Steve Jobs was on hand for today's iPad 2 announcement, much to our surprise/delight. And while the Apple CEO ceded the stage for many of the individual demos, he still dropped a few pearls on his company, his tablet, and just how far ahead of the game he thinks they are. Walk with me.
Steve on Being There
We've been working on this product for a while, and I didn't want to miss it.
Jobs is on an extended medical leave from Apple, and by all accounts his condition is quite serious. Which is why it was so reassuring to see him take the stage today, both in terms of his ongoing, deep involvement with his company's products and, more importantly, his wellbeing.
Steve on Magic
When we said the iPad was magical, people laughed at us. But it's turned out to be magical. And people questioned whether it was an 'unbelievable' price — well ask our competitors.
Agree on the price, but honestly magic is boy wizards and love potions. When the iPad flies and spits fire, that's when you can say that it's magic.
Steve on the Competition
Everyone's got a tablet. Will 2011 be the year of the copycat? If we did nothing, maybe a little bit... probably not.
Well, okay, that's not entirely fair. If Apple had done nothing they'd be the only major tablet on the market with zero cameras. Heck, they've still got one of the least compelling screen resolutions and a silly small amount of RAM. Apple's still ahead of the pack, but to imply the didn't need iPad 2 in the face of Xoom and TouchPad is pure hubris.
Samsung put [a tablet] out last year. They said 'our sell-in was quite aggressive, two million, but our sell out was quite small'.
A not-at-all-subtle jab aided by a not-entirely-accurate quote. Still, it's true that Samsung shipped two million Galaxy Tabs, and that they actually sold significantly fewer. But the 7-inch factor may have been doomed from the start; the 10-inch Tab will be a better comparison.
Steve on Apple's Secret Sauce
This is worth repeating. It's in Apple's DNA that technology is not enough... Nowhere is that more true than in the post-PC products. Our competitors are looking at this like it's the next PC market. That is not the right approach to this. These are post-PC devices that need to be easier to use than a PC, more intuitive.
On the one hand, it's true that by emphasizing user experience over feeds and speeds, Apple has made the iPad the fun you can have with a tablet. On the other, of course they're going to say those specs don't matter. You would, too, if that was the one area you weren't keeping up with the Joneses.
One of the things that's helped us roll this out so fast is our retail stores. They were built for moments like this. We have hundreds of Apple stores now. Without them, we wouldn't have been successful.
What's the real reason no one can match the iPad's price? Apple's retail strength, plain and simple. Because they don't have to carve out a chunk of revenue for the Walmarts and Best Buys of the world, Apple can survive on the kind of razor thin margins that would send their competition to the poorhouse. A well-deserved shout-out here.