Pads, tablets, and Other No-Shows

Earlier this month InformationWeek ran a piece describing how Goldman Sachs expects tablet sales to cannibalize PC sales at a rate of 33% to 35%. A quick look around finds similar articles from eWeek, TechFlash, and a host of others. All theorize that Microsoft is late to the party and as a result will miss out on being a major player in the theorized huge tablet market.

Last January saw Steve Balmer touting his three answers to the iPad shown in the picture above, but somehow those still have not made it to the starting line.

It is expected that Mircrosoft will again be thumping its imaginary drum about imaginary introductions next month.

The problem with all this is that it’s all speculation. The announcements are speculation, the products are speculation, the predicted 1/3 market share for tablets is speculation. It’s all just so much hype that I decided to go to my local BestBuy and see what really exists. From my point of view, if it isn’t in BestBuy then it doesn’t exist. Yes, I know that’s a rather limited view, but to be honest that’s the limit of my little world in this small, little chain challenged city.

I make my way through the holiday traffic with hidden traffic cameras to our only electronic oasis, BestBuy. I park close, rush to the computer department and find….. nothing. I look to the left and see the iPad in the Apple section. I find a sales associate and ask, “Besides iPad, do you guys have any tablet PCs?” “NO“. I was hoping for a little more information but at least that left no room for misinterpretation. Keep in mind that this is less than 2 weeks before Christmas. There won’t be a bigger selling season until this time next year.

On the way out I pass the cell phone area and sitting right there is a phone tablet thingy. Oh, and here’s another phone tablet thingy. Dell, Samsung, and someone I’ve never heard of have some very large 5″ to 7″ phones available. Not really tablets but not really phones either.

Wow, all this talk of tablets and yet Apple is the only consumer choice.

I’m sure that eventually tables will hold a sizable portion of the mobil or portable market, but 33% of PC sales. No way, not any time soon and maybe never.

Tell me what you think, I know you will.

BTW, I’d like to wish everyone a very special and Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year.

See you in 2011.

__________________________________________

eWEEK

InformationWeek

TechFlash

2010 BS

161 total views, 1 views today

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

14 thoughts on “Pads, tablets, and Other No-Shows

  1. I have a work-issued iPad, but still use my laptop. The iPad is not a computer, and it’s not a phone – it’s more a novelty. Even when I’m surfing I prefer typing on the keyboard on my laptop – it’s much faster, and I agree with Ron Graves about the fingerprints all over the screen. I tried reading a book on the iPad, but the e-ink technology on my Nook is much easier on the eyes, and frankly, after working on a comoputer all day, I don’t want to read on a backlit screen. Also, Apple products, at least, have the shortming not playing nicely with Flash.

    If you want one product that does everything, but specializes in only a few applications, the tablet may be right for you. But if you want a powerful computer with lots of memory and don’t mind having separate electronics for music and reading, the tablet may just be an also ran.

  2. I agree with JoeW. Tablets may well put a dent into netbook/laptop sales, but there is still no substitute for the desktop PC.

    I’m one of those who doesn’t own a laptop (I have, but don’t use them enough to keep one). We also had a family rule: no laptops in the living room. Like most of our family rules, that one has now been forgotten and is broken daily (not by me).

    My wife got an iPad from work to use for free. She kept it for about 2 weeks (friends and family all had a play with it) before giving it back. She’s happily back on her laptop again in the living room.

    The single feature which makes tablets attractive is also the tablet’s achillie’s heel – portability. It will be decades before all the parts (particularly the video card) can be made small enough to give a tablet comparable power to a desktop PC.

    When we have work to do, we’re on our desktops. When we want to surf/read while watching TV, the laptop comes in handy. Mostly it sits on the table in standby, and is mostly used for googling up answers to our constant questions. Our laptop gets used an hour or 2 per day, and our desktops get used 8-12 hours per day. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. 🙂

    If/when a tablet is available that does all that the laptop does, and at a decent price, we may consider swapping out the laptop. At this point in time, the iPad and all E-Readers are way too limited for our liking. 🙂

  3. I don’t see tablets making significant inroads into desktop computing. I see them possible eliminating netbooks and denting low end notebook sales

  4. “Do you really want to do all typing and everything on a tablet?”

    No Derek, I certainly do not want to, and I don’t. I have a desktop computer I don’t use much anymore and a laptop that replaced the desktop, but it is a pain to unhook all the cables if I want to relax on the sofa, or compute in bed.

    Now I grab my tablet, take it anywhere, and do light surfing, e-mail, games, read a book, listen to music, watch videos, pretty much anything I do on the laptop.

    I don’t do a lot of typing on it, that’s what the laptop is for, but if I want to or need to, I pop it in it’s case that has a built-in keyboard, and it is very comfortable typing with it. It is actually a very nice keyboard, better than some laptops I’ve used.

    The text on the screen is very easy to read, even with my bad eyesight, and videos play very well.

    As The Wrench says and I concur, “It complements the iphone and a laptop, it doesn’t completely replace either.” Mine is an Android based tablet, not an iPad, but half the price of an iPad.

  5. No Ron Graves they are not apples and oranges, both are touted as e-readers, both are similar in size, both download directly from Barnes and Noble, both have similar costs. Both do extremely well as e-reader.

    If I can buy a blender with more features that takes up no more space then the juicer, costs no more then the juicer, and it creates juice better than the juicer, and has many more features. Then well it ain’t rocket science…………I buy the blender lol.

    John, I didn’t miss the point at all, I think you missed a few sentences in my post……………you know the one where I said it is all about marketing.

    You could sell a hell of a lot of ill informed people a pile or horse dung for a 100 dollars just by advertizing on television.

    I can remember when people said laptops were a fad, they would never replace the desktop. Well with laptops outselling desktops for the past couple years I guess we know what happened there.

