Ever since Apple released its iPad, many of us have been saying that there is no way that the other major tech companies will concede this market to Apple. We thought to ourselves that they are still pissed off by how much money they lost by underestimating the portable mp3 market and letting the iPod gain the kind of market superiority that none of them were ever able to crack. We all assumed that this time around they would bring out their best shots and that even though Apple got to market first (with the most successful one), they would deliver such compelling alternatives that the market would have no choice but to be at least somewhat split and thus stunt Apple’s penetration and what some people predicted to be their inevitable control of the consumer tablet market. That’s what we all thought, apparently we were wrong. Judging from the HP Slate 500 and its $799 price point, the other major tech companies have already conceded the consumer market to Apple and are now focusing on the “business market”. Pardon me folks, but that’s a cop out if I ever heard one.
The HP Slate 500, the Dell Streak, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and the Blackberry Playbook are all more than technically capable of competing with Apple’s iPad, but based on the price point they are releasing them at it seems that none of those companies think they can loosen Apple’s already tightening death grip on the consumer side of this market and that is a real shame. While I am not a huge fan of Apple products (though I own an iPod Touch), I understand that they make products that are innovative and easy to use and a lot of other big tech companies could take a que from that. What I cannot understand is why in the world all the big tech companies would price and/or market their tablet offerings in a way that essentially turns away or prices out the average consumer. The only tablet of the ones I have mentioned that even comes close to getting it right is Dell’s Streak, but with a 5 inch screen its more like a glorified smartphone than an actual tablet. The most promising of them I thought was Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and then they announced the $600 price tag and I was stunned.
At this point, I don’t even really know what to say. To allow Apple to gain any stronger of a foothold in this market is crazy because they have proven that once they get that grip they will not relinquish it. The trouble with the way that Apple makes products is that they don’t just control the product that you are actually using, they actually change the perceptions of what people expect that thing to be like and be capable of and that’s dangerous for their competitors. So why do all these other companies seem to be avoiding directly competing with Apple, that I just can’t figure out. Personally, I think that tablets are new enough and people don’t really see why they “need” them yet that other companies could still be competitive in this emerging market, but not if they don’t step up in the next 3-6 months with technically comparable and competitively priced alternatives to the iPad.
Ok folks, that’s enough of me ranting, I wanna know what you think. Why the heck does no one want to step in the tablet ring and compete directly with Apple? Do they think they can’t win or what? Let us know in the comments.