Whatever Happened to the iPad Rivals of 2010?

The (mostly) sad fates of 32 early answers to Apple's tablet.

By  |  Friday, September 30, 2011 at 1:45 am

Back in August of 2010, it was clear that Apple’s iPad–which had gone on sale on April 3rd–was a gigantic, game-changing hit. The rest of the industry was scrambling to respond, and there had already been a steady stream of announcements, pre-announcements, sneak peeks, and rumors, along with a few products that had actually shipped. I chose that month to round up as many of them as possible. I called them “iPadversaries,” and published a story with brief profiles of 32 of them.

And then the world continued to change. Some of the products I wrote about shipped in more or less the form I’d described. Others evolved further, or failed to show up at all. Windows, which was supposed to provide meaningful competition to the iPad, didn’t. Scads of tablets based on Android arrived, without any of them being a clear-cut success. And two of the most interesting rumors of August 2011–a WebOS tablet and a BlackBerry one–turned into the two highest-profile flops to date.

More than thirteen months after we ran that iPadversaries story, I decided it might be instructive (or at least perversely fascinating) to follow up on all 32 machines.

The opening art from the August 2010 story.

What follows are my verbatim profiles from August of last year, including whatever image I could procure back then, if any–plus a “Whatever happened to” update on each one. (I’m not always sure what happened to each contender: The vast majority of them received the vast majority of their publicity before you could go out and buy one.)

Spoiler: If you like happy endings, you should stop reading now.

Archos 5

Availability: Now
OS: Android 1.6
Screen size: 4.8″
Price: $299 (16GB version)
What else: Paris-based Archos has been making tablets since we were supposed to call them portable media centers, and the three Archos products in this list all shipped well before the iPad did. This one, with its 5″ display and Android OS, feels like a Gallic cousin of the Dell Streak.
More info: Ubergizmo gave it a semi-positive review.

Whatever happened to the Archos 5? It’s still available in Archos’s store for $249.99, but it seems to have been supplanted by the similar Archos 48–which also runs Android 1.6. Like all Archos tablets, it seems to exist in an alternate universe in which the iPad never existed.

Archos 7

Availability: Now
OS: Android 1.5
Screen size: 7″
Price: $199
What else: This Archos Android tablet has a bigger screen than the 5 but costs a hundred bucks less. It runs an even older version of Android.
More info: Engadget really didn’t care for it.

Whatever happened to the Archos 7? Archos’s current 7-incher is the $279.99 Archos 70, which runs Android 2.2 Froyo. It has a 250GB hard drive.

Archos 9

Availability: Now
OS: Windows 7 Starter Edition
Screen size: 8.9″
Price: $549.99
What else: As usual, Archos already has a device out in a product category that larger companies are still talking about–Windows 7 slates. It has a resistive screen (rather than the iPad’s capacitive one) with no multi-touch gestures.
More info: UMPC Portal’s review says it’s not anywhere near as good as it looks.

Whatever happened to the Archos 9? Still available! It starts at $499.99.

Asus EeePad EP101TC

Availability: Early 2011
OS: Android
Screen size: 10″
Price: $399 to $499?
What else: EeePads are running late–at one point Asus was supposed to have one ready for July 2010 availability. The EP101TC may still be a work in progress: It was originally going to run Windows Embedded Compact, but is now an Android machine.
More info: Engadget has a brief write-up.

Whatever happened to the EeePad EP101TC? I find lots of references on the Web to this tablet being on its way, but no definitive evidence that it was ever released under this name. Asus did, however, introduce the Transformer TC101–a similar 10″ Android tablet with a snap-on keyboard.

Asus EeePC EP121

Availability: Early 2011
OS: Windows 7
Screen size: 12″
Price: $399 to $499?
What else: According to Engadget, Asus has demoed the EP121 with “a super sleek keyboard docking station, which will be used to turn the tablet into an ultraportable laptop of sorts.”
More info: Here’s Engadget.

Whatever happened to the EeePC EP121? It shipped and is still available-but Amazon wants more than $1200 for it, not $399 to $499.

Augen Gentouch78

Availability: Now, at Kmart
OS: Android 2.1
Screen size: 7″
Price: $150
What else: Did I mention it costs $150? Also, it seems to have an unauthorized version of the Android Marketplace.
More info: The Android Blog tried one and wasn’t exactly knocked out.

Whatever happened to the Gentouch78? In July, the Digital Reader reported that Augen’s Web site seemed to be in limbo. And it’s still down. Sorry, Kmart shoppers.

Best Buy Rocketfish Tablet

Availability: Unknown
OS: Android 2.2?
Screen size: nine inches or thereabouts?
Price: Unknown
What else: We’ll know more as Best Buy’s CTO tweets it, apparently–this product from Best Buy’s house brand hasn’t been announced, but he keeps teasing his followers with tidbits.
More info: Lilliputing writes about the gizmo here.

Whatever happened to the Rocketfish tablet? Best Buy is an enthusiastic seller of other companies’ tablets–my local store has renamed its computer section “Computers and Tablets”–but it hasn’t introduced its own model, and its CTO doesn’t seem to have tweeted anything lately about the idea.

Cisco Cius

Availability: First quarter of 2011
OS: Android
Screen size: 7″
Price: Unknown
What else: As you’d expect from Cisco, it has a business focus, does video conferencing, and turns into a VoIP phone when you stick it in its dock. For my money, this might be the iPadversary with the most promise.
More info: Here’s Cisco’s Cius announcement.

Whatever happened to the Cius? After delays, it shipped in July for around $1000. It’s kept a pretty low profile so far.

Dell Streak

Availability: Now (as of August 12th)
OS: Android 1.6 at first; 2.2 later this year
Screen size: 5″
Price: $249.99 with a two-year AT&T contract; $549.99 a la carte
What else: You could make the case that the Streak is an iPhone alternative, not an iPad rival–with its 5″ screen, it’s (barely) pocketable, and it has built-in 3G voice capability. But Dell is pitching it as a data device you can make phone calls on, not a phone you can do data on.
More info: I find it kind of intriguing.

Whatever happened to the Streak? The 5″ mode hung around for a year, then went bye-bye. Dell still offers a $299.99 7″ version, running Android 2.2. Meanwhile, Samsung’s new 5″ Galaxy Note feels like a sleeker, pen-enabled grandchild of the original Streak.

Dell Windows Slate

Availability: This year
OS: Windows 7
Screen size: Unknown
Price: Unknown
What else: This is one of numerous Windows 7 slates promised for 2010 in a July Steve Ballmer speech. Ballmer said that some of these devices would have keyboards and/or pens, and some would be aimed at consumers while others would target big businesses–but he didn’t say anything about specific products and their features.

