Smartbook done to death by Apple iPad
Tablet frenzy claims victim
Wondering what happened to all those ARM-based netbooks we were promised last year would be the Next Big Thing? According to the boss of chip maker Qualcomm, the iPad killed 'em.
Not in so many words, of course, but CEO Paul Jacobs, speaking at the company's IQ conference in London this week, did say that tablets, as effectively pioneered by the Apple gadget, have delivered the always on, always connected, run for a full day functionality that ARM-based netbooks - aka 'smartbooks' - were designed to, Slashgear reports.
In short, with so many tablets in the offing, there's less need for smartbooks. Why are there so many tablets on the way? Because everyone wants to emulate the success Apple has had with the iPad. Ergo, iPad killed the smartbook.
Which is, of course, why Lenovo, for one, appears to have canned its smartbook, the Skylight, in favour of an Android-based tablet, LePad.
The Skylight was originally due to go on sale in the US in April. It didn't appear, and in May Lenovo said it was putting the project on hold, at least in the form shown up to that point. Two months later, Lenovo was trumpeting the late 2010 release of LePad, and Skylight hasn't been mentioned since.
Toshiba, of course, now has a tablet in the works too, the Folio 100.
Qualcomm doesn't really care one way or the other since its chips will sit as happily in a tablet as a smartbook. And since early suggestions show that the netbook market has peaked - whether at the hand of the iPad or not - it doesn't look like there's as much demand for smartbooks now as originally thought. ®
How I hate marketing driven gaps ...
Whatever happened to simple segmentation of devices and market needs?
Laptop = Business capable computing tool
Netbook = Mobile 'lightweight' business capable computing tool
Tablet = Mobile infotainment tool
Smartphone = communication tool with lightweight computing capabilities
Personally I cannot see tablets totally replacing computers ... its just that whereas in the past computers were the domain of business, now they have become consumer devices so the consumer market leads and business functionality follows. Apart from a max 1-day trip outside the office, I cannot see a tablet replacing a netbook as the desired lightweight business travel partner.
My guess is once the tablet stuff has settled down, netbooks will re.emerge as 'executive notebooks' for business.
As to how many of the above you own depends on budget and your capabity to manage the synchronisation or belief in 'the cloud'.
I thought there's tons of them coming from China now. All equipped with either ARM-based Linux distros or WinCE.
Although they're going to need to throw out that 7" PSTN LCD display for something slightly bigger and better. Those available now looks like one of those glorified kiddie laptops with a huge border around such a small screen.
Re: How I hate marketing driven gaps ...
Oh but haven't you heard? Market needs are clear - it's all about grandma sitting on the sofa with her grand-children.
There are casualities within Apple's own product line -- Mac Pros aren't worth shit, 30" Cinema Displays are no more, all LCDs have shiny screens because they look better under studio lighting, nobody wants Blu-Ray because poorly compressed itunes 720 is what we *should* be watching, and a slab of glass is exactly what you want to keep in your front jeans pocket next to the family jewels.
Apple's laser-precision focus on Consumerism is killing their own professional line of products. They don't care about creating anything that people with "things to do", which is a shame given those same people are the ones who propped them up for two decades.
Don't complain too much just yet, I'm sure you'll need to keep the best for later; when it gets worse.
As have I
Sincerely hope you're wrong though.
@Depends what you want to do
"If you want something that works like a big mobile phone (a Moby-phone?), get an iPad."
Which we could then have fun with, renaming it the "iDick". What about the slogan "you'll have a whale of a time with your iDick"?