Friday, August 20, 2010

Non-Apple iPads -- The Pre-Judged DOA Effect

I recently wrote about the coming onslaught of non-Apple iPads/tablets. My fundamental conclusion was/is that -- no matter how good or superior they may be versus Apple's iPad -- they will be essentially DOA.

Case in point -- today's TechCrunch slams LG for saying "Our tablet will be better than the iPad." But, since when is a company wrong for believing and marketing that its products are superior to those of its competitors? In fact, if a company does not believe that, then it shouldn't release the product in the first place!

So, yes, LG's claim is a bold one -- it invites scrutiny -- and it puts a target on its back for reviewers and consumers. But, I love that bravado ... so long as it is backed up by passion and a true search for excellence.

Here's the deal -- I'll say it again -- Apple wins because it is Apple. Apple's mystic pre-determines success -- Exhibit A, the iPad (note how TechCrunch immediately concludes that Apple's products are Porsches while LG's and others are pre-determined and defined as being Kias). Now, don't get me wrong, Apple backs it up by consistently releasing compelling products (my family and I have a whole slew of them). But, let's keep it real about the fact that no other consumer electronics company comes close to this kind of mystic. That means its bar will be significantly higher on the product side. No reviewer will give an Apple competitor a comparative win unless the competing product is other worldly.

That's why non-iPad iPads are essentially DOA. All things being equal (and even un-equal!), pundits and consumers alike will generally go Apple -- unless there is a significant price differential (but, even then, Apple frequently gets a hall pass).

It ain't necessarily fair -- but, as Walter Conkrite used to say, "That's the way it is."