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Electronista reports that analysis provider IHS has done a comparative breakdown of eight tablet models, including Apple's iPad, and the conclusion is clearly in Cupertino's court. Because Apple controls both the software and the hardware of the iPad, competitive tablet manufacturers using operating systems from other companies just can't match the design efficiency.
Apparently, when you design and engineer a product from the bottom up, you make a better product. Who knew.
According to Wayne Lam, a senior analyst at IHS, "Since Apple controls both the operating system and hardware design of the iPad, it is able to attain design efficiencies that other tablet manufacturers cannot."
Many competitive tablet makers use operating systems from third party firms, like Google's Android OS, and outsource the blueprints of their products to third parties. This model contrasts starkly with Apple, which uses its own operating system and maintains tight control of its designs, components and contract manufacturers. This control leads to more efficent design, which "become obvious in areas like the memory and the battery, where Apple maintains advantages in cost, space savings and performance compared with every competitor in the business," according to Lam.
Apple's in-house design, ownership of both OS and hardware, and more efficient use of RAM are the primary reasons for the competitive edge, according to the analysis. For example, the custom designed battery of the iPad allowed Apple to shape the iPad for the best possible form, instead of allowing a standard battery to force the look and feel of the device.
The analysis credited Apple with setting the standard in the tablet market for price, screen size, and battery life, and expects the next generation tablets to focus on higher computing and graphical performance, with the possilbe introduction of quad-core processors in 2012.
You can follow this author, Adrian Hoppel, on Twitter, if you want to.