How long will Apple’s iPad dominate the market? An interesting question that was asked by Gartner Research recently. Basically, they predict that Apple will maintain a virtual stranglehold on the tablet market through 2011 and 2012, and remain as the top tablet platform through at least 2015.
Dell is betting on Android and Windows 7 tablets to counter the surge in popularity of the Apple iPad. Why two tablets? First of all some history is needed here. Last year Dell tried its hand at Android tablets but it was not a successful venture. They tried it with the 5-inch Streak, a hybrid tablet/smartphone. But it had old software, high pricing and negative reviews. Most saw the Streak as a flop. Then Dell unveiled a 7-inch Streak tablet in January, running Android 2.2. Dell also experimented with a 10-inch tablet/netbook hybrid last year, called Inspiron Duo, running on Windows 7. So now dell is looking at a new approach.
The release anticipated sometime later this year will involve two Windows 7 tablets and a 10-inch Android Honeycomb tablet. The approach will be with three tablets the Latitude ST, Streak Pro, and Latitude XT-3. Each is configured for different clients. The Windows tablet is the the 13-inch Latitude XT-3 with release expected in July, and the Latitude ST expected in October. The Android tablet is the Streak Pro, is due to be released in June.
What is interesting about Dell’s use of the Windows Tablet is that they feel that Android will ultimately dominate the market, not Apple, and not Windows. So why bother? Probably because they don’t want to miss out on getting some market share, even if it is not overwhelming.
Many companies are becoming tablet manufacturers. And why are tablets successful now when they weren’t before? that is an easy question to answer. It’s Apps. Sure the hardware technology is better now than it was even five years ago. It is more powerful, faster, lighter, and can run longer on batteries. But the game changer were the Apps. Because now the tablet was distinctly seen as something different than a PC.