SUSIE GHARIB, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: The new Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad is here, and it’s called, simply, the new iPad. It’s faster and flashier. And, Tom, you can bet there’s going to be long lines to buy it.
TOM HUDSON, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT ANCHOR: Yes. Likely will be, Susie. It goes on sale next Friday, March 16th. Already, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is accepting order preorders.
Now, the entry level price is same as the current iPad versions when it was introduced back at $499 per tablet. Now, the unveiling of this hotly-anticipated iPad took place in San Francisco today. This new tablet is decked out with a sharper screen, a faster processor — twice the speed of the iPad 2 — and it has an improved camera that can record HD video.
The updated version will be the first iPad to use the 4G wireless technology.
GHARIB: So what does this new souped-up device mean for rival tablet-makers like Amazon and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM)? Erika Miller reports.
ERIKA MILLER, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: It seems hard to believe that the iPad was only introduced two years ago. It currently dominates the market. But discount the competition just yet. Analyst David Garrity says the iPad’s biggest threat is Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which costs less than $200.
DAVID GARRITY, PRINCIPAL CVA RESEARCH: Amazon, in terms of digital content and services, you know, is more than a match for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). And also, as a competitor, Amazon has shown historically that they are willing to accept very low margins.
MILLER: So far, Samsung tablets haven’t made much inroads. But Garrity isn’t giving them up for dead.
GARRITY: You certainly will be seeing more products coming up from Samsung. And sooner or later, they’ll find a way to get it right.
MILLER: Some industry experts think e-readers like the Nook and Kindle Touch will eventually be phased out. But not CNET’s Maggie Reardon.
MAGGIE REARDON, SR. WRITER, CNET: There are a lot of people who want a device that does one specific — has one specific purpose. I think that there’s a really big market for that, so I think we will continue to see e-readers.
MILLER: Blackberry’s Playbook is another matter.
REARDON: Blackberry is barely a blip in the whole tablet market. I think they have long way to go.
MILLER: The big unknown is whether Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) will tip the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) cart when it releases Windows 8 later this year. Ninety percent of computers run Windows, so Windows 8 tablets will make it easier to share information across platforms. But one big hurdle all rivals face is Apple’s vast ecosystem, including over 500,000 apps and products that work seamlessly together.
GARRITY: Once you have a library on iTunes — whether its music, whether its video, whether its other types of applications or content — it’s very difficult trying to move that over to a non-Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) device. Some people might say it’s almost impossible.
MILLER : And don’t forget that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) enjoys fanatical brand loyalty, so getting those customers to switch from the iPad won’t be easy. Erika Miller, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT, New York.