Amazon tablet event next week as iPad 3 looms, HP TouchPad lingers
September 24, 2011 by Beatweek
Amazon is holding a press event next week to launch what is widely expected to be the company’s new Android-based tablet lineup, which may fall under the company’s Kindle brand name. Meanwhile debate rages over the fate of the iPad 3 which could surface anywhere from this fall to next spring, with Apple having yet to speak on the device’s future. And the HP TouchPad continues to linger on the chopping block as new Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman (formerly of eBay) takes the reins and proceeds to defend the product-canceling ways of her predecessor. This all comes as the Samsung Galaxy Tab continues to disappear from store shelves gradually around the world amid patent infringement claims. Suddenly the tablet market resembles the plot of a daytime soap opera. Here’s a look at the current state and future prospects of various current, future, and former tablet market participants…
iPad: Despite the rise of Android based tablets, Apple and its iPad 2 still rule the roost in terms of tablet marketshare and mindshare. Anecdotal evidence points to the iPad 2 giving way to an iPad 3 before the year is over, despite the last iPad generational turnover having been a mere six months ago. With the current iPad having been a mere evolutionary bump over the original, Apple could turn the tablet market on its head with a revolutionary iPad 3. Doing so prior to the holidays would boost fourth quarter sales significantly.
Amazon: Amid a sea of Android tablets which look a little too much like the iPad and are vulnerable to legal banishment, Amazon’s new Android tablet is said to feature its own distinct hardware design. This comes at a time when Amazon has no experience in the full-featured tablet market, but does have significant mindshare for its Kindle eReader lineup along with its Kindle eBook platform (which run on iPad, Android, Mac, PC, etc). With a large number of Android tablet manufacturers fighting for the same “anything but an iPad” marketshare, Amazon will soon find out whether it’s too late for yet another entry or whether Android tablet buyers have been waiting for original hardware to finally arrive…
HP TouchPad: The sales boost brought on by the $99 firesale of the device has led to calls for HP to bring its ill-fated tablet back to life. The problem is that the TouchPad generated nearly zero interest when it hit the market, and there’s no evidence that its post-facto popularity was the result of anything other than its sub-$100 stunt pricing. No company can offer a full-featured tablet at that price point for long, as it’ll lose money on every unit sold. Yet all eyes are on Whitman to see what she decides to do with the TouchPad, its webOS operating system, and its Pre smartphone counterpart. Early indications, with webOS staffers being laid off, don’t look promising.
Samsung: After Apple managed to get the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 7.7 banned in several nations, Samsung has struck back by trying to get the iPhone banned from the market. That move won’t work, so it’s up to Samsung to figure out how to redesign its entire Android hardware lineup from the ground up so that the company can get its products back onto store shelves. How quickly Samsung can do that, and how much of a dent can be made by Android based rival tablets such as the new one from Amazon in the mean time, remains to be seen.