This year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas should be called the 2011 Touch and Tablet Computing extravaganza.
There have been as many as 20 new touch interface-based computers shown by CES vendors, most of whom are rushing to grab small claims in a verdant mother lode that today belongs almost exclusively to Apple.
Apple is a formidable competitor and although it has made marketing mistakes in the past, you can’t argue with the long term success of either its technologies or its core products.
the tablet computer stampede this week the contest could end up like heavy equipment racing up a steep incline to see which earth mover grabs a tiny parking space near the crest of a mountain.
And while the newcomers stake their claims, Apple will just continue to extract high grade from the market.
The key questions for any tablet maker who wants to compete against Apple with an iPad competitor are:
- Do they have a reliable supplier of capacitive touch screens
- If they’re going to compete, how small a profit are they willing to take on each device.
- What innovation can a tablet maker bring to market to outshine Apple’s iPad?
- What partnership opportunities are there in the tablet market?
- Can Intel’s AppUp software store or Googlwe’s Android Marketplace challenge Apple’s Appstore?
- What’s needed in tablet computing that Apple doesn’t provide now and what can be added to a new device without exceeding Apple’s $499 entry price point?
The most important thing about new tablet computers will be their pricing and matching Apple’s feature matrix. To compete against Apple I suspect most companies will come in with retail pricing $100 to $150 below Apple’s $499 entry level iPad. Competing on features could be a much easier task, beginning with adding more USB ports to basic designs and supporting Adobe data types.
What’s really apparent from CES is that most PC makers wont be in the market for months to come but when they do begin shipping Apple will face an all-out challenge from Google and an ever expanding stable of companies hooked to the Android 3.3 (aka “Honeycomb”) operating system. Also in the wings is Microsoft, with its next release of Windows and its decade’s long commitment to touch computing.
Forrester Research this week predicted that over the next several years tablet computer sales will reach 44 million units in 2015—double its predictions made for the form factor last June.
Acer, Hewlett Packard, Toshiba and many others have now announced their plans for tablet computers But few units are expected to reach consumers’ hands before mid-2011.Suych companies, however could face a hard fought battle with Apple, which is rumored to be working on bolstering its iPad lineup in the coming months—Jim Forbes 01/04/2011.