A Tablet Just Isn’t A Tablet (And No One Wants One) Unless It’s An iPad

A Tablet Just Isn’t A Tablet (And No One Wants One) Unless It’s An iPad

Photo by Kominyetska - http://flic.kr/p/7TQmYh

Turns out, creating a tablet that sells like an iPad is simple: just make it look and feel just like Apple’s device. Yes, you might run into the knee-crackers from Cupertino’s legal department, but you’re guaranteed a winner.

“We find that consumers are not interested in form factors that deviate from the benchmark set by Apple,” according to Bernstein Research.

This means Apple is doing another iPod on the entire PC industry. Remember MP3s? Just as facial tissues quickly became known by the brand name Kleenex, MP3 players were all referred to as iPods. And, just as the iPod controls 80 percent of the MP3 player market, so will go the iPad – I mean, tablet – market.

Are you thinking of launching a tablet with a 7’ screen? Think again. More than half of the consumers Bernstein spoke with prefer an iPad-like 10’ display. That’s likely the reason why the BlackBerry PlayBook is going nowhere fast and Samsung (you know, the guys Apple is suing, charging they ripped-off the iPhone’s look-and-feel?) quickly introduced the 10’ Galaxy Tab after receiving only yawns concerning the 7’ model.

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  • Tallest_Skil

    Well, at least everyone else has a manageable challenge: 

    How to make our products close enough to Apple’s products to get at least ten people to buy them while making them far enough from Apple’s products that they don’t sue us and bankrupt our company.

    That’s the manageable challenge. An unrealistic one would be claiming that anyone’s tablet would sell better than an iPad. Ever.

  • quietstorms

    The whole industry is playing Apple’s game which will end badly for them in the long run. Google is being forced to build native applications which pulls them away from web ads, MS has created a Frankenstein OS where it benefits neither tablets nor desktops and manufacturers are all cutting their tablet estimates for the year after they thought there was a vibrant tablet market.

    If the iPad continues to dominate through the end of next year Steve Jobs may have done the impossible and wrestled the future of computing back from Bill Gates and Microsoft.

  • gareth edwards

    just out of interest what sort of margins are in it for all the other tablet manufacturers? It’s one thing to make a product that sells ok-ish but what kind of numbers are these guys going to need to realistically shift to make them a profit centre for their companies?

    I don’t imagine that any ‘pad’ device is cheap to develop (esp in a new market) so all of these initial costs combined with a difficult market must really force the required sales numbers up? I looks like that’s going to be an uphill struggle for them all in the immediate future. All of this appears to be made worse by the form factor false starts with non 10″ displays. Just more money down the drain.

    Any more Amazon Tablet rumours out there?

  • Lolol

    If you say tablet 99% of people will think of an iPad

  • devunish

    I realized this from day 1, why is it so hard for the bigwigs trying to make competing tablets to see this.

  • CharliK

    It’s not unrealistic to think that you might have a tablet that can make a dent in the ipad hold. 

    It’s just a bad idea to say that before you even launch it. You are dooming yourself to be hit even harder by the critics as having failed. Which then back lashes into failure when the shoppers trust those critics to know what they are talking about

    That said, make sure your product is finished when you release it. These games of “it will support” and “It will have X installed when you buy it” and then “oops not right away it won’t” don’t cut it. 

  • aga

    The problem with Microsoft is Bill Gates has GONE!

    I was a great fan of MS (sorry fanboys) but recent changes are pushing me away from them.

    First, Win phone 7 does not support my existing software. So my upgrade required a new suite of software. At that point I look around the market and buy an iPhone.

    Now I am hearing news that Windows 8 will be radically different, and my programming skills useless. Again, I will be put in a situation where I assess the whole market. Maybe again it will be bye bye MS!

    Come back Bill and save your company.

  • gigaguy

    The only other tablet that looks interesting at all are the 2 different Sony preproduction models shown recently. When Sony innovated years ago no one could touch them, today it’s hit or miss, mostly miss. And I’d assume the os would be weak, maybe not. I know Sony desperately needs a hit. I loved reading how Jobs was mesmerized by Sony’s design and marketing approach in the 70-80s and studied them almost obsessively. I used to be a bid Sony early adopter. Their demise was multiple-faceted, spread too thin, got too big, competitors caught up tech wise, copyright ownership conflicts.
    Sonys ‘mp3′ players were years ahead of iPod sound wise, I only went to iPod when i switched to Macs.

