The iPad is world’s first modern tablet. Sure, there had been other attempts at creating similar touchscreen devices before, but it was iPad that gained popularity and praise against all expectations. Just a few months before the iPad was launched, there were a lot of jokes about the name. Bloggers suggested that the success of the iPhone had made Steve Jobs overconfident. But the iPads succeeded and now we have a huge market for tablets. This revolutionary device changed the way people interact, and it gave birth to the field of iPad application development.
But now, Android-based tablets are dominating the global tablet sales figures. There were certain factors that made the iPad the best tablet in the world. But now it is losing some of the advantages. While this is not adversely impacting iPad app development right now, in future we may see the iPad lose marketshare, if not the actual number of users. As an iPad developer, I wish that the iPad goes on getting more and more popular, but the following factors can make iPads less popular over the next months and years.
Samsung Shows that Multiple Devices Rock
Steve Jobs entered/created the smart mobile market with a laser focus on creating one awesome product. He discontinued a number of project in Apple when he joined and asked the team to create just one amazing product. The iPhone and the iPad did not have any versions, and he did not want any smaller iPads or cheaper versions of the iPhone. But the demand of the market forced Apple to create iPad mini. Cheaper version of the iPhone is also rumored to be in the works.
While Apple took a long time to create a single mini version of the iPad, Samsung has been flooding the market with all sorts of smartphones and tablets. Against all odds, Samsung has created a new niche product in the form of phablets. The market is changing and Apple will, for once, have to follow the lead of other manufactures.
Android Tablets have Enough Content Now
When the iPads were launched, iTunes Store had been firmly established. It had an absolute monopoly over content, apps and entertainment. Android tablets were not that successful at the start because there weren’t enough apps and there wasn’t enough content for Android devices. However, things have changed today. Android tablets have almost all the apps that iPad has, and there is no dependence on iTunes Store for content.
Android OS has Come of Age
The earlier versions of Android OS were spectacularly buggy, and they were simply not comparable to iOS. It was impossible for device manufacturers to build tablets that offered as much as the iPads. So, most Android tablets were cheap devices with relatively limited functionality. But things started to look up for Android developers after the launch of Android Jelly Bean.
The latest android tablets may not be as elegant and sleek as the iPad, but they are high-performance devices capable of doing all the the iPad can do. With a slew of Android-based tablets entering the market, there are dozens of good options for tablet buyers. So, not all aspiring tablet-owners are going to buy the iPad.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that the iPad is not going anywhere. But, at the same time, the availability and popularity of other options suggests that the time of iPad’s tablet dominance may be up