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Apple’s flagship tablet has dominated a market to which it is credited with creating when the first iPad back in 2010, and with Tim Cook revealing "record" sales – at the company’s uncalled for conference call – for last weekend’s launch, that dominance isn’t showing any sign of petering out.

Having become such an integral part of the gadgetsphere, it’s hard to believe that the iPad has only been around for two years. As with any new product to the scene, skeptics were quick to write the device off as "a large iPhone" which, in many respects, was, and is, true.

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In what Apple has declared to be the "post PC" era, though, the iPad has found a niche, taking the touch-based qualities of the smartphone, the portability of the netbook and the power of a base-level desktop to create a device which competitors have not come close to emulating.

Along with the MacBook Air, it does seem Apple has got portable computing down to a fine art, and rivals in both the tablet and notebook fields have been left to blatantly – and somewhat embarrassingly – try and copy design features in order to compete.

The new iPad trounces its predecessor – as well as opposition – in terms of features, with the clincher being the beautifully-crisp Retina display, the 9.7-inch LCD which boasts more pixels than your 1080p HDTV.

Much of the early skepticism stemmed from the notion that the iPad was a luxury, novelty item which would only sell to those with excess cash to burn, but that hasn’t turned out to be true, either. As well as businesses worldwide, students and teachers have jumped on the iPad bandwagon; and with the introduction of iTunes U earlier this year, said individuals are more than likely to stay for the ride.

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Primarily, I find I use the iPad most when browsing casually. Unlike a PC or Mac, it’s always on, meaning I can pick up and surf within five seconds. Although smartphones also cater to this, the screen size means it’s not always ideal for reading, since one constantly needs to scroll from side to side in order to read each line.

Even if you’re not as much of a surfer as I may be, many of you are using your iPads above all other devices, and while competitors plot another shot at the crown, the $399 iPad 2 is likely to fend off any hope of competition moving forward.

Although Cook didn’t divulge exact figures, they’re likely to leak within the coming days, so stay tuned here at Redmond Pie!

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