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Flummoxed, again

The last time I took a snapshot of the iPad death watch it was March 9th, 2010. Almost a year ago. The now-classic quotes are reproduced here.  Last May I wrote:

Apple keeps a tight lid on new products so that competitors don’t get a head-start on copying, but in the case of the iPad, advance knowledge would not have had any impact. Competitors look at the iPad and see nothing.  They’ll only react once the market explodes and they start to feel belated pain.

I thought that would be that. As the success of the product would become self-evident, predictions of imminent demise would trail off. The pain of share loss would prompt a wave of challenger copycats. Imitation would be the the best form of flattery.

But no.

Critics were not silenced. One year, 15 million units, and $9.2 billion later I went back to the source of the quotes and found the following (published quotes dated after March 9th 2010). (Cited from aaplinvestors.net with some editing for brevity and relevance):

  • “Problematically, the Android competition is just as expensive as the iPad lineup, so Apple obviously feels free to continue gouging consumers on iPad pricing.” Paul Thurrott, Windows IT Pro, 3 March 2011
  • “Apple’s iPad 2 might be ‘magical’ but it still should’ve been better It needs more G’s. It’s still just a toy” Zach Epstein, Boy Genius 2 March 2011
  • “11 reasons NOT to buy an iPad 2 Reason 5: Competition David Gewirtz, ZDNet, 23 February 2011
  • “Given what I’ve seen of Honeycomb and Motorola’s excellent tablet, Cupertino will have some serious catching up to do with their iPad 2.” J.P. Mangalindan, Fortune, 4 February 2011
  • “We very carefully chose our tablet processor, the Nvidia Tegra 2, and to really compete it will take [Apple] some time. You know, [Nvidia] is well known for graphics.” Jonney Shih, Asustek Computer, 3 February 2011
  • “If you were to ask me in two years time, will Apple have less than 50 percent of the global tablet market, I think that’s a certainty. Neil Mawston, Strategy Analytics, 31 January 2011
  • “We have an extreme focus on the innovation of LePad and LePhone because these products will dominate the future market. Though Apple is winning a significant share in the Chinese market, it has not gained a clearly leading position yet. Our advantage is we know this market better.” Liu Chuanzhi, Lenovo, 27 January 2011
  • “The iPad may still be the lone leader, but with 100+ competitors on the way, it won’t likely keep its majority market share unless the pending next generation iPad really addresses all the complaints about the current version, like a missing camera and a lack of a USB port, and the company has to add those features without a major price increase – a tall order, to be sure.” James Brumley, Investopedia, 13 January 2011
  • “Hands-on PlayBook demonstrations at CES showed its differentiation in multitasking and performance, which may be difficult for Apple/Android to rival.” Mike Abramsky, Royal Bank of Canada Analyst, 11 January 2011
  • “Apple Inc.’s popular iPad is getting its strongest competition thus far as consumer-electronics manufacturers unveil tablet computers with bigger screens, front-facing cameras for video chatting and more.” Rachel Metz, AP Technology Writer, 3 January 2011
  • Apple may be simply trying to get in ahead of Research in Motion’s aggressively priced PlayBook or combat the early success of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.” Rick Aristotle Munarriz, The Street, 29 December 2010
  • 4. Competitors are coming. Brett Arends, Wall Street Journal, 22 December 2010
  • Reason 6: WiFi is still unreliable David Gewirtz, ZDNet, 16 December 2010
  • “I can’t imagine anyone under the age of 30 wanting an iPad. A PS3, Wii, GameBoy, or even a useful laptop maybe, but an iPad? Furthermore, I do not recall ever seeing anyone under 30 actually using an iPad.” John C. Dvorak, PC Mag, 13 December 2010
  • “We hope our tablet PCs can reach a global market share of 10-20% initially, and become the market leader in two to three years.” Gianfranco Lanci, CEO and President, Acer, 26 November 2010
  • “It’s a nice-to-have product, for those of us who don’t have a budget, but is it a must-have product? I don’t think so.” Ashok Kumar, Analyst, Rodman & Renshaw LLC, 12 November 2010
  • “Steve Jobs never says anything without thinking through it carefully. But I think in this case he may be a little afraid of this category. And he’s finding whatever he can to attack because he sees [seven-inch tablets] as a challenge to the dominance of the iPad.” Adam Hanin, VP Marketing, Viewsonic, 1 November 2010
  • “There could literally be millions of first-generation iPads gathering dust in people’s home offices already. This product is the tech industry’s biggest MacGuffin yet.” Paul Thurrott, Windows IT Pro, 23 October 2010
  • “I cannot see a need for the thing.”John Dvorak, MarketWatch, 22 October 2010
  • ”For those of us who live outside of Apple’s distortion field, we know that 7″ tablets will actually be a big portion of the market and we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience.” Jim Balsillie, Research In Motion, 20 October 2010
  • “iPhone and iPad have been amazing products that have opened new markets. But I do not think they will own either market in a few years. Android will.” Fred Wilson, AVC.com, 18 October 2010
  • “The constant search for an ‘iPad killer’ and the sheer multitude of tablet computers launching in the next 18 months should make Apple aware that its competition is fierce and will only become tougher.” Barbara E. Hernandez, PCWorld, 5 October 2010
