tenone_designs_ten_1_fling_game_controller_ipadThe Consumer Electronics Show is on, and the RSS feeds are being flooded by scads of posts about this or that new tablet or e-reader. If I tried to cover all of them, I could be here all night. In fact, PC Magazine reports that over 80 tablets are going to be shown at the CES this year, many of them using Google’s new “Honeycomb” version of Android.

But how many of those tablets are going to be around by the end of the year? If you’ll recall, 2010’s CES showcased about a zillion e-readers, the majority of which fizzled in the months that followed. As our sister blog Gadgetell reports, current Android tablets including the Galaxy Tab have received “less than stellar reviews.” Not even the Galaxy Tab, which has sold well, looks like it’s in a position to steal the iPad’s thunder.

Being the first mover has a powerful advantage, and none of these new competitors seems likely to dethrone Apple any time soon. Of course, whether they dethrone Apple or not, they will almost certainly get more people interested in consuming e-books and other media on hand-held devices.


  1. I think people tend to overlook that the iPad was more ‘first’ than people realize: since most iPhone/iPod Touch apps run just fine on it, there were a couple year’s worth of apps people already owned that they could use right away. Certainly, that was one of the incentives for me to buy an iPad over something on an Android platform where I would have to start from scratch.

    Of my current iOS app stash, I would say about 1/2 of them are universal apps and run just fine on both my iPod Touch and my iPad; 1/4 of them are iPad or iPod only and about 1/4 of them are iPod only but look just fine in 2X mode on the iPad. A tiny handful are iPod only and don’t look great on the iPad.

    So, someone like me who wants a tablet and is already invested in the iOS architecture has more than a little bit of a head start :)

  2. Being the ‘first move’r was certainly not an advantage to Apple. Tablets had been done before and it did nothing to help the then manufacturers.

    What has given Apple their success is the fact that they took a couple of years developing the hardware and software for the iPhone and then the iPad, and at the same time they applied whatever extraordinary talent they have to getting the iOS brilliantly and simple right!

    The competition have been running around like headless chickens thinking they have to get ‘something’ out into the market no matter how shite it is. And most of them appear to be exactly that. They have clearly not been taking the necessary time to develop and hone their product.

  3. This time last year, when I thought about tablet computers, I thought of full desktop operating systems, crammed into a small footprint. I knew some existed, but no one I knew had one, so I never actually saw one in person. The little I heard (fair or not) was not great, so I had no desire to seek one out.

    When Steve jobs announced the iPad, I was originally disappointed. I was hoping for a tablet with MacOSX, and could not see why I would ever want a “giant iPod touch”. Now I have changed my tune – my iPad is my main gadget at home and my iPhone is my iPad-mini for when I am out and about.

    I agree with Joanna as I was already invested in iOS and some of my favorite apps were even better with a larger screen. Apple has the advantage because they make both the hardware and the software; they are made to work harmoniously together. It would take something extraordinary to get me to switch to a different tablet/OS anytime soon.

  4. I’m looking forward to seeing what the dual core “Hummingbird” based Android tablets will do (such as the Motorola Xoom) as those will be the first ones running an actual Android tablet OS as opposed to running something intended strictly for cell phones. I’m sure at least a few will be decent (although I’m sure they’ll be priced similar to iPad as well). As far as dethroning Apple, I could care less Apple makes good stuff and I hope they continue too. It would be nice to see some legitimate competition to push both sides to improve their products software and hardware features though.

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