Whatever happened to the Dell Windows Slate? It didn’t show up in 2010, but Dell showed it off earlier this year. It’s still not here–but it’s supposedly not dead, either.

EnTourage eDGe

Availability: Now
OS: Android 1.6
Screen size: It’s got two of ’em: a 10.1″ LCD touchscreen and a 9.7″ E-Ink touchscreen. It also has a stylus.
Price: $539
What else: The eDGe is a “dualbook”–an e-reader on its left side and a touch tablet on its right side. It’s got its own app store and e-book store.
More info: Engadget didn’t find it terribly satisfying.

Whatever happened to the EnTourage EDGe? The era of the two-screen tablet ended when the eDGe dIEd in the spring of 2011.

ExoPC Slate

Availability: Early September
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium with proprietary layer
Screen size: 11.6″
Price: $599
What else: Engaget tried one and thought the display was crummy but was favorably impressed by what it called the “Connect Four” interface.
More info: The ExoPC site is here (it’s not clear how up-to-date it is)

Whatever happened to the ExoPC? It’s available, starting at $649. You can even buy one from Microsoft, although it doesn’t even mention the unique interface. If you know anyone who owns one, I’m impressed.

Fujitsu Windows Slate

Availability: This year
OS: Windows 7
Screen size: Unknown
Price: Unknown
What else: Another product from the long list promised by Steve Ballmer last month. Unlike many of the companies planning to jump into the slate PC game, Fujitsu is an old hand at making keyboardless Windows computers.

Whatever happened to Fujitsu Windows Slate? The Stylistic Q550 turned out to be a 2011 product, not a 2010 one, but is on the market.

Fusion Garage JooJoo

Availability: now
OS: Linux
Screen size: 12.1″
Price: $499
What else: It began its odd life as a computer TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington wished he could buy, the CrunchPad. Then it became the subject of a bizarre corporate dispute. When it finally shipped as the JooJoo it got devastating reviews. Rumor a while back was that sales were in the dozens; Fusion Garage is insistent that sales are…increasing. Unlike other devices here, the JooJoo is basically a browser in a box–it doesn’t have apps, let alone an app store.
More info: Here’s the JooJoo site.

Whatever happened to the JooJoo? It survived until November 2010. Fusion Garage is now back with the Grid10, which runs its own heavily modified version of Android–and says it’ll give a free one to every JooJoo owner.

HP Windows Slate

Availability: Fall 2010
OS: Windows 7
Screen size: 8.9″
Price: At one point, it was allegedly going to start at $549
What else: The star of Steve Ballmer’s CES 2010 keynote went into mysterious limbo and will now supposedly ship later this year as a product for large companies.
More info: Here’s a video demo, made back when HP was not only willing to talk about this product but was lavishing it with hype.

Whatever happened to the HP Windows slate? It shipped in November of 2010 and has maintained a quiet existence since then, though it’s $799 rather than $549. But it’s still viable, unlike some other HP tablets I could (coughcough) mention.

HP “PalmPad”

Availability: Rumor has it that it’ll ship in the first quarter of 2011
Screen size: Unknown
Price: Unknown
What else: HP hasn’t said much other than that it intends to build a tablet device using its newly-acquired Palm WebOS. “PalmPad” is the rumored name; additional gossip has it that it will use a Wacom-style digital pen to permit note-taking.
More info: PCWorld’s Tony Bradley tried his hand at comparing HP’s Windows and WebOS devices.

Whatever happened to the “PalmPad”? Geez, it makes me sad just thinking about it. It was triumphantly unveiled in February as the TouchPad, and shipped in July in a form that was promising, but deeply buggy. Six weeks later, HP killed it. But it lives on–sort of, in zombie form–as a $99 blowout special. HP says it wants to license WebOS to other companies, but I have a hunch that the era of the WebOS tablet is over.



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90 Comments For This Post

  1. Pat Says:

    Apple won't lose its unit sales dominance in the tablet market until the start of '13.

  2. Luca Says:

    If at all. At this point it isn't looking like anyone can come up with something to even ding the iPads sales in any noticeable way.

  3. The_Heraclitus Says:

    No, the loss is guaranteed. Just like happened in the smart phone market.

  4. Darrell Says:

    why do you think Apple lost in the phone market? they have the #1 and #2 best selling smartphones in the US.

  5. jack Says:

    Apple won't lose its unit sales dominance in the tablet market until the start of '13. car accident lawyer

  6. Muay Thai Says:

    I agree mate Muay Thai | Muay Thai Kick | Martial Arts for Children.

  7. Oomu Says:

    "Apple won't lose its unit sales dominance in the tablet market until the start of '13."

    and then in 2013, Apple will not lose its unit sale dominance in the tablet and the NEW market apple will create until the start of '16

    and then in 2016….

    you seen, only ONE other company is now trying to be a global product with interesting value to people : AMAZON !

    it's not a fatality if Apple will dominate, it's because all others computers companies gave up to sell valued products to people.

    if in 2012 there are not others companies working as Apple, you now 2013 is toast , and then 2014 and so on.

    I'm still waiting the iPod killer and I still waiting the destruction of the iPhone and App Store.

    ho and I'm still waiting the selling of the Mac business to Dell.

  8. Mike Says:

    OS X, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, iCloud–they are all ideas and technologies Apple copied from others, implemented them better, and then marketed the hell out of them. Trouble is: they are running out of people to clone and copy.

    Most of the future is going to happen in the cloud, and that's where Apple's usual dirty tricks don't work, where their nice hardware designs don't matter, and where they have failed time and again.

    I think Apple is past their prime, and it's downhill from there. Also, Jobs has left and that they are building a humungous new corporate campus, both of which really smell of failure.

  9. Matt Says:


    OS X was not copied it was created by NeXT which was a company Steve Jobs created. It just has the Apple look now.

    iTunes was not copied it was bought

    iPod Touch wasn't copied just re-invented from the Newton which everyone else copied

    iPad is just a big version of the iPod touch.

    Apple doesn't use dirty tricks wtf does that even mean.

    Yes Apple has failed many times. How else do you learn to be better if you don't fail? Its the getting back up and trying to do better. Look at all the companies that fail and then fire their CEO, ie HP

    Also Apple has the habit of waiting to release something they don't feel is ready to be released.

    I think you are past your prime. Jobs did not leave he is still Chairman of the Board and an Apple Employee, He just step down from his CEO position.

  10. zouba Says:

    Lies :-).

  11. The_Heraclitus Says:

    You don't follow markets well. Same thing will happen as did in smart phone market.

  12. Synth Says:

    I am following and it's not happening.

