As tablet after tablet fail to make it - I am talking to you HP, Blackberry Playbook, Dell Streak, MOTO Xoom, Asus and even Creative - does it make it even harder for another one to launch?
We have three new ones coming out: the Google Nexus 7, Lenovo Thinkpad 2 and Microsost Smooth.
Google Nexus 7 is making the most buzz. It has sleek design and a gret starting price of $199. This is a straight consumer play, but I find it interesting that it will be the remote for Google's TV bundle on Kansas City Google fiberhood.
Lenovo is trying to be smart about positioning there win8 tablet. "Multi-user login for doctors, sales reps and lawyers." It is wise to target a vertical, especially if you can bundle in apps. If Lenovo can partner with professional office management software makers, like NaviNet, med3000, ADP's AdvancedMD, or a host of others.
Microsoft ties into its Live stuff. What about an Android tablet attached to Google Drive, especially for the small businesses that have gone to Google Apps?,p>Matching hardware and software is something that Avaya tried but I do not know to what success. However, our industry has stranded a lot of hardware that either didn't live up to the hype or was under-utilized (like IP Phones that are mini-computers capable of running xlm apps.)
NEC has a docking station for the iPad to turn it into a phone working with its IP-PBX. Tom Keating writes how the Microsoft Surface might be a threat to IP desk phones. That's one way to skin a cat, but when I think about Apple and all its apps, I don't think making it an IP phone will make it a winner for 2 reasons: (1) most companies have money tied up in desk phones; (2) as Rich Tehrani commented to me, who would leave their tablet on a dock in the cubicle? It would disappear. (Need a GPS app to track it, I guess.)
When Level3 sales purchased iPads it was to improve sa;es presentations and expedite the sales process by having quoting and contracting on hand. That's the type of thing that Lenovo and Microsoft need to start thinking about. Tie it to business applications and verticals, not as another consumer toy, since the iPad is now being seen as both.
Rich Tehrani makes a case that Apple is the luxe and top of the market, so everyone else will need to sell for less or being freaking awesome and different. The Nexus, Amazon Kindle Fire, and the Microsoft Surface are all cheaper. It must be tied to business productivity. Isn't that the lesson we tell salespeople trying to sell cloud? It isn't about price; it is about productivity.
Just saw this article about the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 for $499. I don't know Samsung's strategy here. Going head-to-head with Apple at the same price point seems like a losing strategy -- and I am not even an Apple fanboy. Plus at $499, you can buy a nice laptop. At $499 in Apple land you can but, well, not much. An iPod, and iPhone and an iPad. No Macs in that range. I also thing Apple users like cool gadgets, be part of the club and tend toward liking visual presentation at its best. The rest of us just want function.