The Hot Tablet Landscape by Platform, Summer 2011 Version


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Since the arrival of the iPad on the scene, tablets have been a common topic for discussion. The conversation goes far beyond the tablet from Apple as competitors are busy trying to get a competing product to share the wealth

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The Hot Tablet Landscape by Platform, Summer 2011 Version

  1. 1. Wednesday, 27 July 2011 02:00 Administrator The Hot Tablet Landscape by Platform, Summer 2011 Version The Hot Tablet Landscape by Platform, than the original kept customers buying the iPad Summer 2011 Version 2 by the millions. Apple’s latest figures show it has sold over 9 million iPads, making it clear the iPad Since the arrival of the iPad on the scene, tablets has dominated the tablet landscape. The iPad 2 will have been a common topic for discussion. The get even better with the release of iOS 5 later this conversation goes far beyond the tablet from Apple year which improves the platform for both the iPad as competitors are busy trying to get a competing and iPhone. product to share the wealth. The race to produce a hot tablet that competes with the iPad has not had Android Honeycomb a winner yet, and it is worth a look at the tablet ta- bleau by platform to see where things currently fall. iOS/ iPad Google’s Android OS has only been in existence for a short period but has dominated the smartphone space for a lot of that time. The company’s latest figures show that 550,000 Android devices are ac- Apple set the tech world on its ear with the release tivated daily, and 130 million of them have been of the original iPad, not only because it was so thin activated to date. The rapid rise of the Android and light, but because it was much cheaper at $499 smartphone coupled with the good customer reac- than anyone was prepared for. This entry level pri- tion to the iPad led Google to produce Honeycomb, cing was brilliant in that it virtually guaranteed it the version ofAndroid designed strictly for tablets. would be a success given how good a product it was.joliprint The first Honeycomb tablet, the Motorola XOOM, That was followed up this year with the iPad 2, an was released early this year to mixed reviews. Ho- improved model that quickly sold faster than Apple neycomb 3.0 was buggy and didn’t do Google any could produce them. The addition of a rear camera, favors for the platform. Since the shaky release, Printed with along with a new form even thinner and lighter two updates have been produced addressing the Page 1
  2. 2. Wednesday, 27 July 2011 The Hot Tablet Landscape by Platform, Summer 2011 Version majority of Honeycomb’s problems. The first of these dock available that turns the tablet into a netbook updates Honeycomb 3.1 is now shipping on a lot of alternative. The rash of tablets becoming available the Android tablets available currently. Honeycomb make this a mobile segment to watch, as companies 3.2 is rumored to be even more stable than 3.1, but it are fighting with different hardware components is not yet available on many of the shipping tablets. and price. If prices drop low enough Android tablets may start selling in numbers worth tracking. This fragmentation issue that has plagued Android on the smartphone side is already a factor on the PC giant Lenovo is preparing to enter the Honey- tablet side. Buyers of Android Honeycomb tablets comb tablet race with acouple of models. One of have no guarantee that updates will be released those is a ThinkPad Tablet aimed at professional by the OEM and the carrier (for those tablets sold workers, and it has features not found on existing by them). This situation means prospective buyers tablets. The ThinkPad will bring a pen to the slate, al- shopping for a Honeycomb tablet are often unclear lowing full interaction with the screen by pen along on which version of the OS a particular model is with handwriting on the screen that is converted shipping with. This is significant on Android tablets to text as desired. given how bad Honeycomb was at release (3.0) and the uncertain nature of Android updates. If you buy There is no clear indication how many Android ta- a tablet shipping with version 3.1 of Honeycomb, you blets are selling nor how many have sold to date, but have no guarantee of getting the already released it is almost certain far fewer are selling than iPads. 3.2 which further fixes bugs. Those of us keeping an eye out for tablets in public rarely see an Android tablet in use, but iPads are In addition to having the very buggy Honeycomb literally everywhere. Android is the number one 3.0, the Motorola XOOM was rushed to market with competitor to the iPad, so we need to see these things hardware components that didn’t work, and big start appearing in public to prove they are moving promises that the model sold by Verizon would re- in significant numbers. Google’s own figures aren’t ceive an LTE upgrade shortly. XOOM owners are still telling a compelling story for Honeycomb tablets. waiting the availability of that LTE upgrade, and are understandably upset that the just released Sam- sung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be available for purchase in just a few days with LTE integration. Early adop- ters (XOOM buyers) will not get the first Honeycomb tablet capable of blazing LTE speeds. Samsung has become one of the top sellers of An- droid phones, and it jumped on the tablet space with the original Galaxy Tab last year. The new Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the thinnest and lightest 10-inch tablet in existence, having beaten the iPad in these key areas.joliprint Other OEMs have been releasing Honeycomb ta- blets, with models by ASUS and Acer among those currently shipping. There are innovative offerings Printed with like the Transformer by ASUS which has a keyboard Page 2
  3. 3. Wednesday, 27 July 2011 The Hot Tablet Landscape by Platform, Summer 2011 Version BlackBerry PlayBook HP webOS (TouchPad) Beleaguered BlackBerry maker RIM was counting HP paid $1.2 billion to acquire Palm to get possession on the PlayBook tablet released early this year to of the webOS platform. The recently released Tou- help turn the company around. Even though the chPad is the first webOS tablet produced out of that hardware on the PlayBook was viewed as quite good, acquisition, and while it shows promise the shaky reviewers of the tablet were surprised to find that release hasn’t done HP any favors. core tablet capabilities were missing. Releasing the PlayBook without native email, contact mana- Reviews of the TouchPad were uniformly bad at gement and calendar functions, all features the release, due to bugs and performance issues. HP BlackBerry smartphone has been famous for, was immediately responded that an update was already viewed as a major faux pas by RIM. being prepared to address those issues, and it is ex- pected in just a few days. Inside information tells us Sales of the 7-inch PlayBook have been so poor that this does address the performance of the TouchPad, RIM is rumored to have cancelled work on the 10- along with adding some new features. inch PlayBook that was expected later this year. The company’s recent announcement of layoffs and The TouchPad with webOS is a compelling tablet due executive shuffling don’t paint a good picture for to the ability of HP to do something with the product. the PlayBook’s future. The company is throwing a lot of engineering and resources into both webOS and the TouchPad, and the potential is there for a good run at the iPad. The combination of technical ability, production capabilities and large distribution system make the HP TouchPad a product line to watch.joliprint HP is going to produce a second TouchPad, a 7-inch version, later this year. The webOS platform as it has evolved on the tablet is a nice alternative to Printed with Page 3
  4. 4. Wednesday, 27 July 2011 The Hot Tablet Landscape by Platform, Summer 2011 Version the iPad and Android, and with HP’s backing has a decent shot at getting into the enterprise. Other Business News:joliprint Printed with Page 4