Tablets running Microsoft Windows 8 and Intel Clover Trail chips-and built by Lenovo and Acer-are reportedly in the works.
Computer makers Lenovo and
Acer are reportedly planning to release tablet devices running the Windows 8
platform from Microsoft and sporting Intel chips known as Clover Trail. A DigiTimes report
sources in the "upstream supply chain" as saying that PC players are putting
more hope on Intel's Clover Trail platform as Medfield, designed by Intel for
Android-based smartphones and tablet PCs, is "eclipsed by ARM-based processors
in terms of performance and power saving."
The report also says the
combined Windows and Intel (Wintel) tablets could be available in the third
quarter, finding strong demand in the enterprise as tablet sales grow and users
familiar with Microsoft applications look for a platform they are familiar
with. Acer and Lenovo join other technology giants, including Hewlett-Packard,
Dell and Microsoft mobile platform partner Nokia in their plans for a
Windows-based tablet to rival Apple's iPad. Apple continues to lead the overall
tablet market with close to 70 percent market share worldwide.
While the tablet market
continues to expand, several companies have had less than stellar results
following their investment in this space, including HP and BlackBerry
manufacturer Research In Motion, which recently reduced the price for all of
its PlayBook tablets, ranging the 16GB model to the 64GB version, to $299 in
hopes of spurring sales. The company said the sale would end Feb. 4.
Google is also wading into
the tablet manufacturing space in 2012 after seeing its mobile operating
platform Android gain market share through the release of tablets from Motorola
and Samsung. Last week, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt let slip to the
Italian daily newspaper Corriere della
that the company was planning to directly manufacture tablet devices
"of the highest quality" and mentioned a six-month window for production. The
Google tablet would likely be marketed under the company's Nexus brand, which
also includes smartphones.
Apple is also rumored to be
releasing the third iteration of its iPad tablet in March or April. In the past
few months, reports on the Web have indicated that Apple is planning on some
sort of higher-resolution display for the next iPad, possibly of the same
quality as the "retina display" currently available in later-model iPhones. The
company may also release a small-screen version of the iPad later in 2012.
Nearly three quarters of
U.S. small and midsize businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees have plans to
purchase tablets over the next 12 months, with the iPad being the most
considered tablet among those firms planning an upcoming purchase, according to
IT research firm NPD Group's third-quarter SMB Technology Monitor. Among the
SMBs surveyed, 73 percent said they plan to purchase tablets in the next 12
months, up from 68 percent in the NPD Group's second-quarter survey.