not Java.

      It is going to take more than a few months for the first Java-based PC app platform ever created to spring up for the handful of Motorola XOOM that have been sold. Where is that code going to come from? Who is going to create a Java Excel/Numbers or a Java GarageBand?

      iPad has GPS.

      If you want to manually manage files on your iPad, you install Air Sharing or another similar app. Air Sharing appears as a Wi-Fi file server on your Mac or PC, and you can copy files on and off all you like. It’s like a USB disk but with no cable. Within Air Sharing you can play music or movies, read PDF or other documents, zip and unzip files, email files, FTP files, etc. etc. Of course you can do whatever you like with the original files on your PC once you have copied them into Air Sharing.

      You can use iTunes Gift Cards if you don’t want to use your credit card.

    2. “Plus iPad has no GPS”.

      Yes it does. At least, if it doesn’t, then the ‘Find my iPad app’ is working by magic, and the way it follows the Google maps as you walk or drive is something transcendent.

      1. True, my bad. I had tested only the Wi-Fi version and GPS was not present. How stupid to put the GPS module only on the 3G version… I don’t understand the reasons behind this choice!

        We’ve been discussing in the past on other places that the Wi-Fi only version can be the good choice for a tablet (no matter if iOS, Android or else) since it avoids the necessity of a second data plan. Connection can always be done tethering on a smartphone.

  77. Did you read this article? iPad has 65,000 apps, XOOM has 16. That is the only stat that matters.

  78. Apple is going to be the only one with apps for a long, long time, because iPad is a native C/C++/Objective-C platform, which is what all of the world’s client apps are written in. Mac apps, Windows apps, Unix apps, PlayStation apps, Xbox apps … they are all C. If you want to move an app from one of those platforms to iPad, you can copy/paste 90% of it, and the rest is very straightforward, just interface work. That is why we see these sophisticated apps on iPad: the apps all have PC or game console heritage. They just had to be ported, not rewritten. Nobody else has C apps on a mobile but Apple. The other mobiles are essentially allergic to most of the world’s client app code. They are offering baby app platforms that have already failed on the PC: Java, AIR, FlashPlayer, Silverlight. To move an app to one of those platforms, you have to rewrite it completely from scratch. You don’t even know if that can be done in some cases. After almost 20 years of Java, there is still hardly any client-side Java code in the world, and Android bets its app platform on turning this around. Not going to happen. AIR? Cough. FlashPlayer? 2005 called and wants its video player back. Silverlight? Great name.

    Until somebody gets real and builds another mobile C platform, Apple is going to own tablets. Totally own it year after year, because people are not buying iPads per se, they are buying the powerful apps. They are willing to pay for apps that are more powerful than commodity Web apps, and only Apple is offering them. The killer app on iPad is App Store.

    1. Hi,

      I found what you’ve written interesting, but not 100% correct as you haven’t referenced WebOS.

      Check this link:

      WebOS supports native C/C++ in the PDK, and the tools available support easy migration of iOS applications (Web or Native) to the WebOS environment. Angry Birds is a perfect example of porting from iOS to WebOS – see here:

      Let’s wait and see how the HP Touchpad and their new phones go when they finally hit market.


  79. I think you made pretty good points.It’s pretty obvious now that Apple seems to win big time partially due to the incompetence of its rivals.They create products intended primarily to beat the iPad in terms of features but rarely do they care about the user experience and the advantage of a healthy ecosystem that Apple has slowly and successfully created around its tablet.Add to that the competitors are too lazy to deliver their products in time(hello,HP,RIM!).
    Apple added cameras this time but intentionally left camera flash to be introduced in later versions.That’s how they would sell the iPad 3,iPad 4,right? They know the market better than anyone else and will likely set the direction for the tablet industry for the next few years.

  80. There is no way to pretend XOOM is cheaper than iPad. It is not. Give it up. The average selling price of XOOM is $799 and the average selling price of iPad is $625. And iPad starts at $499. XOOM is 60% more.

    Also, the iPad data plans are cheaper, and they are month to month, no commitment, no contract. Give it up.

  81. iPad shipped with 500 full-size 3rd party apps and within a week there were 1000. Within 3 months there were 10,000. It also had 250,000 mini apps from day one.

    > what is keeping [apps] from OSes other than iOS?