  13. Guest Says:

    Reeks of fanboy in here

  14. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    Then please leave so the stink is gone.

  15. MacMan Says:

    Good reply, smells better already now he's gone 😉

  16. Scott Lewis Says:

    It does? Why, were some of those tablets secretly run away bestsellers?

  17. Jack B Nimble Says:

    It only takes one company to step up and take the time to build an amazing product to dominate the tablet market. Unfortunately, thus far the only company in the world to do that has been Apple.

    Maybe the Kindle Fire has a future.

  18. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    It looks like the best Kindle ever. It's a nice addition to the reader market.

  19. Guest Says:

    iPad I use as reader with the kindle apps

  20. Ryan Says:

    This article is old, the HP slate has been out for about a year now.

  21. WTH Says:

    Ryan, that's the point. RTFA. He's looking back at an article he wrote last year, to follow up on what happened to those tablets.

  22. Pop Says:

    Nice that a couple of Asus tablets get mentioned but no sign of mentioning the Asus Transformer which has been flying off of shelves as fast as Asus can ship them

  23. SirSpammenot Says:

    I am actually reading this on my Transformer, as happy as I can be with it! Great product, great support, and no bloody iTunes to crater my PC like before. 100% a winner.

  24. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    You missed the point of the article. It is not a comprehensive review of all tablets that are available today, it is a follow-up to the ones that were detailed in the original article as coming soon.

  25. WTH Says:

    >> Apple won't lose its unit sales dominance in the tablet market until the start of '13.

    Dream on. I suspect that the Android tablet folks will eventually resort to what they do with the iPhone. They will lump EVERY single Android tablet together, and collectively claim that they outsell the iPad, so that Apple is somehow in second place.

    The problem is that everyone else is so far behind the iPad that it may be years before even THAT trick will work.

  26. WTH is right...?! Says:

    I guess if you want to look at it that way, you're right – Apple iOS dominates 100% of the share of the Apple hardware market, and Apple hardware dominates 100% of the iOS market.

    From an OS perspective, Windows dominates OSX, and Android dominates iOS.

    From a hardware perspective, Apple [probably] dominates any one vendor of hardware for a phone or tablet, but unless your point is that "Apple sells more smartphones than Nokia", your argument is irrelevant.

    As far as saying "everyone else is so far behind the iPad", I suggest giving an android tablet a fair chance, hands-on at your local electronics B&M – you might be surprised at what they can do.

  27. Tom Says:

    Cool story bro, except Android doesn't dominate iOS. iOS is on 53% more devices than Android.

    Android wins on smartphone marketshare. Which is an altogether useless metric

  28. Mike Says:

    "The problem is that everyone else is so far behind the iPad that it may be years before even THAT trick will work."

    That's a funny statement, given that almost all of the features Apple announced for iOS 5 have been out for Android for a while, years in some cases. Apple is behind on technology, they are just ahead on marketing.

  29. Michael Says:

    So with your logic… Since Android wasn't released until a full 18 months after the iPhone was unveiled… the entire Android OS is nothing more than a copy of iOS.

    Stop with "copying"argument. The fact of the matter is, iOS borrows more features from Mac OS X than any where else. Whether they appeared in Android first or not, chances are they were long a part of OS X before then.

  30. Luca Says:

    That Apple may have waited to release features that Android included, working or not, months ago doesn't really mean anything in regards to the issue of whether any single tablet has sales that come close to the iPad. Which is what the original comment was about. Not the features of the OS.

  31. The_Heraclitus Says:

    No need to dream. It is a forgone conclusion.

  32. Steve J Says:

    tablets are for people who hate computers, and quite frankly, i love computers

  33. vic Says:

    No… Tablets are for people who have better things to do than sit in front of their PC's all day and all night. I have both a laptop and an iPad. the iPad will never replace the laptop, though, I will never be without a tablet again… They are two completely separate devices and should NEVER be confused with each other.

    Let the flaming begin 😉

  34. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    I hope you are using a DOS PC from the 1980’s, because graphical user interfaces are also “for people who hate computers.”

  35. Luca Says:

    Wow that is really an informed and ignorant comment. Tablets are not for those that hate computers. More like those that have used their computer enough to know that it can't do everything they need so they need a compliment.

    For example, when I need access to the shot log for a days work and I'm up in a tiny little crane with my camera rig I can't spare the room for a laptop. Especially since I can't mount it flush like I can a tablet. So guess what I use.

  36. Verbosity Says:

    Actually, the EP121 is not in this class – it is a full slate tablet PC running Window 7. As far as I know it was never meant to be $400 or $500. It is a fair priced full laptop. Tried one out, but went with HPs tablet because it had dedicated graphics for the software I am trying out (also, I tried the 32GB model and not the 64GB model – which is really the lowest I'd go for a content generating machine).

  37. Miles Reiter Says:

    OK, one, there's a lot of tablets that were left off there, specifically the ones that sold very well (although I'll grant not as well as the iPad). It's also not updated with new (meaning pretty much anytime in 2011) information. The Notion Ink Adam shipped months ago and this list doesn't even have screen size or a picture of the real product.

  38. Vendrazi Says:

    RTFA. He specifically took the article he wrote last year about iPad competitors and is revisiting it to see what happened to all of those contenders.

    Conclusion: it wasn't pretty.

  39. Luca Says:

    you comment just shows that you didn't bother reading. The author makes it very clear at the top of the article that he is NOT reviewing the current market. But the stuff that was announced a year ago and what actually is still around or not

  40. Miles Reiter Says:

    And to use an example the Notion Ink Adamo is still around, it came out pretty early this year.

  41. Sigivald Says:

    "Early this year" is not "a year ago".

    The Adam wasn't more than an announcement or maybe a prototype that nobody'd seen in person last August.

    (And, well, the Adam (not Adamo, which was a Dell laptop) seems to be a miserable piece of crap, too, sadly.*

    Oh, and you can't buy one, at least anywhere I can find on the Internet.

    So it's not "still around".

    *I'll give them points for not slavishly copying the iPad, though. The "rump" bulge is interesting and makes a sort of sense… but can't be too handy for rotation.)

  42. ROC Says:

    My Archos 5 is the only tablet I have hung onto after going through about half a dozen 7-inchers, most of them much more advanced: Archos 7o, Huawei Ideos S7, Viewsonic Viewpad 7, Wintec Filemate light, Cruz Reader, and Pandigital Novel – cut my Android hacking teeth on it, but it started literally disintegrating.

    The deal-breaker was that they were too big to be anywhere near as convenient for what little advantages they had over the 5. It is the right form factor for me (YMMV), and I am looking forward to the few new ones coming out in that size for an overdue upgrade.

