News Analysis: Companies are targeting the MacBook and iPad with thin laptops and tablets, but so far have haven't succeeded in creating products with the Apple's consumer appeal. What should they be doing to beat the Apple products?
there is any constant in the mobile-computing market, it's that Apple will
continue to dish out high-quality, appealing devices each year. It did so with
the launch of the first iPad last year and the iPad 2 earlier this year. And on
the lightweight notebook front,
the company's MacBook Air continues to be the benchmark by which all other
products are judged
. Apple is simply the gold standard for how to be
successful in today's mobile marketplace.
there are many competitors in the wild that want to change that. Motorola,
Samsung and Google have been trying their luck at beating Apple in the tablet
space. At the Computex show on May 31, Intel unveiled a new product category it
calls Ultrabooks that it believes could be the perfect answer for consumers
looking for lightweight notebooks, including Apple's MacBook Air.
all those companies and the many others that are trying to take Apple down a
notch need to do much more if they are going to gain ground against the popular
products produced by Steve Jobs and Company. Apple's iPad and MacBook Air are
simply too impressive for competitors to dole out a basic platform and hope to
on to find out what the competition must do to take on Apple's MacBook Air and
iPad 2 in the mobile-computing space.
1. Try Ultrabooks out
the fate of Ultrabooks is currently unknown
, it wouldn't hurt Apple
competitors to at least deliver one of those devices to test the market. On
paper, Ultrabooks seem like a compelling idea, thanks to their small footprint
and lightweight design. Whether or not consumers will actually respond well to
them, however, remains to be seen. If vendors want to quickly take on Apple's
MacBook Air, offering an Ultrabook might be a good place to start.
2. Think seriously about design
of the biggest problems with competing devices, including the Motorola Xoom and
countless lightweight notebooks, is that they don't offer the same kind of
design quality as Apple's alternatives. If competitors can learn anything from
it's that a solid design means the difference between success and failure
They must remember that as they plan their future devices.
3. Windows won't always cut it
the lightweight notebook space, Windows reigns supreme. Microsoft is also
planning a big push into the tablet space with Windows 8. The only trouble is
that operating system might not be best in all cases. Apple's MacBook Air is
running Mac OS X. Windows makes perfect sense for competing notebooks. But the
same can't be said for tablets. In the tablet space, Android should be running
on devices to compete against Apple.
4. Android won't cut it either
of Android, it's important to note that that operating system won't always work
in every case, either. As mentioned, Android would be an ideal software choice
in the tablet space, but the operating system can't compete against Mac OS X,
which makes Android a poor choice for a lightweight notebook. Android will work
to help competitors compete against Apple, but not in every situation.