Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Brian S Hall's Top 10 reasons iPads are selling like hotcakes

July 10, 2011: 10:27 AM ET

Why, he asks, do Android users prefer Apple's tablet to the ones that run Google's OS?

Hall's LinkedIn photo

I've never met Brian S Hall and don't know much about him except that he went to school in Michigan, lives in Madison, Wisc., and has worked as a marketing manager for several firms I'm only vaguely aware of.

But I like the way he thinks, and on his Smartphone Wars Community blog I've often found stuff I wished I'd written.

Case in point: His take, in the form of a Top 10 list, on the report last week by Canaccord Genuity's Michael Walkley that Apple's (AAPL) iPads are currently selling better than Android tablets to people who bought Android smartphones.

Here, he writes, are the Top 10 reasons why:

1. iOS is a more robust, powerful, intuitive operating system for tablets.

2. Tablets are designed for anytime, anywhere functionality for a complete range of users from toddlers to seniors and Apple's full control over hardware, software and platform ecosystem ensures a much greater, much better experience for all.

3. Apple's costs are lower for equivalent hardware, and for manufacturing and sourcing. It is quite obvious to the consumer when comparing tablets within the iPad's price range that the iPad is a superior device in both build quality and design.

4. The iPad is *strategic* to Apple. Google does not sell hardware, nor software, but your data -- to advertisers. Currently, the vast majority of tablets users are engaged in either consuming or creating, not searching. There is little reason for Google to improve upon the tablet fork of Android.

5. iPad is strategic to Apple and therefore Apple has provided appropriate focus, marketing, access, support and promotion of iPad apps. Tablets are not strategic to Google and that is why tablet-optimized apps are buried within the Android Market.

6. Tablets are a new form factor for most people. The Apple Store offers a supportive environment to play and text and inquire about the iPad. For other tablets, they are typically set amongst other gadgets and/or placed alongside competitors and the sales staff may not be terribly helpful. Similarly, since almost no one needs a tablet with 3G, there's little reason for customers to go to a carrier to sign a 3G contract in exchange for a subsidized tablet.

7. A single screen size, a singular set of specs; this makes building apps for iPad significantly easier than for (the myriad) Android tablets.

8. App monetization. Apple has sold over 25 million iPads. I'm estimating that for each iPad sold, it is actively used by an average of 2 persons, likely both have iTunes accounts. Of that 50 million, nearly all have shown a ready willingness and the ability to pay for iPad apps. Google users demand free.

9. Ecosystem, ecosystem, ecosystem. iOS, iTunes, App Store, Apple Store, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, service, support, accessories. It all works better with Apple. It may cost more money, though this is doubtful. Apple marketing may suggest we are all metrosexuals. Steve Jobs very well may be a dick. Apple users may be sheep. But the ecosystem is hands-down a minimum two standard deviations better than anything Google Android can offer. Why wouldn't you choose that?

10. First-mover advantage.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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