These things have done something big to the computing industry over the last year.
For the last 10 years, PC manufacturers have tried time and time again to create tablet-style computers, and they’ve just never succeeded. There was always something about tablets that had them lined up as failures before they were even released. It was either hardware, the form factor, the size, but the biggest factor was always the OS. I don’t care who you are, you can’t have an enjoyable experience using a tablet running any form of Windows or OS X. If you could, these devices would have been a success a long time ago. Even Windows 7 isn’t good enough.
Then Apple decided to make one – the iPad. The iPad was an instant success, and has continued to grace the hands of consumers all over the world. Analysts expected Apple to sell 3 million iPads in 2010. 15 Million were sold; that’s 5 times more than expected. Oppenheimer & Co. expect that 115 million tablets will ship in 2014. Today, 9 out of 10 consumers are aware of the iPad. In fact, as tablet sales have increased, notebook sales have decreased.
Now, you can blame Apple’s success on the “Fanboyism” of its following, or you can blame it on the products they make actually being good products, but either way, they’re selling a lot of iPads.
The whole of last year, Apple was pretty much the only player in the Tablet market. The only other real competitor was the Galaxy Tab from Samsung, which was a Love/Hate thing for most people (I got to play with it quite a bit, and I think it’s terrible). There were other Android based tablets from small vendors, but most of them had inadequate hardware, ran old versions of Android, or just did something wrong. Ultimately, the iPad has been the big player all along.
This year at CES, though, that all changed. There were more than 100 new tablet announcements, with the vast majority of them being Android based. Furthermore, most of them were running Honeycomb, which is the Tablet-Optimized version of Android. The Motorola XOOM has most certainly been the most talked about Android tablet, and rightfully so. Motorola have really made something special. Dual Core Tegra 2, 10.1″1280×800 display, 1GB RAM, 32GB Storage, 5MP Camera, etc etc etc. They’ve really done a great job.
All my life, I’ve been a PC user, and the phone next to me is an Android phone, rooted and running a custom ROM. I’ve avoided Apple products as far as I could, but the iPad really caught my eyes. I got one in December, and it’s really been a great device to use. In fact, I’m writing this very article on my iPad, and I’ll post it from here too.
Ultimately, things are looking very interesting for personal computing. Tablets are going to replace personal computers for many people, while they’ll just serve as a second, more convenient machine for other users. In fact, Apple is of the opinion that we’re living in a “Post-PC” era. What do you think about that?
What do YOU think is going to happen this year, with tablets? Where do YOU think this is going? Leave a comment and let us know what you think the future of tablets is.
- Ettienne Venter