Chromebooks, Surface Tablets, Windows 8 Crowding Into Cluttered Market

NEWS ANALYSIS: Samsung's new Chromebook is on the way, Windows 8 launches Oct. 25, Microsoft Surface tablets launch Oct. 26. Can the market absorb it all? Here's what analyst have to say.

These are heady days for computer and device makers; Windows 8 will arrive Oct. 25, followed by Window Phone 8 on Oct. 29. The new Windows Surface tablets are set to appear on Oct. 26 while rumors of Google tablets starting at $99 continue to swirl.

Then Google announces its upcoming new Samsung Chromebook for $249 on Oct. 18, all just a month after Apple launched its new iPhone 5 in September.

There's a lot of devices and technology out there in the marketplace, which begs the question: What will win the hearts and minds of consumers in the next few months?

To me, the answer is simple–all of it will win. In the crazy world of tablets, laptops, smartphones, e-book readers, desktop computers and the rest, I truly believe that there certainly is room for it all out there.

In fact, consumers have shown this to be true–they love their devices, all of them, and owning just one likely won't satisfy their cravings for the latest gadgets.

For device makers, that's a good thing, because every new announcement seems to get consumers excited and potentially ready to stand in long lines outside their favorite stores to buy the newest object of their heart’s desire.

So what do the experts have to say? Is the device market going to implode at some point because there are just too many models competing for business in the market? Or will consumers greedily snap them all up, adding to their collections of device chargers, connecting cords and special padded protective covers for their electronics?

"There's room for everything," said Chris Silva, an IT analyst with the Altimeter Group. "People are definitely multiple-device users."

Recent data shows that in 2010, consumers used an average of a bit more than two devices each, while in 2012 that average is now up to slightly more than three devices each, said Silva.

"The baseline of three devices per person is become pretty common," including a smartphone, laptop and maybe even an e-book reader or tablet, said Silva. "We were that way in 2010 and we're increasingly becoming that way."

That's why companies like Samsung have been hedging their bets and releasing a wide variety of products, from tablets to smartphones to feature phones and more, he said. "So their strategy of offering different devices across multiple price points is indicative of the range of what consumers want to buy and probably why Samsung draws the wrath of Apple."

Yet no one device, even one that is incredibly popular, appears to be sucking up the whole market from the competition, said Silva.