    10-inch "honkers"? If I am going to tote around something that does not ride easily on my belt (or even fitting in a shirt pocket pocket "hidden" inside a DayMinder cover as with the Archos 5), then I find my Fujitsu P1610 Lifebook is far more capable and flexible overall for a lot less money (used on eBay) since I can run Linux on it.

    To each their own.

  43. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    A 10-inch screen is a PC screen. If the device does not run PC apps like iPad, then no, it is not worth toting around. But if you do need PC apps, iPad is half the size and weight of anything else and has double the battery life. I used to carry a MacBook Air everywhere, now I carry an iPad everywhere. That is less size and weight.

    For media players, a 7 inch screen is very large. And that is as big as you want to stretch a phone app anyway.

  44. leighton Says:

    Personally, I agree with Steve J. Tablets are weak replacements for people for dislike computers. Tablets are a blend of generalized display (books – websites) and generalized communication (websites – internet social comms.). To call tablets 'technology' is a bit of a hoax, very important for people who want an updated version of existing approaches, but hardly a replacement for for a creative environment.

  45. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    How do you explain that iPad is a fixture in the music studios I work in? Are we not creative?

    I've written hundreds of songs on iOS. iPad can morph into a portable mutitracker, the tool that songwriters use to write songs. Is songwriting not creative?

    I use an iPad in the studio to emulate a Logic Control so I can run the mixer and have transport controls when I'm at a piano or in a vocal booth. The iPad sends MIDI over Wi-Fi to a Mac. I also have custom interfaces on the iPad for all the synthesizers on the Mac, so I can call up sounds from out in the studio. And I have about 20 MIDI instruments on iPad, like a MIDI guitar, and a freaky one that is like air hockey, but generates a MIDI performance. Not creative, though, right?

    Photoshop CS5 has an iPad app that acts as a drawing surface, and there are all kinds of painting tools, photography tools on iPad. Painting with 10 fingers is much easier than painting with a mouse. I have a graphics workstation with Wacom tablet and have for years, but still paint on iPad just like I still paint with pastels. It is common to draw on paper before using Photoshop or Illustrator anyway. iPad has a great app that is like an infinite sketchbook but with auto backup and easy sharing.

    Not creative?

    I mean it's not Excel or anything like that.

  46. Luca Says:

    Few to no one has ever claimed they are building tablets to replace computers for those that actually need a computer. For grandma that just wants to look up recipes on the web and email the grandkids, sure. She doesn't need a computer. If the WebTV was still around that would also suit her needs.

    Hell Apple showed their cards the best when you couldn't even start up an iPad without access to a computer. If that wasn't telling folks it is a compliment to the computer not a replacement, I don't know what it.

    As for the creative environment crack, I wonder if you actually work in one. Because there are a lot of ways that a tablet or even a smartphone actually works better than a computer. It's all in being open and creatively thinking about your tools and what works best for your needs.

  47. Logan Says:

    I picked up the Asus EP121 here and its fantastic for the mobile professional that wants a Cintiq level drawing tablet and a computer capable of doing something relevent to work. So yes it is far more expensive than an iOS or Droid based offering, but its usability and excellent features make it a clear cut winner for people that want something more than a netbook style tablet.

    Also shockingly enough Windows 7 is actually really awesome to use on this thing. I was shocked to see how well designed the OS was for using nothing but your fingers or the stylus that ships with the Slate device. As such I think Microsoft actually has a strong chance at coming onto the market (if it can get manufactureres to make capable devices and not Atom powered products) and absolutely dominating the mid to high end tablet market.

  48. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    Yeah, but less than 10% of high-end ($999 and up) PC purchases run Windows for many years now, so a device like that is not going to appeal to many users. Most artists do not have the I-T skills to get the Windows color management working right, if the particular Windows PC is even capable of a color safe workflow. They don't have the programming skills to write VBScript to automate Windows and JavaScript to automate Photoshop, whereas on the Mac, AppleScript reads like plain English and automates everything — Photoshop, Illustrator, Finder, BBEdit, whatever — and Automator writes AppleScript for you. Plus there are other I-T challenges on Windows. None of the artists I have trained is using Windows any time soon. Especially because they are typically young people who have never used Windows at all.

    So you may be a rare bird.

    A key feature of iPad is it is a low-end PC. It finally gives someone with a $500 ceiling on a PC purchase a choice of PC instead of just a choice of Microsoft OEM logos. The touch is just an easier mouse, not the point of the whole thing. And $30 of iPad drawing, painting, photography apps is more what they are looking for, not $599 worth of Photoshop.

  49. Dave Barnes Says:

    "and says it’ll give a free one to every JooJoo owner."
    Harry, that is a misquote I am sure as it should be "…one to THE JooJoo owner."

  50. Nope Says:

    The people that say that an android tablet has future is the people that never touched an ipad.

  51. drew Says:

    I never fully understood the thinking that there can be only one "winner" in each category. iPhone has about 30% of the market, and all Android phones about 56%, and the rest among "others". iPhones don't dominate the smart phone market, but Apple is running out of places to store all the cash they are making.

    I remember when people said the iPad would kill off netbooks. Apple has sold a lot of iPads, but tens of millions of netbooks were sold too. The reality is they are different markets, serving different needs.

    The iPad will likely dominate, but I suspect Amazon will make a fortune selling Fires. The reality is that Apple and Amazon offer something that no one else could-a product with media stream (books, movies, music, etc) ready for consumption.

    If Apple sells 50 million iPads and Amazon sells 15 million Fires, does that mean Amazon is a failure?

  52. redfood Says:

    "I suspect Amazon will make a fortune selling Fires"

    No, They are loosing money selling Fires but they will make a fortune selling content for the Fires.

  53. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    There is not just one phone market or one PC market, they are segmented by price.

    There are $600, $300, and $100 phones. That is what carriers pay handset makers, then subsidies and contracts make those phones, free through $199 or so. Carriers need all 3 kinds of phones, because most users know what they want to pay. iPhone is the only $600 phone left. It utterly dominates that price point. There are no $600 Android phones. This will surprise you, but Android and iPhone do not compete. Apple does not yet make a $300 or $100 phone (yet) and that is where all the Android phones are. That is why Android never hurt Apple sales, but it did murder Windows phones wholesale.

    In PC's, the Intel Mac chased almost all Windows PC's down from the $1000 market to the $500 market where they did not have to compete with Apple. Now, Apple has a $500 PC for the first time and that is why Windows PC makers are running around with their hair on fire. Apple keeps $200 from a $500 iPad sale, but HP only keeps about $40 from a $799 notebook PC sale. iPad will outsell all of HP this quarter, it is a bloodbath.

