With Tablets, Apps Make the Difference

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-03-17 Print this article Print


5. Consider colors

Apple is a trendsetter in every market it operates in. And for the most part, companies that try to follow its lead perform quite well. Then perhaps competitors should consider launching white versions of their tablets. The white iPad 2 has proved to be quite successful if sales are to be one's guide. Why shouldn't competitors attempt to generate their own cash on tablets featuring color as well?

6. Big advertising budgets are required

If anything is true about the tablet market, it's that advertising is integral to the success or failure of a device. That's precisely why Motorola has been doubling down on its Xoom ads. It's also why Apple consistently pumps out high-quality ads of its own. Unless the company is Apple, any tablet maker must inform the public about its products. And the best way to do that is through widespread advertising efforts.

7. 4G is a must

If one were to point to a specific feature that can trump the iPad 2, it's 4G connectivity. Apple's new tablet only allows users to connect to Verizon's or AT&T's networks over 3G. The Xoom, on the other hand, will soon be upgraded to let owners connect to Verizon's 4G network in addition to its 3G network. Going forward, companies that support 4G out of the box will undoubtedly have a leg up on Apple. That's an important factor.

8. The enterprise is there for the taking

As nice as the iPad 2 and Xoom might be for consumers, neither device adequately delivers the experience that enterprise customers are looking for. Realizing that, maybe those devices' competitors should think seriously about capitalizing on the corporate world with their products. RIM and Cisco are planning to do so, but what about other companies? The enterprise tablet space is there for the taking. At least so far, neither Apple nor Motorola has nabbed it.

9. It's a dual-core world

Both the Motorola Xoom and the iPad 2 boast dual-core processors. Because of that, the more-capable chips have become absolute necessities for all the tablets that will be hitting store shelves in the coming months. Luckily, many of the devices that have been announced so far will include dual-core chips. But for those companies that haven't yet announced their upcoming tablets, let's just be clear: A tablet that lacks a dual-core processor and comes with something less powerful is a tablet that will fail.

10. Apps matter

When Jobs unveiled the iPad 2 at a March 2 press event, he discussed the disparity in the number of apps available for his company's tablet compared with those for Android-based tablets. He reported at the time that there were more than 65,000 iPad apps available in Apple's App Store. Just 100 apps were available to Android-based tablets. As RIM and HP, two companies that won't be relying upon the App Store or Android Market to deliver apps, get serious about mobile programs, they need to keep that disparity in mind. Apps are extremely important in the mobile market. The company that delivers a tablet with little app support will be in for trouble. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, 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 http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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