The iPad is poised for a bright future—and it just might be "indomitable," writes Farhad Manjoo in the Wall Street Journal. At the very least, it should continue to control a healthy portion of the tablet market. But after this week's presentation, Manjoo is willing to wager that the competition might become a "sideshow": With tablets looking like the new PCs, Apple could "establish a self-perpetuating, super-profitable juggernaut," becoming "the Microsoft, Intel, and Dell of tomorrow's computer business."
Yesterday, Apple unveiled a $299 iPad mini, helping establish "enough pricing diversity" both to bring in more customers and stay top-of-the-line. Meanwhile, Apple's "unified platform," iOS, is a huge attraction for software developers compared to Google's "perilously fragmented" Android. Make an iPad app, and it's viable on all models—whereas an Android app has to take into consideration all the variations on various hardware. And there's a cycle at work: More people buy iPads, so developers build more apps, so more iPads sell. It's "the secret of Windows' success, now powering Apple's post-PC hegemony." Click for the full piece. (Read more iPad stories.)