    Almost all of the world’s full size client apps are written in C. iOS apps are also written in C. It’s the only mobile platform with C apps. And iOS has the world’s best application store by far. From the world class developer tools to the money that is deposited in your bank account it is very easy to build, deploy, and monetize a decent app.

    Android and BlackBerry apps are written in Java. Almost none of the world’s full size client apps are written in Java. So apps for Android and BlackBerry tablets have to be written entirely from scratch, which takes years instead of the months it takes to port an app from for example PlayStation to iOS. And Android has the world’s worst application store, with rampant malware, piracy, copyright infringement, fragmentation, and other issues that cause it to have revenues that are less than Nokia’s store and RIM’s store.

    It’s night and day, really. Apple is putting on a PC class software show, and the other mobiles are putting on a phone class software show.

  82. No, you can use multiple apps at once, that is quite common. For example, it is very common to surf the Web while you listen to music while you download a movie or podcast.

  83. I don’t have any of these tablets, but I have the Archos70 running pre-Honeycomb Android.

    Apps which I use all the time that take advantage of the screen size (at least in terms of giving you more text-area, not in redesigning the interface, but I haven’t found that to be a need for these apps):
    * ThinkingSpace – mindmap app (synchs to a GogleAppEngine space, so I can share with my NexusOne, or (less conveniently) FreeMind on my MacBook)
    * gReader – synchs with GoogleReader for offline use
    * FbReader for ePub ebooks
    * MobilePdfViewer (hate PDF, but can’t escape them)

    (Big annoyance: can’t use the Android market (without some hackery which I’m hoping to avoid), so can’t access lots of Android apps like Twitter client, gmail, etc.)

  84. Motorola, RIM, and HP have three issues, I think. 1) No Apps, 2) they will forever being playing catch-up on the hardware, and 3) developer-unfriendly ecosystems, leading back to #1.

  85. My point is I cannot go to a 1 day conference with my DSLR, shoot pics and post them as the sessions occur. That is one way “I” would like to use a tablet. The pictures cannot leave the camera via the cloud. If I have to take a laptop, then having the tablet is moot.

    I didn’t say anything about juggling or consolidating cards, I didn’t ask for you to speculate on my workflow, comment on what I want to do or the sanity of it.

    Please separate what you like/will do/reasons for purchases from what others may or may not like or want to do. I buy things for my reasons not yours thank you very much.

    Does anyone know if there is a CF reader that will work with this camera kit USB interface? I would be very happy if there was.

    1. Actually the sole reason I got the camera kit was to do just exactly that — be able to pull the pictures off the Nikon D3 and get them straight to newspapers. It works, and it’s beautiful. You’ll also notice that Capture One Pro now supports the iPad and the iPhone via WiFi to view images caught tethered.

      1. WHAT? I didn’t even think to go check Capture One because I thought they only did the iPod versions. That would be beyond awesome and is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much for mentioning that.

  86. The reaching goes both ways which I don’t think really surprises anyone given the subject.

    I didn’t say anything remotely like cloud, cloud, cloud. In fact I see as much of that posted by Apple proponents as I do Android. Wresndad first stated it here in this thread.

    What I wonder is are you saying that you wouldn’t like a built in usb &/or microSD slot? Would you not buy one if it had those features? Is that an outrageous or unthinkable request given present day hardware? Do you think it logical to expect people to only be able to utilize the cloud when sometimes the cloud isn’t available? I don’t.

      1. Interesting thought although that would impact a very small part of the iPad demographic. I certainly would’t want major device providers to make me sacrifice for a minority of purchasers especially when a software solution could be added to just kill those ports/features for those who have that requirement. Good point though that I had not thought of. So can you not have a smart phone that has micro sd either?

      2. Any non-encrypted storage is forbidden. So you can have a smart phone that has an SD slot, but I’d there’s any way of getting data onto it then you can’t actually use a card with it. Unless it’s encrypted, of course, but I’ve not seen that feature on a smart phone.

        Martin Turner
        07753 683 337

  87. Hey EricE, I actually do have an account with instapaper…. it’s usually just what works.. getting stuff into PDF form just tends to be more portable for me NOW.

    So many great services out there…. but I tend to:

    1. Go to website
    2. Use the “Readability” Chrome extension to strip the page
    3. Print to PDF and either drop it in my Dropbox folder or place on on my iPad , email it or print it (dependingon what mood I’m in at the time..)..