    Amazon Kindle Fire is a media player, akin to an iPod. iPod touch is its equivalent in Apple's line, not iPad. Amazon has book heritage and iPod has music heritage, but they are both devices for music, movies, books, and phone apps (mostly games.) You can see Fire's top menu is music, movies, books, games. So Fire basically cannot fail because it just needs more music, movies, books, and (phone) games to be useful, and Amazon has a selection of all 4 that is already good enough, because they are leveraging Android phones apps the way iPod touch leverages iPhone apps. Neither device needs to attract any developers to succeed. As long as Amazon did their math right, they should be very successful. Especially as Apple is rumored to be killing the iPod this week.

    With a PC like iPad or Mac or Windows, the sole purpose of the device is it runs general purpose full-size native C/C++ apps and full-size HTML5 Web apps. That is all it does. iPad needs 3rd party developers to make apps or iPad cannot fulfill its purpose. So the fact that iPad shipped with 500 full-size apps at launch and had 1000 within a week and over 100,000 now is the main thing that made it successful. Everything else would be a technology demo without native iPad apps. Users buy iPad to run apps. For some, it is only a music app, movie app, book app, and games, like a Kindle Fire, but they expect to be able to choose from hundreds of music apps, not just Amazon's, and hundreds of movie apps, and hundreds of readers, and so on. Notice Amazon's reader app is on iPad and Mac, but Apple or anyone else's reader is not coming to Fire. Fire is just one app called "Fire," it is not a general purpose PC. It's screen is only 46% the size of a PC screen, it cannot run native C/C++, it cannot run full-size apps, just phone apps.

    XOOM launched as a low-end tablet PC like iPad, but it had no native C/C++ apps, it required developers of iPad/Mac/Windows C/C++ apps to laboriously rewrite their apps in Java. If there was no iPad, maybe they would do it. But otherwise, no. There is already a low-end tablet that can run 90% of their unmodified app, they just have to create a touch interface. So XOOM's only chance was to kill iPad dead, to obsolete it. To make people so fall in love with 16:9 screens or SD slots that an iPad will no longer do. That is why the "iPad Killer" thing. They want iPad's nest, like a Blue Jay, because they did not build their own.

    Another aspect is that Apple goes their own way in tech and is seen by others as too artsy and so some want any new Apple product to be cloned by Black And Decker so there is a version they feel is butch enough for them. And again, they want iPad dead so its developers will jump through hoops to serve their tablet PC choice. The funny thing is, these people don't realize that almost all of Silicon Valley is Macs. Google is 75% Macs. It's actually a very butch computer if you know Unix or make digital content.

  54. Demigrog Says:

    I'm typing this on my Windows 8 developer preview tablet, and I can assure you that Apple has real competition coming. This thing isn't even Beta software yet and it is already the best tablet I have ever used. One of the best things about Win8 is that many of the tablets in this review will be able to upgrade to it. To me, the only question is when will Microsoft ship it.

  55. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    Yes, Windows 8 is the first thing that anyone has shown that is even comparable to iPad, because it is at least a PC operating system with PC apps. Kudos to Microsoft for getting that right. I'm running it in a virtualizer and I was very impressed that "Internet Explorer 10 for Metro Style" ran my HTML5 apps exactly the same as iPad did, except with absolutely inexcusably bad typography. But Web developers have been asking Microsoft literally for 10 years to make an actual Web browser instead of a Microsoft browser, and I give them more kudos for finally doing that. It is great that every Windows system has open standard vendor neutral W3C HTML5 and open standard vendor neutral ISO MPEG4 out of the box.

    But the Windows 8 Developer Preview tablet is a high-end Intel tablet PC that is equivalent to a $999 MacBook Air and will sell for that kind of price, not a low-end tablet PC like iPad. So the competition for that tablet is for the Mac. Maybe a touch Mac, a MacPad, which may ship before Windows 8. It's too early to say how that will go. But Apple has 90% of high-end PC's, that is their wheelhouse. High end computing has gone Unix just like servers. Windows systems for $999 are a tough sell.

    The low-end Windows 8 ARM tablet PC's that will compete with iPad are further behind what you have there, and they face a much bigger challenge than the device you have, because they need all-new apps, whereas iPad has a ton of apps already.

    And the biggest problem for Windows 8 ARM tablets will be how to win a price war with Apple. The iPad that sells for $499 only costs Apple $300 to make. Nobody really knows how to copy that, because Apple is sort of designed to do that. For example, they use the same flash storage chips in all iOS devices and possibly in MacBook Air also, so they order unimaginable numbers of them and pay almost nothing for them. And they reuse the OS X core on everything, too. They are like the Inuit, using all of a whale or caribou, wasting absolutely nothing. If somebody competes well with them at $399, they can drop iPad to $349 and still make more unit profit than most PC makers. The Windows 8 ARM tablet maker is also going to have to pay Microsoft $40, which is more than Apple pays themselves for iOS, and Windows 8 ARM tablet makers may need more memory and more battery to get the same performance because they have things like the old Desktop to run, if that makes it into most Windows 8 ARM tablets. It depends what users demand and what is technically possible.

    Another issue is this:

    – 2007 Windows 6 and iOS 1 and Leopard
    – 2008 iOS 2
    – 2009 Windows 7 and iOS 3 and Snow Leopard
    – 2010 iOS 4
    – 2011 iOS 5 and Lion
    – 2012 iOS 6
    – 2013 Windows 8 and iOS 7 and Mountain Lion (?)
    – 2014 iOS 8
    – 2015 iOS 9 and Cougar (?)
    – 2016 Windows 9 and iOS 10

    How is Microsoft going to speed up to that pace? That is a huge competitive advantage for Apple. There are only going to be 2 more major versions of Windows over the next 5 years (even that is fast by Microsoft terms,) but there will likely be 7 major releases of OS X (5 iOS, 2 Mac OS.) Each release brings a big sales boost. And iOS has free upgrades, Mac OS is $29, and Windows is $99, $199, $299, $399. And OS X systems can upgrade over the air, and they self-update continuously, replacing their own kernels every few months.

    Microsoft is built more for the leisurely pace of the CIO, who still thinks Aero is "cutting-edge." It took Microsoft 4 years to go from Windows Mobile 6 to Windows Phone 7, and a year more to go to 7.5 with only adds a couple of features and a couple of major bug fixes.

