The good caused by Apple’s iPad goose will be good for portable computer ganders about to launch several tablet computer designs being readied in Taiwan now. As many as eight tablet designs are being readied for introduction next month, according to published reports now surfacing in Taipei.
Two Taiwanese-based companies, Acer and Asus, have been identified as being among the leaders of the expected tablet computer stampede to market. Private branded tablets are also expected from US-based private brand partners of PC makers in Taiwan, according to the published reports. Several new tablet computers are expected to be unveiled at Taiwan’s Computex trade show next month in Taipei with US deliveries expected to begin in the following quarters.
A handful of analysts in the US are predicting new tablets to sell into a market that could quickly grow. The applications component, buy itself could quickly balloon. Some analysts are predicting it will exceed $ 8 billion. The 300,000 units shipped launch of Apple’s iPad, is viewed as a harbinger of things to come in the tablet market by some analysts. The lesson of Apple’s growing Iphone Applications marketplace is clear: Developers are quick to port their programs to other smart phone platforms, so what benefits Apple will also benefit other tablet computer makers.
Although Apple is getting the biggest slice of the tablet market, it’s not the only company with tablet machines, it joins and leads Chinese PC maker Lenovo and US technology pioneer Hewlett Packard (whose HP Slate portable has been shown but which is not yet shipping in the market).
Tablet computers are appearing at what could be a tipping point in the history or personal computers. Product designers, usability specialists and engineers have recently become very interested in small foot print operating systems, which require much smaller memory footprints than more commonly known operating systems such as Apple’s OS X or Microsoft’s Windows as well as Google’s Android families. Also, Intel’s X86 processor hegemony is likewise being challenged as makers of small footprint computers turn to alternative CPUS such as QualComm’s Snap Dragon processor. Another element t moving the fulcrum in PC development is rock bottom pricing of touch sensitive screens and solid state memory—both of which are strategically important to tablet computing.
Industry insiders believe Taiwan could set pricing for their tablets at less than $500 for systems that have the same basic configuration of Apple’s iPad --but which, unlike that machine, may include detachable keyboards as well as onscreen soft keyboards. The tablet tide is rising and what’s good for Apple will probably benefit all other tablet computer makers—Jim Forbes on April 6,2010.