There has been a lot of talk about tablets and with the Apple iPad 2′s release coming in early 2011. It only seems like yesterday that the 1st generation was released. I do however continue to see contests with the iPad as it’s main prize and I believe that’s happening for one reason. The Apple iPad has yet to establish itself as a household name, a product that you will see constantly, like Apple’s iPhone.
In my opinion, the iPad will only be a luxury. It does not offer something you NEED, yet. Most people need a portable device they can put in their pocket to do tasks that are basic. If they need something more, they pull out their laptop to handle more heavy tasks such as running Adobe CS4 or in my case editing my Google Sketchup model. My belief is it’s just as portable as a laptop and based on its price, I’d rather have a basic laptop that does so much more.
My brothers friend recently said, he would love to just have one for the family in the living room. This is the niche that the Apple iPad fits into. It is solely a luxury item that complements other gadgets and your lifestyle. The cell phone went from a want to a need and so did the laptop. There is a very good chance that the tablet will follow that model as well. It is just a matter of time but there are a few things the product needs to work on.
1. It needs to keep up with processing power to handle intensive software.
More and more people are using software where a tablet doesn’t offer the processing speed it needs which is why those pieces of software are not offered on tablets. If the tablet market can speed up development of microprocessors, they will be serious competitors.
2. Offer at least one USB port.
My friend will not even consider buying one until the iPad comes out with a USB port. Blackberry trumped Apple in this department but it has to be a standard on tablets, especially USB 3.0.
3. A Purpose
As bold as this sounds, tablets will never be huge if they continue to have the app-based OS. Sure it works for smartphones but that is because the apps are secondary to the phone itself. A tablet isn’t a computer and it isn’t a phone, it’s a whole mishmash of things and thus it needs something to define it. It needs a purpose and if it just has random apps cluttered through it, it will never find it.
If it can accomplish those things I believe the market for tablets will skyrocket and push down demand for laptops. It will then take the course that cell phones and computers once did.