    So there are lots of unanswered questions, and we won't even really see this race begin for 18 months or so. By then, if current trends hold, OS X may be leading NT in sales. NT is selling only in the low-end PC market, but OS X is selling in the low-end PC market, high-end PC market, high-end phone market, high-end media player market, and low-end phones are coming. Plus, the OS X device is the best-selling device in all cases in every market at every price point. iPad has been the best-selling low-end PC for well over a year now. So we are really watching the tech industry transform before our eyes. Great time to be a Technologizer.

  56. Michael Scrip Says:

    My only concern is….

    People already have a Windows laptop or desktop in the house… likely 2 or more.

    One reason people like the iPad is because it -isn't- Windows. The iPad is easy to use and it's sorta fun. It's thin, light, etc.

    Of course there's another side to this too… some people want a tablet that runs Photoshop and Microsoft Office too. And upcoming ARM powered Windows tablets should be thin and light with great battery life.

    So… it's a little early to say that Apple will sell fewer iPads and PC makers will pick up the bulk of tablets.

  57. Stuart Says:

    Guess my Acer Iconia Tab A500 never made it to the party. Neither did the Asus eeePad … hmm … looks like a so-so list of 30.

    No raving fanboy, mind you, but my Tab A500 does everything I ask it, which is to run Flash, and be cheaper than an iPad with a more useful (1280 x 800) Screen. Free RDP client actually works well. Editing Office documents works well. The Viewsonic Bluetooth keyboard I additionally got, is pretty good, as well. All-in-all, does what I want for now, cheaper & faster than iPad.

    In 2 years is when I really care, though … now is just food for thought.

    It's all immature form-factor, so no sense wasting iPad-type money now, anyway. nVidia's Kalel 4/5-way processor should give a boost to Win8 and Android 4.

    In the end, Apple looks out for it's own ends first, not mine (seen BluRay on any Apple device?), so I'm careful about what I give 'em (typing this on a latest-gen MacBook Pro 15", with both Lion & Win7 Pro via Bootcamp) …

    The old saying applies: Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer …

  58. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    It is great if you like your Iconia, but it is not faster than an iPad. The Apple software is just much, much faster than Android. Part of the reason iPad gets such good battery life is its SoC runs at half speed all the time and the device still feels ridiculously fast. When iPad gets a quad-core SoC this year, that will run half speed most of the time, too, unless the user is running iMovie or GarageBand and needs the power.

    Also, if you are into NVIDIA SoC's, you should know that they only have the second-biggest mobile GPU's in the world. Apple's A5 is both the biggest SoC and has the biggest GPU in a mobile. A5 is a "PC SoC" not a "phone SoC" like all the generic parts. That is why Apple made their own SoC's. Partly to leave out things they don't need like Java accelerators, and partly to make giant SoC's for ARM PC's. They are the only phone maker who makes PC's also. Just because Apple doesn't advertise this does not mean you should assume the generic parts are more butch.

    > Apple looks out for it's own ends first, not mine

    How is it that they have like 91% user satisfaction then? They are like a bespoke tailor. There is no point at all to an Apple product that does not satisfy the user. It would not sell. We saw that with Power Mac G4 Cube. We saw it with Newton. Apple users absolutely will not buy an Apple device because it is a new gadget, it has to have a use in their lives.

    And Apple is not even a little bit suspicious. They say straight out that their mission is to make the best product they can make. You either buy it, or you don't. They don't even have vendor lock-in. Every audio video file they sold out of iTunes is ISO MPEG4 (they could have been QuickTime files just as easily, it is the same file format, MPEG4 is just an open standard vendor neutral version,) and their Web browser has been W3C standard since 2003. Their native apps (which by nature have to be unique to them) are standardized C/C++, so 90% of an iOS or Mac OS app is portable to other platforms. If you write a perfect iOS app, you can port it to Windows basically just by building a Windows interface for the same core logic of your app. Further, all the ports are standardized, everything is even Unix compatible.

    I disagree that tablet PC's are immature. They are 25 years old. It is only your tablet that is immature, going back to only late 2008 with T-Mobile G1. Three quarters of iOS is just OS X, which is 27 years old if you don't count Unix, and goes back to 1969 if you do. You are assuming that people are doing the kinds of things you are doing with your Iconia with their iPads, but they are not. They're doing all the things they used to do on a Windows or Mac PC. They nave native C/C++ PC apps like iMovie, GarageBand, Keynote, Pages, Numbers, and many more. Not baby apps, but full PC apps. Keynote for iPad is essentially Keynote for Mac with the mouse interface chopped off and touch interface put on. It is still the best presentation client in the world, with something like 10 years of history, including starring in "An Inconvenient Truth" and every Steve Jobs keynote and all of Tony Robbins' talks. People aren't using iPads just as accessories to other PC's, they are buying them as PC's and using them as PC's and are very satisfied.

    On the Mac, you author your Blu-Ray or DVD to a disk image file, and then burn as a second step and keep the disk image as a master to burn future copies. You can plug in a USB Blu-Ray, or you can put a Blu-Ray into the second bay in a Mac Pro.

    This will really get you: the reason Apple does not ship Blu-Ray inside Macs is to protect their users. To serve the tiny number of users who want a preinstalled Blu-Ray, Apple would have had to significantly modify OS X so that it meets Blu-Ray consortium requirements for "protected media pathways" and other crazy stuff they came up with to try and lock down a PC so that it can't be used to bootleg Blu-Ray (never mind that the encryption has been cracked!) Macs are creative authoring systems, but Blu-Ray consortium assumes all HD content on there must be stolen Blu-Ray. There is a philosophical chasm there that Steve Jobs called a "bag of hurt."

    But the same movie off of Blu-Ray (ISO MPEG 4, again, a QuickTime movie) is what you get in iTunes or from Amazon or from Netflix and even FlashPlayer and so on. Apple is responsible more than anyone for the modern digital video revolution, it all goes back to QuickTime, which Apple created in 1992.

    Enjoy your Iconia. Stop worrying about your Mac.

  59. harry krishna Says:

    tanks for the heads up. i was hoping to see more fire sales for the xmas season. gonna be some cash shy corps in feb.

  60. Jake Says:

    @Stuart, I am also suprised that the Iconia wasn't mentioned. Nor was the Toshiba Thrive. Both have gotten decent reviews, I was actually pulling this article up to see what the author had to say about those two…

  61. blah Says:

    When you said, it’s not a happy ending, I thought that there would be a better thing than the iPad. My interpretation luckily was wrong 🙂

    iPad is one of the best things around. I don’t like closed source stuff but they (Apple) make great products.

    If some of the open-source camp could actually get into making some progress on usability and user interface there would be real competition for them.

    Otherwise forget about it.

  62. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    The "open-source camp" includes Apple. They are one of the biggest open source developers, and likely the most commercially successful.

