Michael 84

Tablet Computers March 2012 – Where Are We?

Tech Blog
Thursday, 15th March, 2012

So tomorrow will see another tablet hit the market, the new iPad. It is the third generation of iPad, which was the first tablet device to be really sold and marketed well, and adopted by people in their millions. Since then, there have been a huge number of devices made and sold, so where are we, 2 years later?

There are still the people who are not convinced, the same story of “What is it for?” it’s not a mobile phone, it’s not a computer, so why would I need one?

The simple answer is that this kind of technology is want more than need for the general consumer at the moment. A smartphone is now more of a need for people, they now really need email, Twitter, Facebook and more on the go. After having a smartphone for several years now I could not go back to not having one; Having social media on the go is probably more important than making actual phone calls. It is integrated into a lot of people’s lifestyle.

For a tablet you have to look at it as a versatile gadget. It’s not supposed to fit in your pocket or posses the power of your desktop/laptop, but it does sit nicely in the middle. For the general user they are an occasional device; Watch a movie, go on the Internet, check social media, play light games and so on.

Now we are a few years into the tablet game there have been some attempts to out-do Apple, and I don’t think anyone else has at the moment. There are two main reasons behind this, the price, and the Apple App store. There is little point in the competition marketing their devices the same price as the iPad, if that is the case many will just go for the iPad. If there are a cheaper alternative, they may use that. This can be seen with devices like the H.P. Slate which had the infamous firesale price of £89, and virtually nobody could get their hands on one, they sold out so fast! A similar story to the Blackberry Playbook, RRP £400 at launch, but were selling at £169 over Christmas 2011. The only chance the other devices seem to have against Apple at the moment is to sell them for a cheaper price.

The biggest draw for the iPad is the App Store. It is very simple, these devices rely on apps to be used optimally, and the iPad has the best/most apps and the software/developer support behind it. People now understand that the hardware is only part of the story, someone can make a more powerful tablet, but it would be pretty useless without apps. It is like back in the 90s console days, Atari Jaguar, more powerful than the SNES and Megadrive; Which sold more?

Apple/Apple Store/iOS has had pretty much no competition for the past few years, I have used an Android device (on Honeycomb 3.1) and it was no where near as good, neither were the apps and they had limited numbers in comparison to the huge catalog the iPad has.

Windows to the future

It comes to something when you hear the geekiest of people rave about Windows 8, since geeks are usually all anti-Microsoft. Windows 8 is in the pipline and could be real competition for Apple. Win 8 has parts specifially designed for tablets, and the “metro” style screen looks great. Couple this will the fact that this is windows, so there should be huge amounts of software support/games/apps available, and you may have yourself a winner.

I love my iPad, but Apple needs some competition, and I would love to see another OS device which looks great and has the apps to go with it.

People who think Apple is too big and the iPad will live forever…Well if you had of said 10-12 years ago that nobody would have a Nokia mobile and we’d have ones made by an American computer company and you’d of laughed! :mrgreen:

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Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger and T-shirt designer from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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