Brian Chen at Wired.com writes about the key overlooked strength of the iPad, its low price.
It’s most likely that Apple can afford to absorb the costs of producing and selling the iPad because of the tenacious ecosystem backing it, and also because it has such tight oversight over every aspect of the company to control price.
That’s what it all boils down to: ecosystems and control. Competitors are struggling to match the $500 price point because they aren’t as fully integrated as Apple, in terms of retail strategy, a digital content market, hardware and software engineering — everything.
As Steve Jobs famously put it one day, “Apple is the last company in our industry that creates the whole widget.” Competitors are having trouble beating the iPad widget.
-Wired.com, Feb. 18, 2011