Tablet wars continue

That’s the title of my Slaw post for today.  It reads as follows.

Several of us on Slaw are convinced that tablet computers are game changers.

Apple clearly has the lead with the iPad – with sales of the first version of around 15 million in the first year. While the iPad is the device that is setting the bar, and that all others are compared to, it is not perfect. Critics point, for example, to its lack of flash support and lack of usb connectivity. Others are scrambling trying to get into the market. As an indication of just how competitive the field is, consider the following recent developments.

The Blackberry Playbook is now available – but has not wowed buyers so far. Early reviews suggest that it is fundamentally well designed, but is still a work in progress.

Another competitor is anything running Google’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system. The first was the Motorola Xoom. It has been described as better than the iPad in some ways, but still a work in progress. Some expect that upcoming Honeycomb models such as the Samsung Galaxy versions arriving June 8 will be a serous contender.

Adobe has just announced a development that may bring flash to Apple products.

And Apple just launched a lawsuit against Samsung claiming that its Android tablets violate various patent, design patent, trade-dress, and other IP rights of Apple. It is noteworthy that Samsung is a major component supplier to Apple. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

The bottom line is that we are in the early days of tablets, and it will take some time before the winners and losers are sorted out.

Apple iPad 2 just announced

That’s the title of my Slaw post for today.  It reads as follows:

Apple just held its press conference. Details about the iPad 2 will be found in the tech press. Engadget.com, wired.com/gadgetlab, and cnet.com are good ones to look at. Even the CBAPracticelink has an article about it. No doubt they will all have articles very soon comparing the iPad2 to the Motorola Xoom, and the upcoming Blackberry Playbook. And speaking of the Playbook, RIM gave an update and demo yesterday – but apparently still no details on launch date or price.

As I’ve mentioned before, tablets will forever change how we consume information and media – both as a consumer and business device.

Some info from the press conference (Steve Jobs was on stage):

Sales of 15 million iPads in the first 9 months. 65,000 apps are available.

Steve says 2011 will be “the year of the copycat”.

Dual core CPU – 2X faster CPU, 9X faster graphics

Front and rear cameras

gyroscope

Lighter and1/3 thinner than iPad – actually thinner than the iPhone4

black or white available

battery life is the same

prices the same

shipping March 11 – March 25 in Canada

can plug in HDMI cable for 1080P HDMI out.

can buy a specially designed cover (not a case) – useable as a typing stand (looks cool) stays on with magnets.

also updates to iOS 4.3 – available March 11 as free download for recent iPhone & iPod touch

will be able to stream video to the iPad using wifi, and ties into Apple TV

More details at www.apple.com

If you think you want a tablet, now is a good time to take a look at the alternatives, especially if you don’t want to wait until iPad10, or some other perfect device. As with any changing technology, at some point you just have to dive in and start using it, and stop waiting for the next generation.

Opinions on the right tablet are all over the map. Is it, for example, about the specs, the user experience, the number of apps, brand cachet, price, or some combination of the above? In reality, the iPad, Motorola Xoom or other Android Honeycomb devices, and the Playbook will all be good devices, and will all for the most part do the same thing. You just have to make a decision on the right one for you.

UPDATE: Take a look at this iPhone J.D. post entitled Why Lawyers will Love the iPad2.