    The HTML5 decoder in OS X is an Apple open source project called "WebKit," and it is probably the second most popular open source project after GNU Linux. WebKit is definitely the most popular mobile open source project, with a much larger installed base than Android. It is used by Android, actually, and Chrome, and BlackBerry, Nokia, HP/Palm. It's in Adobe AIR. It's in Adobe Creative Suite. It's in many Linux distributions. It's responsible for 25% of PC browser usage and 75% of mobile browser usage.

    Apple also does "Bonjour" (formerly Rendezvous) which is zero configuration networking, it self-configures local area networks and resources. It's in every network printer and I believe in all routers, and of course in all Apple products, and they make a Windows version you can install to enable iTunes Home Sharing to self-configure.

    The kernel from your iPad is an Apple open source project called "xnu" and it is open source.

    The Unix subsystem from your iPad is an Apple open source project called "Darwin" and it is open source.

    The compiler that is used to make OS X apps is an Apple open source project called "LLVM". So is the C front end with is called "Clang" and has probably the coolest logo of any software project in the world, which is a fierce metal dragon.

    Plus, Mac OS X ships with over 200 open source projects, the only name-brand PC to do so, including such staples as Apache, PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, X11, bash, vi, emacs. They are all there and configured and ready to run when you get a Mac.

    And even what is not open source is open standard: HTML5, PNG, SVG, standard PDF, OpenGL, OpenCL, MPEG4, JPEG. There is nothing that locks anyone in.

    > If some of the open-source camp could actually get into making
    > some progress on usability and user interface

    That is Apple. You bought exactly the right brand of computer system.

  63. zato Says:

    "Spoiler: If you like happy endings, you should stop reading now."

    Because on the gamer/hater driven TECH internet, any story where Apple wins is a bad day.

  64. ken1w Says:

    My prediction last year was that Apple's iPad competitors would soon give up and stop trying to go head-to-head with Apple. This prediction is coming true.

    Going forward, I think the competition will focus on "niches" that Apple intentionally avoids. For example, really large tablets that are too big to hold comfortably in one hand. 5 to 7 -inch tablets. Tablets with built-in slide-out keyboards. Cheap tablets costing under $200.

    That last one is the Kindle Fire. Amazon saw how trying to match iPad in specs, features, and price tag was pure disaster, every time. They only sold off the existing inventory when the desperation fire sale price eventually dropped below $200. So Amazon is going where Apple will not go… a low-end $199 tablet that is sold for "negative" profit, with the hope of making some profit by selling content. It might work, but Amazon should have just put more effort into catering to their iPad and iPhone customers (including me) who already buy a lot of Amazon's e-content. They would sell more content without losing money on every Kindle Fire sold.

    I don't see any DIRECT iPad challengers coming any time soon.

  65. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    Windows 8 is the only one. Nobody else is doing the necessary work.

    Kindle Fire does avoid competing with iPad, but Kindle Fire is also just a reader and media player, equivalent to an iPod, so even if iPad did not exist, a $199 Kindle Fire makes sense. And they are apparently losing only $10 per unit, so in the new year the components will have dropped to where they are making $10 per unit, then $20 per unit, then $30 per unit, etc. Ultimately, they may make money on the hardware. They will likely sell that exact same device for YEARS. They have zero incentive to upgrade it, and a million incentives to just keep reusing it again and agin.

  66. Steven Sherman Says:

    The funny thing here us you hint at the Galaxy Tab series from Samsung but fail to truly acknowledge it. There is a reason Apple wants the 10.1 version blocked in across the world. It is lighter, has a better processor and better cameras than the iPad2. The device is just beautiful. I think comparing the junk of tablets is not fair put the best with the same 600.00 price tag as the iPad and you will get a comparable product.

    The HP Touchpad is a great device but HP should have never released it without a rear camera and such a heafty price tag. It maybe could have competed with the original iPad but was just sad against the iPad 2. HP blew that all on their own.

  67. Charbax Says:

    Slight mix-ups on those Archos that you list, the Archos 5 you show screenshot of is Linux version released in 2008, the Android version released in 2009. Then they released 5 sizes in 2010 called Archos 28, 32, 43, 70 and 101, all of them sold huge amounts, the Archos 70 Internet Tablet is still available now for $199 http://store.archos.com/10072_BFC70IT100_landing…. but is being replaced these days with Archos new Dual-core generation starting at $299 with the Archos 80 G9 and Archos 101 G9, those are 50% faster than iPad2/transformer/acer/xoom and 40% cheaper and with many more advanced features including better video playback, hdmi output, 2x usb hosts, 3x higher memory bandwidth than Tegra2, etc. Archos also released the new Arnova G2 series, capacitive Ice Cream Sandwich compatible, starting at $99 at phillytablet.com

  68. Scott Lewis Says:

    That tablet is not $99. It's $99 with a subscription to a Philly paper at $9.99 a month for 24 months or $129 with a payment of $12.99 a month for 12 months. So at least $285, and while I LOVE Philly and grew up in South Jersey just outside the city… I'm not sure I need that paper. Also, the battery life is "TBC" which I assume means to be calculated according to their spec sheet, and it's a single core CPU, with 4 or 8 gb of memory, and a screen resolution slightly lower than that of the iPad. The hardware may be "Ice Cream Sandwich" compatible, but there's no guarantee that will happen. Ask any number of Android phone users stuck on 1.5 or 1.6 if upgrades come through. I pre ordered a Kindle Fire, but that doesn't mean that every cheap tablet is worthy.

    The Archos 70 is a low resolution, single core, small flash ram device. I could go on, but the reason Archos doesn't sell 15 million PMPs a year is because their products aren't as good as an iPad or even a Galaxy Tab. It's not bad marketing or low name recognition.

  69. Charbax Says:

    Archos tablets are better value than all other on the market. The Archos 70 is last year's device. For $199 you get the Arnova 10 G2, that means you get a 10" tablet for the same price as the 7" Amazon Fire. And what you are paying on the Amazon Fire is a locked down, proprietary device where Amazon wants you to buy all your content through them. Archos is an opened unsubsidized device, if you want it subsidized for example with the Philly newspaper it can be sold at just $99. Archos battery runtime is just like any other tablet. Archos sells over a million Android tablets per year, actually Archos sells more Android tablets than Samsung in several European countries and could easily overtake Samsung if they had a bit more cash to invest in more mass production, cause it's a known fact for Archos that they can easily sell every single tablet that they can afford to manufacture. The only reason Archos doesn't sell more than Apple today is because they haven't got Billions of dollars that they can invest in manufacturing more.

  70. Stijn Says:

    The ASUS EeePad I had in my hands this weekend. Slick thing. The external keyboard you can connect to wasn't convincing though.

