back to article Steve Jobs bends iPad price reality

When he unveiled the iPad 2 last Wednesday, Steve Jobs hammered home the point that it was a bargain buy when compared to the competition. He was, at best, stretching the truth. At worst, he was shoveling bullshit. "Some folks are out there saying, well, they're only a little bit more expensive than us at $799," Jobs told his …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    A**hat analyst

    So after all that, if you are comparing apples to apples Steve is still right. How is it bullshit?

    Are they just mentioning that you can upgrade the flash capacity in Xoom for cheaper?

    Actually you can't even do that yet because Honeycomb ships with SD support disabled.

    Finally subsidised iPad prices haven't been announced, so Mr Arends is comparing the Verizon price with what exactly?

    Just another useless analyst trying to look smart by mentioning the iPad..

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Agreed with all points - Brett Arends is an arse

      You get the impression he is "reaching" to try and find a flaw, and has at best come up with an apple to orange comparison.

      - He uses the telco offers to show apple being more expensive. It's not. It's simply that the carrier has not chosen to subside the iPad, but a *different carrier* has. Remove the carrier(s) from the equation and compare the prices. Oh look...

      - He uses the 32GB/64GB to provide the 64gb iPad is more expensive. Surely comparing the Xoom 64GB is the right thing to do? Oh wait, you can't, so I'll just make some shit up about SD cards. That's like sticking a trailer on a mini and claiming because it's now got more storage space than a volvo estate, then - oh woe is me - the volvo is massively overpriced.

      If the fanbois want to spend their money on overpriced toys, let them - but muppets like this should at least get their apple to apple (pun intended) comparisons right first before slagging them off.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Even on apples to oranges ...

        $799 + a $65 Micro SD card is still more than $829. In other words at 64GB, it is slightly less of a rip-off.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          Xoom: $799 + a $65 Micro SD card - $200 subsidy + cost of 3G plan

          is still significantly less than

          Apple: $829 + cost of 3G plan

          1. Drew C.

            Biggest fail of all

            EXCEPT there is no plan. this is the one difference, and its super annoying no one mentions it. It's bought piecemeal on-demand, not contract over a year. you get it for a month and then its no longer there, and you're done. no catch. so let's redo that math and count up the cost of every month of service you have where you don't actually need it.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
      Jobs Horns

      In all fairness...

      I would never buy an ipad or a xoom the way things are now... I way prefer my trusty ol' netbook.


      1) having read the reviews on the xoom and ipad (and actually having used an ipad)

      2) And discounting my dislike (that's an understatement I'll have you know) for apple.

      If I _absolutely_ had to buy a pad thingo, I'd probably buy an iPad.

      There is just no compelling alternative at the present time, unfortunately, although, hopefully this may well change.

      But, the reality is, I wouldn't because of lack of need and in particular (2).

      1. Scorchio!!
        Jobs Horns

        Re: In all fairness...

        "If I _absolutely_ had to buy a pad thingo, I'd probably buy an iPad."

        In the long run Asimov's prediction will be borne out; lots of people will carry very small mobile computing devices that act as 'radio telephones'. Jobs has to make as much money as he possibly can, surf the tide of innovation for as long as he lives and is able to work, and then retire/die like the rest of us. Eventually Apple will be just one small name in a sea of PC clones. How people will respond to mention of the iPad in future years? For that you only have to remember a certain Cadbury's Smash advert.

        As to the mention of Jobs shovelling ordure, this article reminds me of Billy Connolly's 'jobby wheecher' sketch. ;-)

    3. 42

      Just another

      Deliriuos fanboi defending Aplle

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I do feel better defending Steve Jobs, who has made a fair contribution to computing over the years, than a lying journalist who doesn't know memory from storage and whose contribution was publishing a couple of books for people who can't think for themselves.

        So yeah call me whatever you want, see if I care :-) Facts in this story are so clearly wrong that even less challenged hatebois can see his fallacy.

    4. Lewis Mettler

      forgot to mention the cost of subscriptions

      If you pick up a $100 subscription from Apple it is going to cost you $142.80.

      On Android that is only $111.11.

      Assuming that is an annual subscription that is $30.69 PER YEAR more simply because you bought an Apple product. More than one subscription increases that difference.

      And that assumes you can even subscribe through Apple. Many subscriptions will not be available through Apple because of the high price required to cover the 30% cut. Of course Apple is pleased to block any subscription that might otherwise compete with an Apple service. So Apple customers remain in the dark and deceived.

      Last time I checked, all consumers prefer to pay the cheaper price for subscriptions. And you will not get that on your iDevice. Unless Apple acts illegally and restricts the price available through other channels. And then they are all too high thanks to Apple.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        @Lewis Mettier

        You appear not to have understood Apple's rules on subscriptions. You're correct that they take 30%. However, they also dictate that subscriptions bought on a separate device or via the browser can be transferrable without Apple taking any cut and that the cheapest price available elsewhere must also be available within the app.

        Summary: if a subscription is available via an iOS app, it will be the same price as everywhere else.

        The required 30% cut and the inability to pass it on to the consumer is why so many companies are up in arms about the current subscription pricing. The only potential consequence for consumers is that third party companies may abandon the platform. That's a valid concern, but the response is sort of obvious: if companies start to depart en masse then Apple can simply change their rules, while they have the vast majority of the market it's unlikely anyone will depart making it currently not an issue in practice.

  2. Jim in NJ
    Jobs Halo


    It's a shock that a subsidized device with a 2-year contract costs less than one that doesn't require a contract? Hard to claim balanced reporting when you slip that one in, El Reg.

