Versatile iPad still dominates tablet-computer market

Apple’s iPad is quickly changing the way people communicate on a global level as it leads the next evolution in personal computing.

The iPad, Apple’s flat-panel computer not much bigger than its 9.5 x 7.3-inch screen, is designed to be portable and versatile, weighing only 1.3 lbs. Released in 2010, the iPad was an immediate global phenomenon, with 300,000 units sold the first day and more than a half-million by the end of the first week.

This immediate phenomenon has left many with raised eyebrows, wondering why.

Part of the reason for its popularity is the iPad’s intuitive control scheme.

“The iPad allows people to do their daily tasks faster and with a more enjoyable experience,” said Greg Ellis, manager of Expercom, a licensed Apple distributer in North Logan, Utah.  “For instance, to transfer money between accounts takes three taps. On a PC, it could take up to 15 clicks.”

To make something happen, touch the screen. That’s the entire learning curve. For kindergarteners or retirees, the concept is quickly and universally understood.

IPad’s impact was so large that that companies like Dell, Motorola and Barnes & Noble jumped on board with their own tablet computers, but nothing is yet approaching the iPad in market share.

ABI Research, a company specializing in emerging technology, reported that all other tablets combined have taken a mere 20 percent of the market share in the last year, with no serious challenger to the iPad.

Local sales have echoed worldwide sales. Expercom does not release sales figures, but Ellis said, “The iPad is by far the best-selling product for the first half of the year. It will most likely be the best seller for the second half also.”

With its mass success, Apple continues to push forward. Apple released the iPad2 in April, with a faster processor and two separate cameras to allow for video chat between iPad users.

Even in today’s economy, Apple is seeing monumental earnings, thanks to the iPad. In June, Apple announced the largest quarterly earnings in the company’s history.

“We’re thrilled to deliver our best quarter ever, with revenue up 82 percent and profits up 125 percent,” said Apple founder Steve Jobs in June. Jobs has since stepped down as CEO due to medical concerns, but remains on the board of directors.

Another reason for the iPad’s success is the vast amount of Apps  that can be downloaded directly. There are 20 categories available, including social media, business, games and lifestyle.

Apple announced in June that more than 15 billion apps have been downloaded through Apple’s iStore to customers in 90 countries. With constant growth and success, the question that seems to prevail is: where will Apple will go from here?

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