You should read Farhad Manjoo’s post, but the passage I would like to stress is the following. It is about the iPad’s future as an unbeatable product.
The other potential scenario, though, is far less optimistic for Apple’s competitors. It’s the iPod model. In this story, Apple begins by releasing a novel, category-defining product. Then, as rivals scramble for some way to respond, Apple relentlessly puts out slightly better versions every year, each time remaining just out of reach of the competition. Meanwhile it lowers its prices and expands its product lineup, making its devices more accessible to a wider audience. Then, to finish the game, it finds a way to boost its position through network effects and customer lock-in.
It is happening. This is exactly what we are witnessing now. With this week’s announcements about the new iPad, the scenario is close to becoming true. Who is able to release a product at least as good as the iPad for at least the same price?