Alright Android-tablet manufacturers (yes, I’m talking to you Motorola, Samsung, HTC, LG, and the rest of you out there!). In approximately five days there’s a very good chance I’ll be dropping a good sum of money to Apple to get an iPad 2. You have five days to convince me that I should hold off and wait for one of your devices. Here’s what you need to offer to win me over.
This should be a given but yes, I want Google’s tablet-specific Android operating system. It should come bundled in – none of that Froyo + later update business. Honeycomb IS the reason why I’d consider a non-iOS tablet. That should be the top priority.
Apple’s iPad 2 camera specs were quite the disappointment. I’m not expecting to take any photos with the back camera so there’s no reason to load up the back camera and add to the weight and cost. All I ask for is a decent front facing camera video chat so I don’t look like a dark pixilated mess when I decide to chat with my folks back home or my friends on the other side of the country.
USB, SD, and other Ports
I intend on doing some actual work on this thing, something Apple seems to refuse to do for its consumers. A USB port allows me to import and export documents and files between my computers and tablet. An SD card slot would be nice too, especially for transferring pictures from my camera. If you really want to get ahead of the game, outdo Apple and put in a Thunderbolt port. Don’t forget about the HDMI port too (and again, none of that extra adapter crap that Apple does to skip out on HDMI royalties)
LG Optimus Tablet
Apple’s got a 1024×768 resolution for the iPad 2, the same exact one as the first iPad. You know it’s only a matter of time before they kick in their retina display for their iPad 2 HD or iPad 3 – might as well put it in now.
Personally I’ll probably go for a larger tablet, but it’d be nice to see both 7” and 10” models. Still, with all that extra stuff, it’s important to keep this thing thin and light. After all, this is supposed to be a portable device – if it’s as thick as a laptop or as heavy as a netbook, it almost defeats the purpose. Apple manages to keep their devices looking quite good and sexy. Call it superficial, but people are buying it (quite literally).
Apps, Third Party Partnerships, etc.
This is probably more on Google, but we’ve seen devices and carriers make deals. One place that iOS has Android beat is their 3rd party support, especially in apps. It’s been a few years and games are still scarce. Guys, get some partnerships going. Get the big game developers to develop some exclusive games for Honeycomb tablets. What about Skype? There’s no reason why there shouldn’t be video calling via Skype – make it happen before Apple. Apple’s got GarageBand and iMovie – why not get a better Adobe Photoshop/Premiere (for tablets), podcasting/audio recording software, and some good word processing/spreadsheet/presentation apps in. iOS is forgiven of their limitations because of their app ecosystem – but that doesn’t have to stay exclusive to them.
iOS App Ecosystem
I don’t care how loaded it is, you can’t sell it for more than an iPad, at least for the consumer market. $499 16GB WiFi only is your goal. If you match it, you’ll do well. If you can get below, you can do some actual damage. Tablets are not cheap, but right now people are getting settled in to them. Apple’s already won the front in mindshare. To win it in the long haul, you’ll have to take a cut (and perhaps a big hit). Otherwise, you’ll just be another tablet sitting in the back rack of Best Buy collecting dust.
Get this device out by mid-year. If it takes longer than that, I might as well get settled with an iPad. Oh, and definitely don’t pull a Microsoft with a 2012 strategy. Seriously though, start announcing your release windows. We’ve got a bunch of announcements but no dates – ambiguity does not help sell a product. Start committing to certain deadlines. Even if you do have to push it back, it at least gives consumers something “concrete” to latch on to. Otherwise, it’s just another magical white unicorn to join the ranks of the white iPhone.
All the things I listed – you can’t just do 80% of it. Whether you like them or not, what Apple does, they do it rather well. They manage to balance their products so that you never have to worry too much about one issue over another. If you get all these things I listed in but price it at $800 or give it a battery life of 4 hours, it’s never going to compete and sell. This is where all the years of experience in manufacturing, R&D, and business need to come together. You gotta tie this all up in a neat bow and make sure the darn thing works, and works well!
So there you have it. You have five days (really four) to make a big announcement to get people to wait. Once Friday rolls by, you’ll lose a ton of people over to the iPad (along with extensive media coverage). I’m telling you now, I’m one of those many people willing to wait, but you got to give me something worth waiting for.