Enterprise Mobility: Tablet Market to Evolve Rapidly in 2011: 10 Reasons Why
Tablet Market to Evolve Rapidly in 2011: 10 Reasons Why
by Don Reisinger
The iPad 2 Is Coming
Apple's iPad has been an absolute success. And at least so far, there is no indication that sales will slow down. Later in the year, expect Apple to both announce and release the iPad 2. When that happens, the device will sell as well as (if not better than) its predecessor and cement Apple's position as a key player in the tablet space for years to come.
Android Will Steal Market Share
As mentioned, Apple's iPad had 87 percent market share through the third quarter of 2010. But as more and more devices hit store shelves this year that are running Android, expect that figure to decline. There will simply be far too many devices running Android for Apple to maintain such a dominant stake in the tablet market.
HP Will Double-Down on WebOS
In February, HP will be holding a special WebOS event to unveil tablets running the operating system. Exactly what the devices will offer is anyone's guess at this point. But if nothing else, they will prove that HP is getting serious about tablets and will rely upon WebOSnot Windowsto carry it into 2012.
The Motorola Xoom Is One to Watch
The iPad will undoubtedly continue to steal headlines this year, but there is another device on its way that will likely show that Apple isn't the only company that knows how to design a tablet: the Motorola Xoom. The device boasts a 10.1-inch display, Android 3.0 and a slew of features that might make Apple think twice about offering just an incremental update to its platform.
The Enterprise Will Be Targeted
The corporate world hasn't been so quick to jump on the tablet bandwagon. The main reason is there are few devices that appeal to corporate customers. However, in 2011, all that will change. Both RIM and Cisco are planning to release their own tablets, dubbed the BlackBerry PlayBook and Cius, respectively. That's good news for the enterprise, and it could start an adoption craze in that space.
Apple Will Still Lead at Years End
If there is anything that consumers and even vendors should know and understand about the tablet market in 2011, it's that Apple will still be far ahead by the end of the year. Yes, the company will lose some market share, but the iPad will still reign supreme. And it's highly unlikely that any single device will come close to matching its sales figures. As appealing as other devices that arrive this year will be, they won't do much to diminish Apple's dominance.
Windows Wont Be a Threat
At the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was supposed to take the stage and show off several new tablets running Windows. Instead, he focused most of his efforts on video games and Windows Phone 7. And in the process, he made it clear that 2011 will not be Microsoft's year in the tablet market. So far, there isn't a single worthwhile Windows-based tablet slated for release this year.
Quality Wont Be the Same Across the Board
Over the next several months, a number of companies will be offering tablets to consumers and enterprise customers. But before those folks get too excited, it's important to point out that the chances of all those products sharing the same quality as the iPad are quite slim. If the ill-fated JooJoo tablet taught the market anything in 2010, it's that not every vendor knows what it's doing when it develops products.
Dont Forget About Samsung
All the talk of the Motorola Xoom and BlackBerry PlayBook leaves out one of the more successful non-Apple tablets already on the market: the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The device, which boasts a 7-inch display and runs Android, likely is just Samsung's first foray into the tablet space. In 2011, the company might offer something quite compelling to consumers to push the envelope a bit more.
The Death of 5-Inch Tablets
When Dell broke into the tablet space in 2010, it did so with the help of the 5-inch Dell Streak. As expected, the device didn't perform all that well as it became clear that the small form factor doesn't make much sense in today's market. In 2011, don't expect to see many (if any) new 5-inch tablets on store shelves. The 7-inch mark will likely be the smallest that companies go.