If you have, for some reason, been hankering for a smartbook, you may be a little disappointed. Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs stated during a company event today that tablets have most likely killed the nascent smartbook market. With Qualcomm being one of the most ardent supporters of the smartbook concept, there's little hope for the category to continue.
The HP Airlife was the only device to be marketed as a smartbook. This Android-based device never really found its audience when it was released earlier this year. Still, Qualcomm will continue to make faster mobile chips, they're just more likely to be seen in tablets and smartphones than in light-weight computers.
If smartbooks had materialized sooner, they may have had a shot. But in the wake of the iPad, it's not hard to see how it ended up this way. Were you interested in the smartbook category? What will you do now?
You already know there's a trillion or so tablets on the horizon -- even your technology hating neighbor is planning to launch a slate -- but none of them will threaten the iPad's dominance in the market, at least not through 2012, market research firm iSuppli boldly predicts.
"Although the iPad has been on the market for only a few months, powerful interests throughout the technology business are devoting enormous resources to challenge and topple Apple's domination in this fast-growing marketplace," said Rhoda Alexander, director of monitor research at iSuppli. "However, if recent history is any lesson, it will take some time for these companies to get their products to market, longer for them to offer necessary software support and infrastructure, and an even lengthier period to begin to rival the overall user experience Apple is able to deliver."
According to iSuppli, Apple's magical slate won't be performing a disappearing trick anytime soon, and instead will account for nearly three-fourths of the global tablet market by the time 2010 comes to a close. That number will only drop to 70.4 percent in 2011, and through 2012, iSuppli predicts whatever version of the iPad exists by then will claim 61.7 percent of the tablet space.
Hi the jump to see what else iSuppli had to say on the topic.
Apple kick started the tablet 2.0 era with the iPad. While the iPad has become synonymous with the slate/tablet form factor, it is certainly not a perfect embodiment of the tablet concept. However, Apple's tablet can get away with its imperfections as long as there is nothing substantial on the market to compare it with. Of course, that won't remain the case for too long as competitors are readying a raft of tablets to take on the iPad.
But market research firm iSuppli believes Apple will be able to preserve its dominant position in the market despite the upcoming competition: “The iPad will account for an overwhelming 74.1 percent of global tablet shipments in 2010, with the remaining 25.9 percent consisting of a mix of older PC-type tablet products and competitive slates. Even in 2012, the iPad will continue to control nearly two-thirds of shipments, at 61.7 percent, as the competition strives to develop ecosystems of tablet apps and content that can match up with those of Apple.”
Back in early June, Steve Jobs went on stage and made a bold claim about the iPad. According to Jobs, "in the first 65 days, users have downloaded over 5 million books," equating to about two and a half books per iPad. By his numbers, that put the iBooks market share of ebooks from five or six major publishers to 22 percent in just 8 weeks time, an impressive feat, if it was true.
Jobs may very well be right, but if he is, not all authors are seeing those same kind of numbers. Mystery author J.A. Konrath, for example, is one of the few authors who publishes numbers on ebook sales, and according to his most recent blog post, Apple's iBooks platform doesn't hold a candle to Kindle.
"Publishers might be looking at enriched or enhanced ebooks as their new big-ticket items to replace hardcovers," Konrath writes. "But the major ebook retailer, Amazon, isn't set up for video. Kindle isn't even able to do color yet. That leaves Apple, and according to my numbers, Apple is a very small part of the ebook market. I sell 200 ebooks a day on Kindle. On iPad, I sell 100 a month."
That adds up to 6,000 ebooks through Kindle per month, versus 100 for the iBooks platform, or a 60-to-1 ratio. If his numbers are any indication of across the board performance, Jobs may need to invest in a new magical calculator.
It's been nearly five months since Apple's iPad landed on store shelves and, for the most part, it's still the only viable tablet around. We keep talking about how that's going to change as 2010 comes to a close, but will it really?
Not only will it change, but the iPad's dominant near-100 percent market share will be reduced to as low as 20 percent once the tablet market stabilizes, Acer chairman JT Wang predicts.
Wang's comments came during an interview with Chinese-language Economic Daily News, in which he also cited a report showing that the market share for Android-powered smartphones has already leapfrogged iOS models. According to Wang, a closed platform, like iOS, just won't be able to compete with an open one in the long run.
We don't believe that's necessarily true (Windows, after all, is a closed platform), but there will be a deluge of Android tablets in the coming months. That includes an ARM-based tablet from Acer, though the latest reports have the company delaying its tablet release until the first quarter of 2011 in order take advantage of Android 3.0, which purportedly will feature support for larger display resolutions. As the Web chatter goes, Android 3.0 is being developed specifically with the tablet market in mind.
New tablets are being announced thick and fast. Although almost everyone, from unknown startups to noted tech companies (and the Indian government), seems to be eyeing the tablet market, Apple has a vice-like grip on the fledgling market. But the report suggests that US consumers interested in tablets are closely monitoring the tablet market for upcoming tablets from Apple competitors.
HP has always maintained that it bought Palm for its intellectual property and not because it wanted to be in the smartphone business. Talking of IP, WebOS is arguably Palm's most valuable asset. The PC maker sees WebOS being used extensively across its portfolio of small form factor devices. A tablet running WebOS is also in the pipeline.
The company has already stated that there will be no conflict between its Windows and WebOS tablets as the former will be confined to the enterprise market. On the other hand, the WebOS-based tablet will vie with tablets like the iPad for a piece of the consumer tablet market.
Apple can arguably lay claim to having the world's best tablet, but it's a default victory since there really aren't any widely available competing products to choose from. The landscape will change before 2010 comes to a close, and according to LG, you better believe the iPad is about to be unseated as the tablet leader.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Chang Ma, vice president of marketing for LG's mobile devices unit, agrees that the iPad is a great device, but it general sucks for doing any kind of real work.
"Our tablet will be better than the iPad," Ma said.
A bold statement for sure, and one LG plans to back up by launching a tablet in the fourth quarter under its Optimus line built around Google's Android platform. It will include "high-end features and new benefits," some of which will be aimed at productivity, like writing documents.
Other features are still a mystery, and Ma also didn't say whether or not LG's tablet will come tied to a carrier. But whatever, we're just tickled pink that LG is being so blunt rather than hide behind canned PR statements.
By analyzing the movement of supply chains, Digitimes claims to have sussed out some details of an upcoming Android tablet from Motorola. The device, which they believe will run Android 3.0, will be packing some serious hardware. The internals would be different from previous Android devices with an Nvidia Tegra 2 at its core. The touchscreen will be made by Sharp. This display will not have the brightness of the iPad display, but it is thinner and lighter.
Digitimes researchers believe this device will enter mass production in late 2010. The development of the G1 was cited as an example of this type of Google/manufacturer cooperation, and we would also point out a similar scenario with the Motorola Droid. The analysis also claimed this tablet could sell up to 2 million units by the end of the year. If that's going to happen, they'll want to announce it sooner rather than later.
What do you think? Plausible series of conclusions, or questionable genuineness?
TV Guide is finally off and running with an iPad app of its own, which you can pick up for free from iTunes. With it, you'll be able to view television listings, entertainment news from TVGuide.com, video clips, episode recaps, and more.
There's a social networking component baked in allowing uses to share what shows they're watching (or want to see) on Facebook and Twitter.
Other features include the ability to locate TV listings by ZIP code and cable provider, build a custom channel line-up, and sort search results by date, title, or genre.