Tablet Wars Continue

Several of us on Slaw are convinced that tablet computers are game changers.

Apple clearly has the lead with the iPad – with sales of the first version of around 15 million in the first year. While the iPad is the device that is setting the bar, and that all others are compared to, it is not perfect. Critics point, for example, to its lack of flash support and lack of usb connectivity. Others are scrambling trying to get into the market. As an indication of just how competitive the field is, consider the following recent developments.

The Blackberry Playbook is now available – but has not wowed buyers so far. Early reviews suggest that it is fundamentally well designed, but is still a work in progress.

Another competitor is anything running Google’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system. The first was the Motorola Xoom. It has been described as better than the iPad in some ways, but still a work in progress. Some expect that upcoming Honeycomb models such as the Samsung Galaxy versions arriving June 8 will be a serous contender.

Adobe has just announced a development that may bring flash to Apple products. 

And Apple just launched a lawsuit against Samsung claiming that its Android tablets violate various patent, design patent, trade-dress, and other IP rights of Apple. It is noteworthy that Samsung is a major component supplier to Apple. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. 

The bottom line is that we are in the early days of tablets, and it will take some time before the winners and losers are sorted out.

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