First off, let me put this out there... I am a PC. I've only recently purchased my first Mac (a 13" MacBook Air) which I have BootCamped and loaded Win7 on.
But, I do recognize the success of Apple (I've avoided purchasing an iPod) and their ability to define and lead markets. While I also do not like closed systems, there are pros to that and it is impossible to not recognize what this has done to the smartphone market and now the tablet market.
I just want to address many comments going on in the blogosphere about how the iPad2 is only an incremental update and that it will not do well because of that.
I don't agree.
Apple sold 15 million of the first iPad in only 9 months and that's when people were not sure if this market was viable. Now that everyone and their mom (yes... my mom wants an iPad) knows that tablets are going mainstream, everyone on the sidelines is going to jump in because they have been waiting to see what Apple and everyone else is offering (even though they are not out, we pretty much know what the Playbook and the Touchpad are going to be like).
And while Apple is usually the more expensive product, strangely enough, in this space... they are the value priced product. These other companies don't seem to understand what needs to be done to capture consumers. They can tout all the specs they want and how theirs is better... but if it's not a proven product with a loyal following (ala Apple), they can't charge MORE. They also can't come out LATER (yeah... I'm looking at you HP).
Not only will Apple sell more than 15 million iPad2s this year, they will probably sell close to double that amount. If you can't see how that is possible, consider that the majority of consumers do NOT have an tablet computer. Out of those 15 milllion iPad users, probably half will either upgrade or buy a 2nd (or 3rd) tablet. Check eBay and Craigslist to see how many people are listing their original iPads since the iPad2 announcement.
And I wondered why Apple is not doing pre-orders since they've done it for the iPhone4s and the first iPad but I think it's a marketing ploy. They did pre-orders with the VZW iPhone 4 and the result was no long lines outside Apple or VZW stores. Apple WANTS long lines outside their stores for the iPad2. They want people to see how much demand there is to convince even more people to want an iPad2. They want the competition to see the hype and to be afraid. Why else would they schedule it at 5pm to allow more people to go there after work once the news shows all these long lines during the day. Props to Jobs for the mind games... it works.
It's funny because it looks like we are actually catching up to Star Trek: The Next Generation technology... touchscreens and tablets. And Apple is like the Borg - "Resistance is futile".