    Anyway, Jobs' point is actually 2-fold:

    1) Specs are not king

    2) The other guys don't offer anything at the lower price point that Apple hits by lowering specs

    (Fascinating, by the way, to see Apple competing on price.)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Your last line show's you've noticed

      the first really obvious nail in the coffin of Apple.

      Yes, they've got great UI design and yes, they're up there with great specs on their tablet PCs. But now they've lost that they need to fall back to being cheaper than the other guy. Not extra features- not even rebranding limited versions of >5-year-old features. Just cheaper.

      Apple's also showing their true colours by not announcing new ground-breaking features on the iPad2. I thought they were innovators?! World leaders, with His Jobsness leading us to a shiny new future?

      Nope, nothing. Well, Facetime and HDMI out. But those are features that 1st-generation Netbooks had and that other ARM-based portable devices have had for years. Ah, seems they've run out of existing tech to copy. Damn.

      They're playing catch-up with the hardware and are only competing based on their established brand and cost. And as they've always been sold as innovative and exclusive that's a pretty big sign that their rapid rise to power's flattening off now.

      The thing about Apple is that they've always been seen as "premier" or "alternative" products by those who bought them. "Think Different" was their mantra, and their customers liked to think they did.

      By competing on price you just drive away that exclusivity and alternativity, so you've lost the "pose value". By competing on price you only get people to look at the even cheaper alternatives and at some point very soon the cheaper alternatives will be better specced and better featured.

      By pushing yourself as being all over the place- product placing an iPhone everywhere you can or getting Holby City to use totally-non-hospital-safe iPads, for example- you erode it even more.

      The bigger and more power-mad they get the less they'll be popular with the che guevara t-shirt population (which is, predominantly, the young middle classes- exactly who they want to buy their stuff in future).

      They'll become another gargantuan Microsoft-like corp. Except that MS put a long-term, stock-controlled, managed asset in almost every office in the world (and behind a good few of them), and has produced handsets that (until WinMo 7 at least) competed on fantastic levels of functionality. They have embedded systems, backend systems, mobile and portable systems, games consoles, phones, 25 years of product back-catalogue and a reputation for reliability that's only getting better as the 9x OSes fade into obscurity.

      Apple, on the other hand, has produced a fashion accessory. A very popular fashion accessory, but a fashion accessory nonetheless. They've sold a few desktop Macs as well, but that's about it- and that's mostly driven by sales to people wanting to cash in on i-gadget software development.

      Which is the most stable base? Getting your fronds intertwined with the world's businesses and homes, or having more chrome than the other guy and preying on the lack of technical knowledge of your users- even while you train them to expect more complexity and technical stuff?

      I predict a good few more nails in the coming 48 months. Apple won't go away forever- and indeed we should be glad they didn't last time; they've pushed UI design and smartphone propagation to new heights- but in the next 2 years we'll start to see a decline in them, initially masked by larger sales figures now they're being sold at the likes of Wal Mart, but basically a decline. They'll start churning out units to actually meet launch demand- or maybe just a few thousand short- so they can hold on to people who want the latest gadget (but who'll have much more choice). They'll start cleaning up their act ethically- actually, they've already started that- as what people think of them starts to matter in terms of sales.

      Mark my words. When they start raving about mass piracy on their App Store (in that it's clearly the reason for their declining profits rather than them no longer having the majority of smartphone users (leading to an accelerating downward spiral of fewer developers and less ad revenue so fewer developers)) THEN you know they're on the rocks. I'd also accept "when you can develop iPhone Apps on Windows" or "For Free."

      1. Eponymous Howard

        Bloody hell...

        That is the most long-winded troll ever. More concise next time..

      2. MD Rackham

        Nothing Goes on Forever

        You're not really going out on much of a limb by saying that Apple can't keep growing new markets the way they have with the iPhone and iPad.

        Like it or not they invented the market for smartphones and tablets. They didn't invent the first of those products, just the first ones that were successful enough to actually create a market. And, not surprisingly, everyone else wants a piece of it, so Apple will fact some competition.

        So if your prediction is that Apple growth and rate of innovation will slow, then I'd say you're right. But I think you way overstate the degree to which there is viable competition so far. Xoom etc. are woefully behind in both the UI and the number of apps, as well as the app store infrastructure. And pathetically behind in their marketing. The "but it's cheaper" line (even when not true as shown in this article) only works with a certain set of people, mostly the sort who are proud of owning a Zune instead of an iPod.

        And as this article shows, if you just want a cheap tablet, the iPad wins. Not everyone needs 3G or 64GB.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          say it enough an you belive it to be true

          "Like it or not they invented the market for smartphones and tablets."

          No they did not,

          There was already a massive market for smartphones and tablets were in use where there was need for them.

          All apple did was to come up with a very good UI which opened the market for smartphones to the mass-consumer instead of the tech or business users. iphone has never been the market leader in smartphones and as far as the ipad goees Is it not just a large ipod touch?

          The iphones failure will come about as people discover the drawbacks of sitting in a walled garden. I have just got back from my holidays. I took my htc desire with me and my daughter had her much-loved iphone. I took a photo, which she wanted a copy of to post to her facebook page... I'll send it to you by, you’re not allowed....same thing with a video clip.....unless basic functions like this are addressed by apple then they will only ever produce bling or fashion accessory items with the SMALLEST market share.

          1. Hans 1


            No email on your HTC?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Data on holiday!!

              Unless they had access to free wifi, the cost of data whilst on holiday (if roaming) might be the reason not to use it.

      3. aThingOrTwo

        Oh dear

        Someone missed the iMove and Garageband demos.

      4. SuccessCase

        Bad reasoning

        Re: your last line shows you've noticed.

