Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 Slate Tablet PC Market

As predicted, 2010 was the "year of the tablet."  In 2010, we saw several new slate tablets enter the market. The Apple iPad was a huge success (and I often wonder if the marketing folks at Apple predicted correctly). Now, we're seeing a large number of other slates on the market to compete against the iPad. I'll refer to these as slate tablet PCs even though they're not your traditional "PC" running Microsoft Windows. It seems like these slate devices will be called "tablet PCs" or "slate tablet PCs" by those in the industry, so we're bound to face some confusion as people differentiate between devices running Android vs. those full-fledged PCs running Windows 7.

Here are the slate tablet computers we saw in 2010:
  • Apple iPad (running iOS)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab (running Android)
  • Dell Streak (running Android)
We also heard that in 2011, we can expect to see:
  • HP PalmPad (running webOS)
  • RIM PlayBook (running BlackBerry)
  • Lenovo LePad (running Android)
  • Apple iPad 2 (running iOS)
Will 2011 continue the tablet trend as we see more slate devices emerge on the market? Soon, we'll complete a circle as these slate tablets morph into laptop-style devices with removable keyboards.  Does this mean that netbooks will be making a comeback in the near future?

We know that Apple is preparing to release the iPad 2 in 2011. Will Apple also release a slate tablet that runs Mac OS X? (I think they should call that the iSlate) Microsoft isn't giving up on the Windows 7 slate tablet PC and I'll be curious to see how many HP Slate 500s get sold in 2011.

Current rumors indicate that Verizon is dropping the price on the Samsung Galaxy Tab to $500. Let's hope that others quickly drop their prices as well. Wouldn't it be great if we could pick up one of these slate tablets for approximately $200-300? That's like the price of a netbook!

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