It would appear my previous post about 20 tablets so far being announced at CES was premature, apparently there’s been over 200 so far! So there’s no doubting that 2011 will be the year of the tablet, but what isn’t clear just yet, is who will be the winners and who will be the losers (The Motorola Xoom looks like this years Tablet to watch).
What is clear however, is Google have invested a huge amount of resources and thinking into the next version of Android, plus their Open Source approach is paying huge dividends, it’s obvious they will win no matter which hardware manufacturer wins or loses, as their OS takes the lion’s share of upcoming tablets. As you can see from the video, Android 3.0 is a radical redesign and will propel the OS popularity even further.
A big question circulating at the moment is what will Apple do in response with the iPad to all these new tablets? Unfortunately my guess is, not much right now. It’s not like they didn’t expect to see a huge range of tablets being announced at CES this year, but Apple aren’t know to make knee jerk reactions, they will continue with their meticulously planned iPad 2 release in a month or so and it will be seen by many as safe yet lacklustre upgrade, both in hardware and software (unlikely to have any major OS updates, just functionality and apps, ie camera app etc). iOS is great on phones, but already it’s looking a bit cumbersome, even Microsoft’s Windows Mobile has the edge in many respects, so iOS on the iPad, while functional, is hardly showing the hardware and the platform off to it’s full, there’s so much more Apple could and should be doing. Their desktop OSX has always been their crown jewels and was always years ahead of the competition, but the last couple of updates have lacked any huge innovations, and the competition has caught up.
Apple are of course hugely successful and make incredibly robust and well integrated hardware and software solutions, but they really need to pull the rabbit out of the hat with the next major iOS update, otherwise within a couple of years, their dominance of the tablet and smart phone markets will have all but disappeared.
Android Honeycomb Showcased at CES
interview with Matias Duarte (Director, Android User Experience)