iPad 2 is going to lead the pack for a long time

It’s now been a couple of days since the iPad 2 started selling and it has essentially sold out.  In fact it sold out in about 72 hours from the initial launch.  While Apple has not published any hard numbers on initial sales I guess we can safely say that the iPad 2 is a huge hit.

A number of reviews by major tech sites have point in the same direction: the iPad 2 raises the standard that has to be met by other tablets.  While most people who’ve reviewed the iPad 2 have not found  it to be in any way revolutionary, it is a substantial improvement over the initial model in weight, thickness and performance.  When you add these improved characteristics to the same price tag as those of the previous models, you’ve got the makings of a winer.

If competitors were already having trouble being competitive agains the first generation iPad, it just got a lot worse.  At this point in the game, with several companies just short of releasing competing products it seems unlikely that most of them will be able to deliver products that can compete both in usability and price.

The one company that seems better positioned to fire its first real shot in the war for a piece of the tablet market is HP.  In following Apple’s path of providing an integrated solution by making their own mobile OS tailored to their hardware, HP seems to stand a better chance of delivering the ease of use and reliability that users have come to expect from Apple’s iOS devices.

Even if HP does everything right and manages to release an amazing product, it will face a steep uphill battle against the power of Apple’s App Store with its 65.000 iPad specific applications.  The number of iPad applications is growing fast and the incredible success of the second generation of the device it tends to grow even faster.

All things considered, it seems that Apple’s iPad 2 is going to be leading the pack for quite a long time.

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