The Tablet Wars: Will the iPad really be challenged?

Dec 27, 2010
Oshyn Labs

Apple established the Tablet market in 2010 showing us how tablets could replace netbooks and could create a more engaging “always-connected” web experience. With bountiful apps for the iPad, consumers have been lining up to buy their own. I’ve even read some stories about iPad owners breaking down and buying a 2nd iPad for other family members to use. But there have also been other Tablets breaking into the market.

I stopped by Vodaphone recently to talk to some employees about their tablet preferences. I figured they were a good audience since they get to play with new tablets as they hit the market. The consensus was that the Samsung Galaxy Tab is more portable but of course has a smaller viewing area. They also seemed to be pretty keen on the Android operating system and surprising are quite happy with the fact that it can be used to view Flash. There was a general consensus that although the iPad is cool and sexy – there’s a little Steve Jobs resentment over the closed-nature of the platform. Next we started debating the unreleased BlackBerry Playbook. Some comparisons have shown that it might also be a strong player against the iPad – but then the next get iPads are sure to be full of surprises. I was intrigued today when I heard about the Motorola tablet via @techbabe on Twitter today. HP planned on releasing its Slate 500 (powered by Windows 7) but reassessed plans after acquiring Palm – deciding to launch the HP Slate as a business/enterprise product and develop a separate tablet for the consumer market. Nokia has been trying to find its way in the tablet market for a couple of years and just can’t seem to find its footing.

I’m still surprised by the love people have for their Samsung Galaxy Tabs. Everyone I know who has one loves it. One friend in particular insists on demonstrating every new function and app he’s discovered. So much is his love for his tablet that I bought him a keyboard for Christmas (and I had to go to several stores as everyone was out of stock – maybe it’s a marketing gimmick?) But I have begun to see the tablet take on a new life. We were sitting in the living room celebrating Christmas and using the Galaxy tablet constantly: watching YouTube, playing songs, taking pictures, scanning items to look up items, taking more pictures, using the tablet to make phone calls and Skype (yes Skype is now used as a verb like Google). Sure you can do all these things with laptops and netbooks but tablets boot faster. We turned on a laptop, a netbook and Galaxy at the same time (Yes my friends love technology like I do.) and the Galaxy was ready to go almost instantly. I started looking at how the tablet market was affecting Kindle and was surprised that, according to Mashable, many Kindle buyers already have tablets! I guess that’s not really that surprising considering the Kindle can hold a single charge without wifi for a month!

Check out this video for a iPad v. Galaxy Prizefight from CNET:

But what will CES 2011 bring us? What new gadgets will be unveiled?