Apple’s Stock in Free Fall, Time To Smash Our iPads and Switch To Win8 Tablets???

Apple Stock Falls

Apple Stock Falls

Duck!  Close one, you almost got hit by Apple’s free falling stock.  Poor Apple.  Despite sales that most companies would die for last quarter, it just wasn’t as good as analyst expected.  Since September Apple’s stock is down 36% and the unthinkable question is starting to be heard, “Is Apple falling behind when it comes to innovation?

Is It Time To Toss Your iPad?

No!  Apple’s stock may be down 36% since September, but check out these facts about their “bad” Q1 2013 –

  • Sold 47 Million iPhones
  • Sold 22.9 Million iPads
  • $54.5 Billion in Revenue for the Quarter
  • Apple sold 10 iOS devices per second

In addition, it is projected that for 2013 Apple will hold a 50% share of the tablet market (the next highest is Samsung at 23%).  The bad news for Apple is that in 2012 it held a 62% share of the tablet market.  Clearly the iPad is still the tablet by which all else is measured, but  the numbers show that for the first time in years people are willing to try new tablets and look for innovation outside of Apple.

Can You Out iPad the iPad?

Once again, I must answer in the negative – No.  Still, for year that didn’t stop companies from trying to unsuccessfully copy the iPad.  People love the simplicity of their iPad.  They love the app store and the fact that most of their friends have iPads.  Trying to make a tablet which is just like the iPad, but slightly better in some way just doesn’t work.   What we are starting to see in 2013 is the idea that not every tablet has to look and act just like an iPad, dare we say it, we are starting to see real innovation.  Here is the real shock, the innovation is not coming from silicon valley startups but from companies like Intel and Microsoft!

A Windows 8 Tablet That Looks Like a Tablet But Runs Like a Computer?

The fine folks at Intel were kind enough to send us a Windows 8 Tablet to evaluate (the Acer W510 Iconia).  I must admit, my expectations were not high.  I love my iPad and felt it really provided all I needed in a tablet.  It turns out I was wrong.  The iPad is awesome for reading web pages and checking my email, but I now realize that when it comes to content creation, a tablet really can provide much more.

It takes a little getting used to the Acer Iconia – while it is not hard to use, it is also not as drop dead simple as the iPad.  You don’t just go to the “App Store” to find everything you need, but that is because you are actually running Windows software and can run pretty much anything that runs on Windows.  This means you can run Microsoft Office – the real deal, not an app that does a decent, but not perfect  job of opening and converting your office files.  I quickly realized that the Intel based Acer Windows 8 tablet was more like a computer that could also act like a tablet, as opposed to the iPad which is a tablet that can sometimes act like a computer.

USB, HDMI, Flash and Active Icons On A Tablet???

Once we have had more time creating with the Acer Iconia W510 tablet, we will do a full review.  For now we are just impressed with the level of innovation by Microsoft and Intel.   For years I just thought a tablet could not have a USB port or HDMI output or play Flash videos, but the Iconia W510 shows it is very possible to have all this.  Does this bulk up the tablet?  Nope, the Iconia W510 is slightly lighter than the iPad and still delivers 9 hours of battery life.

Microsoft has definitely upped the ante in terms of what an icon (or Charms) can do.  In Windows 8 the icons are alive – you don’t just see a static photo icon, you see your photos scroll through the icon…very cool and innovative.  Microsoft has found a way to put you closer to your information (photos, tweets, emails, contacts, etc) without ever having to click away from the start screen.  Microsoft didn’t try to build a bigger app store than Apple – that is  a losing battle – they actually innovated and figured out a way to make icons more useful.

iPad Is Still The Leader, But Suddenly We Have a Real Tablet Race

While iPad is still the market leader when it comes to tablets, the Acer Iconia W510 clearly shows that the rest of the pack is fast approaching.  We will continue to use and evaluate the Acer Iconia and report back soon, but already we have found this Intel based tablet an excellent content creation device.  We are starting to see how a tablet really could replace your computer or notebook and anything that saves my back from lugging around my 8 pound notebook is a winner in my book!

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