Apple’s new iPad set to face Google and Microsoft showdown

Apple’s new iPad has garnered positive reactions from developers, but an expert is encouraging developers to shop around, saying Google and Microsoft will provide some stiff competition.


According to Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach, there is no doubt that Apple “not only leads the tablet market with the iPad 2, but has also created today’s arena for tablet devices”.


“Since the introduction of the iPad, other manufacturers have struggled to respond with products that have appealed to consumers in the same way,” Leach says.


“It is not the first time that Apple has enjoyed a first-mover advantage. However, we expect competition to get more intense through 2012.”


Leach believes both Google and Microsoft will be “high on the list of challengers” for Apple.


“Both companies [are] hoping to break into the growing tablet market by providing…the software platforms and developer ecosystems that will allow them to compete directly with Apple’s iOS.”


“Google has finally bridged the smartphone and tablet divide with Android 4.0, offering developers a unified platform for the two types of device. This should increase the number of tablet-optimised applications.”


“In addition, Microsoft is set to launch Windows 8 this year, targeting tablet devices with its Metro UI and build specifically for ARM-based chipsets.”


Nevertheless, Leach says it will take time for Android 4.0 and Windows 8-based products to come to market, with Apple retaining its market-leading position throughout 2012.


Rod Murray, chief executive of Melbourne-based iPhone app development studio Firemint, is “extremely excited” about Apple’s new iPad.


“The resolution on the new iPad is larger than we can represent on our monitors,” he says.


“To simulate games like Real Racing 2 and Flight Control Rocket for the device, we have to put two monitors side by side.”


“The new iPad is a great example of portable technology outpacing the desktop and lounge room. I can’t wait to get our hands on the new chipsets and show what Firemint can do.”


Murray says while the studio has been working with a retina display on the iPhone, using it on the iPad will enable it to create “a whole new level of immersion”.


Phil Larson, chief executive of Brisbane-based iOS studio Halfbrick, told The Verge the company is in for a lot of hard work to update the apps, but that it will help out in the long run.


“Apple said themselves that with a little bit of time, developers can do things that are mind-blowing,” he said.


“That’s definitely what we are setting out to achieve, so the team in Australia will be getting down to business.”


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