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An interesting article appeared in the Guardian technology section recently, commenting on Apple’s new, snide approach to marketing its latest ‘treasure’ – the iPad Mini. The tech game is definitely getting interesting, as they say. With the Samsung patent battle momentarily in the quiet zone, it’s time to look at the other monsters in the woods for Apple – namely Google and now Microsoft’s first foray into the ring of hardware design and product placement.
As Apple’s senior marketing head, Phil Schiller, recently launched the latest incarnation of the iPad (now curiously copying the bijou size of Samsung’s, Google’s and Amazon’s), it was apparent that he was approaching the event in a much more combative way than Steve Jobs would have done. Clearly, Apple is feeling the heat of competition and this has many tech-heads very pleased.
The reality of competition encroaching on Apple’s space must be hitting home. So far, Microsoft’s version of the tablet, dubbed the Surface, has been getting consistently good reviews, ironically for design and ergonomics, rather than it’s expected forte, software. Likewise, writer John Naughton described the Google Nexus 7 as “Excellent for some things (email, Evernote, diary keeping, for example) but unsatisfactory for others (web-browsing in particular). Its onscreen keyboard is, well, a bit flaky.” Many of Apple’s rivals will not ever be able to match the ‘all boxes ticked’ wow-factor of its products, but it clearly behooves the public to have a more competitive environment in the tech world as it will, hopefully, force down Apple’s often ludicrous prices.
Regardless of who’s winning the ‘tablet wars,’ it’s safe to say that Apple better watch its back from now on, and also keep the public vitriol in check. Steve certainly wouldn’t approve.