Ever since Apple introduced the first iPad in early 2010, Americans have gone tablet-crazy.
According to the LA Times, 18 million tablets were sold in 2010. That number is expected to be 250% higher in 2011. Clearly, this is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.
With their portability, decent battery life and endless apps, tablets are becoming the device of choice for the media-consuming masses. For those of us without one, tablet envy is starting to become very real. An interesting thought:
Chronic tablet envy notwithstanding, the good ones are still too darn expensive, and the not-so-good ones are, well, not so good. Given a little more time, I’m sure, there’ll be cheaper and better tablets available. But we’re not there yet.
By “the good ones,” he means the iPad. I agree that the $500 price tag of the iPad 2 is out of reach for a lot of people. But you have to consider what you’re getting for that price. The iPad’s two closest competitors, Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, cost less than half the iPad 2 price, but their lack of features and available apps are major downsides for a lot of people, myself included. Neither one has even come close to enjoying the level of success that the iPad has.
I admit that when tablets first came out, I was skeptical. I thought, “What could this thing do that I couldn’t do just as well with my smartphone or laptop?” As the months wore on though, I began to see people using their tablets in new and fun ways. In all sorts of settings. Some would sit on the couch and browse their favorite websites from their lap. Others would use it to stay updated with their friends on Facebook. Still others would watch a movie while laying in bed. It occured to me — these tablets are pretty cool. I began to picture myself sitting on the couch with a new tablet, playing Angry Birds or checking the latest sports scores.
The LA Times sums up the tablet craze pretty well:
They’re the perfect marriage of power and portability, enabling on-the-go access to books, magazines, newspapers, music, video and the Net, all in a slick, look-how-cool-I-am package.
Back in 2010, Apple introduced us to a product we didn’t know we needed. They convinced us to drop as much as $800 on an item that’s essentially a luxury. A luxury that might just be a laptop replacement and make the things we do everyday more enjoyable and accessible.
So yes, I have tablet envy. But i’ll wait until the next iPad comes out, and the iPad 2’s price is reduced a little, to make my move.
Photo by khawkins04