An article from last week I only got around to reading today but has an interesting idea: what if Best Buy curated their inventory to only carry the best values in each product area instead of dozens of choices? They certainly have the domain expertise to choose the very best products but I’m sure nearly all their partners would not like this idea. But if Best Buy transformed their brand to be about the customer actually getting the best value for their money and avoid the ‘paradox of choice’ they could turn their business around fairly quickly.
Until Android or Windows tablets match the range and quality of iPad’s app ecosystem they will continue to be a very small niche. Right now I don’t think this is possible unless Apple stumbles for a year or two.
Apple did something interesting today with the announcement of their new iPad that shows they have no problems cannibalizing their own laptop business. Instead of taking on lower priced tablets, as I speculated last week, Apple ended up making the iPad even more of a productivity device. Outside of a significant increase in screen resolution and optional LTE mobile networking the new iPad is very similar specced to last year’s iPad 2. But that increase in screen resolution gives a much larger canvas for developers to use to make apps to get things done while on the road. Apple’s iLife and iWork apps show the way here but I think there will be a renaissance in iPad productivity apps this year.
My daily driver for the past 4 years has been a 15 inch MacBook Pro. Almost all the time it is connected to a large monitor, keyboard and mouse. I’ve been waiting for a 15 inch MacBook Air to replace it but might just end up buying a Mac mini and the new iPad for less money. On the rare occurrence I need a desktop app while traveling I can always VNC into my office desktop or use something like OnLive. But when I travel 90% of what I do is email and web browsing, tasks that the iPad excels at already. So I’m thinking my 2008 MacBook Pro might be the last laptop I ever buy. And I’m OK with that.
It also doesn’t look like Apple has any plans to take on $200 Android tablets. But they are certainly taking aim at $600 Windows laptops.