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The State of the Tablet: A Look at Market Leaders in the Year of the iPad

January 16th, 2011

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is available through Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. With so many user features, the Galaxy Tab is positioned to compete seriously with the iPad.

Nostradamus, I am not. I posted many times in 2010 offering best guesses on where we were headed with emerging competitors to Apple’s iPad. I projected that the second generation of iPad would be available for the holiday season; I was certain that Blackberry’s Playbook would rush to market and debut in October or November.

Well, the crow I’m eating tastes awful, actually. It’s not at all like chicken, but maybe I can get some culinary help from tech-industry experts: According to The New York Times, the anticipated flood of new products was reduced to a trickle, as many manufacturers awaited a more tablet-friendly operating system from Google.

2011 now appears to be the Year of the Tablet. In fact, new models have either been released, or are in a very advanced state of preview. The Times offers an excellent breakdown of these new and updated products.

Tablets, Compared

7.5 Million iPads sold to date and a new version is reported to be on the way by April. The next iteration, iPad2, is widely reported to have cameras, a new screen, new SD slot and most importantly, a new chip that the new iPad can run on both Verizon and AT&T at launch.

It’s clearly a dominant category leader, but what about the rest? Here’s a digest summary of what to look for:

Motorola Xoom
This product just won the award for best new gadget at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Xoom is the first to run the newest version of “Honeycomb,” Google’s Android operating system. Available by April 1.

Blackberry Playbook
Prototypes have been shown, but the Playbook has still not been released. According to The Times, it will be launched sometime in 2011. This product will clearly cater to business professionals. Blackberry-loyal consumers can expect full Flash support for the Web, compatibility with corporate servers and additional security functions.

H.P. Slate
Debuting in October 2010, the Slate employs a touch-optimized version of Microsoft Windows 7 and targets business-users. At $800, it is one of the most expensive tablets on the market.

Samsung Galaxy Tab
One of the few serious competitors to the iPad, this tablet is available through all four big mobile service carriers. The Galaxy Tab runs on Google’s Android 2.2 operating system and offers many features that are not available on the iPad.

Dell Streak
This tablet “streaked” to the market in August of 2010 and in doing so, it was one of the first to compete with the iPad. The Streak has a five-inch screen, smaller than the 8-to-10-inch screens designed for most tablets, placing it in the unique position as a device larger than the iPhone and smaller than the iPad.

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 16th, 2011 at 8:53 pm and is filed under Business, Marketing, Media, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

DWAYNE FLINCHUM
Founder & President,
IridiumGroup Inc.

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