Game on: iPad 2 event will disrupt Xoom launch

It is no accident that Apple sent out invitations to the iPad 2 event the day before the Motorola Xoom launches

Apple has sent out invitations to the media for a press event on March 2. The invitation has an image displaying the corner of an iPad -- implying that this will finally be the unveiling of the details for the next generation Apple tablet.

Computerworld: Which tablet should I buy? Motorola Xoom vs Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v

The timing of the media invitations is impeccable. The Motorola Xoom tablet -- the first to hit the street sporting the Android "Honeycomb" OS specifically developed for tablets -- will be available starting tomorrow, and the Apple tease may disrupt the initial success of the Xoom launch as potential tablet buyers who are still on the fence hold out to see what Apple has to offer.

The rumors surrounding the iPad 2 -- and pretty much anything else Apple right now -- are rampant. It will have front and rear facing cameras, or not. It will be smaller, or bigger. It will be have a Retina display, or not. About all we can say for sure is that Apple will soon offer an iPad 2. The rest is pure speculation.

Granted, though, some of the speculation is more reasonable than others and falls more under the heading of "educated guess". It seems fair to assume that the next generation iPads will have faster processors, more memory, and possibly larger storage capacities, because that is just the natural order of the evolution of technology from year to year. It also seems like a virtual guarantee that the iPad 2 will have front and rear facing cameras and include Apple's FaceTime video chat capabilities.

Rival tablets, like the Xoom, the BlackBerry PlayBook, and the HP TouchPad, all raise the bar in terms of feature and functionality...compared to the original iPad. If any of those tablets were available six months ago, they would probably have been quite successful at capturing a good chunk of the market. But, the Xoom is just coming out this week and the other two are still vaporware until sometime later this year. Meanwhile, the iPad 2 will most likely at least meet the bar -- if not set it even higher -- making these rival tablets obsolete before they're even available.

Assuming the bar stays where it is -- that Apple unveils the iPad 2 and it has a better processor, more memory, front and rear cameras, etc., but nothing that really sets it apart from these competing tablets -- Apple will still have the advantage. Apple has an advantage by having a one year head start and dominating the market it created, and Apple has an advantage in price that rivals seem to be facing challenges matching.

For those considering a Xoom at $800, or committing to a two-year contract with Verizon to get the cost subsidized to $600, it may be worth waiting a week to see what Apple pulls out of its magic hat.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Motorolatablet PCAppleconsumer electronicsapple ipadtabletsHandhelds / PDAs

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?