The cost of iPad.

I confess. I bought the first iPad when it became available, I bought the second iPad when that came to Germany, and I will buy the third generation as weel, as soon as I can get my hands on it.

Since Apple’s invitation was sent out to select press outfits yesterday (during Eric Schmidt’s keynote at MWC – nice touch Apple), I’ve been reading lots of comments on various sites I visit, and one thing I noticed was a lot of talk about the “high” price of iPad.

But here’s the thing:
When iPad 2 was announced I sold my original iPad on ebay. It was 699 Euros (64GB Wifi version) when I bought it, and it went for 550 Euros a year later. The second iPad I bought was of the 16GB WiFi variant. It cost me 499 Euros. It’s been on ebay for about nine days now, as I anticipated the announcment for the third generation iPad to be on the 28th or the 29th of this month. The auction is ending in 9 hours, and it’s already at 360 Euros. I predict it will reach 420 Euros.

So now the real cost of iPad becomes clear: I basically rent a brand new iPad each year for an average of less than 10 Euros a month.

Not a bad deal.

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The Android arms race, and why it’s futile.

Jason Perlow of ZDNet has a great take on why the Android arms race is unbelievably stupid and why it fails the consumer.

Choice cuts:

You got a dual 1.5 Ghz processor coming? Oh yeah? Well I got a quad-core 1.2 Ghz processor coming with a better GPU. Really? You got a 1.2 Ghz quad-core processor? Well I got a quad-core 1.5 Ghz processor, and my on-board GPU is four times faster than yours and my screen technology is better and bigger. And my camera has bookoo-awesome Werner Klemperer optics with a gazillion more megapixels than yours.

and:

What this one-upmanship among the vendors causes is a case of extreme device build-up and market confusion. And instantaneous buyer’s remorse. Case in point, Samsung.

Just how many more Android products does Samsung intend to release to this market this year? A Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, two different flavors of Galaxy Notes (one of which is barely different from the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1) , several intermediate sized superphones that I’m sure I’m completely forgetting, and of course, this completely ridiculous Galaxy S III that is purported to have a 1080p Blu-Ray resolution display with a quad-core processor and LTE.

plus:

It’s bad enough that my blasted Samsung Galaxy Nexus — which, by the way, I’m finding its market-leading Android 4.0.2 plain-Jane Google Experience OS be buggy as all hell and am really aggravated that the promised bug fixes have not been released yet. Isn’t the whole damn point of buying a Nexus is that it gets the updates first?

and finally:

If you think things are nuts now, just wait another week until Apple announces the iPad 3 or whatever it ends up being called. Then the Android tablet arms race will have to scramble escalate even further to attempt counteract that problem. Which they will all fail to do.

And by September of 2012 when iPhone-whatever-number-they-call-it is released, they’ll have to scramble to boost specs even further. Sadly, they won’t do it with innovation, superior customer support, solid build quality and product refinement, which is what they should be doing.

Oh and Apple? They may only refresh their smartphone and tablet products once a year, but you can bet that if you buy a iOS device, it will get several software upgrades when the latest and greatest product comes along, long after the end of your warranty and the end of your wireless contract.

Apple’s track record with this sort of thing speaks for itself. Walled garden or not, the company takes care of its customers. This is how you build brand loyalty — not by releasing product of the month and so quickly abandoning the poor schmucks that bought your last device.

Read the whole thing here. It’s a great piece.

“Doubling down on tablets”

Andy Rubin at MWC 2012:

“2012 is going to be the year that we double down and make sure we’re winning this space.”

Winning what? Channel sales (aka shelved, but not bought, product)? The race to the bottom?

“The educated consumer realizes now that they’re either picking the Apple ecosystem or the Microsoft ecosystem or the Google ecosystem…we’re going to do a better job at making people understand what ecosystem they’re buying into.”

Translation: Apple is leaps and bounds ahead, Microsoft will be there soon, and we’ll just spread FUD so no one notices that we’re an ad-company that sells your information to our customer – the companies spending ad money.

“Fundamentally you shouldn’t have to have a third-party developer build his app twice.”

He was talking about the glaring problem of lack of high-quality apps for Android tablets, and then goes on:

“there has to be an education process and developers have to do the work of making their apps tablet-aware”

Huh? I thought they shouldn’t have to do that?

This is the real problem:

Nobody buys these tablets.
12 million in two years sounds nice, but those are not sales to end-users. Very much unlike iPad, which Apple has sold over 50 million so far – 15 million in the last quarter alone.

If no one buys the tablets, no one will buy the apps. Developers know that. They’re no stupid.

Developing for Android’s fragmented markets (40+ markets for 500+ devices) is difficult. Developers know that. They’re not stupid.

The massive fragmentation problem in Android’s versions is even worse in the tablet segment. Developers know that. They’re not stupid.

So, since the developers know all that, and more, and are not stupid…what gives? I’ll tell you: Google can “double down” all they want in 2012…it’s going to be the year of iPad. Again.

Andy Rubin’s comments via The Verge.

Googlorola’s FRAND abuse fails in Germany.

FOSSPatents Florian Mueller reports from the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court:

Apple scored a breakthrough court victory today against Motorola (Bloomberg was first to report). Its importance can hardly be overstated. This is so huge that it even begs the question of whether Google’s strategy for its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility has failed before the deal is even formally closed

and

With today’s ruling, Googlorola’s strategy has failed even before the companies have formally merged. This is such a major blow to Google’s patent strategy that, from a mere shareholder value point of view, it should now give serious consideration to the possibility of coughing up the $2.5 billion break-up fee agreed upon with MMI’s board of directors and walk out on this deal.

Read the whole article here.

This is HUGE.