  6. “. . . to be honest makes things like the Kindle seem obsolete. ”

    Dumb comment. You’re comparing apples and oranges or, if you like, juicers and food processors. A juicer, like a Kindle, just does one thing very well, a food processor does about a zillion things, some of them not too well, some very well indeed – like a tablet.

    There is no basis for comparison with juicers and processors, nor is there for Kindles and tablets.

    For me, though, tablets have two main faults – the touch screen – any touch screen of that size – sucks. I simply don’t want smeary fingermarks on something I’m trying to read through. Nor do I want to poke at it with a glorified stick.

    And were I to drop my heavy espresso cup on my desktop’s keyboard, a quick rinse under the tap (spill-proof), and it’s fine. If I were to do that on a tablet’s unprotected glass top, odds are it’s history.

    And when is it going register that a tablet is just a small laptop, without a couple of vital parts – a lid and a keyboard.

    There do seem to be a lot of naked emperors around these days.

  7. I’ve had the ipad for a few months and I love it. When shown what it can do, most people currently in the market go straight out and buy the ipad. It complements the iphone and a laptop, it doesn’t completely replace either.

  8. “Happy Holiday” AND Happy New Year? That’s a new one.Usually people say “Happy Holidays” which includes both New Year’s AND “Holiday”. LOL

  9. Heard of online shopping? My two fav stores currently have 80+ and 200+ tablets on offer.

    Tablets will mostly be an additional market, for home media and vertical apps like retail, restaurant etc.

  10. I was in Macy’s just last Friday and they have two “e-readers” as mentioned above with prices at or below $175.00. You should go to the HP website. They sell a tablet PC that is comparable to the I-pad. It is called the Slate and costs about the same as the high end I-pad and runs Windows 7 software. I don’t know where it is available in retail stores but I bet it is available on E-bay or one of the similar sites.

    I must say it seems a little one sided to say something does not exist simply because it is not in a Best Buy store. If you use that logic; up till sometime last year Machitosh and the whole Apple line did not exist. We did not have I-phones, I-pads, Apple II, and Macintosh computers at all.

    Now you say that because Best Buy doesn’t have it the Tablet PC is a dead issue. I say you are dead wrong. Maybe the hype is a little over the top for this year but take it from me — The tablet PC is the personal computer of the future and will gain power and market very soon.

  11. I think Bruce missed your point entirely. Fact is, most people go to a Big Box store to purchase technology, mostly because they don’t know any better and because they aren’t really up to date on technology. All the info they get is from 15 – 30 second TV commercials, many of those not during prime time. When you’re talking about total buying public, you have to account for everyone. If technology manufacturers relied only on sales to tech-savy young people, they’d all go broke.

    Second, the economy is still very weak. What does a tablet do that the average person on the average budget doesn’t already get from either their PDA or their real computer. Nothing. Its a novelty. Sorry, no money for novelties this Christmas.

    So, I wouldn’t go counting my chickens just yet.

  12. Do you really want to do all typing and everything on a tablet? Even with a laptop, I hook up a big screen at home. The tablet may add to the market, but you will still need another computer.

  13. I bought and have been using a 10.2 inch Android tablet for more than a month now, and the more I use it, the more I love it. I strongly feel that the main thing keeping the Android tablet from taking off is marketing. People have no clue what a cool product this is. I absolutely love the fact that there are so many free applications (apps) to choose from, and so simple to install and uninstall them.

    I found a lot of choices online before deciding on the one I bought. The main reason for the particular choice I made was the numerous Android forums online that offer so much information and several smart people developing and testing better versions of the Android OS firmware since it’s open source. New and better features are always exciting and anticipated, and all it takes is an update of the firmware.

    It is by no means a perfect product, and, at this point, it has lots of room for improvement, but that would come as its popularity and competition grows and more companies manufacture them.

    I agree with all that poster Bruce wrote, about the tablets and also about BestBuy. Every time I visit my neighborhood store, I am disappointed at the lack of product choices, and prices seem higher than other stores for a lot of products.

  14. Having had the opportunity to play around with a couple Android tablets recently I would disagree with you.

    Yes your BestBuy world is rather limited to say the least, as stores like Sears, and KMart have them for sale, and Kmart has been selling them for a while now. I recently purchased my wife a 7 inch Pandora Digital. It of course is touted as an e-reader.

    It is of course much more then that, and to be honest makes things like the Kindle seem obsolete. It will not take off like the kindle, or other big name items because of that magical thing that sells products. Marketing!!

    It is not only is an e-reader, but has wifi, a web browser, email, calendering, and other software, but the best part of all it is an android tablet, it costs $130.00. It can be flashed with other versions of android to add speed, more software ( more then 100,000 applications) and tinkered with and improved.

    Sears has the Viewsonic G-Tablet, with an Nvidia dual core processor HD resolutions and capailities and 3D capabilities. It too is an Android tablet and newer versions of Android take a matter of minutes to install. Then there is the Motorola tablet that is going to be released soon again, another Nvidia based Tablet with 3D capabilities.

    I stopped going to BestBuy over the past year or so, simply because they just don’t carry much in the way of new and innovating products.

    I have my eye on the veiwsonic G-Tablet, and am eagerly awaiting HP’s WebOS tablet.

    You know the one that will replace the windows crapware/vaporware you were touting last year that I told you would fall flat or never materialize.

    There tablets everywhere, and people are buying them. Breaking the iIdiot mentalist out there is the hardest thing for any company to do.

    Android will crack that nut wide open with it’s versatility, webOS might have a chance to do the same if HP would release the OS to other manufacturers, but if they keep it all to themselves it will only be a tiny slice of the market regardless how good it is.

    When Android HoneyComb is released tablets will be all the rave, and will indeed become popular.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.