  • Jesslyn

    I don’t think the researchers or experts actually use these things. I had an iPhone/iPad combo but find that having to use iTunes turned me off completely. I was able to find an Android phone that gave me a better iPhone experience than the iPhone (g2) so now I’m looking for an Android tablet that offers the same.
    After looking at the mishmash of current offerings my main hopes are on the rumored Amazon tablet and perhaps the to-be-released Asus tablet. The problem with the current offerings of tablets is that they don’t have that ‘it just works’ feel. I’m not sure why this is so hard to do when you already have a working example, but there you go.
    I’m sure that they will get it right, after all, it took a few years for the smartphone market to catch up.

  • macgizmo

    It’s NOT about the size, or the specs. It’s the fact that it works so smoothly. It’s about the apps available, and the fact that it’s the same app store as the iPhone – so people don’t have to re-learn anything. The OS is everything – and I don’t understand why the other tablet-makers (and Google) think they can put out some half-assed garbage OS on a decent piece of hardware and expect it to sell.

  • facebook-643108642

    Are you saying that the world must wait until Apple produces a 7″ tablet before 7″tablets will do well?

  • gareth edwards

    have to agree, the Sony tablet offering does look rather nice and the form factor with the ‘folded magazine’ slim wedge is a really nice bit of design and definitely brings something new and different to the me2 market. They may be hit the Android market is looking for.

  • Beware

    Hmm strange…

    I was pretty sure that there was only one tablet, the iPad.

  • Ted Brooks

    I reviewed the HP Slate 500 a few weeks ago, and still think that if someone comes up with a good tablet that can run “real” business software, that might be the best challenger. In any event, it’s a long road to catch the iPad now. Here’s my review:
    http://trial-technology.blogsp

  • Victor Healey

    How about all those Android fanboy fools who keep insisting they have found the ‘ipad killer’ in insert the name of the current Android tablet de Jour?
     

    Why haven’t they managed to bump up the sales of non Apple tablets? There must not be that many willing to part with any real cash, it is all talk.

    Name one US retailer who doesn’t have a back room filled with unsold Android/Rim tablets and customer returns. That hurts everyone!

  • Victor Healey

    I think the large number of serious malware incidents are beginning to sink in among those predisposed to buy any thing 
    Android. Some of that stuff can lie hidden in your Android device for months before anyone catches on.

    If anyone chooses Android now they deserve to suffer for their error n not exercising due diligence before making the move to such a targeted platform that is a cyber criminal’s wet dream.

  • Guest

    well, there is the Asus Eee Pad Transformer.  Granted its no ‘iPad killer’, but the reason is, Asus is having a hard time keeping up production.  Last I heard, they are upping up production by quite a bit, because they heavily underestimated how much they were going to sell.

    Well, a couple of days ago, I was at a best buy in my town, and was talking to one of the employees and they said it was on of the rare times that they had /any/ tablets in stock. (Android and/or iOS)
    and last I checked, both the Transformer and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.01 are very difficult to in stock at stores around the country.

  • Gheedsgreed

    As much as I love my Apple products, this isn’t the best of news. Hopefully Apple will have more competition.

  • Ashish Verma

    Sony S1 is much better, and I am getting that one. I love Sony. I am not the sheep who follows everybody. I think even Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is better than Ipad 2. Sorry, I dont compromise on anything. No flash in Ipad 2. Why? Why should I fork over my money for a product which I have to compromise for? Plus, Japanese products are much superior.

  • DrM47145

    I don’t understand people who call sheep to the ones who follow Apple. Apple has the minority of the computer market. Windows people are the sheep. 
    People who don’t want to realize Macs, iPhones, iPads, iPods are becoming stupidly successful because they great products are just stubborn in denial that want to be seen as “alternatives”, as “rebels”.Get your Sony S1, and have fun with it. And don’t forget to have fun with your Windows OS crumbling apart, and with your WP7 that is dead on arrival, or your Android device that sucks both functionally as well as aesthetically. But “you’re rebel n’cool!” because you think you are not an Apple sheep… Trillions of flies eat sh*t, and that doesn’t make sh*t look any tastier to me. Again, if Windows owns the vast majority of the market, who’s the sheep? I mean, the fly?

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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