Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Do techie's really hate Apple that much?

I am an avid reader of Laptop Magazine, which had their Readers' Choice Awards earlier this month. In the Readers' Choice Award for Laptop of the Year, the Sony Vaio Z came out on top (25.61%), with the HP Envy 14 coming in second, the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro (13.51%) came in third and the 11.6-inch MacBook Air came in fourth (12.81%).  The results seemed fair enough, especially since the the 13.3-inch MacBook Air and 13.3-inch Toshiba Portege R705, the "poor man's" Vaio Z were not included in the poll. 

Than came the Readers' Choice Award for Smartphone of the Year. The RIM BlackBerry Torch garnered the highest number of votes with 35.94%, with the HTC Evo 4G coming in second with 31.43%. The Apple iPhone 4 came in a far third with 11%. I would not have been too surprised if an Android phone had won this category, with one in four Smartphone sold in the third quarter of 2010 being an Android. The poll, surprisingly did not include the Samsung Galaxy S, Google Nexus One or HTC Desire. The Torch winning the crown was a bit of a shocker. Apple sells more iPhone 4 at 4 million units a month, than RIM sell BlackBerry's of all types, and I am guessing the Curve is their best seller. 

But the Readers' Choice Award for Tablet of the Year really takes the cake. The Apple iPad got 28.91% of the votes, which was second place.The winner the ExoPC Slate at 53.13%. 

My first reaction is what is the ExoPC Slate? The ExoPC Slate is a 11.6" tablet running on Windows 7. It is almost 50% heavier than the iPad and has less than half of the iPad's battery life. At US$599, it is not cheaper than an iPad. It does have a very interesting looking user interface and its creators should be given credit for that, but Tablet of the Year?  If people voted with their wallets, the Apple iPad would be the clear winner.

I understand there are things not to be liked about Apple. The only issue I have with Apple is the Apple tax. But this year some of the Apple products do not really carry the price premium you expect. If you are looking for a reasonably powerful 13-inch laptop which weighs in at three pounds and give good battery life, the 13-inch MacBook Air and Toshiba Portege. Here, in the Philippines the Toshiba actually cost 20% more than the entry level 13-inch MacBook Air, making the MacBook Air an easy choice.  The entry level Sony Vaio Z is of was the most desirable, but it is also by the far the most expensive.

For tablets, the Php30,990 base model Apple iPad 3G is cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S and the Php23,990 is very competitive (a better deal actually) with even tablets like Cherry Mobile's Superion Php19,900 a 7-inch Android powered tablet powered by a 600MHz Qualcomm processor with it whopping 512MB of internal memory. It is a bit odd, talking about Apple's as value for money options. The same is true for the iPod's too by the way.

Personally, I find the 9.7-inch Apple iPad too big, but with its entry level Php23,990 price, if I got a tablet right now, it makes more sense than shelling out Php34,000 for my favorite Tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab. 

I really do not see how the Apple iPad could lose a Tablet of the Year Award. In the end, I can just picture Steve Job's laughing away at these results. With iPhone sale at 4 million phones a month and iPad sale at 1 million tablets a month.  

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