Photo: Robert Scoble
There are officially too many tablets to count. But so far, it’s still Apple’s iPad vs. everyone else.Last week, we learned of several new tablets, like two new Samsung Galaxy Tabs, and on RIM’s earnings call, co-CEO Jim Balsillie continued to blow smoke about how amazing the BlackBerry PlayBook is going to be.
Key phrase: Going to be.
Here’s the thing. The iPad has been on the market for about a year — the iPad 2 for a couple of weeks — and most of the competition is still only talking about devices it will ship someday… that still show no sign of giving the iPad any real rivalry.
Where are the iPad killers?
To the Android folks: When is Honeycomb going to have a real apps story? And what year will you be able to significantly beat Apple on pricing? (Because that, so far, seems to be the main hope.)
You keep talking about Adobe Flash, but how come no one is showing off just how amazing Flash works on Android tablets? By the time Flash does work well on Android tablets, will there be any Flash-only video left to watch?
And if these tablets are so perfectly designed for watching movies, where is Google’s (or someone else’s) answer to the iTunes movie store? Right now, BitTorrent is the best option.
What is the REAL reason that anyone would buy a BlackBerry PlayBook? It’s not going to be because the software is better, or the entertainment and apps experiences. Is it just that it will be able to link up with an enterprise server?
And if you are really going for the enterprise market, why do you talk so much about games and stuff only consumers would care about?
Who is the real PlayBook buyer? Is it the CIO buying a fleet of 10,000 tablets for their high-security CRM software? Fine. (But you’d better have the app SDK to support it.) Are you counting on a corporation’s employees to buy their own tablets and bring them to the office? Fine, too — but then why would they ever buy a PlayBook?
To HP/Palm: Did you fall asleep over there?
The big picture is that everyone is still chasing Apple, and that no one has displayed even a hint of something that is remarkably better than the iPad, significantly less expensive than the iPad, or a well-thought-out product that most mainstream buyers would ever prefer over an iPad.
We’d love to see a real tablet competition. How long are we going to have to wait?