The iPad will pave the way for a range of tablets although few will be able to compete with Apple’s superior brand power, according to a report from consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan.
The iPad Opens the Scene to the World of Tablets report suggests that Apple faces competition from the Dell Streak, Asus Eee Pad and HP Slate, but that rivals in the tablet market face the same problem as in the smartphone sector when it comes to battling Apple.
“The brand power of Apple is greater than its competitors, and the company grabs worldwide attention whenever it announces and launches a product,” said Saverio Romeo, senior industry analyst for Frost & Sullivan's ICT practice.
“The tablet market is a tough, narrow market and the success of a device depends on variables including quality of content, level of user engagement and monetising. It is also hard to understand why other manufacturers didn’t come to market with a tablet before Apple.”
In the short term, Romeo stated that a number of devices with different specifications will hit the market, with new interfaces, projection devices and 3D capabilities to follow in the future.
Although the iPad has sold over two million units in two months, it is aimed at consumers who are early adopters and it is not yet affordable to the mass market, the report found
However, the publishing and tourism sectors are two key areas where the iPad could have most impact.
“Newspapers and magazines are using the iPad to resist the attack of new media. Several newspapers including The Guardian, The Times and La Repubblica launched apps on the same day the iPad went on sale,” explained Romeo.
“The iPad gives publishers the chance to emulate paper and there is an opportunity for interaction via video.”
European tourism government agencies are also planning on using the iPad at museums, archaeological sites and cultural events, according to the report.
The iPad can enhance experience by offering augmented reality, maps and video clips, all of which will be effective on the 7.5in screen, Romeo said.
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