In a report today about how Microsoft could still win in the tablet market, Citi analyst Walter Pritchard tells a funny story:
Anecdotally, we purchased both an iPad 2 and Xoom recently and spent the last four weeks using the device[s] at home. The iPad has lived up to all the hype with the wife and kids nearly fighting over who gets to play with the device. In this short time, the Xoom acquired the name “Dad’s iPad” and sat mostly idle. Our experience suggests it is mostly clunky software and lack of quality control in applications from the Android app store has turned users in our household off. The Xoom was boxed up and sent back to Amazon earlier this week.
He’s not alone: I had the same experience with an iPad 2 I got to test a few weeks ago and the Android-powered Galaxy Tab Google gave away at I/O earlier this month.
The iPad 2 just worked. It was a huge hit for watching videos and listening to music, and the family now wants to buy one.
The Tab — which my preschool-age daughter calls “that iPad thing” — is a beautiful piece of hardware, but suffers from weird fit and finish issues: sometimes it locks in “off” mode, it can’t always figure out whether to display in landscape vs. portrait mode, and the (gorgeous looking) YouTube app suffers from stutters in video playback that we haven’t seen on other devices on our home network. Overall, it just feels unfinished.
As a result, it usually sits lonely in the corner — my wife would rather surf the Web and do email from our MacBook, and my daughter hasn’t asked to look at it once since our initial experience with YouTube.
These are only anecdotes, but they match what most reviewers are saying as well.