  88. Your comparing subsidized plans against unsubsidized plans, and your calling Robert out on bad faith. Your price points for Xoom only get that low with a 2 year Verizon contract. There are currently no subsidized iPads, because even if you purchase the 3G model, you only pay for service when you need it. It’s month to month and can be turned off for periods of non-use.

  89. Five years ago I would have agreed with you. Lack of Flash would have been a problem. However, in those five years Flash itself has increasingly become a problem. I haven’t been on a website for a long time where I couldn’t see things I wanted to see on an iPad/iPhone because of lack of Flash. I’ve been on lots of websites on my laptop where I see things I _don’t_ want to see because of Flash — mainly adverts, but also those annoying BBC videos which launch up in the middle of the office when you’ve clicked onto what looks like a useful page. I can watch the BBC videos on their app or iPlayer, but, actually, I never do. I go to the web because I want the information quicker than it takes to watch a news clip.
    Add to that the number of times I’m on a Flash supported site such as ESPN, and the Flash is only being used to support advertisements, but it still manages to crash the site and make me exit the browser and reopen it.

  90. The apps will be there. Any good and important ones that is. Talk about a fanboy. You do realize the aluminum is painted to look like that on the apple don’t you? No multitasking is a big fail for apple. My Xoom will multitask circles around the ipad and that is invaluable to me. LTE wont hurt either.

  91. The iPad2 is all I can wish for for this year! I love it. I love how Apple improved the once majestic iPad. I just love how the specs were upgraded.

  92. The Xoom looks to be an excellent device with huge potential, the Honeycomb platform does that for it. Unfortunately, the Xoom isn’t finished yet having been rushed out to market and having a microsSD card slot which doesnt work and a program where you have to send your Xoom back to the factory for 4G, who wants to do that??? The iPad 2 currently has 65,000 apps which gives you much better choice and when its jailbroken is one of the most customizable platforms you can buy.

    The HP Touchpad, in my opinion has the best OS with WebOS and Android looks great. iOS has its potential unlocked by Jailbreak. QNX however, hasnt been proven and looks to be a HP Copycat.

    The Hardware of these machines don’t matter if their OS and experience is awful. Currently the Android experience is very limited due to the number of apps, as it is with webOS and QNX. Here in the UK, we have no need for 4G as carriers over here wont implement it till around 2014 so therefore 4G does not matter. HDMI is only really needed for movies and is not a big factor in some people’s eyes. However, the omission of either a USB or SD Card slot is understandable. A computer is for people like that, the Camera Connection Kit is available if you really need it, I wouldnt ever use the SD card slot or the USB.

    The tie into iTunes and the Appstore is also better, even though Apple’s rules tend to be too strict, I ahve never countered an app being full of bugs or even reports of viruses in the appstore, unfortunately the Android Market has had those problems. iTunes is also great for managing your media and apps and again Android does not have this. Then again, lets see what the Playbook and Touchpad pull out the bag first eh?

    Pricing also is awful for the Xoom who wants a 2 year contract??? No one really, it just makes the device cheaper but think about the technology in 1 years time when you are tied into a contract with a Xoom, you’ll be left wishing you didnt have a contract. The iPad is much better in the sense that the one off fee is cheaper in most senses and you dont have any contract obligations only monthly so you can pulll out whenever.

  93. i could care less about 65,000 apps of which 64,950 are totally useless. i’ll take a superior browser, better multi-tasking and strong google integration over 65K crapps anyday. that said, it’s tough to go with the xoom over the ipad 2 given that they’re the same price. if moto sold the wi-fi xoom for $399 – $429 it would be a no brainer, but for now, the ipad 2 wins… until android tabs cost 30% less.

    1. You are totally deluded if you think 99% of the apps are totally useless but that is great. Shows why Motorola will sell +some+ devices.

  94. When the ipad came out, it shipped with 33,000 aps, and yes, the majority of them were very usfull, unlike the comm with it’s only 20 ready apps, I think it was pathetic for android to rush a tablet out like that. They shoul have waited

  95. Robert,

    I don’t agree – it’s not all about the apps. I have 5, maybe 6 apps I use on my iPhone on a regular basis beyond the base apps provided. That may be less or more than some, but key apps for me are Email & Web – both native to the phone. 65,000 apps? It’s like cable TV, lots of channels, hardly anything on.

