Steve Jobs' reality distortion takes its toll on truth

March 3, 2011: 9:20 AM ET

Apple twisted facts and used an erroneous quotation to try to convince crowds that all other tablets had no shot at de-throning the iPad in 2011.

In what seems like a ritual at this point, I watched Apple's iPad 2 keynote in disbelief, noting the factual errors that kept coming up minute after minute.  See previous:

So, let's get started: As part of the opening iPad bullet points, Apple included this gem:

"First dual core tablet to ship in volume." That's funny, I tested a Dell (DELL) Streak 7, which had a dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 chip in January. They've been shipping ever since on T-Mobile.

In volume.

Of course, the Motorola (MMI) XOOM also has this same dual core processor and is certainly shipping in volume as well. In fact, I've been using an Android phone (the Atrix) with a dual core chip for weeks and it wasn't the first to ship in volume.  As for Apple (AAPL), they haven't shipped one iPad 2 yet -- iPad 2's hit shelves on March 11.

Perhaps this has to do with Jobs' subjective view of 'Volume' which may start at whatever numbers iPads are currently selling?  And 'ship'? Well, I don't know.

That was just the beginning.  He next pulled out a thoroughly debunkedmis-translated quote from a Samsung VP:

Some people only hear what they want to hear, but that quote should have ended with "quite smooth."  That translation was officially corrected a long time ago. Here's the recording.  Shame on Apple Keynote fact-checkers, if such a role even exists.

That leads us to:

">90% market share".  OMG Math.

Both Apple and Samsung measure sales the same way -- into the channel.  Apple has just as many points of sale for the iPad as Samsung has for the Tab and likely many more.  So Samsung sold 2 million (in the last quarter) in 2010.  Apple sold 14.8 million (in three quarters).  That seems like a pretty fair comparison.

Apple would have needed to sell 3.2 million more to reach 90% of 2010's tablet market share against just Samsung alone (in triple the time).  That's not including all of the Android-powered Nooks out there, those cheap $100 Androids you can buy at Walgreens or Amazon and even Windows-powered Tablet PCs (which are mentioned two bullet points above!).  If you choose to include the Kindle, Apple may not have even reached 50% of the market.

Perhaps Jobs meant market share of tablets that start with the letter "I."

And finally, pricing:

As for pricing, Jobs compared the most expensive Android tablet -- the XOOM --against the iPad.  While specs don't matter to the typical consumer, components do largely affect the price of a device.  The XOOM's are simply better.  It has (expandable) 32GB of storage built in and 3G built in (upgradable through a painful mail-in process to 4G).  So, on that alone, it compares with the $729 iPad.

But then consider that the XOOM has a much better, bigger 720P+ screen compared to the iPad's 1024x768 job (it has less Retina™).  Then, add far superior cameras (w/flash), stereo speakers (iPad 2 has one), 4G and a micro-USB/SD Card reader.  Apple won't say how much RAM the iPad has, but I'm willing to bet it is about half of the XOOM's 1GB.

You see, Apple loves to talk about specs when it is in its best interest (speeds and feeds).  There are plenty of specs on size and weight that were repeated over and over:"8.8mm thin", "1.3 lbs".  Tech Specs?  Lots: "Retina display has 326PPI", "1GHz Dual Core Processor", "64GB of storage", "Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating", "Back camera: Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio; still camera with 5x digital zoom", etc. etc.  But ask them how much RAM the iPad has and they'll tell you it doesn't matter.

Perhaps Jobs could have also compared the iPad 2 to other Android tablets' prices? Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Dell's Streak both now start at $499 and have better cameras, 3G radios and GPS, which seem to compete well with Apple's $499 Wifi-only offering.  Reality distorted.

I have a lot of respect for Steve Jobs and Apple's products.  It's just a shame that all the truth-bending destroys the keynotes.

Here's the whole video (play distortion bingo with a double shot of Kool-Aid?):

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About This Author
Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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