iPad vs iPhone – A deeper look at how the iPad compares to iPhone

There are a good number of people out there that will tell you the Apple iPad is little more than a giant iPhone or iPod Touch, and that you’d be better off buying yourself said iPhone or iPod Touch and saving yourself a good amount of green. But, the iPad is more (and sometimes less) than just another iDevice. There are a lot of differences and similarities between the Apple phone and the Apple tablet. Let us explain that point with this handy infographic.

What you see here is a hit-for-hit comparison of an iPad and an iPhone. For our purposes here, we’re going to be comparing the iPad 3G + WiFi model to an iPhone 3GS. With similar wireless connectivity options and the same iPhone OS underpinnings, it’s easy to see how one could say the tablet is little more than a giant version of the smartphone – a giant version with a giant screen, measuring a laptop-like 9.7-inches and boasting 1024 x 768 resolution. But, it’s really not that clear cut.

When it comes to economics, the iPad launched with a bigger bang than the original iPhone from 2007. It took Apple 74 days to sell 1 million iPhones during the Summer of 2007. It took the iPad only 28 days – less than a month – to get 1 million tablets packaged and shipped to eager customers in the US. The iPad did less than a month what it took the iPhone almost two and a half months to do. But, when you throw the iPhone 3GS into the mix, the iPad’s successful launch seems a bit unimpressive. The 3GS hit the 1 million units sold mark in just 3 days. In less than a week, Apple moved 1 million iPhone 3GS units. Now that’s impressive!

There’s also the cost component. The iPhone 3GS is just plain cheaper when purchased with a new contract from AT&T. The most expensive version of the Apple phone will set you back about $300, as long as you agree to a 2-year contract with Big Blue. The iPad, on the other hand, can cost upwards of $830 – that’s for the 64GB version with the 3G data connection. That’s a big difference, right? Well, keep in mind that you’ll be paying monthly service charges on the iPhone that will easily add up to more than $70 per month. The 3G+WiFi iPad costs no more than $30 per month for unlimited data. The WiFi-only iPad costs nothing per month, but requires a WiFi network to get online.

Then, there’s the different use cases. The larger tablet is more suited for casual web browsing, emailing, and multimedia consumption (internet radio, videos, movies, etc.). The smaller smartphone can do the same, but is more of a last resort for when your on the road. While the tablet gets exclusive content through custom-designed apps and can connect to a Bluetooth keyboard or the iPad keyboard dock for long-form typing, the iPhone is left with its tiny little screen. But, the iPhone has a 3MP camera and can make phone calls.

So, in the end, the two devices really aren’t that similar. Sure, they share a lot of the same DNA, but they’re really just two siblings that have fallen on their respective sides of the Apple tree.

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