  71. Charbax Says:

    If you look at the daily tablet sales, Android tablets worldwide are above 40% of daily tablet sales, and will be above 50% before the end of the year.

  72. Steve Setzer Says:

    The best data I can find on Android sales (to end users, that is, not "shipments" to the channel) suggests that for the third quarter of 2011, Android tablet sales are currently running at about 41% of iPad sales — which means more like 31% of the total.

    I like this report because it's based on actual activations to the Google Marketplace, so it's a fairly reliable source of end user purchase data. I think the rise of Kindle Fire will skew things, however, since KF is an Android tablet that doesn't use Google Marketplace but is likely to sell very well.

  73. Charbax Says:

    Possibly more than half of the daily sold Android tablets do not have the official Google Marketplace pre-installed when they are sold because they still don't run Honeycomb, so those might not be counted in those official Google Marketplace numbers mentioned here. This will change with Ice Cream Sandwich next month when all Android tablets, even the cheapest $60 Android tablets, all can officially legally have the Google Marketplace installed when they are sold.

  74. progosk Says:

    You forgot the Olivetti Olipad! http://www.olivetti.com/site/public/product.asp?c
    I tried one – ah, tristezza…

  75. Ductwork Says:

    Disappointed to see that the Velocity Micro Cruz Tablet is not on either list. I saw one in a Barnes & Noble in the Richmond, Va. area once, and the company even released a video: http://video.timesdispatch.com/v/37981314/ipad-al

  76. robynsc Says:

    i still don't understand why "they" keep trying to compare the kindle fire to the iPad. they are apples and oranges. the kindle fire has neither a camera nor a microphone. discuss.

    but it IS a direct competitor of the barnes & noble color nook and $50 cheaper.

    i've even seen articles comparing the kindle fire and an iPod touch. but, imho, it would have to be a comparison to a pre 4G ipod touch, with no camera. then the screen size becomes the issue.

    the iPad is the iPad. that's all. there is no iPad killer unless you create an iPad, make it open source, sell it for less with more apps and make it lighter. until then…pony up the 500 bucks and breathe a sigh of relief that you got exactly what you expected.

  77. marv08 Says:

    OK, you made 32 in one article (thumbs up!). Now awaiting the equally sad story about the 100 additional killers that were announced around CES 2011 (I have been offered a Galaxy Tab for free with a Samsung washing machine today, I then went for a Miele).

  78. Jim H Says:

    Isn't it clear that Apple spent years honing the iPad into a compelling product that works? That the app store and the iPhone were there already, and continue to offer multi-thousands of apps of a very high quality, which developers rush to because… they can make money? That all the rest refuse to put the research and development and fit and finish work? But still the Fandroids continue to be the very definition of "fanboy" while accusing others of that irrational zombie state? I guess the hatred of Apple ruins a lot of people's lives.

  79. mex4eric Says:

    In France, the major tech retailer, FNAC, had lots of different tablets, more than I see at Best Buy in North America, Asus models, Motorola, etc., they even had a store brand, fnac tablet. No idea who makes it but quite a variety of stuff.

  80. Sigivald Says:

    iPad has the full OS X under the touch interface

    No – iOS is not "the full OSX" under a different interface.

    They share much kernel code and much API, but they're not the same thing.

    (I understand the confusion, given that Apple advertised it as "running OSX", and that's technically true at the kernel level (a "variant" of the OSX kernel, as Apple calls it) – but it's not full OSX.

    Frameworks are also different or entirely absent in iOS vs. OSX. [The biggest difference being lack of garbage collection in iOS, apart from the obvious differences in UI toolkits.]

    The operating systems are closely related, but not identical.)

  81. Warren Says:

    Of the mall, the most infuriating failure, to me, was the TouchPad. Had HP kept with it, and had they actually released a PC with WebOS on it as well (that was a rumor), they might have had something really decent, something capable of parity with iOS and desktop Macs.

    Saddest part is that HP recently released – and keeps selling out of – a special limited edition of their 15c RPN scientific calculator. I got one and am the envy of nerds everywhere. HP's ability to generate nostalgia on that level for calculators is something they've never managed to port to their other industries, and that's a shame.

    If they were to take over every aspect of manufacture and insist on top build quality, and if they committed themselves entirely to WebOS, they'd really have something. As it is, their leadership is failing, and it's just a sad thing to watch them spiral down like this.

  82. Me Says:

    Android tablets will take over ONLY when they go on Buy One Get One Free and $0 on contract, like they did with smartphones.

  83. jppirie Says:

    Brilliant article, thanks for the round up

  84. Lee Says:

    I bought an EXOPC slate last Christmas for my wife. She used it for 3 months to check email, read Kindle books, and surf the web. It wasn't until last month that she finally figured out how to use the EXOPC tablet interface. The apps are nice but all flash based and not very mature. The cool thing is that EXO is still sending out updates to the UI (up to 1.3 as of 1 Oct 2011) and adding more apps, even if they are rather simplistic. My kids love the flash-based kids games. Is it an iPad competitor? No, not quite yet. The entire implementation seems a little overkill on top of Win7. I checked out the Developer Preview of Win8 and it seems promising. Now if I can only get my wife to let me install it on her ExoPC slate, that would be cool.

  85. Ducky Says:

    You bought your wife a what? A non iPad tablet from no name company? Cut corners much? You may as well have bought her socks for your wedding anniversary. What a failure as a husband.

  86. Toshiba Thrive Says:

    Very good comparison for tablet here. I think Android tablet is the next. Today, I try Acer Iconia and I really like it. It's not as smooth as iPad but the price is excellent. I might consider buying android tablet in 1-2 months.

  87. Deendid Says:

    My prediction last year was that Apple's iPad competitors would soon give up and stop trying to go head-to-head with Apple. This prediction is coming true.

    Going forward, I think the competition will focus on "niches" that Apple intentionally avoids. For example, really large tablets that are too big to hold comfortably in one hand. 5 to 7 -inch tablets. Tablets with built-in slide-out keyboards. Cheap tablets costing under $200.

    That last one is the Kindle Fire. Amazon saw how trying to match iPad in specs, features, and price tag was pure disaster, every time. They only sold off the existing inventory when the desperation fire sale price eventually dropped below $200. So Amazon is going where Apple will not go… a low-end $199 tablet that is sold for "negative" profit, with the hope of making some profit by selling content. It might work, but Amazon should have just put more effort into catering to their iPad and iPhone customers (including me) who already buy a lot of Amazon's e-content. They would sell more content without losing money on every Kindle Fire sold.
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  88. chess openings Says:

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