Feeds

CES wrap: let the battle of the tablets commence

Post-netbook era looking suspiciously like pre-netbook age

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

History repeats... brrp

Indeed, it's very telling that almost everyone stressed that their tablet provides "the full web experience", code for supports Adobe Flash. Why? Because this is the only feature they can highlight that Apple's popular iPad lacks.

Interestingly, not one of them felt able to also say they were cheaper than the competition, so don't expect them to be.

Differentiation will be a real problem for tablet makers. Apple and RIM can at least highlight their operating systems and tight linkage to online services: iTunes and BlackBerry email, respectively. But most of their rivals showed little imagination here.

A notable exception is Panasonic, which is branding its Viera Tablet to tie the device into its range of HD TVs in order to promote it as a telly accessory as much as a personal computing device.

It's not hard to see how all this will pan out. Five years from now, we'll have Apple and RIM as minority - albeit large ones - players alongside a horde of me-too machines all offering a largely identical spec and running Google's Android.

Swap 'Google' for 'Microsoft', and 'tablet' for 'PC', and you'll have a market that largely matches the personal computer business of the late 1980s: one big software vendor, dozens of commodity hardware vendors and a few firms offering niche alternatives, one of them Apple.

You can substitute 'smartphone' for 'tablet' and you'll get the same result.

Ironically, Microsoft will be a minority player. Some vendors - Toshiba and Asus, for instance - showed Windows-based tablets, but all who did so also announced Android offerings. It's hard to see Windows 7 competing well in the market for media viewing machines, leaving Microsoft with the choice of making Windows 8 more bloated by adding functionality for modern tablets, or basing a new tablet OS on Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft wasn't the only player seemingly unsure of what to do about the rise of the tablet. Sony may have admitted it was working on one, it had no more to say about the subject. Acer and LG didn't say much, either, but they did at least announce tablets in 2010. These will arrive later this year when Android Honeycomb is ready. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?