Why The HTC JetStream Won't Challenge The iPad 2 At All

The HTC JetStream will unfortunately not prove to be the white knight Android proponents are counting on in order to provide that elusive victor against Apple's iPad 2.

The problem lies in the fact that hardware itself is only a third of the equation, the two others being services and software. Compared to the iPad 2, the JetStream doesn't introduce anything exceptional; it is roughly the same size as the iPad 2 and roughly the same speed.

Worse though, the JetStream is likely to be just as expensive, if not more expensive than the iPad 2, at least at launch, before - as has been the case for other Android tablets - prices slowly slide down until the products are phased out.

Apple has the upper hand when it comes to economies of scale; tens of millions of iPad tablets sold means that it commands the cheapest component prices across the industry, which helps the company obtain the highest profit margins by far.

Hardware is only part of the story; Apple is one step ahead of Google with regards to software as well having been able to offer iOS as a unified platform for tablets, mobiles and other devices, while Google can only aspire to this towards the end of the year with Ice Cream Sandwich, which won't be compatible with many of the current popular handsets on the market.

Then there's services where Google is sorely lacking; Apple will introduce iCloud with iOS 5 and while Google has Android Market, it doesn't offer anything remotely similar to iTunes or indeed the old Mobile.me.

Credit to HTC though, as the Taiwanese company has been looking to beef up its services offering with the likes of HTC Watch, HTC Sense and an investment in Onlive to help with gaming on mobiles.

But that seems too disjointed and too little too late to help the JetStream. In a few weeks time the first quad core Android tablets will be launched and will provide a much better overall experience, making the Jetstream obsolete.

slideshow#44