Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bizarro Tablet Universe

image:: mockup of Chrome-based Tablet,

According to the NYTimes, Google is working on a tablet computer that will use their Android operating system. in fact, there are 9 possible future tablet options that may give the iPad a run for the money.  This will heat up the competition for Apple's iPad, which may put Apple in a bind, given that iPad margins are estimated to slimmer, due to higher up-front manufacturing and distribution costs. 

The iPad platform becomes more attractive for content producers with more users and users receive more value from iPads with more {cheap and free} content and apps. Competition from tablets throws a monkey wrench into diffusion. Google's mobile OS, Android, will be available on a tablet computer. 

What is Google working on? Here's a video demo of their touchscreen technology::

Consumers may be looking for a break from Apple, particularly if the iPad value proposition isn't evident for those who aren't fanbois. The critical issue will be the availability of content. The openness of Android may mean that the user experience may suffer a bit, but innovative apps that make the most out of mobile and the mobile web may be more prevalent and a richer ecosystem with healthy competition and consumer choice. 

My thoughts are that more competition is a good thing. Google, using Android, could offer up the Anti-iPhone/iPad tablet with the following distinctions::
  1. Android embraces cloud computing & the Google's web applications; Apple embraces synching
  2. Android is an open environment; Apple's is closed {third-party downloads & more apps. over time not controlled by a gatekeeper}
  3. Android will allow for greater user customization; Apple will limit customization and the user experience
This is all speculation, but an open Android system could be the perfect foil for the iPad and position Google or a partner to make a play for the mass market. This won't kill the iPad, but offer an alternative and a bit of healthy competition to keep everyone innovating.

Twitterversion:: Google Android on tablets could offer up the anti-iPad. Open, cloud-ready, & w/more customization. Mass appeal? @Prof_K

Song:: Orchestral Manœuvres in the Dark-'Of all the Things We've Made'

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