So it's real, it exists, and it'll be here March 11. It's the iPad 2, and while it's missing some features consumers were hoping to see in the next generation of the market-defining Apple tablet, it's still a fairly impressive second act.
One of the things Steve Jobs mentioned a few times when announcing the tablet was that makers of iPad competitors were "flummoxed" in trying to ship an actual rival to the device. Whether that's a fact is a debate for another time, but it does raise an interesting question about how the iPad 2's arrival will affect the tablet market for consumers.
Not everyone has a tablet--at least not yet. And the iPad 2 is attractive, but the features are the same ones competitors had been using to differentiate themselves from Apple's offering, namely cameras, HDMI out, and superfast processors.
Now that the iPad 2 has these features--and actually exists--competitors are perhaps in trouble, and need to act accordingly, as CNET's own David Carnoy argued convincingly this week. But how's this going to change the market for tablet users?
It's certainly more of a splash than a ripple. And in addition to a second-generation iPad, Apple dropped the price on the original down to as low as $350, making desirable tablets very affordable. There have been cheap Android tablets for a while, but they tend to be not so great.
You've read all the coverage we've had of the iPad, 1 and 2, and the other tablets out there, so what do you think the next year or so will look like for the tablet market?