Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Oct 2012 19:12 UTC
Apple It's one of those days again: Apple held a product announcement today, announcing several new products. The most important of which was rumoured about for a long time now: a smaller iPad. It's called the iPad mini, and has the potential to become the best-selling iPad - and thus, the best selling tablet.
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RE[4]: unknowns
by henderson101 on Thu 25th Oct 2012 23:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: unknowns"
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I would venture to guess that the software company you work for writes applications targeted specifically for iOS. Is that an accurate assumption?

I have first hand experience in how schools are purchasing hardware in the UK. They are moving towards Tablets at an alarming rate. This is a fact. We supply both "netbook" class and "tablet" class devices, and the netbooks are not selling. No one is asking for Android, mainly because there is too much market saturation and too much turnover of specific devices. The types of tablets schools want are iPad class. Android has few of these and they don't compare well to the iPad in build quality or reliability. A school wants to pick a specific model and then have 500 of those every year, they don't want to have to chop and change manufacturers and have small nuances in hardware between years. You buy an iPad and everything just works. That is the perception, and that is also the reality we are seeing.

There are some things I would like to point out. As it stands today, Apple has a horrible history when it comes to deal with eBook publishers (see the lawsuit against Apple by the Justice Department).

Not relevant. The schools often use specific apps to teach the kids, they use specific text that is distributed to the devices. The textbooks are "icing" not necessity. Especially with the younger kids.

One thing that we have seen when it comes to Apple is that they will always charge an over the top premium to ensure their profits are maximized. That's not a bad thing for their stock holders - but for budget strapped schools, it's not a good thing.

The prices the kids pay are nowhere near the retail price. Even when you factor in the length of time the parents pay over. Apple gives a very generous educational discount.

1. Durability - when we are talking about school children, we are talking about them dropping stuff. If you do a simple search you'll see where iPads generally lose the majority of "drop tests" that are performed. The whole "Android is just cheap plastic" is part of a marketing strategy to try to make it sound as if iOS devices are better. They clearly are not.

No, this is rubbish. I've seen an iphone 4s drop tested vs a Galaxy 3 and the Galaxy smashed to bits, whereas the iPhone 4 (glass backed) still functioned. The iPad is mainly aluminium. As long as the screen is protected it takes a *lot* more force than the average drop test to break an average model.Especially given the stature of most 9 year olds. All iPads should be in a case anyway, to mitigate damage. This would be the same for any Android device I'd give to a 9 year old.

2. Familiarity - since Android has such an overwhelming market lead over iOS, the majority of people out there are more familiar with Android. Studies and market trends show that Android tablets will surpass Apple's tablets in the near future.

These are kids. Kids pick up OS like a duck swims in water. My own kids (7, 9, 11) happily swap between XP, Windows 7, Mac OS X, iOS and Android. No one has ever sat down and explained the difference to them in depth, they just naturally adjust. You point is therefore pretty vacuous.

Remember, this isn't about "popular". The UK school system used Acorn for 20 years.. believe me, they were pretty unpopular outside of education.

3. Digital books still come with a premium price. It doesn't help to lower the cost when Apple is involved, as they will ensure they get a large cut of money on the books as well. That is a recipe for disaster based on Apple's history.

iBooks author is free. iBooks author makes free books that you are able to distribute to other people (but not for a fee.) iBooks app on the iPad will open epub, iBooks format and PDF. I'm failing to see where Apple is demanding or even forcing a specific model for distribution here. FUD is what I hear coming from you. How is Apple making money from book sales any different to Amazon or Google Play?

4. To say that Tablet X will be supported for 5+ years for Tablet Y will be phased out in 2 years is really silly to state. Based on the movement of the market, and what history has shown us, that simply isn't true.

To say that anything Google's Android currently runs on will still be supported by a consumer level upgrade in 5 years from purchase is very unlikely. The iPad is also shaky, but if Apple has a foothold in education, they do have the incentive.

Now, I am not sure what software your company writes. My guess if we are talking about eBooks, then it's simply an eBook reader - just an app. In which manner, your company would be better offer targeting both platforms (Android and iOS) if you want to ensure that you aren't left out with only being able to support a minority of users if market trends continue in the direction they are heading.

I believe his exact words were "educational software" so you made a giant quantum leap there. Your 2 cents seem to be worth about half a penny in real terms.

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