        You are totally failing to understand the difference between competing on price and having a competitive price. Apple aren't and never will compete on price (not while jobs is in charge at least). They have the highest margins in the business. Worryingly for their competitors that is the case even though for the iPad they also have a competitive price. If you had any understanding of business you would appreciate just how significant that is and that it means the competition are totally blown away. Apple are pretty much controlling the crucial lines of the tablet component supply chain. Their competitors have higher prices and lower margins, the worst place to be.

        1. vandenbudenmayer


          Finally a sensible comment

  3. BingBong

    All marketing is bull

    So? Only idiots believe marketing hype .. but there are millions of idiots out there.

    Personally, I don't trust salespeeps at face value .. I weigh the overall cost verses specs verses usability and then .... then I decide to buy an ipad.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      the required title !!

      ".... then I decide to buy an ipad."

      so, your taking no notice of your own product reserch particularly when it comes to usability... do i need to point out its many flaws... bluetooth is just a starter !

      1. BingBong

        @bluetooth is just a starter!

        Huh? Usability is fantastic, have you actually had real hands-on time with an iPad? Bluetooth also appears to work fine with my keyboard and stereo headset.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      "then I decide to buy an ipad"

      So you do all that work in researching all about it...then just buy it anyway?!

      Quicker to just buy without wasting your time reading up on it, if you've already made your mind up to buy one?

      1. BingBong

        Oh yes I bought an iPad Wifi+3G with 64Gb

        Actually I bought an iPad on the day it was released in the UK ... I had not planned to buy one, just to go and look at one as I was in the Shopping Mall on the day but after an hour of using one in an Apple store (just hands-on no interference from Apple staff).

        I have been buying gadgets / portable computing devices for over 20 years and have been through Palms (III, IIIc, Abacus), Psions (3a, 7, MC400), Tandys (Pocket PCs, Model 100), 1 x WinCE, (bought as a handheld GPS but with 'full' wincing functions - shudder), 3 x Netbooks (2 now running as embedded systems with the other 1 complete with built-in 3G modem as neat mobile Ubuntu lappy), iPod Touch/iPhone and even a gloriously wonderful Sinclair Z88 (upon which I typed up my Computing PhD) [All of which I still own and use on different occasions] ... for this long I have been wanting "ubiquitous computing" to come to the fore and have been after an always-on, multi-touch, intuitive GUI, portable device with full-time connection to the Internet (online since '89) ... I hate to say it here (expecting the downvotes) but the iPad is the best device that I have seen/used that comes closest to my own personal mobile computing Nirvana.

        Is it the /perfect/ mobile computing device? well .. not quite there yet but a massive step in the right direction and damn close .. for me it needs to fold in half in a seemless manner [no join] and have a retina-level display .. the iPad2 cameras are a great idea (quick snaps, facetime, barcode scanning [really useful]) ... Over the last 8 months I have found that large on-board memory actually is not a big requirement for me as I have 9Tb of ZFS'ed home server disk space and streaming is excellent (and surprisingly good even over 3G with variable bit-rate HTTP streaming) ... although an increasing amount of onboard space is being used for PDFs (it makes a great technical library ereader).

        I will drop in to the Apple store on the 25th to look at the iPad 2 .. although I currently don't see a need to upgrade but a hands-on might prove decisive 8-). I suspect that the iPad 3 (coming sometime between Sept'11 and Mar'12) will have a level of functionality/usability/design that is different enough to make the jump a simple upgrade decision.

        So yes .. I have done over 20 years of research and the latest purchase was an iPad as it meets my needs, is a great upgrade to a smart phone. I suspect some people may have failed to see the smiley 8-)

        - BingBong AvonCalling

        PS: Expect an update from Lewis as BBC (from AFP) are just reporting "extremely high" radiation coming out of Reactor 4 because its lost its cooling water and Reactor 3 radiation is stopping staff getting to R4 .. so the saga continues and Japan is not out of the woods yet and there is still potential for a bigger disaster than the natural ones.

        1. BingBong

          Oh I C

          I did forget the smiley in the first post !! LOL GR8 ;-{

  4. Justin Clements

    Only reality distortion is the from the author

    It's really simple, Jobs is making a speech at his sales function for Apple. He's not making comment on the industry. This isn't an industry speech.

    So how many salesmen push the truth? More than a few I imagine. So why are we expecting Apple's lead salesman to be any different at one of their own events?

    1. JaitcH
      Jobs Horns

      Re: Only reality distortion ...

      So what you are saying that the CEO of a large company is as big a liar as a second hand car salesman? CEO's have fiduciary duties and this doesn't include lying.

      If you look a number of his speeches, whether they are to his lovers or industry the standard is required to be the same, he distorts and lies about so many things that he becomes just one big yawn.

      He's got a problem or two with product and he is just trying to patch up his ego and reputation of his products. I know al the iPhans will trot all that garbage put out by Apple PR but the fact is they are ripping their supporters big time.

      1. Ilgaz


        SJobs isn't a second hand car salesman. His father is ;)

      2. Tempest

        The Apple warranty is bad, too

        Whether or not you get warranty service seems to depend on so many unknown variables that it isn't really a warranty.

        Better have a good lawyer.

        1. Gulfie

          Have you made an Apple warranty claim?

          I've made two warranty claims on Apple. The first was for a battery that 'popped' (cell rupture) and they supplied a new battery without argument. The second was for a replacement DVD drive that stopped writing DVDs. On both occasions the genius bar person remarked that the machine had been opened (I upgraded the hard drive) but as there was nothing to indicate this was a contributory factor, they would honour the warranty.

          If you have a bad story to tell, then tell it. Otherwise it's just opinion and hearsay.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            Yes, I have tried to make a warranty claim on my G5 imac, the fan slowly, over time, started making more and more noise, until it was louder than the speakers. They didn't want to know, despite me having forked out for applecare.

            Oh, the combo drive has also stopped writing DVDs...

