As far as ViewSonic is concerned, you can forget any talk of an iPad killer emerging. Apple's magical slate is going to snatch up 50 percent of the projected 45 million tablet sales in 2011, ViewSonic predicts, and the display maker will be thrilled if it can claim 10 percent of what's left. That comes out to over 2 million units.
ViewSonic plans to bring its ViewPad 7 device to the North American market sometime this year, which launched today in Taiwan for what amounts to around $480 in U.S. currency. The ViewPad 7 runs Android 2.2 and is a couple of inches smaller than the iPad, but it isn't the only tablet ViewSonic has on tap. The company also plans to release a 10-inch version with an Intel Atom N450 processor and dual-booting OSes (Windows 7 Home Premium and Android 1.6), and a 5-inch model somewhat along the lines of Dell's Streak. In addition, ViewSonic announced plans to release a 9.7-inch tablet built around Nvidia's Tegra 2 platform, which if priced right might have the best shot at helping ViewSonic reach its 10 percent goal.
One advantage ViewSonic's Asia Pacific president Alan Chang notes is that unlike some of its competitors, ViewSonic doesn't have related product lines (smartphones, netbooks) that could end up cannibalized by tablet sales.