Apple to unveil brand new iPad 2
With 2011 touted as the year of the tablet, the tablet war begins this week with Apple unveiling its new iPad today and BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) following soon with its PlayBook.
Extending its tradition of updating its products every year, Apple is all set to unveil the iPad 2 at an event in San Francisco.
In fact, the new tablet comes less than a year after its money-spinning iPad which has sold more than 15 million units so far and accounts for 15 percent of the revenue of the world's most valuable technology company.
Though Apple's stock was slightly down Tuesday in line with the day's bearish trend on Wall Street, the fortunes of the cash-rich giant may see a big jump after the unveiling of the new iPad .
When Apple took wraps off the iPad last April, its stock zoomed more than 10 percent.
Analysts say Apple has smartly pre-empted the BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) by launching the new iPad , ahead of the rival's PlayBook. RIM had unveiled the PlayBook in September to announce its entry into the new arena.
But by hitting the market with its new iPad ahead of its competitors, Apple has made its intentions clear to stay as the dominant player in the tablet market that is estimated to grow up to 70 million this year and 100 million in 2012, say analysts.A survey last week said tablets are set to sweep corporate offices.
Because of their business apps, tablets will become the first choice of about 50 percent major companies in the next two years, said the survey by Menlo Park, California-based, Robert Half Technology.
With RIM's PlayBook, Motorola's Xoom, Google Chrome OS tablet, the Cisco Cius, Dell Streak, and the Hewlett Packard PalmPad too hitting the market, analysts will be watching Apple's price tag on the new iPad Wednesday.
The BlackBerry maker (RIM) had no inkling of the new iPad when it announced to sell its Playbook for $500 to undercut iPad sales.
But since the PlayBook is likely to be the major challenger to the iPad , it remains to be seen how the BlackBerry maker ramps up its app store - which at just 20,000 apps compares poorly with Apple's apps store which boasts 200,000 apps.
In fact, RIM's app store compares equally poorly with Google's Android operating system which boasts 150,000 apps.
Since all other brand tablets - barring Apple's iPad - will operate on Google's Android operating system, RIM's PlayBook faces a distinct disadvantage in terms of app store, say analysts.
But the PlayBook will have one big advantage over the iPad due to its ability to integrate with the company's BlackBerry smart phones.
Since the corporate world still swears by the BlackBerry smart phone, the PlayBook will be their first-choice tablet ahead of the iPad because of its integration with the BlackBerry, according to analysts.
Further, the PlayBook is much smaller (seven inches) than the iPad (10 inches) to fit neatly into the pockets of corporate honchos.