            1. BingBong

              @AC 13:14 - noisy imac G5

              The G5 processors run hot and so need a good air flow over them. This sounds like you have a dust build up on the bottom air intakes ... take the back off and vacuum it all out and you will see a huge drop in temperature and fan speed ("iStat Menus" is your friend get it for free from ).

          2. BingBong

            Yes I've made 4 Apple 'warranty' claims that I can remember (all in UK) ..

            The first Mac I bought was a secondhand G3 iMac on eBay which was 10 months old .. it arrived with a dodgy HV CRT video board fault and so I took it to the local Apple dealer who said they needed original purchase invoice to have it covered under Applecare .. the old owner did not have it but remembered where they bought it from and I contacted this other Apple dealer who gave me the original purchase details and these were accepted by my local Apple dealer and Apple and after 10 years it is still in working order and running OS X 10.3.

            A new iMac G5 that turned up with a line of stuck pixels down the LCD [dodgy video card or LCD] .. Apple sent a new one immediately without requiring a return to happen beforehand. The new and old ones were swapped through UPS [worlds finest couriers in my experience!] .. Apple have a DOA return policy for the first 14/28 days I believe. 6 years on and the wife still uses it as her design workstation with just a single disk drive replacement (before it completely failed).

            In-ear headphones broke after a few months of use .. Apple sent replacement ones (via UPS) and picked up the old ones (via UPS) no questions asked.

            Bought a G3 iBook discounted at the local dealer .. after 3 years of use it developed a video fault .. screen would freeze ... checked online and it was due to a motherboard bending issue and Apple had issued a free repair program for up to 5 years after purchase .. got it repaired for free and 8 years after purchase it still gets used occasionally as its still a neat 12" laptop.

            CD/DVD writers just fail regardless of manufacturer .. I've found dual-layer DVD burning to be the first to go and then its downhill ... still a Samsung DVD-DL burner is only £12 to replace these days.

            So in 10 years of buying Apple kit .. I've had nothing but excellent customer service from them .. sorry if this does not fit in with people's own opinions but these are my actual experiences and I would be the first to moan about bad service or crap kit.

  5. Volker Hett

    Works Botha ways

    Still waiting for The significantly netter and cheaper offering. With the Xoom you can use flas when it's ready, 4g after an upgrade and the microSD card when google is ready.

    I'm in the lucky position to use my Android mobile as a WiFi hotspot, so no need to shell out money for another contract and hardware.

    Let's wait another few month for an Android Tablet to match an iPad.

    1. Volker Hett

      even with swype

      typing on a droid isn't easy :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re Works Botha Ways

      You're going to be waiting a lot longer than just another few months before you get an Android device to match the iPad and by then Apple will have moved on again. Which ever way you dice dice it, fanboy or not, Apple's got a hell of a head start...

  6. messele


    If you'd LISTENED to him he was not talking spec-for-spec he was talking about the price for entry into the market - in other words for the mentally-challenged, what the minimum cost of buying that piece of equipment is.

    Even Motorola seem to admit they messed up so anybody calling Jobs a bullshitter is also calling them bullshitters.

    Forget your specs, that is not how these marketplaces is work. That is why other tablet makers are failing, they are pitching a list of specs to people who just do not care...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. slhilly


        He didn't miss the point. You did. Jobs was saying that no-one has been able to produce the experience of an iPad for a competitive price. Motorola produced something in the same ballpark, but could only start their pricing at the high-end of the iPad line. I guess we'll never know, but I presume that Motorola found that they couldn't produce a 16gig wifi only xoom at say $400, and so plumped for higher specs and higher prices instead. Others have produced things that are cheaper but do not replicate the quality of the iPad experience closely enough.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "But this is a viable strategy for him - define what the "market" is for a product by ignoring the growing diversity will make your potential and (especially) existing customers less likely to consider the alternatives, simply for the fact that they will not regard them as such."

        Sadly, MBA programs teach this is standard for marketing classes. The "market" is whatever you define it as. You could say "the market in which Apple's iPad competes is defined as people who have purchased an iPad" and then claim that they have 100% of the market.

        That's why marketing is the helmet-child of the business world. Mouth breathers fall for marketing scams. Therefore Apple users are mouth breathers.

  7. Robert Synnott

    Apples to Apples

    "For $799, Motorola provides a Xoom with both Wi-Fi and 3G, and includes 32GB of storage space. A comparably equipped iPad goes for $729."

    The problem is, though, that, certainly for the original iPad, the biggest seller was the $499 16GB wifi model, and this should be expected to become even more the case, due to increasingly common wifi tethering on phones, and the media streaming stuff built into iOS 4.3 (streaming media was always available, of course, but previously via third-party apps that the average consumer mightn't be aware of). Motorola doesn't have anything at that price point.

    "If you sign up with Verizon for that Xoom with a two-year contract, you'll pay $599. For a comparably equipped iPad from Verizon, you'll pay the full $729. From AT&T, it's currently $629, and that's for the now-discounted original model"

    That's without a contract, though, no? Orange in the UK will sell you a 32GB 3G iPad for 149 pounds, but you'll be tied into a 2 year contract at 27 pounds a month. I don't think that the US carriers currently offer the iPad on contract, but it's unreasonable to compare a month-to-month or pre-paid plan with unsubsidized device to a two year contract with subsidised device.

    "Should you want more storage space in your iPad than 32GB, you'd have to move up to the $829 64GB model – a $100 premium. Should you want to upgrade your Xoom's storage space, on the other hand, you could simply slip a 32GB card into its microSD slot – and that 32GB would set you back about $65"

    Not currently, you can't. At this time, the microSD slot in the Xoom cannot be used; this will be amended with a software update at an unspecified point in the future. By the way, the obvious reason one might want lots of storage on a tablet is for playback of high-def media; the $65 microSD you're talking about is almost certainly a Class 2, which means that it has 2MB/sec write speed and an unspecified but generally low read speed, and which might struggle with HD media. For a class 8 or 10 32GB microSD, you're looking at more like $100, rising to $150 or $200 for a big brandname like SanDisk.

