Cisco, Chrome, Smartphones Will Have a Say

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-09-07 Print this article Print


5. The iPad isn't ideal

The iPad is an outstanding device that delivers an experience that few other products in today's marketplace can muster. But it's not ideal. For example, the device lacks multitasking. And according to Apple, an update bringing that functionality to the device won't be coming until November. That's not good for consumers, and it's bad news for Apple itself. Going forward, the iPad will need to offer a better value proposition if it is to dominate the tablet space.

6. The mainstream isn't there yet

Customers are buying tablets at a rapid rate, and the chances of that slowing down anytime soon seem slim. But the mainstream market that will help determine which company wins and which company loses has yet to fully make its way to the space just yet. Over time, it undoubtedly will. But until the mainstream starts buying tens of millions of tablets each month, it's hard to say which firm will come out on top.

7. The enterprise is undecided

The enterprise is an interesting space. It's typically the market where vendors can make boatloads of cash, but it's also the segment that hates change. Realizing that, tablets have yet to make their way into many offices around the world. Recent reports suggest that's changing, but it's taking awhile. Until the corporate world determines what's next for it, there is no way to predict the tablet's future.

8. Cisco could change everything

Cisco Systems is planning to release an Android-based tablet, called the Cius, in the coming months. When that tablet hits store shelves, it will cater to enterprise customers that want to get more from their existing Cisco technologies. Exactly how the Cius will perform is anyone's guess. But if it's successful, it could bring the enterprise into the tablet market in droves. And when that happens, all bets are off.

9. The Chrome OS wild card

Google's Chrome OS promises to be a fine platform for netbooks. But speculation abounds over the possibility of the search giant offering its Web-based operating system on tablets. If (or perhaps when) that happens, the effect could be noticeable on both Android OS and the tablet market as a whole. After all, if people choose the Web-based option, just about all of the devices available now will be obsolete.

10. Smartphones can change everything

The wild card in the tablet space is the smartphone. Apple's iPhone, as well as the multitude of Android-based devices on the market, could stunt the tablet's growth. Although Apple and its competitors have said that smartphones and tablets are two distinct markets, that might not be true. After all, they both deliver mobility, the same operating systems and equal productivity. Plus, with limited budgets both in the consumer market and the enterprise guiding buying decisions, it's possible that some might choose the cheaper smartphone offering rather than a tablet. If that happens, the future is very much in doubt for the iPad and its competition.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel