By Robert Eberhard, The Motley Fool
I'm no Apple (AAPL) hater. I'm a huge fan of my iPod and I think iTunes is one of the greatest delivery systems for content in recent history. Still, I still don't see the appeal of a $600 piece of technology that will be replaced in two years by the same thing with even more bells and whistles.
Clearly, I'm in the minority here. With the release of the "new iPad" last weekend, folks clamored to get the latest in a long line of must-have products, with Apple selling more than 3 million devices last weekend alone.
I, however, was not among the masses and probably won't be.
The Motley Fool's Rick Aristotle Munarriz outlined three reasons why we, as collective consumers, will be buying the much-maligned new iPad. Following his lead, here are three reasons of my own that I won't be buying the new iPad.
1. I have a tablet that suits my needs
While I appreciate that the iPad in its various versions has probably outsold every other tablet ever made, I purchased a Kindle Fire as my tablet of choice. Amazon.com's (AMZN) tablet, though smaller and not nearly as technologically advanced as its larger cousin, was much more affordable, checking in around $200. Throw in a year of Amazon Prime, and the total price for a Kindle Fire is less than half the cost of an iPad.
Sure, you can replicate the benefits of a Kindle/Prime bundle on the iPad with a subscription to Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu, but the annual and upfront costs are much lower with the Kindle. Combine that with what is perhaps the best e-book experience (sorry, iBooks), and you truly have an infrastructure built around the Kindle family of devices. After the relative success of the initial Fire, I could easily see Amazon expanding its Kindle family further, perhaps even including a 10-inch model to compete directly with the iPad's screen size.
2. $600 can be turned into more money elsewhere
The current price of a new 32GB iPad is $599. And, like a new car, once you buy it, it begins to depreciate immediately. You would be hard-pressed to find a buyer for a used iPad close to that price point. However, if you instead purchased a share of Apple stock, even at its current price of around $600 a share, you have the potential to reap some return from the company's performance. (I regret having to unload the few shares I owned when it was trading at around $450 a share.)
The past five years have shown remarkable growth in both share price and revenues, but only time will tell whether this will continue much longer into the future. Combine its runaway performance with its recent dividend announcement, and you have what may be a lucrative investment going forward.
3. I'm a Windows guy at heart
As much as I love my iPad and iTunes, I am ultimately a Windows fan. So I want to wait and see what Microsoft (MSFT) does with Windows 8 in tablet form. Though many of the current things I do on my Windows-based laptop can be replicated on an iPad, I've grown comfortable with the Microsoft Office suite of products and look forward to the day when everything is replicated across my various devices. Although I don't think it would be hard to learn how to really use an iPad, I prefer sticking with what I know for now.
To Each His Own
Even though the iPad isn't for me, I can understand why people might purchase one. I'm sure we'll see some blowout numbers when Apple reports sales totals with upcoming earnings releases. This is why if I was in the position to spend $600 right now, I would much rather buy even one share of Apple, since the future returns outweigh what would be the sunk cost of purchasing an iPad.
If you were among the first to buy a new iPad, please feel free to tell me your reasons in the comments section below.
Though the iPad dominates the market, Apple is not the only way to benefit from the booming tablet market. Our analysts have identified the "3 Hidden Winners of the iPhone, iPad, and Android Revolution," and you can find out who they are.
Motley Fool contributor Robert Eberhard owns a Kindle Fire and an iPod Touch, but he holds no position in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Apple, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Netflix, Microsoft, Amazon.com, and Apple and creating a bull call spread position in Apple and Microsoft.