    "We'll leave it to you, Reg reader, to divine Jobs' intent, but when comparing pricing, we advise that it's always best to compare, shall we say, apples to apples."

    Indeed. So perhaps best not compare subsidised price to unsubsidised price, then.

    1. Lewis Mettler

      don't forget the cost of subscriptions

      And do not forget the cost of subscriptions.

      Apple insists you pay a higher price for media subscriptions. Or, they will be excluded.

      Currently, music subscriptions are excluded due to Apple's abusive policy.

      Apple insists upon a 30% cut. Android only 10%. You figure it out.

      And if Apple gets there 30% EVERYONE has to pay the higher price even if they do not buy an iDevice.

      Tell your fiends to stay away from Apple products.

  8. AF

    Seems like Brett Arends is the one distorting reality

    To quote Brett: Not so fast.

    32Gb Xoom: $799

    32Gb iPad: $729

    64Gb Xoom: $864

    64Gb iPad: $829

    So far, so good - Brett admits the iPad 2 is cheaper.

    But then he starts on about how you get a $200 discount on the Xoom if you sign a 2-year contract. This may well be true, but he fails to point out that means YOU'VE SIGNED A 2-YEAR CONTRACT!!!

    There's no contract with the iPad. At least, not when bought from Apple. I'm sure some carriers will offer you a subsidy to lock you in, but Brett hasn't mentioned that, so we can only go on the figures he's working from. And I note Brett doesn't list the total cost of said 2-year contract - I'm guessing it's more than $200, though...

    So, after all that, all Brett has done is point out that yes, El Jobso was perfectly correct, and the iPad 2 is indeed cheaper than the Xoom across the board (since there is no 16Gb Xoom).

    Perhaps Brett should spend more time comparing the prices of pocket calculators before posting another article like this one?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. daiakuma

      If price is what matters...

      So the iPad 2 is cheaper than the most expensive Android tablet currently on the market? That's nice.

      If price is really my priority, there are several decent Android tablets available for under $300 (with no contract), and more that are under $400.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Idiots like you are missing the point.

      The contract may or may not cost more than the $200 difference, but that does not matter because YOU GET THE 3G SERVICE.

      So the pricing really is:

      32Gb Xoom: $599 ($799 - $200 = $599) + cost of 3G contract

      32Gb iPad: $729 + cost of 3G contract

      The same Verizon data contract will cost the same for all Verizon users. Therefore the cost of whatever contract comes with the subsidy would also be applied to the iPad, except you don't get the subsidy.

      But let me guess, you bought a 3G one without a contract because you care about the fashion statement Apple makes and you wasted money on the "better" model with 3G, not even knowing what it is. But it costs more and has more Jobbie shineys, so it must be worth it.

  9. darkdog

    on a trolling mood, are we?

    "If you sign up with Verizon for that Xoom with a two-year contract, you'll pay $599. For a comparably equipped iPad from Verizon, you'll pay the full $729."

    if you want to compare apples to apples, why don't you mention that the ipad from verizon is a month-by-month plan? and according to what i read on xoom reviews the SD card slot isn't even working yet. anyway, if you do the math, a xoom + 32GB SD card is still more expensive than the 64GB 3G + wifi ipad. it might not be much on a difference, but the ipad does end up cheaper.. apple's always been bashed (often deservedly so) for the price of their products, but why do you still bash them when they're actually cheaper than the competition? is that some sort of denial?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      "if you want to compare apples to apples, why don't you mention that the ipad from verizon is a month-by-month plan?"

      Based on the mathematical rules of cost for business, a plan that doesn't lock in will always end up costing more per unit (time, data, whatever) than a lock in plan. So for the 2 year Xoom plan, the cost per month will be less than the cost per month of a month by month plan for the iPad.

      This means the Xoom is STILL cheaper, and STILL has a subsidy when the iPad does not.

      Besides, why would you need a month by month plan? Surely your iCrap won't be out of use within 2 years? Since the plan would be transferable between the iPad 1, 2, presumably 3 before Christmas and 4 by Christmas next year.

      Unless you're saying anyone who buys an iCrap will have shelved it within 2 years...

  10. Michael C

    Trolls don;t wanna give up

    We used to hear "Apple costs twice as much." Then it was "they're more expensive." Now the MSRP is actually less, so they feel it's necessary to point out that if you sell your soul to a carrier, on a 3G equipped model you might not even need, and pay a monthly rate for 2 years, you MIGHT make out cheaper, vs an iPad on the same plan that you actually pay a month-by-month rate for all 2 years as well.

    Guess what, I can get an iPad for a discount too... MSRP is not the only price in town.

  11. Grumble

    What if

    Jobs is factoring in the 30% cut he gets from Ipad apps into his overall pricing strategy.

    1. Volker Hett

      Google takes one 32%

      which Motorola can't factor in.

      So yes, Apple sucks!

    2. Lewis Mettler

      the 30% cut

      If Apple gets the 30% cut EVERY CONSUMER must pay a higher price for that subscription. Apple illegally requires that to be the case or they are excluded from Apple.

      Apple is the worse thing that has happened to consumers in some time.

      Microsoft still forces you to buy a commingled IE with your OS. And that is illegal too. But, Apple is trying to cause subscriptions rates to go up so it can skim off its 30% (or illegally block competing services from Apple users).

