With Apple’s release of the iPad, the computer market has flooded with tablets trying to take advantage of the market reopened by Apple. These companies that have entered into the market lately have the advantage of seeing where Apple has failed to meet customer needs. This allows them to produce a product of similar value, but market it completely different.
While Apple has used its own propriety software, most of the new entries into the tablet market are making use of the lightweight operating system known as Android. This OS allows companies to create their machines to be more energy efficient since Android was originally designed to run on mobile devices such as cellphones. Making use of the light and quick OS ensures decent battery life for tablets, which historically have been known for extremely poor battery life.
Android tablets have the advantage of having a developed marketplace to buy programs from. In this way, the manufacturers who are looking to enter the tablet market are borrowing from Apple’s model. Seeing it as a means to gain greater profit since the Droid market enables them to cut out the usual ways in which people install programs onto computers, this gives more space for components to be spread out–hopefully lessening the chance of overheating.
There are only a few Android-based tablets running on the market, but rumors abound of various companies starting production on such devices. The Taiwanese computer company Asus, already known for their solid laptop and desktop computers, recently announced they were working on a tablet PC of their own. Originally, having planned to include the Windows mobile platform OS, they decided against it in favor of the sleeker, lighter and–more importantly–free Android OS. Samsung recently announced they are interested in getting into the tablet market; it is still inconclusive as to how deterministic this will be to them creating their own tablet.
One tablet currently on the market seems to be a big improvement on the iPad. The WePad, made by a German company, will be released in the US later this year. Writers who have managed to get their hands on the German released device have touted it as the iPad killer. The writers cite its flash capabilities as a major bonus to the device. While websites are moving to HTML5, most current web-content is done in flash. The WePad also sports a 1.3 mega-pixel built-in webcam, making it Skype ready. The WePad can operate like a phone, a very large phone, which is fine since users can make use of the included headset to go hands free with their massive touch screen phone.
While the tablet market is just now starting to get worked up, it appears as though Android is going to be the dominate platform for tablet devices. It has the distinct advantage of being a free OS that caters specifically to mobile devices. In addition, people are more or less used to the interface it makes use of, allowing for little to no learning curve, unlike devices which adapted Linux OS. The battle on the tablet will not be between Microsoft and Apple, it will be between Apple and Android.