With more than 65,000 iPad-specific apps, beefed up performance in the second-gen edition, and accessories to accommodate any situation, Apple has transformed the iPad in one year from a compelling though niche-friendly tech gadget to a full-blown replacement for a laptop.
Only one question remains: which one should you get? You now have a choice of 18 models, counting both first and second gen devices. Here are a few factors to consider:
If funds are short, you can pick up a first gen iPad refurbished from Apple for much less than the original price. Otherwise, new first gen iPads cost $100 less than the iPad 2. iPad 2 is lighter, faster and thinner, and also offers two cameras, one in the front, and one in the back. Costs are outlined in the following charts:
iPads offer storage capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. If you are a content creator (e.g., photographer, videographer, recording artist, etc.), or you like to keep a lot of TV shows and movies saved on your device, then you should opt for the 64GB version.
However, if you stream most of your entertainment from Netflix, MLB, Vimeo or YouTube, and you don’t mind managing your iPad’s content a bit more frequently from within iTunes, then the 16GB or 32GB will serve you well.
Every iPad can connect to the internet via wi-fi. However, if you want to have internet access anywhere, anytime, then you’ll pay a $130 premium to gain the ability to connect via 3G, which is an always-on, cellular data connection to the Internet offered by AT&T or Verizon. To activate 3G, you’ll still have to sign up for a data plan with AT&T or Verizon, but you don’t need to sign a long contract – you can place an order for a month at a time and can cancel anytime.
While first gen iPads are available now, iPad 2 becomes available to order online at 4 a.m. Eastern on March 11. To pick one up in person at a retail store, you’ll have to wait until 5 p.m. Eastern on March 11.
I took a call from a journalist at the Florida Times-Union today, and he asked: Can you really make money by creating and selling an app, given development costs and the 300,000 apps already in the Apple App Store?
The short answer is yes. Now for the long answer.
It’s time-consuming and may be difficult if you’re unfamiliar with the software business, but it’s certainly not impossible. Here’s my advice:
For individuals with an amazing app idea, I encourage you to market-test the idea. Go beyond friends and family and survey your potential buyers. Has someone else developed a similar app already? What are the reviewers saying about your competitors? What can you do better? Is it even possible to do what you want to do? iPhones and iPads are awesome devices and seem like they can do anything, but they run with a limited amount of memory and storage, and some areas of development are off-limits or constrained by Apple’s guidelines.
For businesses, adding an app to your marketing arsenal makes a lot of sense – as long as your customers are in that space. Being able to interact with your clients on their terms will gain you brand loyalty and repeat business.
Ultimately, you want to treat the project like your own business. Research the idea, contact different vendors and solicit proposals, choose the best firm, and develop your marketing and customer service plan in the early stages of development. How much should you price your product? Should you offer a lite version for free, supported by iAds? What will you do for promotions? How often should you upgrade? How will you handle tech support?
Even with the best plans, sometimes you need a little luck. As far as apps go, your “luck” is catching the attention of Apple and having your app featured on the home page of the App Store. If your app gets that attention, then congratulations: you’ve won the app lottery. 1 in 300,000 vs Powerball odds? With an app, your odds are better.
Of course, The Red Building Group can help improve your chances of success. With two successful apps in the App Store and our first video game currently under development, The Red Building Group has the app expertise to help you develop and market your app concept. Contact us and we’ll be happy to offer you a free consultation and proposal.
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