    What defines a tablet now is not hardware – I agree wholeheartedly with you there. But it’s also not Apps alone. What defines a tablet now is the OS, and more importantly how productive it lets the user be at what they need to do, whether it be work or play.

    Apple launched a tablet that is thinner & faster… and that’s it. No OS overhaul. Does this make it a horrible tablet? No way, it’ll sell truckloads, but people that want to be productive for work purposes (such as myself) are left with an OS that in essence is just task-switching.

    An example of my use model? I need to have multiple emails able to be open at any time. Copying, pasting, responding, writing… on an iPad I can run multiple apps, but each of those apps (except for Safari) can only do one thing at a time, including email. Need to open another email while in the middle of one, save to draft (and hope it works).

    Watch the announcement for the HP Touchpad. Email app. Multiple emails. Copy, Paste, respond, write. This is productive, and something Apple should have fixed long ago – and killer for me.

    So for people like myself, the HP Touchpad will let me be more productive in the most used applications I run each day – Email, Web, Instant Messaging, Social Media. Get enough people like me and app developers start writing apps, and then the game changes.

    I for one don’t care who “wins” at this – I just want a work tool that keeps me productive and doubles as a play thing when I want time off (or need to entertain the kids). At this stage a revamped piece of hardware, no matter how “nice and shiny” it is, is not enough – it’s in fact just more of the same…


    1. Oh, geez, I wish I could spend an hour explaining how wrong you are, but I can’t tonight. There are thousands of apps that help people GET WORK DONE that aren’t on the other platforms. Yet.

      1. Robert,

        Not sure how I can be “wrong”, just as I didn’t say you were wrong (I just disagreed). Yes there are apps that make people more productive – I use many of them. I never claimed otherwise. Nor did I say apps aren’t important.

        Base apps are important too, and more importantly how the OS allows them (and 3rd party apps) to function. iOS needs a revamp ASAP.

        Apps can always be written for a device or OS, but they can’t easily fix OS issues or limitations.


  96. couldnt agree more. hardware wise, it sounds sexier. but i bought the xoom myself and returned it yesterday. I hate to sound like a broken record here, but there are very few apps now, i dont want to wait forever for apps. its just not ideal.

    as far as the person who says the xoom has a superior browsing experience, im not convinced. there are tons of sites that come up in the mobile view – why would a tablet show a mobile view on a website?! even when there were workarounds to view the sites they dont always work properly – facebook standard view in the browser is glitchy as hell. I cant wait to see how the browser performs with flash slowing it down!

    also, in the 13 days that i owned the xoom, i had dozens of “force closes” on everything from gmail to the browser and many other apps. Also had to shut down at least 3-4 times due to freezes. that is unacceptable for an $800 device or $600 device.

    I plan on giving the ipad2 a shot on friday.

  97. I found this thread looking for actual reviews of products. For this kind of back and forth “my toy is better than your toy” I can go to my kids pre-school. I do not like Apple, only because I am invested already in PC technology. That sounds dumb, sure, but you tech-heads out there honestly think you are the only people buying this stuff. I need a device that I can use for business purposes nad Apple is notorious for not playing well with others and I do not like the idea of being chained to iStore/Tunes for everything. Again, just a guy that needs to buy a device. Fact: Android surpassed Apple and Symbian in the phone market. Get over it! Who cares, I have to base buying/business decisions on practical matters, not what “looks cool” or what a bunch of gen y, z mop-top socialites think is hip. I need a platform that is easy to get into and manipulate to produce business applications and uses. Sorry, unless you are developing FOR Apple, then my choice has to be the platform that is more OPEN.

    So write a real review and stop whining about how cool your iPad looks.

    1. Dude, you are so off base it isn’t even funny. Let’s just go and look at all the iPads being used in business.’s CEO is seeing it and is carrying one. You sound more religious than I’ll ever be. If you want to have a decent conversation about my reviews, then that’s cool. But you sure don’t sound like someone interested in a conversation, only validation for your worldview that Apple sucks. Sorry, I won’t provide that.

      By the way, Android hasn’t surpassed Apple. Maybe in market share, but not in any other credible measure. And market share is NOT what matters to many of us. If it did we’d all be using Nokia phones, which STILL sell more than Android.

  98. People!! Persons! Debate all you want , reality is, iPad2 will sell millions more than xoom, adn that is a fact, sorry…

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