Desktops and Notebooks: Samsung, Dell, Microsoft, HP Plan Their Apple iPad Competition
Samsung, Dell, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Research In Motion and other manufacturers are all planning their own consumer tablet offerings to compete against the Apple iPad. Many of those tablets, such as the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab and recently-released Dell Streak, run Google Android; others could run companies' proprietary operating systems, such as BlackBerry 6 or Palm WebOS, or use some form of Windows 7. Android seems to have an early lead, with regard to devices either currently on-sale or about to hit the market. Given Apple's iPad sales-which totaled 3.27 million units for the third quarter of fiscal 2010-and the crowding of the overall tablet space, it may take a combination of marketing effort, a little luck, and killer features for any one of these competitors to produce a game-changing hit. Based on early devices from the likes of Samsung and Archos, manufacturers believe those must-have features include video-or even video conferencing, with front- and rear-facing cameras-along with Flash-enabled Web surfing, e-reading, and ability to run applications. Considering the sizable amount of research and advertising dollars being spent on their respective efforts, the price of consumer tablet-market failure for these manufacturers is indeed high. Nonetheless, with that market expanding rapidly-to the tune of billions of dollars-these companies may have no choice but to plunge in with both feet.