Apple has recently filed suit against Samsung in Europe to prevent the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from being sold there. Aside from the malicious mis-representation Apple lawyers are engaging in, the entire undertaking is anti-competitive. Apple’s whole case seems to be that the Galaxy Tab looks a lot like the iPad 2. So what?! There are only so many ways to make a modern tablet that is desirable and makes physical/ergonomic sense. I am typing this on an iMac and have three Macs in the house, so I’m not anti-Apple. But Apple is way over the line here, suing instead of innovating to stay ahead.
I have the original Samsung Galaxy Tab and love it. It’s not much like an iPad. I would probably have bought a Tab 10.1 except that Samsung made it without USB or even a MicroSD port. Samsung actually had a great Galaxy Tab 10.1 with a great camera and other goodies ready for release and then went back to the drawing board to better compete with the iPad 2. They obviously wanted the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to be an Android version of the iPad2, attracting the same people. Many companies do this, seeing a successful model made by a competitor and then making their own version of the same thing, focusing on what people seemed to like about the original. Car manufacturers, TV Manufacturers, PC makers, etc. all do this. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery as they say, not a reason to sue someone.
I don’t even know what legal basis you could use to sue someone for making something similar to your product, but it’s inherently anti-competitive to sue on that basis. Technology improves so quickly partly because there are numerous companies competing to make the best X. Making the first X doesn’t grant you the right to rest on your laurels. Other companies will be trying to outdo you almost immediately and it’s on you to stay ahead of them.
As far as why people keep buying iPads and not Android tablets, the main reason is because Apple has gotten themselves into a situation where the public (Joe and Jane Sixpack if you will) believes that Apple is the pinnacle of quality, ease of use, and coolness. This is partly Apple’s hype machine in cahoots with a media that loves trendiness, but it’s largely due to Apple’s consistently making great products and with their mobile products, making beautiful hardware that works well within a tightly controlled ecosystem. This gives the average person what they want and there is no voice in the average person’s life telling them all the compromises they have to make with IOS. When I’ve talked to people about the IOS and Android choices, many choose IOS but many choose Android instead.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the first serious competitor for those who actually want an iPad but aren’t so sure about buying completely into the Apple walled garden, and Apple is stressed about the potential for lots of people who have Android phones or who are just moving to smartphones to choose Android. Many of these tech late adopters have friends with Android devices and may gain confidence from that to choose the Galaxy Tab or after looking into the Galaxy Tab and seeing how cool the Android ecosystem is may choose another Android Tablet.
TLDR: Apple is being anti-competitive, pure and simple.