Reports from the International Consumer Electronics Show are saying more than 80 new tablets will be released this year.
That much fragmentation in the segment may drive prices down as manufactures try to wrest market share from Apple. There is certainly scope for improvement considering the iPad has limited connectivity to external devices and precludes phone and video conference functions.
Tablets are here to stay. Surely Apple with their proprietary offering will not pull a Sony BetaMax, but there was the Newton. According to Wikipedia “the Newton project fell victim to project slippage, scope creep, and a growing fear that it would interfere with Macintosh sales”. Coincidentally there was a sale on Macbook Pro at Future Shop over the Christmas holidays.
As for pricing the 10” iPad sans phone functionality is close to the 7” Samsung Galaxy Tab with Adobe® Flash® and video calling ability.
Can the price come down? A consumer showed me a tablet she had purchased online for $50 plus $50 for shipping from China. Some Apple products are made in China. So the electronics may not be where the cost is. The cost must be for the company’s reputation, R&D and support. Or is it just what the market will bear.
Blackberry, the renowned Smartphone maker is set to release the 7.6” Playbook featuring Flash, front and rear facing cameras, a dual core processor and their proprietary OS. In spite of reports of limited battery life, Blackberry says their tablet will provide usability consistent with the industry but with over 80 entries this year alone that could mean just about anything.
Microsoft seems to have sidestepped the tablet market by focusing Windows 7 on their Windows Phone and devices like Acer’s Iconia a notebook with two touch screens.
What is my take on tablets?
See Tablet Wars CES 2011 Part I
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