Hundreds of millions of dollars seems destined to go down the drain in the great Table rush of 2010 and 2011.
It seems every little digital media twit has got his knickers/her panties wet over the Tablet phenomenon.
We can’t scour over a publication without reading another gushing, drooling piece on these cool new Tablets.
Blame it all on the Apple iPad.
Ever since Steve Jobs launched the iPad in late March 2010 and the device gained some traction, there’s been no end to the hype about these consumer electronics devices.
With few exceptions like the HP Slate 500, most Tablets are targeted at the consumer entertainment market.
Often, these tablets (iPad) also double as e-book readers. Some like the Dell even include a phone. But who buys a Dell phone. Really, who?
Here are the major Tablet vendors:
Will the Tablets Fly?
Despite all the hype by the digital media twits and the journalists (triggered largely by the iPad’s initial success) we expect to see a bloodbath in the Tablet segment.
Unless Tablet prices come in the sub-$400 level (without the need to sign those extortionist two-year carrier contracts for 3G), we do not expect to see significant traction for these devices except from a small section of consumer electronics aficionados who must have the latest and hottest widgets to preen about.
Successful consumer electronics devices like iPod, iPhone/rivals like Android phones or the Kindle fulfilled a specific demand. Say for an easy to use, sleek music device (iPod) or a nice touch-screen mobile phone that could also play music/video and run other applications (iPhone, Android phones) or a simple e-book reader (Kindle).
The Tablet on the other hand doesn’t serve any such unique demand. Au contraire, it’s just a cool (maybe) device scrounging for a market.
And the current high prices are beyond ridiculous.
Plus, the depressed economy in the U.S. (one of the key markets for such fancy devices) will make it a very hard for these Tablets to gain any traction or for the iPad to sustain its early sales.
Six months from now, we’re going to be hearing only sob stories vis-a-vis Tablets. 🙁