  12. Robert Synnott

    RE: What if

    "Jobs is factoring in the 30% cut he gets from Ipad apps into his overall pricing strategy."

    Oh, I'm sure Apple is doing so. However, at the iPad 2 event, they mentioned that they've paid out 2 billion to developers thus far, which more or less matches up with recent reports on phone app store sales (where total sales on the Apple app store were $1.7 billion last year). That makes their cut of app store revenue $855 million. Apple has sold 17 million iPads and 73 million iPhones as of the end of 2010, and about 45 million iPod Touches, so 135 million app store-using devices. So for every device they make $6 on the app store. Obviously, this may be increasing over time, and it's likely that the iPad's cut is more than the iPod Touch's per device, but it really isn't enough to make up the price differences.

  13. Chris 171
    Jobs Horns

    Down with this sort of thing!

    That is all.

    Well, apart from to add that apple is all about incredibly good marketing* & thats the only 'props' I will ever concede their way.

    *read brainwashing obv'

    #cognitivelyandphysicallylockedintighterthanacapybarasass #nothanks

  14. Mike Kamermans
    Thumb Down

    Of course, in the end...

    It's still more than $800. Any argument is irrelevant - if you have that much cash to spend on a tablet, what difference does it make that there are cheaper alternatives. you've got money to spare anyway.

    1. Eponymous Howard


      ....if I'm spending that sort of money I tend to get *more* picky, not less (I have no use-case for a tablet, but I would look carefully give the wedge involved).

  15. edge_e

    Look at all the bite marks

    Rik, I hope this was written because you were bored and you wanted to watch the waters froth.

  16. Flash Gordon

    It all smoke a mirrors

    There is no way to compare the price of the two products without a WiFi only version of Xoom. Microsoft has paid Nokia to install Windows Mobile on Nokia phones. Is Google paying Motorola? Does Google give Motorola access to apps store revenues? No one knows. To do a true comparison on price alone there needs to be a WiFi only version of Xoom. When you add data plan contracts into the mix it makes it even more complicated to figure out which has the better price (I suspect they are about even).

    I would rather have a mobile hotspot data plan so I can use my laptop, iPad and Xoom at the same time and pay just one bill.

    I also suspect in the end this battle is going to come down to app store and right now Apple has the upper hand. Google openness is a compelling argument on why to developers should make apps for Android. But a more compelling argument is market share.

  17. Wpgwill


    I would never have an interest in a subsidized tablet. I like the fact when I want data, its very simple to turn it on. When I don't want it, its very easy to turn off.

    How many other tablets allow you to manage your data account right on the tablet like an iPad? When I go into the US I have an AT&T sim I can easily activate a data plan, and terminate it when I leave. Locking a tablet to one carrier would make it useless IMO, so comparing to subsidized pricing is a load of..

  18. David Shaw
    Jobs Halo

    I was so happy the iPad2 was released, price was irrelevant

    as I immediately bought an iPad One - 32GB WiFi model which was retailing for €599, I chose the white boxed RFB Model bringing it to a decent €419 (around £361/$583) It's an entertaining beast, in my opinion well worth buying with the 180 euro discount! I probably will buy the RFB iPhondleslab Two the week that numero trois is available!!

    I do my technologically neutral tethering from my Android HTC Google Nexus One running OTA 2.3.3 Googlebread with dark small icons, that seems to work as well. The kids have snappily mastered all of this tech!

  19. roz

    Mmmm no

    The point is that a lower entry point means that more people can buy the product.

    My iPad cost $499 and I am totally happy with it. The fact that Apple offers a product at that price point is significant. So when Jobs say most of his price points are under the Xoom price point - he has a point.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The same jackass

    Brett Arends is the same jackass who in 2007 said the iPhone's real cost was $17,670, that Apple's stock price was overpriced early last year and by xmas was saying the iPad was a bad purchase because competition was just around the corner and many other foolishness. He's just that hard to find person who is wrong in everything he writes.


    He is however quite the attention whore, be it good or bad and gets off hitting on Apple for no rational reason. Only depressing that El Reg choose to pay him any notice.

    Paris, cause even she gets some things right.

  21. Pet Peeve


    I call bullshit on calling bullshit. Grandstanding much?

  22. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    IPad2 is

    Apple doesn't compete on price. They've put on this show of claiming they are price-competitive for YEARS, using two techniques.

    The first technique is to claiming the Apple is "comparable" to some other machine that has higher specs. In this case, the Xoom supports LTE (a 4G technology) while the IPad2 is just a 3G tablet. (Verizon's LTE rollout peaks at 60mbps, with loads of people saying they consistently get 15-30mbps with the speedtests to back that up, and a few 40-50mbps tests posted). Since LTE is brand new, that alone is enough to make the Xoom as expensive as it is at this point.

    The second thing Jobs is doing (which he's also done again and again) is to completely ignore the numerous lower-end tablets that are practically flooding the market. The lowest-cost tablets are currently $99 (actually, I just saw one for *$79*). Those very low cost ones are pretty bad, but there's one for $169 that has Android 2.2, marketplace, GPS, wifi, and so on, with good reviews. There's loads of them between that and the $600+ of the IPad and Xoom. In this tactic, Apple + fanbois on the one hand say "if you want to save money, get the lowest-spec Apple product" while on the other hand dismissing any non-Apple by comparing it to the mid-range or high-end Apple.

    1. Daniel Palmer
      Thumb Up


      Don't go mentioning that the Xoom actually has more hardware.. don't you realise Apple invented <Everything you can imagine>? Front facing cameras, 3G etc.. these are all revolutionary ideas Jobs thought up on the toilet.. Also don't you know that Android is fragmented and apps need to be rewritten for every different device?[0]

      Apple is a software vendor that sells hardware dongles designed by others i.e. Samsung and Intel and Steve Jobs has barely any idea what he's selling software or hardware.

