Last week, I got my first iPad – an iPad 2 that I ordered from eBay India. I do own a heavily-used, now-hardly-used iPod 64GB, a 4GB pink iPod mini (wife’s) and an iPod Touch – all these are hardly used now except in long drives where the kids need multiple devices to amuse themselves.

The first all-touch device I got for myself was the Samsung Galaxy S2 – yes, I’m not all that enamored with Apple, even though I do agree that they are tremendous eye-candy with superb attention to detail. Functionally, I wanted more control over my device and I believe Android + Galaxy S2 gives me that freedom.

After using the S2 for almost an year and trying my wife’s Galaxy Note for a month or so, it felt odd to try the legendary iPad for the first time, so late.

I completely agree that it is mighty unfair to compare a phone with a tablet, but honestly, I don’t find the iPad (iPad2, in this case) dramatically better or different from the Galaxy S2.

In terms of usability, responsiveness or the sheer ease of getting things done, I’d assume the S2 is as good as, if not better than iPad 2. Perhaps the comparison with Galaxy tablet may be more appropriate, in this case, but I’m yet to get that tablet and not looking to get one either.

Given this strange realization, I’m left wondering what it is, specifically, that Apple’s iPad gets so right to become so popular, globally. If my S2 does everything that iPad2 does, equally well and sometimes better, and also plays .mkv files without needing any conversion, why is the iPad2 better and in what way?

I was offered a possible response to that by a friend – native iOS apps and how well they are adapted to iPad as a platform is supposedly far superior to the heavily fragmented Android apps scene, where there are multiple screen sizes and processor powers to work on, for app developers and hence, in most cases, they don’t behave as well as iOS apps do.

If that’s the case, even though it is way too early, I downloaded some games for my son (free games, not the paid ones…yet) and one of them (from Disney Pixar) seemed obviously created for iPhone and offered a 2X size option meant for iPad screen size. This resulted in a not-so perfect display. This may be one-off, I do agree, however.

I, hence, have a theory – could be completely off the mark and may sound utterly silly or way too obvious, but here it goes, anyway. Apple’s iPhone and iPad were the first devices that truly offered a transformative touch experience and it is their first mover advantage (not just first mover, but mass-level first mover, building on from Mac’s legendary reputation) as a near-perfect, universally-useful touch device that cascaded into what we see now – the world fawning over these devices.

Other devices have meanwhile come in and some of them have gone a few steps above Apple’s specs and experience, but then Apple made the platform (App store) so compelling (despite it being a tightly controlled walled garden) that other superior devices seem like stand-alone pieces with no mothership to cling on to. Google’s Android (Google Play store) Store, in comparison, seems like a distant second, but I’m just very glad that we have a respectable back-up and choice.

Pic courtesy, Cult of Mac.