Apple is expected to report enormous profits this quarter thanks in no small part to record iPad sales of 7.7 million units. But I'm still holding out for a better tablet.
I'm a moderate Android fanboi, and while I prefer the openness of Google's platform to Apple's walled garden, I still appreciate the leading-edge design and quality of Apple products. Clearly, the iPad is the tablet to beat, and there's no worthy Android competitor on the horizon, but I'm still not ready to jump on board for a handful of reasons.
It's still redundant for me
In my house, there are two laptops, a Kindle, a netbook and an Android smartphone. I got the netbook and Kindle for a fraction each of what a new iPad would have cost me. Aside from the cool factor and having a larger multitouch screen to play with, I'm left with little reason to pony up the cash for another device that doesn't provide new functionality.
Waiting for the bottom to drop out
For the current market, pricing on the iPad isn't too bad, especially when you consider how much manufacturers are charging for some of the better Android tablets. However, my suspicion is that all tablets are overpriced, and prices will start dropping soon, but it will take a real serious competitor to the iPad to make that happen. When I look at how low netbooks went and the tech specs on the iPad and other tablets, it doesn't seem unreasonable to expect prices to come down by 50 percent or more within the next 24 months.
Accessories add up quick
This is one of the issues with the iPad that I just can't get over. After plunking down $500 or so for this revolutionary device, I'm going to need to cough up another hundred bucks or so on a cover and Bluetooth keyboard (at minimum) just to get it up to the level of functionality I need for work, and that I already have in a netbook. Sure, my netbook's not as pretty, but it gets the job done for half the cost.
Still dreaming of a great Android tablet
Much of my life is already in Google, so I naturally going to gravitate that way. I've been excited by the releases of the Galaxy Tab, the Motorola Xoom and others, only to be disappointed time and again by the reviews and hands-on experience. Sooner or later, I keep hoping, the perfect Android tablet will come, then the app developers will follow, and I'll finally be next in line.
The next big thing might make more sense
I've got a hunch something big is coming in the next six months that's going to give the iPad a run for its money. And I've given up hope that it's going to be a dynamite Android tab from a top smartphone manufacturer. Instead, I'm excited about the prospect of an Amazon tablet that could merge the best of what the iPhone has to offer with some aspects of the Kindle and concepts borrowed from Android. Or, the iPad killer could come in the form of a dynamite, dockable smartphone - the ultimate all-in-one device. The Atrix 4G attempted this, but the right hardware and software platform to make this really click are likely further down the road. For now, I'm still willing to wait.