      [0] If you've ever written an decent sized Android app you will know that screen sizes are a pain in the arse, but it's not impossible to write an app that works everywhere and the market filters apps that the developer has decided not to support on your device. It's also very possible to support all the older versions of Android if you try... Different framework skin/launcher != ABI incompatibility.

      1. SuccessCase
        Paris Hilton

        Yes it has a lot more hardware

        Of the fat waistline variety.

        Paris because she's slim and not a porker.

  23. Brett Weaver

    Just my thoughts

    I don't have a tablet but the tablet I will buy will have:

    1.. The best resolution

    2.. Oh, hang on, 1 just disqualified everyone else!

    Why isn't Xoom half Apples price? It should sit way under Apples pricing umbrella as it is less sophisticated in terms of design and usability and it is the pretender to the throne.

    To compare Apple with anything else, for a start it has to have an equivalent display. Thats pretty much what a tablet is.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I have no problems whatsoever with Apple's pricing.... because I don't buy any of their products. I've got a built in automatic-rip-off-alarm that keeps me away from any Apple product. Unfortunately that's not an addon that can be bought separately, so we can't buy a bunch of them and install them on every public servant.

    1. Dan Wilkinson

      Seems you know...

      The price of everything, and the value of, well let's be generous, less things...

      Cheaper isn't always better. Expensive isn't always ripping you off.

      So when it comes to price, we can see the Xoom is expensive. Hopefully that means it's value is worth the expense. And to that effect, we have a tablet has 3 of it marquee features hobbled straight from the box. Flash will come later. Apparently. You don't know if it will perform anything other than adequately, which is the expectation given the spec of the Xoom. Also, you don't know how much battery pain it will inflict, and you are already starting from a losing position on that front. LTE will come later. Assuming there is any coverage near you to make it worthwhile, and you are happy to give away your kit for 8-10 days (Depending on if you ditch it on a Monday or a Friday). Oh, and SD cards will come, wait for it, later. And you may or may not be able to actually use them properly for storing apps and such, depending on what Google do to the OS....later. Still, at 50Mb lac download size from the Marketplace there are simply not enough tablet apps to fill your internal memory even if you downloaded them ALL. So perhaps that's a moot point?

      And to top it off, exactly what will the OS upgrade cycle be? Will you get any updates? Past history says that although Motorola have been less dick-like than many others, it's simply not the same as on iOS.

      I say if you want to compare value, take the above into consideration, and come back when all your "coming soons" have actually arrived, and then compare that to the iPad2 with iOS 5. Be interesting to see which comes first at that.

      1. relpy

        Ah Yes, iOS Updates

        Lots of very happy 3G owners out there aren't there?

        It's only 18 months old, it cost £400, and we're going to "upgrade" the OS to make it sh*t.

        The main reason I'll not be buying from them again.

        1. Robert Synnott

          RE: Ah Yes, iOS Updates

          Well, it was 24 months old when they made the update. But yes, they made a serious mistake there; likely rushing to get an update of any sort out. They finally fixed it with 4.2, which is somewhat faster than 3.1.2, and much faster than the hideously slow 4.0, but it was a bit of a disaster. If they're going to keep updating devices for ~2.5 years, then they need to make sure the updates actually work; otherwise it's worse than useless.

          1. Dan Wilkinson

            Apple V Oranges again

            Comparing the lack of updates on one platform, with the free availability of an update on another platform which happened to be slow until it was patched. Not the same.

            I had a 3G for 14 months before OS4 came out. It was slow for a while (I had to turn spotlight searches off) but was fixed relatively soon. I still use it now, it's better than it was when I bought it, and all the updates have been free of cost/crapware/pointless carrier delays

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Incontrovertible points

    "And he makes some rather incontrovertible points:"

    It appears El Reg, they most certainly are controvertible!

  26. Wang N Staines

    No way

    iPad & Xoom are expensive!!!!! No thanks.

  27. Scott Mckenzie

    I love my Apple products

    As they all work perfectly for me and what I ask of them.

    I've always sold on the old products when i've upgraded and got great money back on them, i'd dearly love to see how much a Xoom (or to be far a Galaxy Tab or whatever else) is worth in 2 years and then compare that to an iPad also.

    The rivals can't even compete on price, let alone quality.... look at the sales volumes thus far.

    Kinda open and shut for Apple really... but the haters will still wander out and talk about how overpriced and shit it is and what a wanker Steve Jobs is etc etc but nothing will ever change there. Stick with what works for you, be it Linux, Android or Windows - but have some humble pie occasionally and realise that actually Apple products ARE good and AREN'T overpriced... just cos they don't suit you and your application is a different issue.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Who is bending reality?

    "For $799, Motorola provides a Xoom with both Wi-Fi and 3G, and includes 32GB of storage space. A comparably equipped iPad goes for $729."

    Isn't 799$ > 729$ ?

    "Should you want to upgrade your Xoom's storage space, on the other hand, you could simply slip a 32GB card into its microSD slot – and that 32GB would set you back about $65."

    The one SD slot which does not work yet? And even if it did, 799$+65$ = 864$, still > than the iPad's 829$... Or is it the delta between the 32GB and the 64GB version that matters? I'm selling a 32GB fooPad for 7000$, and for $0.01 more, you can get the 64GB version, so my tablet is less expensive than both the iPad and the Xoom, right?

    Or perhaps I did not get it and the iPad prices are given in hexadecimal?

  29. misterPaul
    Jobs Horns

    iRip england off

    I'm sure the iPad 2 is cheaper than the Xoom in the US.. but over here? They're exactly the same price, because of Apple's insistence that £1 is actually the same as $1.