  • “HP’s New Tablet Could Be an iPad Spoiler HP’s decision to bundle a tablet computer with its new $399 printer could make trouble for competitors.” Cliff Edwards and Aaron Ricadela, Bloomberg Businessweek, 23 September 2010
  • “Our tablet will be better than the iPad.” Chang Ma, VP Marketing, LG, 20 August 2010
  • “Not only is Apple typically lost in the enterprise, but it focuses very little of its time there. And with a new, potentially more compelling tablet coming — the Cisco Cius — the iPad’s success in the corporate world could be short-lived. Here’s why:… 10 The power of Windows” Don Reisinger, Channel Insider, 5 August 2010
  • “I don’t think there is one size that fits all…I’ve been to too many meetings with journalists who spent the first 10 minutes of the meeting setting up iPad to look like a laptop.” Steve Ballmer, Microsoft, 29 July 2010
  • “ […] It still isn’t the device that I’d take to a meeting because it has no input.” Bill Gates, Microsoft, 2 June 2010
  • “Which means I end up on the iPad — and tablets more generally — where I started. Tablets will not create a new category, but will supplant (or merge with) one or more of the current substitutes: smartphones or netbooks.Here I am less optimistic about the iPhone and webOS than I am about Android. ” Joel West, professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, College of Business at San José State University, 30 May 2010
  • “The iPad is useless. Beautiful, but useless. The iPad is too heavy. It’s awkward to hold and view in public. It’s fragile. It requires expensive accessories to protect it and extract more functionality. ”Josh Belzman, MSNBC.com, 20 May 2010
  • “Mum, the iPad is not ‘amazing.’ It’s just marketed very well, both by Apple and its culpable partners in mainstream media. ” Paul Thurrott (in response to comment by Mum), Paul Thurrott’s Super Site for Windows, 26 April 2010
  • “In short, I don’t get the ‘magical and revolutionary’ vibe that Apple chief executive Steve Jobs touted at the iPad’s January unveiling.” Rob Pegoraro, Washington Post, 9 April 2010
  • “The first troubling sign is the fact that you can still get an iPad today. They didn’t sell out. The pure slate form factor has failed all these years because, other than for vertical applications, people want and/or need a keyboard for regular use. The fact of the matter is that a touch screen or bluetooth keyboard just doesn’t compensate.” Jonathan Yarmis, Ovum, part of Datamonitor Group, 6 April 2010
  • “I don’t get it. It costs $500 for the basic model, when you could get a laptop with a lot more functionality for about the same price. The iPad hype machine has been in full effect this week, and I still think it’s just that—hype. ” Alex Cook, Frontier Outlook, 3 April 2010
  • “As far as what this means to Apple, one thing to keep in mind: Even if the iPad sells more than the iPhone did in its first year, it’s still only around 5% of the company’s revenue. So it’s a very small slice. From there, it probably doesn’t grow as large as the smartphone market. So, if you’re buying under rumors, keep perspective in mind. The iPad’s a great product, but it’s probably not a game-changer.” Eric Bleeker, Analyst, Fool.com, 31 March 2010
  • “The iPad will remain an expensive, niche device compared to all-purpose netbooks.I think that one of the iPad’s most important uses will be for reading ebooks and publications. Even so, though, when it comes to the marketplace, netbooks will sales still far outstrip those of the iPad.” Preston Gralla, PC World, 30 March 2010
  • “Don’t Believe the iPad Hype. Apple has sold out pre-orders of the forthcoming device, but it could all be a marketing tactic. By not manufacturing enough iPads for the initial launch date, is this a case of Apple shooting itself in the foot?” Mike Schuster, Minyanville.com, 29 March 2010
  • “‘iPad Killer’ May be Palm’s Last Hope”Tom Bradley, PC World, 20 March 2010
  • “Even if your company has relented and now supports the iPhone, as growing numbers of businesses do (70% of the Fortune 100 are at least testing it, says Apple) you’ll want to say “No” to the iPad and other tablets. Here’s why: 8. Speaking of money, there is no money in the company budget to pay for iPads. 9. Not supporting iPad will be the enterprise norm. Robert McGarvey, CIO Update, 16 March 2010
  • “This morning, the fool’s parade gets started. Apple is taking online “pre-orders” for its iPad tablet, which is supposed to begin shipping on April 3. Buying a new kind of product sight unseen is foolish. Especially given how mysterious Apple has been on what the iPad can do and what restrictions on capabilities and media access it will place on users and content providers.” Galen Gruman, InfoWorld, 12 March 2010
  • “The recent launch of Apple, the iPad tablet, has won the award for the second edition of Fiasco Awards delivered this Thursday in Barcelona. From the more than 7,000 people who voted via the website www.fiascoawards.com, 4,325 have considered it the fiasco of the year. Fiasco Awards, 2010, 11 March 2010
  • “I think I’ve mentioned this once or twice before, but it bears repeating until it sinks in: the Apple iPad is not unique, nor necessarily the best of breed in the media tablet sector it is spearheading. And it ain’t gonna help Apple shareholders any.’” Anders Bylund (TMF Zahrim), 11 March 2010

From this critical review, it looks like 2011 will indeed be the year of the iPad 2.