Reactions are mixed on Apple’s iPad 2 announcement. Although the new iPad held some surprises, what most caught the eye of analysts we talked with was that CEO Steve Jobs, out on medical leave, showed up to unveil the next-generation tablet. The announcement “started as an A+ for Steve Jobs presenting and the testosterone contained within the presentation,” Giles Nugent, instructor at the SAE Institute, said by e-mail.
The announcement of front and back cameras, dual processors, faster graphics and more movement sensitivity, also matched Motorola’s recently-released Xoom tablet feature-for-feature, Nugent adds. “In terms of the iPad, I would say it met expectations, but didn’t necessarily surprise anyone.”
Jobs also took a shot at publishers who’ve recently complained about Apple’s requirement for in-app subscriptions to go through the iTunes App Store. “Jobs made it clear that this is the best, most successful store available for distributing their media,” Nugent said.
Jobs outlined three major themes for the iPad’s future. The feature-for-feature match with the Xoom made it obvious the Cupertino, Calif. company doesn’t plan to surrender the mobile gaming market. Talk of business and medical uses for the iPad suggests Apple sees its tablet playing a larger role in business, such as distributing medical records, charts and xrays, the analyst observes.
Nugent also views the addition of front and read cameras is aimed at the iPad’s growing use in business. “The ability to take a picture, add some notes, and store or send it is definitely useful for business. As is the ability to now have a video conference anywhere, anytime.”
As for areas for market growth, the iPad will likely see greater use in social networking, as well as increased integration into business and medical environments. Along with maintaining its place with gamers, the iPad 2 again hopes to replace e-readers from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. “I’m not convinced that the overlap of the book reading market and the game playing/social networking market is enough to supplant cheaper, and more specific reading devices,” Nugent warns.