Monday, August 15, 2011

Outside Of You-Know-What-Tablet, Which Platform Has The Best Chances

According to a survey conducted by Baird and Co., those who own a tablet overwhelmingly have an iPad and those who want a tablet mostly (94%) is looking to own an iPad.

That’s not the interesting story.  It’s who’s next and who’s last that has me think about the prospect of who will make it and who won’t.

It turned out that HP’s Touchpad is the next individual device being considered.  Yup, I find the result to be very strange (and a little excited by it).  If you take the iPad out of the equation and put all the other tablets into their own category, Android would dominate that market as it does now in the smartphone market.

Using those numbers from the Macnn post, it would put the following tablet landscape into a different perspective:
  • Touchpad would own 26% of the market
  • Android tablet would dominate at nearly 55% (Xoom, Tab, Flyer)
  • The Playbook would only own 10%
  • The Nook comes in at a little over 9%
I know this is very simplistic.  I am making a bit assumption that everyone who expressed interest in those tablets will buy one and all external factors remain the same.  But do consider just how the breakdown looks like.  Android tablets will own a large portion of the non-iPad tablets.  As a platform, it’s enough for Android to be relevant.  But for the others, it’s a losing battle.

However, the Touchpad’s resilience does say something about the level of interests in Web OS.  And sure, Android will be a player but given today’s Google’s Motorola Mobility buyout, its Android partners (who have publicly supported the move) will certainly be looking at other platforms.  And HP has indicated a willingness to license Web OS and Samsung has expressed interests.

If the Touchpad could somehow hold some ground and give it enough time for hardware makers like Samsung some breathing room, the Web OS could still be more than just a niche player.

As for RIM, I don’t know what to say about the Playbook at this time except it's not good at all.  It’s just against 7” Honeycomb tablets priced around $300 (the Playbook is retailing at $500).

That's the picture today.  There are still some changes to come.  First, the state of Android is now in flux despite Google's promise that Android will remain open for use.  Amazon's tablets, like Barnes and Noble's Nook, are in a category of its own.

And then, there's Windows 8.  You can believe that Microsoft will be mounting the biggest push to win over Android device makers in this all too critical tablet market.

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