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Will new iPad keep Apple from dropping? (2)

(Xinhua)

13:57, March 08, 2012

To fight rivals like Amazon which use lower-prices tablets to encroach on iPad's share, Apple chooses to keep the iPad2 in its product line with a 100-U.S.-dollar price reduction. The 16GB and WiFi-only iPad 2 is now 399 dollars.

Statistics and forecasts are quite bright for Apple and the new iPad. Forrester Research said 65 percent of all touchscreen tablets in use at work in the United States are iPads. According to IMS Research, another research firm, Apple dominated the global tablet market with a 62 percent market share last year and the number is forecast to increase to 70 percent in 2012.

"There is a large customer base loyal to Apple products that have been waiting for the latest tablet. Many owners of the iPad 1 are also expected to upgrade to the latest release. In addition to this consumer demand, growth is also forecast as a result of sales into enterprise and education," said IMS Research.

Meanwhile, some competitors have come to a sobering evaluation of their performances in the market, admitting that their attempt to grab the tablet share has largely been a flop.

"Honestly, we're not doing very well in the tablet market," Hankil Yoon, a product strategy executive for Samsung, said last Monday during a media roundtable at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

However, not all industry watchers are quite impressed by the new generation iPad. Rob Enderle, a veteran analyst in Silicon Valley, said Apple vowed to achieve things Steve Jobs hadn't finished, but it didn't. The new iPad "is over-promising," he told Xinhua in a phone interview.

He said the problem for the new iPad is it cannot embrace all new product benchmarks by increasing the depth of the line and significantly improving the hardware. He noted that some of the new device's improved performance depends on the 4G network which is not quite popular and mature for the moment in the United States.

Last month, James B. Stewart of The New York Times said in an article that it's just a matter of time before Apple's growth confronts the law of large numbers which suggests that high earnings growth and a rapid rise in share price will slow down as the companies grow larger.

Some companies have been felled by the law. Cisco Systems hit a market capitalization of 557 billion dollars at the peak of technology bubble in March 2000, but its capitalization is currently around 100 billion dollars, down by 80 percent since then.

As many analysts and reporters said Apple's innovation has been incremental, Epps, the analyst, pointed out that the new iPad is "a gut renovation masquerades as incremental innovation," and the formula for Apple's success is the company designs its products for its customers.

She said customers will wait in line at an Apple Store to buy the new iPad that is designed for customers, not the press.

"We expect that the new iPad will sell even more units than the previous version has," she told Xinhua.

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