    Thank god for a competitive market that includes other more reasonable companies. Apple, you can go swivel.

    1. Tim Miller


      You've evidently done a lot of research into the US and UK prices for Apple products. So tell me - which of their products does the £1 = $1 'rule' apply to?

      You can answer with and without VAT and sals tax if you like.

      1. Dan Wilkinson

        I can do that for you

        Apple TV. $99 and £99. Of course, the US price doesn;t include sales tax, but that is often (New Hampshire for one, I believe) as low as 2.5%. And funnily, since the £99 which already includes VAT recently went up 2.5%, it's actually less than 1:1.

        Apple's pricing can be weird. Case in point a few other things that are $99 in the States, like Developer membership programs. £59 over here.

      2. misterPaul

        Re: Prices

        Ok i'll bite. iPad 2 will assume the pricing model of the iPad 1 before it was discounted, meaning £499 for the 32gb wifi only model. The Xoom is £499 for the 32gb wifi only model. They are the same price over here, thanks to Apples distorted pricing model. Samsung, on the other hand, are adjusting much closer to the currency conversion.

        You can answer with or without nitpicking on the conversion not being exactly £1 to $1. Just be sure to completely ignore the fact that the Xoom and iPad 2 are the same price in the UK, but not the US.

        1. KroSha

          At this time, it's slightly too much

          iPad2 16GB WiFi only = $499 (This is of course without local US Sales Tax)

          At today's rate $499 = £307.77

          Add UK VAT @ 20% gives £369.32

          This is £60 less than the RRP, assuming they stick at £429. I'm pretty sure it doesn't cost that much to ship and import it in to the UK.

    2. Dan Wilkinson

      Xoom Price != iPad price in UK

      And with regards to the first post re pricing, they aren't the same price, the Zoom was £20 more for the base model although all reference to pricing has now been removed, so it could be bollox at that. We'll see when you can actually buy one I suppose.

      1. misterPaul
        Thumb Down

        Xoom Price == iPad price in UK

        iPad 1 prices were reduced by £100, iPad 2 prices will be at original iPad price points

        iPad 32gb with no wifi is currently £399 after reduction

        Therefore iPad 2 32gb will be £499

        Xoom is £499

        You can also preorder the Xoom for £450 with this code, though we'll ignore that offer

        1. Dan Wilkinson

          More apples, and more tasty oranges.

          Pricing back up then, for a while they had a 16Gb one priced at £450, which would be £20 more than the equivalent iPad, seems they aren;t bothering with it now tho, which doesn't make sense to me because now (spec aside, obviously) the cheapest Xoom is £70 more, which makes it sound more expensive than it might otherwise seem.

          As for prices being the same here but different over there, consider that there is no LTE (or 3G) gubbins in the UK version, and no expensive recall program built into the price which is sure to drop once the shipping units get all the gear as standard in...later anyway..

          So again, we are comparing wifi apples with LTE oranges. All rather pointless.

          1. misterPaul

            More apples, and more tasty oranges

            All models I compared are wifi only.. no 3g, no LTE

  30. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Subsidised pricing

    The pricing on contract is nothing to do with Apple. The network sets the price.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    WiFi iPad1 looks good value in PC World

    Forgetting the iPad2 for the moment, an 16Gb WiFi iPad1 is £330 in PC World. Even as an Apple hater that looks like good value to me at the moment. It would tempt me away from a Netbook.

    Which Android tablets of similar spec are available at that price?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apples to apples

    How would one do an appples to apples comparison of two products with such _vastly_ different hardware specs?

    (I don't expect an answer)

  33. Mark .

    "Apple invented the smartphone market" myth

    "Like it or not they invented the market for smartphones and tablets. "

    No, smartphones existed years before Apple entered it late. And other companies (Nokia, RIM) did and still do outsell Apple. So it *can't* be true they created the market - because there exist other companies that did more to create that market.

    (The original Iphone wasn't a smartphone anyway - can you give me a definition that doesn't also include feature phones?)

    As for tablets, they weren't the first, and they're now just one among many.

    "And, not surprisingly, everyone else wants a piece of it, so Apple will fact some competition."

    You've got that backwards. Companies like Nokia created the market, and not surprisingly, companies like Apple wanted a piece of it.

    "behind in both the UI and the number of apps"

    Citation for number of apps? Windows on my netbook has far more apps. And give me an example of a UI feature that is better in IOS? Every Apple UI I've used is awful; and that's before we consider things like lacking basic UI features like copy/paste.

    To the other anonymous coward:

    "All apple did was to come up with a very good UI which opened the market for smartphones to the mass-consumer instead of the tech or business users. "

    Actually, even this is being too kind to Apple - when Nokia are outselling Apple two-to-one on smartphones, this can't all be to business or tech users. On the contrary - in my experience it's only been geeks where the Iphones have been primarily liked. As you say, they've never been the market leader, so it *can't* be true that they are number one for the mass-consumer market.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Reality bending

    Yes, it's pretty much a neck & neck as to who is the largest reality bender:

    (a) Muammar Gaddafi

    (b) Steve Jobs

    (c) Charlie Sheen

  35. Grubby

    I'm actually an analyst

    After hours of work gathering facts and putting them into nice tables and graphs I have come to the conclusion, they're both shit.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is it worth? advise please

    My uncle and my aunt bought a DEGEE 10.2" Intel Atom D425 Mini Laptop for their son back in 5/2010 who was away in Africa when he returned. He died while in Africa. They have this laptop and its been suggested since they will never use it then to sell it. they have no idea what to ask for a selling price. They paid a little over a $1000 for it back then knowing full well they will never get anything close to that now. As a retired couple on a fixed income any fair amount to sell it for is what they need. They have no idea what to ask for it.

    Thank you for your time.

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