Apple's time nearly alone in the tablet space is set to come to an end quickly. Motorola is preparing to launch an Android-based tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January. The Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab has already been on sale for a couple of months. RIM's PlayBook is coming to the market by the end of the first quarter, and HP/Palm are prepping a webOS-based tablet. Microsoft may throw its hat in the ring, too (though who knows in what form).
Just how many tablet platforms can the market support?
Thanks for the question, Eric from Information Week. It's a doozy. Trigon, as always, is on the cusp of information technology. I mean, there is no new gadget we aren't already preparing a blog post about.
So, as we are all keenly aware, Apple is the king of the tablet hill. Sure, there are some Windows Fanboys that will point to their super awesome laptop/tablet that has some kind of twisty/swivel screen. Come on, that thing is awful and you know it. Anywho, Apple is the king of the hill, Motorola is coming out with an Android tablet fully supported by Google. RIM, bless their hearts, says their tablet that isn't coming out until March is already ahead of the iPad. And we also have Palm, who has been rumored to have created a tablet based on WebOS. That's a full slate. (see what I did there?)
Aside from Motorola having Google behind them, it's going to be very difficult for RIM and Palm to come out and get consumers behind them. Are there really people holding out for a RIM tablet? Are there really people still using BlackBerry's? If you're using one right now, sorry! (I'm not really sorry)
The mindshare that Apple has and also "Droid" is pretty remarkable. You'll notice I said "Droid" and not Android. I'd bet that 8 out of 10 people think their phone is running Droid. Sure, it's obviously not true, but that's where the mindshare is right now.
I vote no, Eric!
As for Pre 2 itself? Little is being revealed at the moment, but we're told to expect a 1GHz CPU, a five megapixel camera (LED flash, extended depth of field, geotagging, and video capture), glass display and a "sleeker, streamlined design" that still combines a touchpanel with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. In other words, it's a faster, slimmer Pre, and some would argue it's what the Pre Plus should've been. At any rate, SFR customers in France will get first dibs on Friday, with Verizon and an undisclosed carrier in Canada scheduled to get it "in the coming months." Oh, and as for US-based developers? They'll be able to purchase unlocked UMTS versions of the Pre 2 (!) in their homeland, though pricing remains elusive.
A very strange launch for the newest Palm product in a very long time. Just a press release? Even then, it's marginally updated hardware. This is going to be the first Palm phone sold under the new HP banner, and it sounds like the phone is being branded as the "Palm Pre 2", while the OS is now called the "HP webOS 2.0". Not at all confusing.
When I had gotten a Palm Pre Plus for a week thanks to a friend inside of Palm, it was running very compelling software. The hardware was really dragging the phone down, however. I remember just booting the phone took over 2 minutes. That's slower than most computers. Integration for mobile enterprise users was great, which is always a plus in my book. And also the book of an IT Support company serving the Philadelphia area. My exchange accounts connected with ease, and thanks to the notifications inside of the phones OS, getting emails and texts was very unobtrusive. When compared to the Pre's notification system, the iPhone looks like a cardboard cutout. That's no hyperbole.
It's great that Palm or HP, or whoever, is putting out new webOS phones, but it would be even better if they put out brand new hardware to match. Wishful thinking, HPalm?
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