Since the initial introduction of the iPad not a month has gone by without people talking up a product from this company or that as an “iPad Killer”. The funny thing about all this iPad killing is that from reading what is written about it you would think that the iPad is an endangered species.
Recently we have begin to see first companies making real moves to bring to the market iPad competitors. That is a good start, but there should be no need to point out that competitors are all good and nice, but they aren’t really “killers”. Sandisk and Sony, among others, make nice music players. None of them have been “iPod Killers”, however.
While I won’t go as far as say that the iPad will be as successful among tablets as the iPod has been among music players, right now it is even more so. Why? Because this time around Apple got into the market first, instead of entering a highly fragmented market as was the case with the iPod.
The number of companies that seem to be planning to release tablet computers is quite significant and the fact that each is working on their own variations of the theme does not seem to indicate that iPad competitors will less “fragmented” then the iPod competitors. This can only benefit Apple to the detriment of the assortment of companies that will be facing it off against an established player with a product that has defined what for all intents and purposes is a new market. (Yes, of course I know that there have been tablets around for over a decade, but they didn’t really represent a significant market.)
Right now, everyone seems to betting that Android will be the catalyst that will bring unity to the market and help balance out Apple’s head start. There are some problems with that supposition, or hope, however. Google itself is sending mixed signals about what strategy vendors should embrace as its CEO declares that tablets should run ChromeOS just as Samsung is releasing the first Android powered tablet that is certified to access the Android market.
That the Galaxy Tab has been cleared to access the Android market is also odd as the conditions for a device to be certified required it to have specific screen resolutions to make sure that the phone-oriented applications would look good and work well on the device. The Samsung Galaxy Tab does not match those resolutions, so it may an approach similar to that taken by Apple in the iPad where applications are shown in their native resolution, if they were created for the iPhone.
Other companies, in addition to Samsung are expected to bring tablets to market before the end of 2010. These companies however must now face an even more terrible foe than the dreaded iPad, that has for these past many months dominated the market. These companies must now face the rumor mill has already started to spin stories about the next iPad.
As Samsung, Toshiba and others work to bring their devices to market and to attract some attention to them, without even the least bit of effort from Apple, the blogosphere is already ablaze with stories about newly registered Apple patents that might represent changes in the new iPad. Blogs, specialized press and the users on the street are already talking about what iPad 2.0 will be like.
Under these conditions, with just a few months left in 2010 and speculation stating to run wild about the new iPad, it might just turn out that the so called “iPad Killers” are the species that is really in danger of extinction living Apple to reign supreme until the second generation of “Killers” is ready for the market. They better hurry however, before people start discussing what iPad 3.0 will be like.
*Image: Patently Apple.
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