Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Android Created 2010 Tablet PC Market

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Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Android Created 2010 Tablet PC Market

by Nicholas Kolakowski

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Apple iPad

Apples iPad helped kickstart the consumer tablet PC market, eventually reaching sales of roughly 1 million units per month. The 9.7-inch device runs Apples proprietary iOS.

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Google Android Tablets

As the iPad saw success, Apples competitors began to plan their own tablet PCs. Samsung was one of the first, debuting its Samsung Galaxy Tab for U.S. audiences in September.

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Dell Streak

Dell also entered the game with its smartphone/tablet hybrid, the 5-inch Dell Streak. In response to early criticisms about an outdated Android OS, Dell eventually upgraded the device to run Android 2.2.

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RIM PlayBook

Research In Motion began promising the PlayBook, a 7-inch tablet running a proprietary operating sytem, for release in early 2011. The tablet is aimed primarily at a business audience.

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All competitors in the space have been marketing their tablets as lightweight, battery-friendly multimedia engines, capable of lightweight productivity tasks alongside watching movies or cruising the Internet.

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iPad vs. E-Readers

Even before its release, analysts publicly wondered about the iPads effect on the market for e-readers such as Amazon.coms Kindle and Barnes & Nobles Nook. The jurys still out on that one.

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Apple and Google have been encouraging third-party developers to build apps for their respective mobile marketplaces, but a tablet-optimized Android wont arrive until version 3.0.

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Windows Tablet?

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shows off a Hewlett-Packard tablet during Januarys Consumer Electronics Show. However, Microsoft remained a lesser player in the tablet market throughout 2010.

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Web Browsing

With Apples very public rejection of Adobe Flash for its mobile devices, competitors such as Samsung and HP began trumpeting their own Flash support for Websites as a key competitive differentiator for their tablets.

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iPad 2

As 2010 came to a close, speculation has already begun about the next-generation tablets, including the iPad. Some analysts believe that the next Apple tablet will include front- and rear-facing cameras for video conferencing, bringing its hardware in line with the Samsung Galaxy Tab and other rivals.

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