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Gadgets -The Ensuing Tablet Wars: Who Will Emerge the Winner?

September 13, 2010

The Ensuing Tablet Wars: Who Will Emerge the Winner?

By Susan J. Campbell
TMCnet Contributing Editor

Did you really think Apple (News - Alert) would be the only tablet maker? And, did you really think you could only get it through exclusive outlets? As the tablet market explodes, be prepared to see Apple re-think its distribution strategy and Android (News - Alert)-backed products emerge in a steady stream. According to a recent Appolicious piece, the biggest threat to Apple’s dominance could be the slate of Android-backed products that are expected to receive high-profile treatment from carriers such as Verizon (News - Alert). 

A product from BlackBerry nicknamed the BlackPad and a possible Palm Pad could shake things up, as well as a rumored Microsoft solution.While the word shortage won’t apply in the tablet world, the real competition is expected to come from the Android space. Many of the resulting products will be slick, yet we shouldn’t expect all to succeed. History has certainly taught us who the dominate players in this space truly are and who will likely exit as quickly as they enter.Samsung (News - Alert) may produce the biggest push with the tablet based on the popular Galaxy S line-up of Android phones. This tablet could easily arrive at all major U.S. wireless carriers, much like the Galaxy S phones. 

With the rising activity among the competition, Apple is gearing up for a fight. The company is reportedly seeking to expand its distribution channel for the iPad and if Engagdet reports are accurate, could expand to Target stores in October. The report only suggests rumors, so we might have to wait for confirmation. To compound the issue, Google announced last week that Android may not yet be ready for a tablet the size of the iPad. This doesn’t mean we won’t see a tablet soon; just that it may be smaller. 

We may also see tablets based on Google’s Chrome operating system, which Google is backing for portable computing. While the Android platform is certainly desired, there may be a problem. According to analyst and columnist Michael Gartenber, an increasing number of Android phones are arriving with pre-installed apps people don’t really want. Think about the computer purchase with so many add-ons and pop-ups to buy new software or free trials that turn into nightmares you can’t cancel. This is a money-maker for Best Buy’s (News - Alert) Geek Squad as they offer to clear all of the “junk” off the new computer before you take it home. Why then, would you want to have to do this with your mobile device?

It is true this has been a successful marketing tool in the past, but consumers are not as tolerant as they once were and the ease and no-strings approach of the iPad could be the attractive feature that puts Android on alert.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

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