Was the 'Reality Distortion Field' in Force at the iPad 2 Event?
Watching the iPad 2 event, we ourselves noted that while the iPad 2 is a great device, it's a modest upgrade and many of the statements that Steve Jobs made were actually misstatements. Of course, we'd call them good marketing. On the other hand, it's nice to see that we are not the only ones crying foul over some of them.
Fortune's Seth Weintraub went through a series of misstatements that Apple CEO Steve Jobs made during his presentation.
The points he hit were:
- "First dual core tablet to ship in volume." That's funny, I tested a Dell (DELL) Streak 7, which had a dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 chip in January. They've been shipping ever since on T-Mobile. In volume. [...] He is correct in that. While indeed that is a 7-inch, rather than 10-inch tablet, the Motorola Xoom has been shipping since 2/24, in quantity. Neither of those, of course, has been shipping in iPad 2 quantity.
- That was just the beginning. He next pulled out a thoroughly debunked, mis-translated quote from a Samsung VP (in which the VP said the sell-out ... of the channel ... for the Galaxy Tab was "quite small"). Some people only hear what they want to hear, but that quote should have ended with "quite smooth." That translation was officially corrected a long time ago. [...] It was indeed corrected to be smooth, rather than small. On the other hand, it certainly is true that the Galaxy Tab has not sold in iPad quantity. However, we have personally heard that in EMEA it has sold quite well.
- As for pricing, Jobs compared the most expensive Android tablet -- the XOOM --against the iPad. While specs don't matter to the typical consumer, components do largely affect the price of a device. The XOOM's are simply better. It has (expandable) 32GB of storage built in and 3G built in (upgradable through a painful mail-in process to 4G). So, on that alone, it compares with the $729 iPad. But then consider that the XOOM has a much better, bigger 720P screen compared to the iPad's 1024x768 job (it has less Retina™). Then, add far superior cameras (w/flash), stereo speakers (iPad 2 has one), 4G and a micro-USB/SD Card reader. Apple won't say how much RAM the iPad has, but I'm willing to bet it is about half of the XOOM's 1GB. Again, it is true that the Xoom has been criticized on its price. That is generally because many compare it to the $499 wi-fi only iPad. When comparing apples to apples (no pun intended), it should be compared most closely to the $729 iPad 2, and its hardware specs outdo that of the iPad or iPad 2.
This does not mean the iPad 2 is a bad device. Instead, it means that Steve Jobs engaged in something called "marketing," which is what he should have. On the other hand, Weintraub likes to call it Jobs' "reality distortion field."
Although we've already gone through the highlights of the iPad 2 event, we've got the entire presentation embedded below in case you want to watch the full event and see what "reality distortions "you pick up on, if any. You be the judge.