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.