Tablet Frenzy Turning Into Tablet Questioning
Holy cow. I would have thought that after we’d seen HP’s announcement of the PalmPad and folks starting reviewing the Motorola Xoom we’d have a real Tablet war on our hands. Well, we kinda do and we kinda don’t. But then if you read this post you probably know I didn’t expect that Tablet War to begin with.
Sumocat linked to Om Malik’s post and shared some of his thoughts on the follow the leader rat race that the Tablet-scape has been since the release of the iPad. Kevin Tofel and others are saying the Xoom feels a bit rushed. Goodness knows what the pundits would be saying if all of the other followers could afford to put review units in the hands of the tech press and bloggers. Well, actually they’d probably say not up to snuff in most instances. (They have in a few cases already.)
While Om is correct and Sumocat is as well the real point is this. Slapping together a Tablet to have something in the market is a long step from competing seriously in the space. Price points, battery life, UI, Apps, ecosystem etc… all matter and no one has proven YET that they really understand how to weave it all together in the way Apple is attempting to. In other words its called a vision and in my view the vision of most of the followers is simple, try to make some money by doing something like Apple.
Say what you want about Apple and its closed system but there is a vision there if you choose to buy into it. I’m not saying that Motorola, Google, HP, and the others don’t have a vision, but I am saying that they are so far not articulating one that resonates. And early impressions of things being rushed, as well as all the other issues, don’t help anybody’s competitive stance. Everybody always talks a good game in product releases (well, some not so much), but when it comes to delivering the goods, or should I say vision, that’s another story.
I keep reminding myself that what we’re seeing today is the planting of seeds that many hope lead to some pretty delicious fruit in a year or so down the road. The only problem with that is that the neighbor on the hill has already harvested last year’s crop and is going to have one, if not two more crops to take to market before we see the benefits from any of these other seedlings.